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Bureaucratic Politics.docx

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Bureaucratic Politics Politics within the government Within the bureaucratic component How they work/do not work together? BP counters system level realists States may not be rational unitary actors States may be pursuing many policies at once, may be contradictory US government’s position on tobacco Subsidize tobacco farmers whilst other parts of government oppose tobacco Internal divisions  not a single rational actor One rational actor  uniform consensus Different parts or pieces pursuing their own goals, what may be rational for one might be batshit crazy for another Department of agriculture may support the subsidization of tobacco farmers Whilst the Surgeon General promotes health Do the sum of these autonomous components aggregate into rational action? Grahum Allison On the Cuban Missile Crisis How the world was so close to the third world war Three arguments Model 1: System Level Realist Argument (one single unitary actor) Dominant way people think about security but not good enough Model 2: Organizational Process Both leaders (Soviets and US) were trying to be rational but they weren’t Difference between what should be done and what can be done Difference of capabilities of government Model 3: Bureaucratic Politics How decisions get made Different pieces in government arguing over what to do Winner out of internal discussion within the argument Tobacco: Surgeon General vs Agriculture  Who won? There is no uniform rationality Model 3 encompasses a bit of 1 and 2 Cuban Missile Crisis Organizational Process Policy decisions vs policy implementation Massive retaliation  Soviets lacked the ability to hurt the United States, had the bombs but lacked the aircraft US  if you hurt our friends, we will bomb you Soviets lied about mass producing missiles but had short range missiles Rational Acting  Give leverage over United States When Castro declared himself to be communist, Soviets want
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