"Administrative State" is the term that political scientists use to describe the bureaucratized government that we have, in which the unelected permanent bureaucracy--lodged in the Executive Branch--increasingly takes over the functions of the Legislative Branch, which in the constitutional scheme of things was supposed to represent We The People. The result of the empowerment of supposed "experts" in the permanent bureaucracy is that neither Congress nor even presidents or cabinets secretaries are able to exercise true authority over the government. Never, perhaps, in the last hundred and more odd years of the Administrative State's development in America has the full power of the Administrative State--in opposition to all three constitutional branches of government--been more apparent than during the four years of the Trump administration.
The two scholars most associated with the critique of the Administrative State are John Marini, a political science professor, and Philip Hamburger, a law professor.
Marini's best known book on the subject is Unmasking the Administrative State: The Crisis of American Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Writing from a more strictly legal standpoint, Hamburger's major work is Is Administrative Law Unlawful?
However, if you're short of time, I'm linking two articles--actually, an interview with Marini and a review of his book--that will give you a very clear idea of what's at stake in all this.
The review of Marini's book can be found here:
Have the American People Irrevocably Ceded Control of Their Government to the Modern Administrative State?
I'll only excerpt a few paragraphs from the review. I chose these paragraphs because they discuss what I've regularly referenced--the influence of Hegelian philosophy over the American Progressive Movement, which includes (among names most will recognize) John Dewey and Woodrow Wilson:
That should ring a few bells, I hope. The rest of the review then contrasts these Progressive views--which led directly to the enablement of a professional class of governing 'experts' who are largely unaccountable--with the views of the Founding Fathers. It's a most illuminating discussion.
The interview with Marini can be found in transcript here:
John Marini on the Real Crisis of American Politics
I think you'll find the discussion--it's a true back and forth between the interviewer (Bob Zadek) and Marini--quite accessible, especially since the discussion takes place in the context of the Trump administration and Trump's relationship to the Administrative State. With that in mind, I'll simply quote Marini's concluding response, which is an interesting appraisal of Trump coming from an academic. What Marini is saying about Trump is that Trump envisioned himself as a politician in the broadest sense--as the representative of We The People in ministering to the health of the body politic, the constitutional order. While Trump presented himself to the citizenry as someone with a policy agenda, he was not presenting himself as simply a manager to preside over the bureacracy, to help government run more efficiently. His was a true political vision of American Greatness:
Donald Trump: A Citizen President
Bob Zadek: You have such an original view of the Trump administration and its role on the administrative state. I know I’m asking for a lot in a very short period of time, but summarize, the relationship of the Trump administration with all of its warts and calluses and problems of style. Tell us about how it has affected the administrative state and whether that type of orientation, offers promise.
John Marini: I think the thing that Trump saw, and perhaps he saw it better than most because he didn’t come out of the environment of government, was that when he ran for office, the goal was political. He wanted to actually mobilize the majority to go to the electorate and tell him what they wanted to do. If they wanted him to do it he would actually do it. That has been very rare in American politics in the last 40 or 50 years. So he actually begins from the perspective of a citizen rather than from the perspective of somebody who has established a kind of profession of government. Instead of thinking about government as a profession.
Trump is a threat to Washington because he takes politics seriously in a way in which many of those previously elected have not. They think that you could simply mobilize groups and keep groups divided, and you don’t have to look out for the interest of the whole, for the common good of the citizens. Trump is the first to look out for the common good.
Bob Zadek: So, Trump is the first “citizen President” we’ve had in quite some time. Kind of interesting. John, thank you so much.
I believe that's a fair assessment. It also explains the Trumpean appeal--voters saw that he was looking out for the common good because he continually articulated, in readily understandable terms, what he saw as the common good. And, unlike most elected officials, he followed through on that vision to the best of his ability.
This is a difference that I think the American people will not soon forget. The American people understand the difference between a Trump and a power elite that sees their first day priority as putting American energy workers out of their jobs and empowering boys who want to play at being girls. For starters.