2018-2019 University Catalogue 
    Jul 24, 2021  
2018-2019 University Catalogue [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

POSC 420 - Seminar: Street-Level Bureaucracy

We live in an age of bureaucratic organization. Bureaucracies defend us, educate us, collect our taxes, provide us with basic services, protect our health and safety, and occasionally kill us. Effective bureaucratic agencies are necessary for the creation and sustenance of modern, democratic government. At the same time, bureaucratic power can be a threat to democracy. Legislatures may pass laws, executives may issue orders, and courts may judge, but real governance happens when a soldier fires a gun, a teacher grades a paper, an inspector certifies an aircraft, and a police officer writes a speeding ticket. The difference between effective and dysfunctional bureaucracy at the street level–where governments and people interact–can make the difference between flourishing and failing democracy. This seminar offers an introduction to organizational theory and the politics of bureaucracy, with discussions and analysis centered on the HBO series “The Wire.” Students learn classic theories and emerging research on human organization and bureaucratic politics by applying them to the characters and stories of the acclaimed television series.

Credits: 1.00
Corequisite: None
Prerequisites: POSC 150  or PSYC 150  or ECON 151  or SOAN 204 or SOCI 201  
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Social Relations,Inst.& Agents
Liberal Arts CORE: None

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