On February 6, 2020, the Gray Center hosted a public policy conference on “Bureaucracy and Presidential Administration: Expertise and Accountability in Constitutional Government.” The conference was inspired in part by James Q. Wilson’s book, Bureaucracy, and Elena Kagan’s article, “Presidential Administration.” The panel sessions centered around new papers the Gray Center helped to incubate on the history of civil service; on presidential power; on bureaucracy; and on several other important questions of expertise and accountability. Keynote remarks on “The Need for Professionalism” were given by Jonathan Rauch, a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

The first panel examined the bureaucracy, the presidency, and the origins of federal civil service. It focused on a new paper titled, “From Merit to Expertise and Back: The Evolution of the U.S. Civil Service System,” by Joseph Postell of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. He was joined in discussion by Claremont McKenna College’s Andrew E. Busch and Virginia Tech’s Brian J. Cook. The panel was moderated by Melanie Marlowe of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The paper and video are available at: https://administrativestate.gmu.edu/events/bureaucracy-and-presidential-administration/.

Featuring Andrew E. Busch, Brian J. Cook, Melanie Marlowe, and Joseph Postell.

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