The Single Point of Failure

  • Beth Simone NoveckEmail author
Part of the Information Technology and Law Series book series (ITLS, volume 20)


The patent system is just one example of how government institutions create single points of failure by concentrating decision-making power in the hands of the few, whether legislators in Congress, cabinet officials in the executive branch, or bureaucrats in agencies. Administrative practices are constructed around the belief that government professionals know best how to translate broad legislative mandates into specific regulatory decisions in the public interest. Governance, the theory goes, is best entrusted to a bureaucracy operating at one removed from the pressure of electoral politics and the biased influence of the public at large 


Government Institution Direct Democracy Deliberative Democracy Bush Administration Participatory Democracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



United States Patent and Trademark Office


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Copyright information

© T.M.C. ASSER PRESS, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the authors 2011 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Information Law and Policy, New York Law SchoolNew YorkUSA

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