The importance of these cadres in foreign policy-making has long been recognized by scholars, and much literature now exists on the political impact of bureaucrats and the extent to which foreign policy is really in their hands. This chapter examines the hypothesis of bureaucratic control by comparing the Weberian ideal type to practice across different systems of society and government, with the help of the theories of bureaucratic politics developed by political scientists. It will also discuss the way in which the foreign policy bureaucracy is no longer confined to ministries of foreign affairs, but extends horizontally across most governmental departments, provoking new problems of coordination and control. This mix of slow progression leading to abrupt change is hardly limited to politics. The impact of global warming is another example; the sudden onset of the economic crisis is a third. Indeed, we have learned through the exercise of reading and writing the contributions to this volume that the mix of long causality and sudden expression is the greatest common factor at work across European experience. Similar causal mechanisms may work faster in some countries and slower in others, the influence of different factors may vary from one place to the next, and yet no part of Europe is isolated and virtually every experience is shared to some extent.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
- Agents: Bureaucracy and the Proliferation of External Relations
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number
- Chapter 4