Samuel Workman

University of Oklahoma
Department of Political Science

Dale Hall Tower, Room 205
455 W Lindsey
Norman, OK
73019 |  Visit Personal Website

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Dr. Workman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma. He is also a research faculty member at the Center for Risk and Crisis Management and a fellow of the Center for Intelligence and National Security. He was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas, where he remains a faculty affiliate of the Comparative Agendas Project. His research and teaching interests lie in the fields of American politics, public policy, and research methodology. More specifically, Professor Workman studies bureaucracy and regulatory politics and policy. He is interested in how information is generated in the policymaking system, and how policymaking institutions process information, leading to various degrees of system adaptability. Professor Workman's (2015) book, The Dynamics of Bureaucracy in the U.S. Government: How Congress and Federal Agencies Process Information and Solve Problems (Cambridge University Press) focuses on the regulatory process as generating information that shapes the congressional agenda in a two way flow of influence between the bureaucracy and Congress. His work has also appeared in the Policy Studies Journal, Cognitive Systems Research, and the Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. Dr. Workman's current research projects examine how policy analysis in congressional bureaucracies shape both regulatory agendas and the types of information bureaucracies generate. He is also examining food and agricultural policy as a boundary-spanning policy problem encompassing both domestic and national security considerations. Dr. Workman is currently working on collaborative projects examining the dimensionality of public policy in western democracies and how science is used in regulatory policymaking. Professor Workman teaches courses on the bureaucracy, agenda setting, regulatory politics, public policy, agenda setting, maximum likelihood methods, and visualization of data.

Workman, Samuel. 2015. The Dynamics of Bureaucracy in the U.S. Government: How Congress and Federal Agencies Process Information and Solve Problems. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Abstract: This book develops a new theoretical perspective on bureaucratic influence and congressional agenda setting based on limited attention and government information processing. Using a comprehensive new data set on regulatory policymaking across the entire federal bureaucracy, Samuel Workman develops the theory of the dual dynamics of congressional agenda setting and bureaucratic problem solving as a way to understand how the U.S. government generates information about, and addresses, important policy problems. Key to the perspective is a communications framework for understanding the nature of information and signaling between the bureaucracy and Congress concerning the nature of policy problems. Workman finds that congressional influence is innate to the process of issue shuffling, issue bundling, and the fostering of bureaucratic competition. In turn, bureaucracy influences the congressional agenda through problem monitoring, problem definition, and providing information that serves as important feedback in the development of an agenda.

Substantive Focus:
Economic Policy
Energy and Natural Resource Policy SECONDARY
Governance PRIMARY
Comparative Public Policy

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Process Theory SECONDARY
Agenda-Setting, Adoption, and Implementation PRIMARY