The federal bureaucracy is a difficult thing to effectively describe. It's extremely large and has agencies that deal with almost every facet of our lives. From the roads we travel to the foods we eat, from the parks we visit and the air we breathe, federal regulations and oversight abound. In fact, the bureaucracy is so large and complex that it could take a lifetime to understand all of its inner workings, and I doubt we would want to know everything.
In this unit, we will look at the broad (and I mean really broad) structure of the federal bureaucracy and generally what functions it fulfills in our democracy. We will also take a closer look at two specific instances of bureaucratic involvement, one of action and one of inaction. We will also examine the recent trend against outsourcing, or contracting out, many of the functions that fall under the purview of the executive branch and the arguments for and against this trend.
Assignment #1: What Is a Bureaucracy?
Assignment #2: Types of Bureaucratic Agencies
Assignment #3: The Bureaucracy at Work
Assignment #4: Reforming the Bureaucracy
Assignment #5: Bureaucracy and Policymaking
Assignment #6: Cumulative Test Review