US county teaches students about both ‘East Sea’ and ‘Sea of Japan’ mentions that a county of 540,000 people in Maryland has decided to teach that the Sea of Japan is also called the East Sea. East Sea recognized in Maryland mentions that Korean organizations influenced this decision, and that Tim Hugo, a senior Republican member of the Virginia House, intends to legislate that all future textbooks in Virginia recognize the location by both names.

How would you describe those who oppose decisions about geography textbooks being influenced by politicians or lobby groups, and would prefer such decisions be made purely by expert bureaucrats?

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    Good question, but not really a very good example. Geographic naming is an inherently political excercise (see Persian/Arabian Gulf). – user4012 Sep 19 '13 at 12:38
  • @DVK local councils deciding whether to fluoridate a better example? smh.com.au/nsw/… – Andrew Grimm Sep 19 '13 at 12:49
  • depends on your political persuasion. Some people feel it's fine to let a politician make decisions about a person's health. Some don't. Speed limits may be a better example. – user4012 Sep 19 '13 at 14:47

A bureaucrat who is well respected for his policy wonkiness is often called a technocrat. (Mario Monti, former Italian PM comes to mind).

If a government is a meritocracy of berueaucrats (I'm thinking Futurama), it could rightly be referred to as a technocracy. A decision that is best left to technocrats may also rightly be referred to as a technocratic decision.

  • Was monti appointed or elected? If the latter, I think it'd be incorrect to bucket him as a bureaucrat once he was a PM? – user4012 Sep 19 '13 at 12:33
  • Also, a good answer should probably mention Voltairean theory of enlightened absolutism? – user4012 Sep 19 '13 at 12:35
  • Berlusconi was kicked out, and Monti was appointed to head the interim government. He was well liked when he ran for a term of his own, but a horrible campaigner. In the end, he lost. The Economist in particular uses this term for him. – Affable Geek Sep 19 '13 at 12:35
  • Hm... if he was appointed, it may be accurate... despite the post being elected. – user4012 Sep 19 '13 at 12:37

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