Faculty Publications

Title

Darwin's bureaucrat: Reassessing the microfoundations of bureaucracy scholarship

Document Type

Article

Keywords

Adam Smith, Biopolitics, Darwin, Herb Simon, Public administration, Public policy

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Politics and the Life Sciences

Volume

38

Issue

2

First Page

168

Last Page

179

Abstract

The study of bureaucratic behavior-focusing on control, decision-making, and institutional arrangements-has historically leaned heavily on theories of rational choice and bounded rationality. Notably absent from this research, however, is attention to the growing literature on biological and especially evolutionary human behavior. This article addresses this gap by closely examining the extant economic and psychological frameworks-which we refer to as “Adam Smith's bureaucrat” and “Herbert Simon's bureaucrat”-for their shortcomings in terms of explanatory and predictive theory, and by positing a different framework, which we call “Charles Darwin's bureaucrat.” This model incorporates new insights from an expanding multidisciplinary research framework and has the potential to address some of the long-noted weaknesses of classic theories of bureaucratic behavior.

Original Publication Date

1-1-2019

DOI of published version

10.1017/pls.2019.17

Repository

UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa

Language

en

Share

COinS