The venues of influence: A new theory of political control of the bureaucracy

Richard W. Waterman, Amelia Rouse, Robert Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


In this article we examine how federal and state-level bureaucrats perceive the influence of a variety of political principals from both inside and outside of government. Using survey data, we demonstrate that bureaucratic agents identify commonalities or shared characteristics in the influence exerted by different political principals or what we call the venues of influence. At both the national and state level, bureaucratic agents draw a clear distinction between the sponsors and clients with which they interact. To a somewhat lesser extent, they also see distinctions between whether principals exert direct or diffuse influence over how their office enforces the law. Finally, both federal and state bureaucrats perceive similarities in the influence exerted by Congress and the president, the EPA and regional administrators, material interest groups, the courts, and linkage mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-38
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Public Administration Research and Theory
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing


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