Pillars of Democracy: The Administrative State

Hosted by the Library of Congress, Brookings, & AEI

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This event features Susan Dudley.


Pillars of Democracy: The Administrative State

Much of the work of the US Government occurs away from the spotlight. Unlike senators, Supreme Court justices, or presidents, public servants in the administrative state are rarely mentioned in the news. Still, the decisions of higher-profile public figures would have little effect without the agencies and the people in them that put policy into practice. Indeed the regulatory state effectively comprises a fourth branch of government. This arrangement can create problems for accountability though, as the administrative state’s insulation from elections and public scrutiny breeds distrust in the public. Join the John W. Kluge Center, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Brookings Institution for a conversation on the causes of that distrust and how the administrative state can win the confidence of the American people.

Beth Simone Noveck is the author of “Solving Public Problems: How to Fix Our Government and Change Our World.” She is a professor at Northeastern University, where she directs the Burnes Center for Social Change and its partner project, The Governance Lab (The GovLab) and directs its MacArthur Research Network on Opening Governance.

Jeffrey A. Rosen is a nonresident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). He previously served as acting attorney general and deputy attorney general of the United States, deputy secretary of transportation, and general counsel and senior policy adviser at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.

Susan E. Dudley is Director of the George Washington University Regulatory Studies Center, which she established in 2009 to improve regulatory policy through research, education, and outreach. She is also a distinguished professor of practice in the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration.

Moderator: William A. Galston writes the weekly Politics & Ideas column in the Wall Street Journal. He holds the Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in the Brookings Institution’s Governance Studies Program, where he serves as a senior fellow. Before joining Brookings in January 2006, he was Saul Stern Professor and Acting Dean at the School of Public Policy, University of Maryland, director of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy, founding director of the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), and executive director of the National Commission on Civic Renewal. A participant in six presidential campaigns, he served from 1993 to 1995 as Deputy Assistant to President Clinton for Domestic Policy.