The Bureaucracy

Authored by: Eugene Huskey

Routledge Handbook of Russian Politics and Society

Print publication date:  October  2011
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415576277
eBook ISBN: 9780203804490
Adobe ISBN: 9781136641022


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The study of state bureaucracy in Western countries has largely been relegated to a special subfield of political science known as public administration. Where the study of politics investigates the resolution by the state of competing claims by individuals and groups, public administration focuses on the management of state organisations, a more technical pursuit that examines such issues as public-sector budgeting and human-resource management. Whether the tendency to de-emphasise politics in the study of Western bureaucracies is justifiable remains an open question, but it is clearly inappropriate in the many parts of the world that lack a modern civil service. In countries like Russia, bureaucracy is the lifeblood of politics, and to understand who governs Russia and how, there is no better starting point than officialdom.

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