bureaucracy

joh2001smile

Senior Member
Chinese
This is from a book about think tanks. Does the word bureaucracy mean the officials that is appointed to their positions without elections?
Context:
To remind us of this,a handful of scholars,including Theda Skocpol and Stephen Krasner,have emphasized the relative autonomy of the state in making difficult policy decisions. State theory,according to Aaron Steelman,advances the argument "that while the public can indeed impose some restraint on the actions of the bureaucracy and elected officials,the state retains a degree of autonomy and works according to its own logic.
 
  • TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Hi,

    "that while the public can indeed impose some restraint on the actions of the bureaucracy and elected officials,the state retains a degree of autonomy and works according to its own logic."
    The contrast here is between the "elected officials" and those "bureaucrats" who work for the government, but are not elected.

    In BE I believe that the "bureaucrats" are civil servants (I think, not sure), in AE they would be "civil servants" or "government employees".
     

    joh2001smile

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    IimLA,
    Thank you, I get it, but I still wonder why the author used them separately and what he tried to emphasize by this. Is there any big difference in the roles of bureaucrats and elected officials?
     

    TimLA

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Very good question.

    Elected officials have the responsibilities for making laws and policies, and the "burearcrats" have the responsibility for putting them into practice.

    Example:
    The elected officials in the State of Wyoming decide to pass a law that says you can obtain a driver's license at the age of 15.
    The bureaucrats in the "Department of Motor Vehicles" look at the law, and make up regulations so that the law can be applied to the general population.

    So the author is demonstrating the big differences in jobs between the two groups.
     
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