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By Executive OrderBureaucratic Management and the Limits of Presidential Power$
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Andrew Rudalevige

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691194363

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691194363.001.0001

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Bargaining with the Bureaucracy

Bargaining with the Bureaucracy

Presidential Management and Unilateral Policy Formulation

(p.25) 2 Bargaining with the Bureaucracy
By Executive Order

Andrew Rudalevige

Princeton University Press

This chapter builds on the brief discussion from the previous chapter to explore the strands of public administration scholarship stressing the organizational complexity of the executive branch and the difficulty of imposing centralized leadership upon it. It considers the transaction costs involved in managing the executive branch — and seeks to situate presidents as they both respond to the administrative products of the agencies and create their own within the Executive Office of the President (EOP). The notion of contingent centralization, used in other research on policy formulation, is adapted here to the president's decision to “make or buy” a given executive order. What characteristics of an order, or an agency, shape presidential decisions about where to formulate an executive order? When will EOP intervention be most required; when will agencies be given freer rein? The vantage is largely presidential here in asking how presidents can lower their managerial transaction costs. But that frame allows for agencies to have influence over the provision of information and thus scope to shape presidents' cost-benefit analysis.

Keywords:   public administration, centralized leadership, executive branch, administrative agencies, contingent centralization, policy formulation

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