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Anamaria Pejkovi

Coursework 6


In the chapter, Aberbach et al. Analyze four different types of relatiomship between
bureaucratic administrationa and politicians. They want to examine similarities and differences
between these two types of officials in policy making. Their analysis follows up the debates
between political scientist on the roles ans power of bureaucracyand representative institutions.
I think that their analysis is empirical, practical and normative. First, they use a lot of emipirical
examples to to explain every type of relationship. Also, they put forward some practical critics
of these types of relationship. But, then again, they describe how things are supposed to work
which meands that they don't ignore the normative side.


1. Policy / 2. Facts / 3. Energy / 4. Pure hybrid

administration interests equilibrium
Formulating Politician Politician / Politician Politician /
broad ideas administrator administrator
Interest broker Politician Politician Politician / Politician /
administrator administrator
Formulating Politician Politician / Politician / Politician /
policy administrator administrator administrator
Implementation Administrator Administrator Administrator Politician /
of policy administrator


The first type of relationship is ideal but improbable one, because the difference between
discretionary and nondiscretionary decisions is blurry. Contrary to this type of relationship,
formulations of politics belongs to both sides. It cannot be foreseen every specific case, so
bureaucrats must have the discretionary power. The consequence is that, with this power
bureaucracies change the policy in implementation, but also in formulation. They become one
of the actors who formulate the policy. Furthermore, this model assumes the hirerachy of
authority, where politicians are superior to bureaucrats. But, in fact, bureaucrats are
predominant in putting problems on agenda for deciding. This is more a practical problem
because the lack of rescources really exists and bureacurats must change the policy in

A lot of studies showed that bureaucrats don't monopolize the expertise because of the
professionalization on politicians. Also, bureaucratic agencies play a vital role on mobilizing
sectoral interests.They do it to assure their own survival. Bureaucrats need public support. This
is also a practical problem because there are no normative obstacles that should be a problem
for this type of relationship. Rather, there are practical issues that make this type impossible.

There are three limitations to administrative process of interest aggregation. First, unorganized
interests are largely ignored. Second, bureaucrats are policy makers identify with functional
sectors in policymaking. Third, bureaucrats take the existing parallelogram of political forces
as given, and politicians can relax the constraints. On my opinion, first two problems are more
an empirical one because thats just the way it is in reality ehat can be seen in data. The third
limitation is more normative because there are no analysis that can show the correct data.

Last but not least, critic of pure hybrid model is that, there is still the division between
bureaucrats and politicians. Policymakers still fall in one of these two categories. This is a
normative problem, because it is focuses just on the categorisation of policymakers, and not on
their real role.


Bureaucrats have discretionary power and can change the policy in its implementation. This is
dangerous when they bring their own political ideas in implementation. They can favour
someone or some policy just because its compatible to his own worldview. With this
discretionary power, bureaucrats are not only implementing some policy, rather they are
formulating it. They also have a big influence on putting some problem on agenda. This is
another example of why the rational decision making is impossible. Even if policymaker could
analyze every problem, solution and instrument, things would have fallen apart in the policy
implementation phase.

Aberbach, J.D, Putnam, R.D. (1981) Bureaucrats and politiciand in western democracies.
Cambirdge & London: Harvard University Press.