Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 1, 2022, 8:50

Different countries form management systems that differ in how they elect their working committees. The two most common kinds of management systems are democracy and bureaucracy.

India is a democratic country. This means the people of the country can control the individuals with political power. Individuals who work in public offices are accountable to the people of that country. The word democracy is derived from Demos, meaning people, and Kratos, meaning rule.

Unlike a democracy, bureaucracy has officials or non-elected government officials that work in a government. The word bureaucracy is derived from Bureau, meaning office, and Kratos, meaning rule. Historians have credited Vincent de Gournay, a French philosopher, for the introduction of the word bureaucracy. The German sociologist Max Weber was the first person to emphasize the importance of bureaucracy.

Recently, the Indian bureaucracy was highlighted in the way it fought COVID-19 with red tape. Several instances like fining solo car drivers for not wearing masks were reported as some of the needless steps in the SOPs made from bureaucratic desks. Some important Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy are listed below:

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Differences Between Bureaucracy and Democracy

Type of management system

Democracy / Government by People

Bureaucracy / Government by Offices

Election of Leaders

Leaders are elected by the people of the country.

Bureaucrats are selected by following specific procedures.

Status of leaders

Leaders work for people and are considered officials who represent the people.

Bureaucrats do not represent people.

Work Performed

Development and implementation of laws and policies

  • Work on the paperwork involved in the implementation of laws and policies.
  • Advise the elected leaders on growth and development.

Tenure of Service

Leaders are elected for a short duration of 5 years.

Bureaucrats are hard to remove. A bureaucrat’s tenure of service is till the fixed age of retirement, which generally depends on the role and responsibilities.

Benefits

  • Encourages people to be powerful.
  • Decentralizes power and promotes equality.
  • Power is divided, facilitating work.
  • Work is effectively conducted under supervision.
  • It consists of clearly defined rules and regulations, making it compliant with the requirement.

Issues

  • Political agendas and personal interests precede people's interests.
  • Politicians often use divide and rule games in the name of religion, race, and language.
  • Corruption is prominent.
  • Red tape: Adherence to rules leads to a lack of flexibility.
  • A controlled system of rules often leads to delays.
  • Paperwork is necessary even for small tasks.

There is a Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy at several levels. Both democracy and bureaucracy share a set of issues and benefits. However, a strong link exists between the two management systems. It is challenging to work as a government authority without professional structures.

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FAQs on the Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy

Q.1. Is there a Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy?

Yes. There is a Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy. Bureaucracy is the management system where bureaucrats are selected through a defined procedure while the people elect leaders in a democracy. The leaders elected by the people have a short-term tenure of service while bureaucrats can work till the age of retirement.

Q.2. Who was the first person to introduce the term bureaucracy?

Historians have credited Vincent de Gournay, a French philosopher, for the introduction of the word bureaucracy.

Q.3. What is the Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy in terms of work?

The Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy in terms of work is that the bureaucrats work on the paperwork involved in the implementation of laws and policies. They also advise the elected leaders on the growth and development of the country. On the other hand, Democrats are the ones who develop the policies.

Q.4. Is there a Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy in terms of service tenure?

Yes. There is a Difference Between Bureaucracy and Democracy in terms of service tenure. Democrats serve for a definite short-term of 5 years, while bureaucrats can serve till the age of retirement.