"Krause has made a significant contribution to our understanding of presidential-congressional-bureaucratic relationships. His major contribution is that he pounds another nail - perhaps the final one - in the coffin of principal-agent theorizing and brings us back to traditional political analysis . . . he demonstrates that, however important one of the political branches might be at a given time, American bureaucracies retain sufficient power resources so as to exercise significant degrees of political autonomy - but political outcomes always are contingent.:
One of the central questions of political science has been whether politicians control the bureaucracy, or whether the bureaucracy possesses independent authority from democratic institutions of government. Relying on advanced statistical techniques and case studies, George Krause argues instead for a dynamic system of influence—one allowing for two-way interaction among the president, congress, and bureaucratic agencies. Krause argues that politicians and those responsible for implementing policy respond not only to each other, but also to events and conditions within each government institution as well as to the larger policy environment. His analysis and conclusions will challenge conventional theoretical and empirical wisdom in the field of administrative politics and public bureaucracy.
[Krause] makes a positive contribution to the theoretical and empirical study of bureaucracy. . . . The theory put forth in this book should help those researchers who wish to further examine the bargaining amongst the many parties involved in public administration. Certainly, political economists ought to take the two-way street hypothesis seriously.
George Krause's new work is a major contribution. He has provided both a sound theoretical basis for the further evolution of the literature and the empirical tools necessary to rigorously do so. This is a masterful work that should influence scholars for many years to come.
A Two-Way Street addresses issues that are of concern to researchers and covers key debates with skill. Krause calls on his readers and peers to take patterns of interorganizational relations seriously and eschew the rather simplistic notions of political-bureaucratic relations that all too often have provided a shaky foundation for our analyses. This book will make a splash within the world of regulatory studies.
A Two Way Street uses advanced statisical techniques as well as case studies to answer a very important normative questions: do elected officials control the bureaucracy? As a result, the insights gained from this book are on a much sounder footing than is usually the case. It is an exhaustive treatment of a substantive issue, of special interest to any scholars concerned with bureaucracy and principal-agent issues.