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Bureaucracy

1996
Author:

David Beetham

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This revised edition is a useful introduction that provides a compelling analysis of one of the most pervasive, and yet poorly understood, features of contemporary society.

David Beetham’s revised second edition is a useful introduction that provides a compelling analysis of one of the most pervasive, and yet poorly understood, features of contemporary society-bureaucracy.

For any student this book is perfect because it both introduces the reader to the principle theories and illustrates the impossibility of a neutral, unengaged, or purely technical understanding of the subject.

Times Higher Education Supplement

This revised edition is a useful introduction that provides a compelling analysis of one of the most pervasive, and yet poorly understood, features of contemporary society.

David Beetham addresses the following questions: What is bureaucracy? Are people right to see it as synonymous with red tape and inefficiency? Can it be controlled by politicians, or can it be made more responsive to citizens? Is it confined to the public sector, or is it common to all modern organizations?

The second edition has been updated in light of recent academic and political developments, providing a succinct guide through the disciplines of sociology, political science, and economics. Beetham also explores competing social theories, including structural, cultural, and rational approaches, and offers a new synthesis that goes beyond them.

This clearly written and lucid book is essential reading for anyone who seeks to understand the meaning and significance of bureaucracy and its relation to democracy.

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David Beetham is professor of politics at the University of Leeds.

Book Default Image

For any student this book is perfect because it both introduces the reader to the principle theories and illustrates the impossibility of a neutral, unengaged, or purely technical understanding of the subject.

Times Higher Education Supplement

In this useful introductory book, Beetham distills important themes from the massive literatures on bureaucracy and presents them in a clear, crisp, intelligent way.

Ethics

A clear, compelling analysis of one of the most pervasive, and also poorly understood, features of contemporary society.

Teaching Philosophy