Bureaucratic access points and leverage
Sternemann, Daniel Thomas
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This project studies how bureaucratic behavior influences policy implementation. It presents a novel bureaucratic access points and leverage theory, which help us understand how policies are successfully implemented in the midst of bureaucratic challenges resulting from organizational roles and responsibilities and contrasting assessments. The concept of access points has traditionally involved lobbyists and interest groups accessing elected officials and their staffs. I ask what is the effect of bureaucrats accessing bureaucrats directly in the policy implementation process and its subsequent evaluation. I argue that bureaucrats leverage other bureaucrats during policy implementation proceedings, which adds the notion of power to access points theory. The focus of this investigation is the relationship between humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) agencies and associated Department of Defense (DOD) components, particularly DOD medical components providing wellness intervention. Bureaucratic access and leverage enables a more unified implementation of over-arching HA/DR policy by disparate agencies with unique missions, resources, capabilities, and assessment measures. The existing literature does not fully capture how such agency differences are mitigated and overcome in implementing policy that spans multiple entities. Bureaucratic access points and leverage theory offers bureaucrats the analytical capability to know who is controlling policy implementation. It also presents a tool they can use to maintain and increase their own influence and power within a policy domain.
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