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A system of administration wherein there is a specialization of functions, objective qualifications for office, action according to the adherence to fixed rules, and a hierarchy of authority and delegated power.

Organizations such as the armed forces or administrative agencies are common examples of bureaucracies.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

BUREAUCRACY. The abuse of official influence in the affairs of government; corruption. This word has lately been adopted to signify that those persons who are employed in bureaus abuse their authority by intrigue to promote their own benefit, or that of friends, rather than the public good. The word is derived from the French.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the Reagan administration, the principals of Team B became, as it were, the A Team, scattered in mid-level positions throughout the bureacracy. Wolfowitz was an assistant secretary of state, Pipes served on the National Security Council staff, and Perle was an assistant secretary of defense.
The stark truth is that because of bureacracy and gross inefficiency in the Health Service, some of these women will die uneccessarily.
The federal government has stepped in to ease financial aid bureacracy for students and schools alike, and some private lenders have helped, too.
Entrenched Bureacracy: The Greatest Barrier to Change
the impermeability of bureacracy; we are told that it is no use to
Even among the companies that did apply, several privately expressed deep reservations about entangling themselves in artificial groupings and submitting to the Film Council bureacracy. But the lure of soft money (and the fear of it falling into the hands of rivals) was hard to resist.
Could it be that the thing a bureacracy manages most efficiently is the diminution of human conscience?
One thing is sure, they can't keep having relegation dodged through bureacracy while those who have earned the right to progress are denied the vital step up.
Prioritizing, sometimes sensible and sometimes inescapably corrupt, prevailed throughout the burgeoning Manueline bureacracy. Even during the 1508-18 period of military crisis and expansionist drive in Morocco, Alcacer, decidedly less threatened than Arzila or Tangier, never became a prime concern capable of firing up enthusiasm and eliciting a symbolically suitable show of dogged support.
They form a layer of bureacracy about three people thick and a few dozen wide.
Gender, Bureacracy, and Democracy: Careers and Opportunity in the Public Sector.