Bureaucracy in the Twenty-First Century Chapter uri icon


  • Abstract Although numerous scholars claim the eminent demise of bureaucracy, this article argues that bureaucracy will not only survive in the twenty-first century but will flourish. The core of the argument is that the large-scale tasks that government must performnational defense, a social welfare system, political monitoring of the economy, etc.will remain key functions of governments in the twenty-first century and that bureaucracies, likely public but possibly private, will continue to be the most effective way to do these tasks. Bureaucracy has weathered other calls for its demise before; current efforts are likely to meet similar fates. After a brief discussion of definitions and the meaning of bureaucracy, the major sections of this article deal with six challenges to bureaucracy. Some of these challenges are intellectual; others are part of real-world ongoing reform efforts in a variety of countries.

author list (cited authors)

  • Meier, K. J., & Hill, G. C.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Meier, Kenneth J||Hill, Gregory C

Book Title

  • The Oxford Handbook of Public Management

publication date

  • June 2007