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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Hyemin Choi and Jisu Jeong

It is commonly recognized that the transition to democracy in Korea was associated with economic progress. However, not many scholars have given attention to the role of…

Abstract

It is commonly recognized that the transition to democracy in Korea was associated with economic progress. However, not many scholars have given attention to the role of bureaucracy during the process of democratization, due to the fact that bureaucracy is usually thought of as belonging to politics, not democracy. As a refutation of this general view, first, this chapter argues that bureaucracy has been an important contributor to political modernization. Since the post-1945 period, the ‘ceiling’ strategy, which limits the total number of civil servants, was introduced into the personnel management method and system of checks and balances to limit undue political influence over staffing and to control bureaucratic expansion. Second, through this strategy as policy, the bureaucracy legitimately tried to avoid undemocratic political power by standardized process and allow coordination. The ceiling policy is originally the product of historical context during colonial and authoritarian period, but the bureaucracy utilizes it as the instrument to reduce corruption. The contribution of this chapter is provoking the new insights about democratization from bureaucrat’s perspective which is rarely highlighted.

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The Experience of Democracy and Bureaucracy in South Korea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-471-2

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Book part
Publication date: 2 May 2012

Stewart R. Clegg

Bureaucracy is under attack and has been for some time, specially these past 30 years. This chapter will outline the specific qualities of bureaucracy, the challenges to…

Abstract

Bureaucracy is under attack and has been for some time, specially these past 30 years. This chapter will outline the specific qualities of bureaucracy, the challenges to it that different critics have posed and the possible futures of bureaucracy that are being imagined. In the 1980s, as a key part of an extremely liberal and influential critique of bureaucracy, new imaginings of how to organize corporations and public sector organizations began to emerge. By the late 1990s these had morphed into a view of the network or hybrid organization as the way of the future. The chapter will suggest that the global future of bureaucracy is not as simple as some of these criticisms suggest when they see it left behind in the emergence of innovative new forms. Instead, it is suggested, there is a spatial disaggregation of organizations occurring that heralds some unsettling new futures of organizations emerging.

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Reinventing Hierarchy and Bureaucracy – from the Bureau to Network Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-783-3

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Book part
Publication date: 22 December 2006

Joseph La Palombara

It is now commonplace to depict the contemporary world as one of rapid, increasing, and frequently cataclysmic change. Such forces as disappearing colonialism, revolution…

Abstract

It is now commonplace to depict the contemporary world as one of rapid, increasing, and frequently cataclysmic change. Such forces as disappearing colonialism, revolution in communications and technology, international technical assistance, and spreading ideology cancel out centuries of relative stability, replacing it with conditions of economic upheaval, social disorientation, and political instability. While the so-called developed nations prepare to harness at least a portion of space, most of the rest of the world –spurred along by the West and by the revolution of rising expectations – struggles to cross the threshold of social and economic modernity.

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Comparative Public Administration
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-453-9

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Book part
Publication date: 23 August 2012

Nitsan Chorev

This article explores the range of responses available to international bureaucracies when confronted with demands made by their member states through the study of the…

Abstract

This article explores the range of responses available to international bureaucracies when confronted with demands made by their member states through the study of the World Health Organization (WHO) during the 1970s and 1980s. I show that the WHO bureaucracy successfully addressed the demands of developing countries for health policies compatible with a more equitable world economic order, but in a way that preserved the bureaucracy's own agenda and without upsetting the opposite coalition of wealthy countries. Drawing on insights from the sociology of organizations, this article shows that externally dependent international bureaucracies are able to preserve their autonomous agenda by strategically reframing countries’ demands before responding to them.

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Political Power and Social Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-867-0

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Book part
Publication date: 8 October 2018

Haldor Byrkjeflot

It is doubtful whether Max Weber would have been appreciative of his current status as the father of organisation theory. Weber did not develop the concept of bureaucracy

