Separated Powers in the United States: The Ideology of Agencies, Presidents, and Congress

  title={Separated Powers in the United States: The Ideology of Agencies, Presidents, and Congress},
  author={Joshua D. Clinton and Anthony M. Bertelli and Christian R. Grose and David E. Lewis and David Nixon},
  journal={American Journal of Political Science},
Government agencies service interest groups, advocate policies, provide advice to elected officials, and create and implement public policy. Scholars have advanced theories to explain the role of agencies in American politics but efforts to test these theories are hampered by the inability to systematically measure agency preferences. We present a method for measuring agency ideology that yields ideal point estimates of individual bureaucrats and agencies that are directly comparable with those… 

Tables from this paper

The Administrative Presidency and Public Trust in Bureaucracy
  • Jon C. Rogowski
  • Political Science
    Journal of Political Institutions and Political Economy
  • 2020
Bureaucratic agencies occupy a politically perilous position in the American federal government. As agents of both Congress and the president, agencies are responsible to principals who often
Ideology, Unionization, and Personnel Politics in the Federal Budget Process
This article studies how administrations seek to shape the federal workforce through the budget process. I develop a theory of personnel politics in which presidents balance ideological and
Essays on Bureaucratic Politics: Political Targeting, Deterrence Effects and the Implementation of Regulatory Statutes
A defining feature of modern democracies is that lawmaking, once the exclusive domain of the legislature, is overwhelmingly executed by administrative agencies. While these agencies are authorized to
Elite Perceptions of Agency Ideology and Workforce Skill
Perceptions of the policy leanings of government agencies are an important component of an agency’s political environment, and an agency’s political environment can greatly influence how agencies
Elections, Ideology, and Turnover in the U.S. Federal Government
A defining feature of public sector employment in the United States is the regular change in elected leadership. We describe how these changes alter policy and disrupt civil servants’ influence
Presidentially Directed Policy Change
US presidents—working through the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA)— influence administrative agencies by directing agencies to modify their regulatory policy proposals before
Implementing presidential particularism: bureaucracy and the distribution of federal grants
Do agencies implement the president's particularistic goals uniformly? This paper clarifies the presidential particularism literature by explicitly considering the mechanism through which the
Government Reform, Political Ideology, and Administrative Burden: The Case of Performance Management in the Bush Administration
This article examines how ideological differences between political officials and agencies may have affected the implementation of an ostensibly nonpartisan, government-wide administrative
Quitting in Protest: A Theory of Presidential Policy Making and Agency Response
This paper examines the effects of centralized presidential policy-making, implemented through unilateral executive action, on the willingness of bureaucrats to exert effort and stay in the
Ideology and Local Public Expenditure Priorities
Local governments prioritize spending on various types and levels of public services. Although scholars have shown that citizen preferences and institutional factors, such as economic, political, and


Clashing Beliefs Within the Executive Branch: The Nixon Administration Bureaucracy
This article examines two key political beliefs of high level American federal executives: their views on the role of government in providing social services and their views regarding inequities in
Expert Opinion, Agency Characteristics, and Agency Preferences
The study of bureaucracies and their relationship to political actors is central to understanding the policy process in the United States. Studying this aspect of American politics is difficult
Bureaucrats and Politicians in Western Democracies
In uneasy partnership at the helm of the modern state stand elected party politicians and professional bureaucrats. This book is the first comprehensive comparison of these two powerful elites. In
Congressional Ideology and Administrative Oversight in the New Deal Era
Abstract Historians of the U.S. Congress often draw claims from interpretations of legislators’ rhetoric and the outcomes of key votes. In this article, the author tells a cautionary tale: Such
Separation of Powers and Appointee Ideology
The traditional view of appointments to executive agencies is that the president has virtual carte blanche in the selection of personnel for his "team." Yet many formal models of appointment suggest
Representative Bureaucracy and Policy Preferences: A Study in the Attitudes of Federal Executives
Public administrators are considered key actors in allocating resources among competing political forces. Administrative decisions, as Appleby so often observed, are political decisions, and
The American System of Shared Powers: The President, Congress, and the Nlrb
The purpose of this article is to develop and test a model of political influence on regulation that incorporates both the competing interests of elected officials and the relevant institutional
Secretaries of Pork? A New Theory of Distributive Public Policy
Scholars have focused attention toward congressional influence over distributive grant allocations, but they have less frequently examined the extent to which administrative agencies play a role in
Whose Ear to Bend? Information Sources and Venue Choice in Policy-Making
Important conceptualizations of both interest groups and bureaucratic agencies suggest that these institutions provide legislatures with greater information for use in policy-making. Yet little is
Agreeable administrators? Analyzing the public positions of cabinet secretaries and presidents
Cabinet secretaries represent their departments when testifying before Congress on a broad range of legislation. Do they also represent the president's views on such legislation? Consistent with