This Independent Study is centered on an adapted version of classical bureaucratic politics methodology. Keeping in mind the essential themes, factors, and theoretical wisdom from conventional literature, I consolidate my measures into a tri-categorical system in order to analyze the chosen cases. My investigation employs a comparative case study approach in order to operationalize this research design within the context of key space policy initiatives. I seek to answer the question, “what happens when there is bureaucratic resistance to an executive-level space policy initiative”? While limited to the space policy realm, this approach is intended to be replicable for all cases that involve high-visibility presidential policy proposals. Acknowledging that there are many relative pressures that impact a policy goal, I measure the “levels of bureaucratic intensity” that took place in each case in order to draw key deductions that correlate high intensity to a higher likelihood of failure. Overall, I suggest that the process of pulling and hauling among relevant top-level actors holds vital explanatory power for explaining the successes and failures of executive-level explorative and defensive space policy outcomes.


Lantis, Jeffrey


Political Science


American Politics | Models and Methods | Political History | United States History


Bureaucratic Politics, Executive, Space, SDI, Apollo, NASA, SEI

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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