The Bureaucracy-Democracy Conundrum: A Contemporary Inquiry into the Labyrinth
This chapter reviews the historical growth of public sector bureaucracies in the United States, explore the roots of bureaucracy. It examines contemporary issues related to the bureaucracy-democracy nexus, and offers some concluding observations. According to Max Weber, tension and conflict are inherent between principles of democracy and principles of bureaucracy. The dangers of bureaucracy have been documented in both classical and contemporary writing. Much of the recent political rhetoric in the United States has in one manner or another centered around the issue of the size, scope, and responsiveness of the bureaucracy. The growth of the bureaucracy is commonly attributed to an array of factors. Bureaucracy also has a rich and deep intellectual tradition. The roots of administrative thought can be traced as far back as the Bible. The antecedents of modem American bureaucracy, however, have been influenced by more recent work such as that of Woodrow Wilson and Max Weber.