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Publisher: Journals Gateway
Daedalus (2021) 150 (3): 172–187.
Published: 01 July 2021
AbstractView article PDF
The core problem of the administrative state is not its own legitimacy, but its role in creating a more wide-ranging legitimacy crisis in American society. The particular problem is that while government administration is necessary in a complex modern society, the mere existence of something as powerful as the bureaucracy is an invitation toward a kind of power politics that undermines the legitimacy of American government as a whole. We can best address this problem by ameliorating the administrative state's deliberative democratic deficit, whereby deliberation in the public sphere fails to play a steering role over politics at large. Doing so requires incorporating deliberative democratic practices into the American administrative state.