Teaching Case - Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs

Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs


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  • Product Description

    Robert Hermann, acting administrator of the State Department's Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs (1966-67), wants to liberalize the regulations governing visitor visas. He must decide whether and how to proceed in an environment still dominated by the legacy of the McCarthy era. The case describes Hermann's relationships with peers, superiors, and subordinates in the executive branch and in Congress. An appendix recounts the troubled history of the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs, including a highly publicized fight between Hermann and Frances Knight, conservative head of SCA's Passport Office. The sequel details Hermann's successful efforts to change the visitor visa regulations, focusing in particular on his coalition-building efforts inside the bureaucracy.

    Learning Objective:
    The case can be used to demonstrate the need for, and techniques of, coalition-building to bring about changes in policy; illustrate the resources a governmental player can use in dealing with subordinates, superiors, and peers; and provide practice in assessing the stakes and predicting the stands of other players in the executive branch and Congress. The case may also be used to raise ethical issues concerning the obligations a manager-advocate has to his or her "authorizing environment."

  • Other Details

    Publication Date: January 01, 1975
    Teaching Plan: Available with Educator Access
    HKS Case Number: 3.0
    Case Author: Jeanne Johns
    Faculty Lead: Stephen Hitchner and Philip Heymann
    Pages (incl. exhibits): 17
    Setting: United States
    Language: English
    Funding Source: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
    _year: Older than 2000
    _pages: 16-25
    _geography: US & Canada
  • Warranty Information

    /review/003.0.EducatorCopy.pdf, /teachingplan/003_2.pdf