Difference between Bureaucracy and Democracy

Bureaucracy refers to both a body of non-elected government officials and an administrative policy-making group. Public administration in many countries is an example of a bureaucracy. Bureaucracy as a political theory is mainly a centralised form of management.

Democracy is a form of government in which the people have the authority to choose their governing legislation. The word Democracy is derived from Greek Words Demos (meaning people) and Kratos (meaning rule).

Visit the given link for information on dates, structure and other details of IAS Exam.

Learn to differentiate Democracy with other forms of government too by referring to the following links:

Difference Between Democracy and Republic Difference Between Democracy and Dictatorship
Difference Between Democracy and Monarchy Difference Between Democrat and Republican

Difference between Bureaucracy and Democracy – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Difference between Bureaucracy and Democracy

The major differences between Bureaucracy and Democracy are:

Bureaucracy Democracy
In bureaucracy, the bureaucrats are elected through established procedures In democracy, the leaders are elected by the people of the country or state through free and fair elections.
In bureaucracy, the bureaucrats are not considered as public representatives. In democracy, leaders are public representatives.
In bureaucracy, the bureaucrats have a fixed tenure, i.e their tenure is fixed till the age of retirement, although their roles and responsibilities could vary depending on the posting etc. In democracy, the elected leaders or representatives have a fixed tenure of up to 5 years in India, after this period, they have to contest elections again to get the necessary votes to regain and continue in power. 
Bureaucracy does not give too much importance to, or focus much on public opinions. In democracy, the elected representatives give a lot of importance to public opinions as they are elected by the public through elections.
Bureaucracy does not grant freedom of expression. Democracy grants freedom of expression
The mandate of Bureaucracy is to implement the laws. Democracy gives the powers to make the laws.
Bureaucracy is responsible for implementing the policies. Democracy gives the right to elected representatives to make or formulate the policies.
Bureaucracy gives more accountability. Democracy does not necessarily give great accountability. If there was perfect accountability, then corruption would not exist.
Since inputs from electorates are not paid heed to by the Bureaucracy, Directive approach is prevalent. In democracy, consultative approach is used before framing new laws, policies etc. Elected representatives takes inputs from their electorates
In bureaucracy, hierarchy is extremely important, a top-down approach is followed for smooth functioning of any department. Bureaucracy also focuses on Centralisation. Democracy is based on the values of Equality, Republicanism, Federalism etc.

Get the Complete List of Difference between Articles – History, Polity, Economics, Geography and more in the linked article.

Difference between Bureaucracy and Democracy – UPSC Notes:- Download PDF Here

Frequently Asked Questions about Bureaucracy and Democracy


What does bureaucracy mean in government?

The federal bureaucracy performs three primary tasks in government: implementation, administration, and regulation. When Congress passes a law, it sets down guidelines to carry out the new policies. The bureaucracy often has some flexibility, known as administrative discretion, in actual implementation.

What is the relation between democracy and bureaucracy?

The relation between bureaucracy and democracy lies in the increase of bureaucratic regulation and its increased effectivesness

Candidates can find the general pattern of the UPSC Civil Service Exam by visiting the IAS Syllabus page.

Related Links

IAS Salary Static GK
Big Picture Rajya Sabha TV Interim Budget
Strength of Lok Sabha UPSC Notification
Indian Polity – UPSC Notes UPSC Civil Services Posts


Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.