Definition of bureaucracy in English:

bureaucracy

noun

mass noun
  • 1A system of government in which most of the important decisions are taken by state officials rather than by elected representatives.

    • ‘It is just more socialist bureaucracy and more pandering to the trade union movement.’
    • ‘He believed in the benefits to be gained from freeing people from the shackles of bureaucracy and excessive regulation.’
    • ‘Dawa had been working under Chinese bureaucracy for quite some time.’
    • ‘He surveys the continued break-up and decline in influence of the old social democratic bureaucracy and predicts that reaction will benefit.’
    • ‘It is not focused on the growth of the economy, but on the growth of surpluses, welfare dependency, and bureaucracy.’
    • ‘It also reduces the links between social democracy and overbearing bureaucracy.’
    • ‘When Yahoo bureaucracy rules, people die in the health services and the aged in nursing homes are victimised while benchmark payments are pocketed.’
    • ‘I will bet that members opposite will vote for bureaucracy rather than for common sense.’
    • ‘Weber's most notable contribution, however, lay in identifying the importance of bureaucracy to modern politics.’
    • ‘Far from their learning any lessons, these events drive them closer to bureaucracy, the national bourgeoisie, and imperialism.’
    • ‘In Germany, a genocidal society was working with state bureaucracy to roll out the massive program of the Holocaust.’
    • ‘In this case the people are circus performers, not very good ones, and the system is the Communist bureaucracy of Czechoslovakia.’
    civil service, administration, government, directorate, the establishment, the system, the powers that be, corridors of power
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    1. 1.1count noun A state or organization governed or managed as a bureaucracy.
      • ‘Does anyone really believe that the majority of working people actually like Government bureaucracies?’
      • ‘Three critical experiences of BC workers exemplify the role of the union bureaucracy and the NDP.’
      • ‘However, even his own federal bureaucracy eliminated 40,000 jobs this year.’
      • ‘The Stalinist bureaucracy has proven to be - as Trotsky predicted - the gravedigger of the October Revolution.’
      • ‘Benn believed the Soviet system remained a positive force long after the workers' state of 1917 was replaced with the Stalinist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘On top of this, the Stalinist bureaucracy was gaining a stranglehold on the revolution.’
      • ‘Its first act has been to draft a new democratic constitution which will outlaw oppression of the former communist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘In brushing aside the crimes of the Stalinist bureaucracy, the claim is made that the market economy in China will inevitably bring democracy.’
      • ‘The Stalinist bureaucracy in Beijing, which was based on the seizure of power by peasant-based armies, was never socialist or communist.’
      • ‘The post-Soviet bureaucracies thrive on registration, licensing and other enforced paperwork.’
      • ‘Certainly, massive health bureaucracies and well endowed research institutions do not have a monopoly on wisdom.’
      • ‘Virtually all corporations and government bureaucracies are dictatorships.’
      • ‘This is one of the big problems with bureaucracies, especially as regards long-seated civil organizations.’
      • ‘Some were continued, largely because there were so many elements within the Baath Party bureaucracy with a vested interest in these expenditures.’
      • ‘Just one decade later the policy of the Stalinist bureaucracy represented the opposite.’
      • ‘Such automatic feedback mechanisms are one of the primary reasons why markets perform so much better than public sector bureaucracies.’
      • ‘He and six other members of the eight-man Soviet delegation, including Bukharin who led it, died at the hands of the Stalinist bureaucracy.’
      • ‘He distrusts private initiative and longs for giant bureaucracies to run people's lives for them.’
      • ‘By 1991 the Soviet Union, and the Stalinist bureaucracy which headed it, had collapsed.’
      • ‘Most bureaucracies encourage their people to be the first and only line of defense.’
    2. 1.2count noun The officials in a bureaucracy, considered as a group or hierarchy.
      • ‘In America, large firms and the state have to employ bureaucracies to cope with and satisfy one another.’
      • ‘The same can be said about Attac's relations with the trade union bureaucracy, another important prop of the old social order.’
      • ‘The role of the school district bureaucracy shrinks to handing out money and administering the accountability program.’
      • ‘He often seemed to regard the Washington bureaucracy rather than the Vietnamese communists as his main enemy.’
      • ‘The labour bureaucracies could no longer combine their defence of the profit system with the advocacy of limited social reforms.’
      • ‘The foreign policy bureaucracy, not elected of course, plays a subordinate, non-political, essentially instrumental role.’
      • ‘The federal bureaucracy, where millions of workers don't agree with the president, has been weak.’
      • ‘Did the foreign policy bureaucracy facilitate or impede presidential decisions for war?’
      • ‘The German bureaucracy worked loyally; its Soviet counterpart often worked more for itself than for its rulers.’
      • ‘In other words, they must know how to motivate the bureaucracy through personal contacts, wining and dining, and red envelopes.’
      • ‘Conservative MPs, the constituency associations, and the party bureaucracy at Central Office are now united in a single organization.’
      • ‘That is, a system dominated by a privileged bureaucracy which puts its own interests before those of the masses and a political leadership which represents this bureaucracy.’
      • ‘Needless to say, a gigantic new Labour bureaucracy has risen from the ground to serve it, with 570 on the payroll in England alone at one point.’
      • ‘The other prop for the Labour leadership is the union bureaucracies, the full time officials at the top of the hierarchy.’
      • ‘There are, of course, a chief executive's policies, which are executed by a staff and attending bureaucracies.’
      • ‘In Eastern Europe, the ruling bureaucracy suppressed every independent political movement of the working class.’
      • ‘It took a lot of courage to write in a police state that ‘the ruling bureaucracy is anti working class, an enemy’, and call for its revolutionary overthrow.’
      • ‘He created a multi-layered bureaucracy between him and the people who worked on the trains, as well as the traveling public.’
      • ‘The medieval period was one of political fragmentation even as the state administrative bureaucracy grew.’
      • ‘This ruling is a victory for a distant bureaucracy over democratically elected authorities acting in the public good.’
  • 2Excessively complicated administrative procedure.

