One of the most fundamental questions for democratic governance is how to structure a system that promotes policy choices that reflect citizens' preferences. Given the typical absence of any direct connection between voters and administrators, scholars have devoted considerable attention to whether the bureaucracy is consistent with this important tenet of democracy. However, there is not always a disconnect between administrative officials and the electorate. In the US states, many of the individuals who administer various state agencies are directly elected, and the number of elected officisals varies greatly across the states. The diffusion of executive authority to elected administrative officials might enhance the congruence between citizens' preferences and public policy. In this article, I consider this question, finding that the diffusion of executive authority to elected administrators fosters the translation of citizens' preferences into public policy, and that a strong electoral connection is key for facilitating this relationship. These findings speak directly to the consequences of executive design for democratic representation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||33|
|Journal||Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory|
|State||Published - Oct 2013|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration