POL326Y1 Lecture 8: POL326Y1 Lecture : Executive Branch Lecture

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26 Aug 2019
Bureaucracy (NSC and State Department)
Realists see American foreign policy transform from the 18th to 20th century as a result of the changes in
the international context (US couldn’t afford to be unilateralist and isolationist)
o The US kept a hands-off attitude towards Europe (offshore balancing) as a result of economic and
technological advancements; transitioned to a more engaged foreign policy
o US is seen as reluctantly being drawn in international politics resulting from the threat in the
international environment
Marxists: US is a capitalist state; went through a period of national development and expansion within the
Western Hemisphere and logic of institutions that created the impetus for US to create a more robust role
within politics
o The key institution in 20th century was the modern corporation; important for access in raw
materials outside America and market goods within the US
o Brook Adams: close relationship between economic interests and expansion of state capacities
o The processes in modern corporations were parallel in important ways in the structure of the
federal government; corporate counterparts became bureaucratically organized
What arose from expansions of bureaucracies in federal government was the iron triangle
Iron triangle: relationship between a particular interest group within society, a branch within the
executive branch within an interest group
o It’s called an iron triangle for corporations share the same interests; as various bureaucracies
emerge, they emerge with dual functions
Department of agriculture: regulate and promote agriculture
o Example: the bureau of land management in the US and the forests
Bureau of land management intends to regulate forestry industry; people from the latter
are employed by the bureau of land management
Those that staff the institution share the interest of the industry themselves
o Congress: staffed by people representing their constituencies
Your chances as a congressperson depends on how many goods you bring back to your
o The extent to which iron triangles were powerful was demonstrated in the Jimmy Carter era
Inherited mess of energy policy with Nixon; consequently, he made the department of
Education was lacking; so, he made the department of education
o Each of these bureaucracies aren’t departments that flow
o Demonstrates the relation of economic interests and larger institutions
Four Phases
Much of the bureaucracies were motivated by economic necessity; bureaucracies of federal government
underwent four major phases of expansion
Great Depression: laissez-faire economy no longer could meet the needs of capitalist economy; what was
missing was ability to manage demand; the new deal was made to do this
o Wagner Act: legal act that legalized labor unions
o The new deal gave a lift to the US economically
o FDR emphasized the problem of debt than problems of limited demands;
WWII: provided an instant booth of products
o After American entrance, economy was transformed by war production
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