Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article first describes the reasons that the historical-institutional approach has emerged and become prominent over the last thirty years in the study of American bureaucracy. It fully defines historical institutionalism and the characteristics that distinguish it from other approaches to the study of American bureaucracy. In addition, the contributions of this research are discussed in order to understand the American administrative state, as well as attendant claims of American exceptionalism. Summarized next are the contributions of historical institutionalism to various policy areas, including research on policy entrepreneurs, policy and administration, and the welfare state. The article finally evaluates the controversies and challenges that mark the field today, in the process offering advice about how to cope with them and an agenda for future research. The challenges presented should motivate both more historical-institutional research and more soul searching among historical-institutional scholars studying American bureaucracy.

Keywords: American bureaucracy, historical institutionalism, American administrative state, American exceptionalism, policy entrepreneurs, welfare state

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.