Postell, “Bureaucracy in America”

9780826221230Many scholars have noted that the growth of government inevitably poses a challenge for religious exercise. Quite simply, as government expands to cover more and more aspects of daily life, and as the number of rules increases, the potential for conflict with citizens’ conduct grows–especially for citizens who dissent from trending social norms. These citizens can expect special trouble from the rise of the administrative state.

A new book on the growth of the administrative state by University of Colorado political scientist Joseph Postell, Bureaucracy in America: The Administrative State’s Challenge to Constitutional Government, has been getting a lot of attention. The publisher is the University of Missouri Press. Here’s the description from the press’s website:

The U.S. Constitution requires laws be made by elected representatives. Yet today, most policies are made by administrative agencies whose officials are not elected. Not coincidentally, many Americans increasingly question whether the political system works for the good of the people. In this trenchant intellectual history, Postell demonstrates how modern administrative law has attempted to restore the principles of American constitutionalism, but it has failed to be as effective as earlier approaches to regulation.