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Synopsis

Congressional impasse, financially untenable social programs, and fiscal crises are hallmarks of bureaucratic dysfunction today.

Jorrit de Jong explains that bureaucratic dysfunction reflects a breach of contract between the government-not only as a provider of services, but also as a catalyst for improved social outcomes-and a public comprised of clients, professionals, managers, and policymakers. Dealing with Dysfunction embarks on a conceptual, theoretical, and empirical investigation to understand why bureaucratic dysfunction is a public problem and what can be done to solve it.

Jorrit employs real-world data from the Kafka Brigade, a research team he founded. Building on this research, he presents fourteen case studies that provide typical examples of larger problems applicable to a broad base of clients to illustrate how stakeholders can enact an inclusive process for identifying, defining, diagnosing, and remedying incidences of red tape.

Dealing with Dysfunction highlights the failings of standard approaches to solving institutional dilemmas and offers conceptual frameworks, theoretical insights, and practical lessons for dealing with bureaucratic dysfunction in practice. It challenges conventional approaches of “fighting bureaucracy” and “reducing red tape” and emphasizes rigorous public problemsolving for making government more effective, efficient, and equitable.

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