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Reconciling Democracy and Bureaucracy: Towards a Deliberative-Democratic Model of Bureaucratic Accountability

Morgeson III, Forrest Vern (2005) Reconciling Democracy and Bureaucracy: Towards a Deliberative-Democratic Model of Bureaucratic Accountability. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Beginning in the advent of the modern discipline of public administration, and in some ways considerably earlier, one of the questions most troubling political thinkers and political scientists has been: Holding both as values, how can we reconcile the tension between bureaucracy and democracy? This question, addressing what is often termed the "bureaucracy-democracy paradox," has taken a variety of forms, varying as a result of both particular definitions of democracy and competing perspectives on the proper understanding of bureaucratic power. Rooted in the discipline of democratic theory and guided by its traditions, this dissertation intervenes in this discussion, and asks four logically interrelated questions instrumental to a satisfactory resolution of this tension. First, given the diversity of perspectives surrounding the concept "democracy," is there an essential definition of this concept and model of democracy we might rely on, one that informs both the norm and the reality of contemporary democracy, and if so, how does this model help guide us in identifying and resolving the tension between contemporary bureaucracy and democracy? Having identified this model and located one "most pressing" tension in processes of bureaucratic rulemaking, this dissertation proceeds to identify democratic modes of control, oversight and accountability of bureaucracy as critical to resolving this tension, and in the process asks: how effective are extant democratic modes of accountability and oversight within contemporary democracies, and thus how well-preserved is our model of democracy? Third, having found reasons to question the effectiveness of extant modes of control, oversight and accountability, it is next asked: what alternative forms of democratic control are available that might better support our democratic institutions and traditions? Finally, turning to a normative model of democracy popularized over the last few decades - the deliberative theory of democracy - as one useful alternative, this dissertation concludes by asking: is there a case that might evidence both the empirical plausibility and the normative desirability of deliberative democracy as an alternative model of control within a bureaucratic rulemaking context, and thus support this prescription as a viable one for resolving the enduring tension between bureaucracy and democracy?


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Morgeson III, Forrest
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWhelan, Frederick Gfwhelan@imap.pitt.eduFWHELAN
Committee MemberPeters, B Guybgpeters@pitt.eduBGPETERS
Committee MemberYoung, Iris
Committee MemberGoodhart, Michaelgoodhart@pitt.eduGOODHART
Date: 5 October 2005
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 28 March 2005
Approval Date: 5 October 2005
Submission Date: 1 April 2005
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: bureaucracy; bureaucratic rulemaking; deliberative democracy
Other ID:, etd-04012005-154722
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:33
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:38


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