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Chapter 4

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 243
Mark Brawley

Chapter 4: Bureaucratic Politics - Emphasized individuals as key actors NOT states like systemic - Modeling positions, roles or offices not one individual The Importance of an Individual’s Role - Role defines individuals not the other way around - Responsibilities of office shape how individuals formulate and execute foreign policy - Works under assumption that state isn’t a rational, unitary actor; instead states are composed of disparate groups or organizations - Organizations have goals independent enough of determine portion of policy output and make polices that work well or undermine each other - Heads of each branch of whatever are not necessarily thinking about what is best for country but what is best for his or her service. For ex: head of Navy thinks for what is best for Navy - Graham Allison set out 3 rival models for interpreting the Cuban Missile Crisis: 1.) was a standard system-level argument (assuming state had to be singe, unitary and ration actor) which he didn’t feel worked well 2.) Bureaucratic politics 3.) Worked better in Allison’s estimation b/c it saw policy as result of internal bargaining among bureaucrats within each gov’t—foreign policy was result of different actors struggling amongst themselves Bureaucratic Goals - Each individuals were acting rationally but each was pursuing a specific goal to his or her job - Goals of organization: 1.) Defend bureaucracy’s essential mission or purpose 2.) Defending and/or extending organization’s domain 3.) Maintaining organization’s autonomy 4.) Maintaining morale within organi
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