The Politics of Expertise in Congress: The Rise and Fall of the Office of Technology Assessment
Nowhere in the U.S. government is the marriage between expertise and politics more normatively troublesome and empirically obscure than in Congress. The legislature is asked to be both expert and representative, to act on the best available information and judgment about policy problems while being responsive to, and reflective of, constituents' demands. This book examines the relationship betweentechnical experts and elected officials, challenging the prevailing view about how experts become politicized by the policy process.
Bimber presents a theory about the connections between institutional structure and the strategies of experts who participate in politics. He tests this theory by tracing the interaction between Congress and the Office of Technology Assessment (OTA), a recently abolished legislative branch agency created in 1972 to estimate the consequences of new technologies and free Congress from complete dependence on the executive branch for information and policy analysis. In addition, he provides comparative portraits of Congress's remaining support agencies--the Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Research Office, and the General Accounting Office--and argues that the legislative context for the politics of expertise reveals patterns that have been overlooked in studies of expert knowledge and executive-branch policymaking.
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104th Congress 2nd Session 92nd Congress administration advisor agency's American Enterprise Institute Appropriations bill board members Brookings Institution CBO's Chapter claims committee chairs congressional agencies Congressional Budget Office Congressional Record Congressional Research Service Congressional Support Agencies credibility criticism degree of politicization Democrats developed Emilio Daddario energy executive branch forecasts function GAO's goal gress Hollings independent issues John Dingell John Gibbons Kennedy Kennedy's Legislative Branch legislature Mosher Mottur National neutral competence neutral expert Nixon Office of Technology Olin Teague organization OTA board OTA studies OTA's party Peterson Policy Analysis policy expertise policy problems policy process policy-making politicians politics of expertise position President PSAC public policy relationship Republican request responsive role Science Advising Science and Technology scientific Senate served sional staff staffer strategy of neutrality subcommittee technical Technology Assessment tion U.S. Congress vote Washington White House