Timothy Kinsella
Political Science
Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
  • Agency Capture
  • Civil Service System
  • Federal Register
  • Government Corporation
  • Independent Agency
  • Merit System
  • Office of Management and Budget
  • Patronage
  • Presidential Commission
  • Regulatory Agency
  • Street-Level Bureaucrats
  • Whistleblowing Protection Act
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
    Media Formats:

    Education Standards

    The Federal Bureaucracy: Course Map & Recommended Resources


    The Federal Bureaucracy

    The resources included here are intended to map to the following learning objectives for an American Government Course:

    1. Explain the major functions of the American federal bureaucracy
    2. Classify the types of federal agencies within the federal bureaucracy
    3. Explain the policymaking process and power of the federal bureaucracy
    4. Identify the different internal and external actors of the federal bureaucracy
    5. Describe how other institutions exert control and enforce accountability over the federal bureaucracy
    6. Explain how the American federal bureaucracy has evolved over time

    Recommended Textbooks

    Discussion Questions and Key Concepts

    Discussion Questions

    1. Define the idea of bureaucracy. What are its key components (e.g. hierarchical authority)?
    2. Discuss the common image of bureaucracy that most people have. Do you believe that to be a fair image of bureaucracies? Why or why not? In thinking about this, consider the following characteristics that bureaucracies have: standardization, expertise and competence, and accountability.
    3. Describe the rulemaking power of federal agencies. How does the rulemaking power allow the public to be a part of the process of making laws?

    Key Terms or Concepts (Define):

    1. Federal Register
    2. Independent agency
    3. Regulatory agency
    4. Government corporation
    5. Presidential commission
    6. Patronage
    7. Merit system
    8. Civil service system
    9. Office of Management and Budget
    10. Agency capture
    11. Whistleblowing Protection Act
    12. Street-level bureaucrats