Search results1 – 10 of 19
Comparative public administration is a branch of public administration that focuses on comparative analysis of administrative processes and institutions. The comparative…
Comparative public administration is a branch of public administration that focuses on comparative analysis of administrative processes and institutions. The comparative approach has been around since the inception of government. As a specialized field of interest, the significance of comparison cannot be accurately traced to a single event or country. What we know is that early scholarly work in the parent field drew upon knowledge and perspectives with cross-national origins. For example, Ferrel Heady reminds us that pioneers in the study of American public administration, including Woodrow Wilson and Frank Goodnow, made full use of lens’ provided in European scholarship (Heady, 2001, p. 6). Likewise, past and recent non-western scholarship has drawn substantial inspiration from European and American models. The reasons for this are easy to discern. At least three can be advanced. First is the colonial experience – with most countries in the southern hemisphere having derived a large part of their bureaucratic structures from their former colonizers, the importance of comparative approaches cannot be overemphasized. Second is the increased flow of information worldwide has made it easier for scholars to compare notes on administrative systems in different countries. Third are domino effects of human development, including deliberate attempts by various international bodies to encourage development via adoption of institutional and administrative models that have proven to enhance the quality of life. In fact, coincidentally, sustained comparative analysis in public administration occurred at the end of the World War II when many organizations with a global outreach emerged.
Comparative public administration is a branch of public administration. As an approach, it considers the workings of government in different socio-economic and cultural…
Comparative public administration is a branch of public administration. As an approach, it considers the workings of government in different socio-economic and cultural settings. Much like public administration, comparative administration covers a wide variety of activities. Scholars employing the comparative approach focus on a wide variety of issues including public policy making and implementation in both the developed and developing areas. Comparative administration seeks to strengthen our understanding of broader public administrative processes by trying to expand the empirical basis of the field. By taking a keen look at administrative processes in all socio-economic and ecological settings, we have a more holistic view of the larger field.
Public administration as an aspect of governmental activity has existed as long as political systems have been functioning and trying to achieve program objectives set by the political decision-makers. Public administration as a field of systematic study is much more recent. Advisers to rulers and commentators on the workings of government have recorded their observations from time to time in sources as varied as Kautilya's Arthasastra in ancient India, the Bible, Aristotle's Politics, and Machiavelli's The Prince, but it was not until the eighteenth century that cameralism, concerned with the systematic management of governmental affairs, became a specialty of German scholars in Western Europe. In the United States, such a development did not take place until the latter part of the nineteenth century, with the publication in 1887 of Woodrow Wilson's famous essay, “The Study of Administration,” generally considered the starting point. Since that time, public administration has become a well-recognized area of specialized interest, either as a subfield of political science or as an academic discipline in its own right.
The 1950s and 1960s were times of haphazard and yet vigorous growth in many academic and policy disciplines. The end of the World War II left the United States at the…
The 1950s and 1960s were times of haphazard and yet vigorous growth in many academic and policy disciplines. The end of the World War II left the United States at the economic center of the world with commensurate technological, political, and cultural might. For many products, much of the higher technology, free-market leadership, and new social and administrative models, the world looked inordinately ‘to the United States.’ American leadership as a countervailing force to communism was particularly evident. However, foreign aid during the time, impressive though the Four Point and the Marshall Plan might have been, was as much an answer to an emergency as a strategic plan. Precursors ‘to the U.S. Agency for International Development’ (USAID) were little more than continuing resolutions. During this time comparative and development administration were coming into importance as academic domains of discourse with an inchoate sense of identity.10
Bureaucracy, the structural form of the modern administrative state, is, by any credible theory of social development, endogenous to social and political transformation…
Bureaucracy, the structural form of the modern administrative state, is, by any credible theory of social development, endogenous to social and political transformation. Bureaucracy is not imposed, not exogenous. It is created by polities; it solves problems.
It is appropriate to begin with some observations on the development of Public Administration, for the development of Comparative Public Administration and its present…
It is appropriate to begin with some observations on the development of Public Administration, for the development of Comparative Public Administration and its present problems are most clearly viewed in historical perspective: The logical problems are related to a chronological development.
How do these external and internal forces forge new tasks and responsibilities for European states? In the process, how do they serve to restructure and redefine their…
How do these external and internal forces forge new tasks and responsibilities for European states? In the process, how do they serve to restructure and redefine their administrative systems? Will these changes shift European priorities and alter the content of activities that European public administrators perform? How well – or poorly – do they carry out their new roles?
The year 2000 marks not only the start of a new century and millennium, but also a turning point in world history that has, in fact, already started. Its dominant forces…
The year 2000 marks not only the start of a new century and millennium, but also a turning point in world history that has, in fact, already started. Its dominant forces are well captured by the word globalization, which symbolizes a fundamental transformation in the role of the post-Westphalian state. Public Administration as the study of governance in America, and Comparative Administration with its complementary focus on the administrative problems of new states, have both been state-centered, taking for granted the salience and sovereign role of independent states in a world-system of states. Regardless of how the political institutions of these states were formed, we have assumed that they all required public bureaucracies able to attend to the most important needs of their citizens in an increasingly complicated age of industrialization and interdependence. That assumption has informed our analysis of the American system as though it were a prototype that could serve as an exemplar for all the new states born out of the collapse of the modern empires that had first occupied the world and then shredded it by their great inter-imperial wars.
From its inception the Comparative Public Administration discipline was intended to examine and inform deliberate changes in public sector institutions. For example, one…
From its inception the Comparative Public Administration discipline was intended to examine and inform deliberate changes in public sector institutions. For example, one of its founders and leaders Fred Riggs called for better understanding of “the forces which lead to administrative transformations” to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of administrative institutions (Riggs, 1964, p. 3). But their attempts to systematically examine the challenges of administrative institutional reforms and synthesize lessons by developing conceptual and theoretical frameworks drawing from institutional literature in other disciplines faced numerous obstacles. For example, the Comparative Administration Group's initiative to examine these challenges in 1960s under the leadership of Fred Riggs lost momentum due to the complexity of the subject, excessive criticism of its theories, ethnocentric sentiments, and limited funding. More-recent research has also been stifled by limited interest in the subject and a lack of general conceptual and theoretical frameworks that hinders synthesis of scholarship (Jreisat, 2005). Thus, the remaining challenge is “how to utilize the wide-ranging human experience to advance knowledge about administrative reform and how to apply it to institutional capacity building” (ibid.).