Bureaucracy is an administrative tool, which shapes the conduct in a society, company or a state. This is due to the multiple responsibilities, which need to be addressed, hence necessitates an individual to be in charge. This maintains order and expresses the routine to be followed, and each individual becomes aware of his/her responsibilities. Bureaucracy is good when applied in contentious areas like security.

The unelected bureaucrats have the potential to deal with contentious issues that the Congress might be reluctant to change. Such policy issues normally involve changing traditional goals. By delegating formulation of policies touching on contentious issues, the Congress avoid getting directly involved  in policy decisions that may draw sharp reactions from sections of the population who are used to conventional behavior. The unelected bureaucrats in a representative democracy are crucial in averting risks through their conservative nature. The conservative nature of the unelected bureaucrats in conducting contentious decision-making helps in preventing traditional constituents’ antagonism (Lowry, 2008).

As much as the policy making power in representative democracy should be vested on the unelected bureaucrats, there is need to create a balance between the administrative expertise and the government’s accountability to the electorate. This balance can be created through localization and nationalization of the scope of conflict on contentious policy changes. It is also imperative for the formal authorities to create an environment that is conducive for efficient and effective policy changes by unelected bureaucrats to the traditional policies. The balance can also be provided through explicit, real, binding and provision of necessary resources for the implementation of controversial policy changes (Lowry, 2008). The balance can also be established through ensuring that the non-statutory variables such as public participation, compliance by the target groups, media attention, and socioeconomic condition are willing to accept such policy changes.


Lowry W. R. (2008). “Can Bureaucracies Change Policy?” The journal of policy history, 20(2). The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.

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