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Bureaucratic Politics: Part 2

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Bureaucratic Politics 4/3/12 9:24 PM Last Lecture Recap: Organizations can not always provide rational options. Slippage= the difference between what is rational and what can actually be done (what the organizations are capable of). It is hard to decide if something is actually slippage because sometimes organizations have narrow ideas about what is good for them and choose the irrational decision to better themselves. Bureaucratic Politics: Bureaucracies fighting it out. • Allison: “where you stand depends on where you sit” o what matters is an individuals role or title or position they are holding o individual level theories will emphasis what makes individual differ, but this view looks at how the position of the voter changes how they vote o ex. Salmon P. Chase on “greenbacks” § Chase’s job was to find out how to pay for the military etc… § Tariffs were the main source of income for the national government § Chase introduces a “promise” from the federal government that you will get some form of solid payment in the future but at the moment you will just receive paper. If you want to support the government in its war efforts accept this IOU and in the future you will receive something as paper. Shows how desperate they were. § Congress (pro paper money) vs. President (wary of paper money) § The US Supreme court ruled that paper money was unconstitutional à Salmon P. Chase was sitting on the court § Chase, as secretary of the treasury, did what he needed to do to raise money but a decade later, as a supreme court justice, he ruled this unconstitutional. His position in the government changed which lead to a change in his views. o Ex. Winston Churchill on pre World War 1 naval expenditures § Britain saw itself threatened by the development of the German Navy § The Dread knot (navy ship) was a radical breakthrough in war technology. Ships before this were not accurate. § This ship heightens the arms race. § As a conservative, Churchill says that they needed to spend more money on weapons. He has a dispute with the Tory party. He then switched to the liberals because he disagrees among domestic parties. The Liberals put Churchill as in the shadow cabinet and he is used to cut down on expenditures and improves the budget. After the budget improves he moves back to the conservatives and spends the money needed. § As Churchill switches jobs, his position also changes. • Bureaucratic actors rationally pursue narrow goals. o Work towards goals that are good for a small portion of the government not for the government as a whole • Bureaucratic politics tell us about organizations competing aims – but how is policy selected? o in hierarchal systems it is easy to see who will dictate policy o this will not look like realist assumptions
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