Title

The Automated Administrative State

Author granted license

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International

Document Type

Blog Post

Publication Date

4-8-2019

Publisher

Harvard Kennedy School Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy

Language

en-US

Abstract

The administrative state has undergone radical change in recent decades. In the twentieth century, agencies in the United States generally relied on computers to assist human decision-makers. In the twenty-first century, computers are making agency decisions themselves. Automated systems are increasingly taking human beings out of the loop. Computers terminate Medicaid to cancer patients and deny food stamps to individuals. They identify parents believed to owe child support and initiate collection proceedings against them. Computers purge voters from the rolls and deem small businesses ineligible for federal contracts.

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