Reforming the Administrative State
This chapter investigates reforms that arguably produce more direct forms of accountability and citizen participation in administrative agencies. A first type of reform is part of a larger trend to decentralize aspects of administrative accountability, which includes New Public Management reforms designed to make agencies more responsive to their “customers.” A second type of reform, increasingly widespread, involves the creation of legal frameworks for pursuing grievances and ensuring representation, such as ombudsman systems and administrative procedure laws. Finally, a third type involves direct attempts to increase deliberation, using informal strategies of collaborative governance between public agencies and stakeholders particularly. These are particularly common at the local level. A wide of variety of other new techniques designed to enhance participation and democratic deliberation — such as citizen juries and consensus conferences — are increasingly popular, though they remain largely experimental.
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