Donut Shops, Speed Traps, and Paperwork

Book chapter

Brehm, John; Scott Gates & Brad Gomez (2003) Donut Shops, Speed Traps, and Paperwork, in Politics, Policy, and Organizations: Essays in the Scientific Study of Bureaucracy. Ann Arbor, MI (133–159).

University of Michigan Press

About the book

Politics, Policy, and Organizations bridges the gap between studies of public administration and the broader field of political science by highlighting the vital role that bureaucracies play in shaping public policy. With this landmark volume, leading scholars develop a new organizations approach to the study of public bureaucracy, linking bureaucratic choice to public policy-making through scientific inquiry.

The original essays range over a wide territory, from studies of bureaucratic decision-making to examinations of the behavioral relationships within organizations, to investigations of the institutional relationships between bureaucracies and their political environments. The contributors draw on rational choice approaches, computationally intensive data and modeling techniques, and systematic empirical inquiry to offer fresh perspectives on bureaucracies as both governmental institutions and administrative organizations.

Politics, Policy, and Organizations goes beyond the traditional, passive view of administrative agencies to describe the vital role of bureaucratic organizations in a functioning democracy. By placing the agencies front and center, the authors make a powerful case that bureaucracy is really a fourth branch of government -- albeit one that generally goes unnoticed except in times of emergency or deep national division. This groundbreaking work provides a new and more accurate guide to the interactions of bureaucracies with other political institutions and the public at large.

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