THE BUREAUCRACY, COURTS, AND CLASS SUMMARY
The Bureaucracy, Courts, and Class Summary.
THE BUREAUCRACY, COURTS, AND CLASS SUMMARY. 2
Typically, a bureaucracy being an administrative system that dictates how a certain
institution is controlled and managed, this denotes that it is not only vital for the proper
management of the day to day activities of an institution but also a necessity element that cannot
Characteristics of a bureaucracy
Evidently, the personnel employed in a bureaucracy perform specific tasks, which require
one to have specialism in that particular field. This means that one has to be well trained and
have the apposite skills, which can help them in performing their mandate. It is believed that
such specialism facilitates efficiency in the working place, as workers are able to execute their
duties in a competent manner.
As identified, a bureaucracy being an administrative system that controls activities of an
institution, this implies that various subdivisions exist within a bureaucracy with each unit
performing tasks are distinctive. This in return leads to ranking of various positions occupied by
personnel working under a bureaucracy. Usually, elite staff occupies senior positions whereas
ordinary personnel that can easily carry out the work on the ground occupy the lower positions.
Generally, bureaucracies carry out their mandate with the guide of formal rules. These
rules usually spell out how activities are to be carried out and who has the authority to sanction
them. Such formal rules, which are often christened as standard operating procedures (SOP), aid
bureaucracies in accomplishing their purposes swiftly and also aids in quick decision-making.
Weaknesses of a bureaucratic structure
THE BUREAUCRACY, COURTS, AND CLASS SUMMARY. 3
Due to the hierarchical structure that is synonymous with bureaucracies, lower-level staff
members may not contribute wholesomely to the running of an institution. A form of barrier is
thus created because of the ranking that one occupies within the bureaucracy. This may also lead
to a communication breakdown especially in places whereby there is no well-established
relations between the bureaucracies’ workforce.
Accordingly, formal rules are often thought to be unbending. One must follow their given
instructions in executing a task. Such inflexibility may at times impede the way operations are
conducted because by following standard protocol, activities may seemingly take longer to
complete. Lastly, bureaucracies often require back and forth consultation between various
departments. The negative effect of this is that it leads to time consumption as decisions are only
reached after system wide approval.
This often results when different agencies seemingly perform similar tasks such that there
is no distinctive clear-cut roles and responsibility. Replicating another agency’s duties thus
becomes a menace because the same work is done twice with different agencies.
Agencies often co-ordinate their activities for easier efficiency. This however may result
to emergence of conflicts, as the various personnel working under various agencies may not
agree on certain matters.
It is typical for bureaucracies to spend more than what they need on various activities.
This leads to wastage, which often affects the spending of such bureaucracies.
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The feasible remedy towards the aforementioned pathologies is ensure that agencies have
clear cut roles and responsibilities so as to avoid a scenario of conflict emerging due to the
duplication of roles. Equally, there has to be close monitoring of the activities of agencies’ to
ensure that wastage is reduced.
Public versus private bureaucracies
Public bureaucracies are largely concerned with administering policies that will result to
catering for the welfare of the people (the general public) whereas private bureaucracies
administer policies that are directed towards achieving maximum interest for an organization. In
this respect, the former mainly seeks to deal with provision of services to the people.
If the government was run by private bureaucracies, evidently proper administration will
result because wastage will be reduced and the agreements entered into with other agencies will
be purely for maximizing benefits for the people.
PART II: THE COURTS: JUDICIAL POWER IN A DEMOCRATIC SETTING
The constitution being the supreme law of the nation, it denotes that every person is
obliged to obey it and observe good conduct. The constitution thus lays the foundation of court
rulings because it is from the laws established in it that courts are able to guide their judgments.
Separation of powers
Significantly, the government operates through three fundamental organs; the executive,
legislature, and the judiciary. Without the concept of separation of powers, each organ may try to
be superior to the other as such undermining it. With regard to the courts, they play a vital role in
THE BUREAUCRACY, COURTS, AND CLASS SUMMARY. 5
a democracy because they not only solve disputes but also give an interpretation of laws, which
is an important aspect especially in scenarios where a standoff materializes.
Protection of rights
Notably, every citizen has fundamental rights and freedoms that must be respected. The
constitution thus acts as the main text of reference towards overseeing that such rights are
protected and preserved.
Rule of law
The rule of law avers that every person is equal before the law. This is an important
aspect because it enables all persons to benefit from the law without giving due exceptions to
Part III: Class summary
The interesting bit about the American government is that it embraces the concept of
separation of power. This is important because it facilitates oversight between each organ. This
means that one organ is checked by the other as such forcing it to perform its duties diligently.
Also, the American government upholds the concept of integrity of public officers.
Considering those public officials, the president included, work for the well-being of the nation
and its people, it is important that they respect their respective offices. While executing their
mandate, they must not go beyond their required area.
Lastly, the American government embraces democracy. For instance, the people are
allowed to vote for their chosen representatives to voice their concerns to the government.
What I liked most about the class is that it mainly dwelled on issues that affect our
everyday lives. Take, for instance, the working of bureaucracies and their operations has an
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effect on the lives of ordinary citizens. The class also enabled me to interact with other students
on contemporary issues and gauge their understanding.
PART IV: PROFESSOR GONZALEZ
Professor Gonzalez can say to be forward-looking under the political spectrum. This is
based on the fact that he understands issues in an all-inclusive manner and tries to provide
solutions to political problems. The Professor is also upbeat about good governance, as such
making him a praiseworthy figure.
PART V: POLITICAL NEWS IQ
Notably, after taking the test I noticed that there are certain political elements that I am
not well informed in. Mostly, this is attributed to minimal interest paid towards political news
and current events as such I am challenged to pay more interest on the same.
Bill Jackson (2017). The Bureaucracy: The size and power of the Bureaucracy.