chapter  11
19 Pages

Bureaucracy and party politics

The technocrats and some Marxists have argued that bureaucracies in the Western world have become powerful enough to gain independence from elected politicians and that they have thereby posed a threat to democracy. The cases cited have corroborated, or at least widely illustrated this point. Chapters 11 and 12 are designed to show that a bureaucracy that gains independence from elected politicians is also, paradoxically, a necessity to democracy. These chapters show that politicians' control over the bureaucracy has frequently subjected that institution to party politics, that whenever this has occurred it has found its counterpart in manipulation of the electoral process, and that only where bureaucracy has gained immunity from party political intrusion have proper democratic procedures developed. Accordingly, this chapter traces the penetration of elected politicians and party politics into the bureaucracies of seven Western-style countries and the subsequent decline of this penetration in some of them. The next chapter depicts certain malpractices in the electoral-democratic procedures of the same seven countries and the subsequent decline of these forms of manipulation in some of them. It concludes by showing that trends of development and decline in these two areas have been practically identical.1