Unit 7: Bureaucracy (35-45 all three branches) Sabato and O’Connor: Chapter 9 Unit Terms: know, love, & understand



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AP US Government and Politics

Unit 7: Bureaucracy (35-45%- all three branches)

Sabato and O’Connor: Chapter 9
Unit Terms: KNOW, LOVE, & UNDERSTAND

  • Positive and Negative attributes of bureaucracies

  • Types of Bureaucracies:

  • Independent (regulatory) Commissions ; government corporation; Executive agencies; Cabinet Departments

  • Bureaucracy- definition

  • Office of Management and Budget

  • Ways that bureaucracies increase their power

  • Ways to control bureaucracies: President, Legislative, Judicial

  • Policy making: Iron Triangles and Issue Networks

  • Spoils System

  • Pendleton Act





Unit Concepts: KNOW THEM, LOVE THEM, REGURGITATE THEM

Your options: choose one of the following

1) Provide a brief writing outline for each; 2) Write a short-answer essay for each.


  1. In the 20th Century, the United States turned more and more to bureaucratic agencies to conduct the business of the federal government. Discuss the roles of the various units of the federal bureaucracy: cabinet-level departments, independent regulatory agencies, government corporations, and independent executive agencies.

  2. How do bureaucracies make policy? Refer to iron triangles and issue networks.

  3. What are the 4 main bureaucracies that allow government to function? How are they different from each other?

  4. Explain the “reinventing government” concept and its impact on the Gore Report. How was the report turning against Democratic Party tradition? Why did it do so? What were the results of this “reinvention”?

  5. Define bureaucracy and bureaucrat. Is the usage of the two terms generally positive or negative? Why? Do we need bureaucracies or not?

  6. Trace the history of the American Bureaucracy. What changes have happened?

  7. Briefly summarize the five points of who bureaucrats are. Create a flow chart that shows what bureaucrats do.

  8. Describe the formal organization of the bureaucracy, including its formal structure. How do the assistant secretaries, the senior executive service, and the OMB play a role?

  9. What is the difference between a bureau, a government corporation, an independent agency (AKA an independent regulatory agency), and an independent regulatory board or commission.

  10. What factors are used to explain the importance of the informal organization?

  11. Explain the importance and limits placed on government employees by the Hatch Act, old and new. May they join unions?

  12. List the principles of the formal textbook model of bureaucratic administration. What changes have occurred? Describe the limitations on bureaucratic power.

  13. Assess bureaucratic realities. Why are government bureaus something less to be feared and something that will probably not change? How is this concept reinforced by iron triangles?

  14. Analyze how the fictitious George Brown illustrates the dilemmas faced by bureaucrats in determining accountability and defining the public interest. How is this non-political job political?

  15. Debate the need for big government and big bureaucracy, including a discussion of how to reorganize and eliminate waste in them.

  16. Debate the extent to which government should privatize public services. Be sure to include how the business will still be considered “in the public interest”. Give examples to support the debate.

  17. Examine bureaucratic accountability to the President and to Congress. Explain how the accountabilities conflict sometimes.

  18. Explain the different perception that the Japanese have towards bureaucracy.

  19. Should civil servants be subjected to unannounced drug testing?


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