Book Review: Inside Bureaucracy by Anthony Downs

by John P. Crecine

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Downs' book has as its purpose to "develop a useful theory of bureaucratic decisionmaking." While the reviewer finds the axioms, laws, and propositions "packed with interesting and significant research questions and bureaucratic folklore," he asserts that it "is really about bureaucratic structure and contains relatively little that is unique about bureaucratic decisionmaking." In the reviewer's opinion, the "major shortcoming of the book lies in the disparity between its theoretical 'ambitions' and its actual accomplishments.... In this book there is no theory and the nontestability of the propositions is immediately obvious."

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