    ‘the unnecessary bureaucracy in local government’
    • ‘Creating laws that insist on transparency will also create a huge amount of paperwork, administration and bureaucracy and enforcement costs.’
    • ‘Of course, with their soviet training, the new eastern states should easily get to grips with the arcane procedures and bureaucracy of the EU.’
    • ‘Colleges also suffered from excessive bureaucracy, he said.’
    • ‘He is coping with local government bureaucracy and finds the system not very frustrating.’
    • ‘There is no overbearing bureaucracy or complicated rules.’
    • ‘But he insisted that the reductions could be found by tackling waste and administrative bureaucracy.’
    • ‘It is not Treaty settlement legislation but welfarism and bureaucracy, and it needs substantial amendment.’
    • ‘More than 3,600 staff will be given the chance to influence the way the trust is run by pointing out the unnecessary rules, paperwork and bureaucracy which slow them down.’
    • ‘Pupil behaviour, excessive workload and bureaucracy, teacher shortages and the stream of new Government initiatives have all been cited as causes.’
    • ‘They waste vast slabs of the country's labour-force on bureaucracy and paperwork and so make the country poorer.’
    • ‘Many things in India are complex because of massive bureaucracy, protocol and procedure.’
    • ‘Dragged down by the increased workload and snowed under by excessive bureaucracy, GPs feel no sense of involvement in the changes being made in the NHS.’
    • ‘Labour regulation and bureaucracy would be swept away.’
    • ‘And doctors who chose their vocation in order to cure the sick say unnecessary bureaucracy is eating into the time they have to care for patients and spend with their families.’
    • ‘That revealed 81.2% of teachers want to see levels of paperwork and bureaucracy in schools cut.’
    • ‘Contract manufacturers benefit from reduced layers of bureaucracy and more streamlined procedures.’
    • ‘Centralised student unions work best when freed from this unnecessary level of bureaucracy.’
    • ‘Serious executive authority is required to slice through the Kirk's ever-growing bureaucracy and its cumbersome administrative procedures.’
    • ‘The unit will tackle unnecessary paperwork and reduce bureaucracy.’
    • ‘They are burdened down with unnecessary bureaucracy and regulations.’
    red tape, rules and regulations, etiquette, protocol, officialdom, paperwork, unnecessary paperwork
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Origin

Early 19th century: from French bureaucratie, from bureau (see bureau).

Pronunciation

bureaucracy

/ˌbjʊ(ə)ˈrɒkrəsi/