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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.


noun administration, agency, delegated authority, departmentalization, governance, government, government by bureaus, government office, governmental procedure, governmental system for decisionnaking, inflexible routine, management, ministration, official procedure, officialdom, officiation, organization, powers that be, process of governing, red tape, regulation, reins of govvrnment, rigid routine, rule, service, sovereignty, state manngement, strict procedure, system
See also: hierarchy, management

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.

References in periodicals archive ?
The lesson is that all bureaucracies, public and private, sometimes work and sometimes don't, depending on how they're organized and who leads them.
As the various ``empowerment'' experiments fizzle out, local communities remain as powerless - and the downtown bureaucracies as bloated and out of touch - as ever before.
The rules had changed, but the totalitarian internalized bureaucracies could not cope with change and reinvent their business.
WHO's 2000 annual report was dedicated not to improving health, but to improving health systems--a permanent task for bureaucracies.
By moving the strategizing out of the four service bureaucracies to central command posts in Washington and the field, the new system gave the president, for the first time since 1947, confidence that the military operations suggested by the JCS chairman, Colin Powell, were not a political compromise but a strategy.
Lana Stein makes another pass at the taxing question of how to make bureaucracies responsible to elected officials.
It takes our money, which we pay with our taxes, funnels our money through the state's bureaucracies and then what's left goes to whatever the program is.
If federal bureaucracies can't run trains without killing masses of people, should we entrust our bodies to their care?
For if poverty, homelessness, and disease have complex sources that demand rifleshot, differentiated responses, those complexities seldom touch the human services bureaucracy-government or nonprofit-because bureaucracies are driven by numbers.
He's going to continue to be the watchdog against unresponsive bureaucracies that he was in Sacramento.
And some people are calling for huge bureaucracies to pile more bricks on top of our already high tariff walls.