Saturday Webinar: Has the Age of Enlightened Administration Come?
Today’s webinar consisted of a fascinating discussion of the idea of governmental administration, and the ability and role of government – especially at the federal level – in exercising regulatory power. Panelists discussed the definition of ‘administration’ itself, as well as the difference between political perspectives on problem-solving versus ‘expert’ or ‘technical’ perspectives on the same. Specific examples from the early 20th Century – Roosevelt’s involvement in the coal strike and federal engagement with railroads – were discussed in detail, as well as presidential administrations from the late 19th through the early 21st Centuries.
Aside from the discussion itself, this session included a great deal of description and background information on the functions and organization of the executive bureaucracy, with detailed definitions of the different types of agencies that exist within it, how they function in relation to the president, and how this status impacts their ability to execute policy and regulations.