The Quest for Administrative Salvation

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  • The Quest for Administrative SalvationDemocratic Process and Administrative Law by Robert S. Lorch; Administrative Justice:Advocacy and Change in Government Agencies by Philippe Nonet; Democracy in theAdministrative State by Emmette S. RedfordReview by: Marver H. BernsteinPublic Administration Review, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Jan. - Feb., 1972), pp. 70-76Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Society for Public AdministrationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/974495 .Accessed: 16/06/2014 06:01

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  • PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION REVIEW

    mobiles, nor would they make it possible to substitute public transit for new expressways and arterials to meet anticipated needs for future

    passenger and goods movements. In the face of these facts about the economics of transportation in metropolitan areas, governmental decisions to improve or extend public transit systems, Creigh- ton contends, have to be resolved by the political process.

    For the "captive" transit users, these who do not have cars or cannot drive, public policy could define specific areas to be served by mass transpor- tation facilities as well as the standards of fre-

    THE QUEST FOR

    ADMINISTRATIVE SALVATION

    Marver H. Bernstein Princeton University

    Democratic Process and Administrative Law, Robert S. Lorch. Detroit: Wayne State Univer-

    sity Press, 1969. Pp. 262, $8.50.

    Administrative Justice: Advocacy and Change in Government Agencies, Philippe Nonet. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969. Pp. 279, $8.00.

    Democracy in the Administrative State, Emmette S. Redford. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. Pp. 211, $5.00.

    At the outset, the reviewer is frank to admit that the central concerns of the three books noted above are so different that a concentration on any theme common to them would do justice to none of them. I propose therefore to characterize each of them briefly and to focus on a topic suggested by Professor Redford's important attempt to analyze the areas of overlap or convergence of

    democracy and administration. Lorch has written a commentary on the admini-

    strative exercise of legislative and judicial power. His primary concern is the need for control of administrative power in the interest of fairness and democracy. He covers conventional topics of administrative adjudication and rule making, dele- gation of legislative power to administrative agen-

    mobiles, nor would they make it possible to substitute public transit for new expressways and arterials to meet anticipated needs for future

    passenger and goods movements. In the face of these facts about the economics of transportation in metropolitan areas, governmental decisions to improve or extend public transit systems, Creigh- ton contends, have to be resolved by the political process.

    For the "captive" transit users, these who do not have cars or cannot drive, public policy could define specific areas to be served by mass transpor- tation facilities as well as the standards of fre-

    THE QUEST FOR

    ADMINISTRATIVE SALVATION

    Marver H. Bernstein Princeton University

    Democratic Process and Administrative Law, Robert S. Lorch. Detroit: Wayne State Univer-

    sity Press, 1969. Pp. 262, $8.50.

    Administrative Justice: Advocacy and Change in Government Agencies, Philippe Nonet. New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1969. Pp. 279, $8.00.

    Democracy in the Administrative State, Emmette S. Redford. New York: Oxford University Press, 1969. Pp. 211, $5.00.

    At the outset, the reviewer is frank to admit that the central concerns of the three books noted above are so different that a concentration on any theme common to them would do justice to none of them. I propose therefore to characterize each of them briefly and to focus on a topic suggested by Professor Redford's important attempt to analyze the areas of overlap or convergence of

    democracy and administration. Lorch has written a commentary on the admini-

    strative exercise of legislative and judicial power. His primary concern is the need for control of administrative power in the interest of fairness and democracy. He covers conventional topics of administrative adjudication and rule making, dele- gation of legislative power to administrative agen-

    quency and rapidity of service to be maintained.

    People who must rely on public transportation would then know where they would have to live and work in order to obtain this service. If higher density, open occupancy residential areas near

    employment centers that could be served by public transportation were to be developed outside of the central cities, then a variety of living and working opportunities could be made available to those now confined to the center. But these measures would require stronger metropolitan planning and development initiatives by public authority than are now possible.

    cies, judicial review of administrative decisions, and fairness in adjudication. He believes that a

    type of administrative court is developing in which

    hearing officers serve increasingly as administrative

    judges, and he recommends that their decisions be made reviewable only in an appellate court. He rejects the feasibility of internal separation of the functions of prosecutor and judge in regulatory agencies and proposes that the union of policy making and adjudication be avoided. His commen- tary is unexceptional and contributes little to our

    enlightenment on the issues that he analyzes. Nonet's fascinating volume traces the process

    by which the Industrial Accident Commission of California changed from a welfare agency with broad policy discretion into a relatively passive arbitrator of disputes over industrial accident claims. It is a sensitive, sophisticated study of the transformation of a welfare agency into a court of law. Over half a century since its creation in 1910, the Commission had lost its sense of initiative and public mission, acquired the outlook of a passive arbitrator, and became responsible primarily to the interests it was originally intended to regulate. In accounting for the Commission's retreat from social action to "judicialism," Nonet provides a detailed analysis of dynamic change in an adminis- trative agency in which legalization is conceived as a "natural pathology of administration" (p. 247) that is closely linked to the privatization of the aims of public policy. As a study of the interplay of law, politics, and administration, it is remark- ably insightful and indeed profound.

    What are "the potentialities for democracy where decisions are made and carried out through administrative institutions?" (p.v). Beginning with

    quency and rapidity of service to be maintained.

    People who must rely on public transportation would then know where they would have to live and work in order to obtain this service. If higher density, open occupancy residential areas near

    employment centers that could be served by public transportation were to be developed outside of the central cities, then a variety of living and working opportunities could be made available to those now confined to the center. But these measures would require stronger metropolitan planning and development initiatives by public authority than are now possible.

    cies, judicial review of administrative decisions, and fairness in adjudication. He believes that a

    type of administrative court is developing in which

    hearing officers serve increasingly as administrative

    judges, and he recommends that their decisions be made reviewable only in an appellate court. He rejects the feasibility of internal separation of the functions of prosecutor and judge in regulatory agencies and proposes that the union of policy making and adjudication be avoided. His commen- tary is unexceptional and contributes little to our

    enlightenment on the issues that he analyzes. Nonet's fascinating volume traces the process

    by which the Industrial Accident Commission of California changed from a welfare agency with broad policy discretion into a relatively passive arbitrator of disputes over industrial accident claims. It is a sensitive, sophisticated study of the transformation of a welfare agency into a court of law. Over half a century since its creation in 1910, the Commission had lost its sense of initiative and public mission, acquired the outlook of a passive arbitrator, and became responsible primarily to the interests it was originally intended to regulate. In accounting for the Commission's retreat from social action to "judicialism," Nonet provides a detailed analysis of dynamic change in an adminis- trative agency in which legalization is conceived as a "natural pathology of administration" (p. 247) that is closely linked to the privatization of the aims of public policy. As a study of the interplay of law, politics, and administration, it is remark- ably insightful and indeed profound.

    What are "the potentialities for democracy where decisions are made and carried out through administrative institutions?" (p.v). Beginning with

    JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1972 JANUARY/FEBRUARY 1972

    70 70

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  • BOOK REVIEWS

    this overarching question, Redford explores the reconciliation of democratic morality and the reliance of the modern state on administrative decisions. He views administration "as part of a

    political process through which benefits are allo- cated to groups and persons" (p 132). He first sets forth basic tenets of democratic morality and the kinds of problems that arise in their application in the administrative state. He then outlines the forces that tend to concentrate, and to disperse, influence in the administrative state. The next several chapters deal with the representation of interests through the policies and operations of the administrative state, treating administration "in terms of programs, institutions, and rules and roles that represent concurrent interests, mediate inter- ests, and reflect choices among interests" (p. 132). Two chapters deal with man as the recipient of the services of the administrative state and man as a worker in an organization of the administrative state. The final chapter endeavors to answer his

    opening question in terms of the concept of "workable democracy" as "the most democracy that is achievable under the conditions that have

    produced the administrative state" (p. 197). In Redford's analysis, such a democracy results from the responsiveness of administration to the "inclu- sive representation of interests" and their interac- tion in an open society.

    Redford's exploration focuses on administra- tion in the context of a Madisonian system of

    fragmented power. Above all, he stresses respon- siveness as the central theme of democratic moral- ity and processes of participation in the American political-administrative system. Because it is a

    pioneering effort to deal analytically with the real world of that system, it is inevitably controversial in its concept, insights, and conclusions. It tackles with deserving seriousness issues of ultimate signif- icance that many have preferred to ignore or overlook. It demands and merits concentrated

    study. In the study and practice of public administra-

    tion in the United States, the reconciliation of administration and democratic theory was usually assumed as a given that required no deliberate demonstration or analysis. Since the latter part of the 19th century, a confrontation of the goals and methods of administration by the tenets of democ- racy was avoided mainly because of the concep- tion of administration as an instrument of reform in the public interest. The following thumbnail sketch hopefully provides some historical perspec-

    tive on this condition and underlines the impor- tance of the bold effort that Prof. Redford has undertaken.

    Historical Perspective

    In his important book, The Administrative State, published in 1948, Dwight Waldo wrote that "whatever else it may be, 'public administration' is a response on the part of its creators to the modern world that Graham Wallas has named the Great Society." Wallas had referred to the emerg- ing industrial society of the post-Civil War period, the time of the enactment of the Interstate Commerce Act, a time when Woodrow Wilson wrote in his early essay, "The Study of Adminis- tration," that "it is getting to be harder to run a constitution than to frame one." Wilson quoted with great relish Walter Bagehot's description of the old and the new in administration:

    In early time, when a despot wishes to govern a distant province, he sends down a satrap on a grand horse, and other people on little horses; and very little is heard of the satrap again unless he sends back some of the little people to tell what he has been doing. No great labour of superintendence is possible. Common rumour and casual report are the sources of intelligence. If it seems certain that the province is in a bad state, satrap No. 1 is recalled, and satrap No. 2 is sent out in his stead. In civilized countries the process is different. You erect a bureau in the province you want to govern; you make it write letters and copy letters; it sends home eight reports per diem to the head of the bureau in St. Petersburg Nobody does a sum in the province without someone doing the same in the capital, to "check" him, and see that he does it correctly. The consequence of this is, to throw on the heads of departments an amount of reading and labour which can only be accomplished by the greatest natural aptitude, the most efficient training, the most firm and regular industry.

    Although Bagehot's whimsical remarks ap- peared in his "Essay on Sir William Pitt," Wilson considered them directly relevant to his own perception of the continuing increase in the number and complexity of g...

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