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Trump and the Bureaucrats

The Fate of Neutral Competence

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Discusses the long term impacts of the Trump presidency on the federal bureaucracy
  • Debates the role of neutral competence in American government
  • Provides a new approach to the “politics-administration” dichotomy

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About this book

This volume discusses the long term impacts of the Trump presidency on the federal bureaucracy. Drawing on the longstanding academic literature on neutral competence and interviews with the bureaucrats themselves, this book adds insight to the academic question of the role of bureaucrats in a democratic system after a four-year period in which their role has been questioned and threatened as never before. Focusing on the elite agencies of the Office of Management and Budget, the Congressional Budget Office, the Government Accountability Office, as well as the Economic Research Service at the Department of Agriculture, the chapters evaluate individual experiences of members of each agency during the Trump presidency through the lens of the growing tension between politics and administration. Enlightening the role that bureaucrats play in American democracy in an era when polarization is on the rise and disputes over the role of the civil service are growing, this volume will be of interest to scholars and students in public policy, political science, and public administration as well as policymakers and members of the US federal government workforce.

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Table of contents (8 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bloustein School of Planning and Policy, Rutgers, New Brunswick, USA

    Stuart Shapiro

About the author

Stuart Shapiro is Professor and the Interim Dean at the Bloustein School of Planning and Policy at Rutgers University (US). Dr. Shapiro received his PhD in public policy from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. Prior to joining Rutgers, he worked at the Office of Management and Budget under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. Dr. Shapiro teaches classes in economics, public policy, and politics. He has written three books and published numerous articles in law reviews, political science journals, public administration journals, and several others. He writes op-eds for The Hill and occasionally other news sites and has been quoted in the popular press extensively.

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