Representative Bureaucracy

Words: 3853
Pages: 16

Barbara DeVivo
Essay 1: Representative Bureaucracy
PAD709: Dr. Ellen Rubin
October 20, 2015

Bureaucracies are political government agencies that employ civil servants to attend to the operational needs and interests of society. Many also exercise their discretion to press for the needs of groups they identify with. This form of active representation has been shown to provide substantive benefits for minority groups. Even in cases where active representation does not take place, the mere presence of a minority agent in a bureaucracy has had substantive effects.
Bureaucratic representation can provide positive outcomes for minority populations,
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Depending on their position or agency, bureaucrats can represent members of a society in either an active or a passive manner. Regardless of form, research suggests that bureaucrats can have a representative effect on members of a society. Civil servants who are representative of the people in gender, race, and ethnicity, as well as other demographic characteristics, can help balance the representation and promotion of everyone in a society. Representative bureaucracy theory posits that civil servants who share demographic characteristics of those they directly serve tend to further the interests of those groups. If an agency?s workforce is diverse, with similar characteristics of its client group, then it will positively affect the represented group. Thus, decisions made by these bureaucrats are likely to favor the public. This representation can support democracy by promoting bureaucratic responsiveness and government …show more content…
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