Abstract

It is doubtful whether Max Weber would have been appreciative of his current status as the father of organisation theory. Weber did not develop the concept of bureaucracy as part of a quest to advance a science of organisations, or in order to do a microanalysis of the internal structure of particular organisational units. The concept of bureaucracy was an ideal-typical concept developed as a point of departure for comparisons across historical periods and geographic settings. Weber’s research was motivated by macroscopic and historical questions such as ‘why did capitalism develop in the West’ and, ‘how do persons in the West and other civilizations attach meaning to their activities?’ Unlike consultants and organisation theorists that make use of him today, it was not a major concern for Weber to develop criteria for the most efficient kinds of organisations. Rather, his concern was to identify variations in administrative and bureaucratic cultures and patterns by the means of the bureaucratic ideal type. It is maintained in modern textbooks in organisation theory that there has been a development from a closed and rationalistic paradigm towards an understanding of organisations as open and natural systems, and Max Weber’s theory of bureaucracy is taken as a point of departure for this kind of narrative. This classification of Weber as an example of a rational and closed approach is highly questionable. The cross-societal and historical approach used so effectively by Weber, is put on a sidetrack in such mainstream narratives. It would be more in the spirit of Weber to focus on organising as an activity, bureaucracy as an ethos and to study organisations within their particular political and cultural contexts.

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Bureaucracy and Society in Transition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-283-3

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Book part
Publication date: 12 January 2021

Juan Javier Negri

This chapter explores the question of the relationship between bureaucracy and politics in Latin America. The objective is exploring the role that politics plays in…

Abstract

This chapter explores the question of the relationship between bureaucracy and politics in Latin America. The objective is exploring the role that politics plays in guaranteeing a professional and autonomous bureaucracy structure.

The chapter first examines an institutional explanation for bureaucratic performance. I will scrutinize the institutional arrangements that might preclude the existence of a professional bureaucracy. The chapter then “brings the state back in,” under the assumption that the explanation for performance of bureaucracy might have been related to long-lasting conditions of “Stateness.” The bureaucracy is analyzed in a more historical perspective and relates the former with specific societal and partisan coalitions at the time of state consolidation. These historical decisions seem to have determined a pattern of clientelistic utilization of the State apparatus in some countries but not in others. The partial evidence presented in this section suggests the importance of “state strength” to understand bureaucratic performance.

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The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Tobin Im

While many studies have focused on the link between economics and democracy in exploring the strategies adopted by developing countries, they have tended to overlook the…

Abstract

While many studies have focused on the link between economics and democracy in exploring the strategies adopted by developing countries, they have tended to overlook the role of bureaucracy in democratization. This study seeks the missing link between bureaucracy and democratization. What are the conditions necessary for bureaucracy to facilitate the democratization process of a country? This chapter begins by briefly reviewing the bureaucracy literature from Max Weber and Karl Marx and then argues that despite its shortcomings, bureaucracy in its Weberian form can facilitate the political democratization of a developmental state. This study concludes that although bureaucracy is often regarded as dysfunctional, it can be instrumental in the democratization process in the context of the developmental state. This article concludes that there are six conditions for the function for democratization: big enough to protect themselves from the arbitrary use of political authority, qualification and competency, take administration out of politics and political neutrality, red tape, consensus about the good government, and having an eye on the long-term, broader interests of the country and the government.

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The Experience of Democracy and Bureaucracy in South Korea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-471-2

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Book part
Publication date: 5 April 2012

David Courpasson and Stewart Clegg

Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms…

Abstract

Many bureaucracies still exist, and not just in the public sector. Increasingly, however, we would argue that they are more likely to evolve towards polyarchic forms because of the growing centrality of stakeholder resistance, especially that which is premised on empowerment of key employees. We suggest that managerial responses to this resistance are transforming bureaucracies through process of accommodation: upper echelon managers invent responses to contentious acts and voices so as to reintegrate ‘resisters’ while rewarding them for contesting decisions in a cooperative way. Understanding these processes help us understand why traditional bureaucracy is currently transforming itself as a result of the emergence of new forms of resistance in the workplace.

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Rethinking Power in Organizations, Institutions, and Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-665-2

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Book part
Publication date: 16 October 2017

Shi-Chul Lee

Korea is a highly centralized country where most administrative functions are carried out by the central government in Seoul. Increasingly, however, local governments have…

Abstract

Korea is a highly centralized country where most administrative functions are carried out by the central government in Seoul. Increasingly, however, local governments have been given greater autonomy in their operations. This chapter examines how the ideal values of political decentralization have interacted with the country’s local bureaucracy, which inherently has dark side in itself. The focus is on how local government employees have contributed, or responded, to the democratic change of their communities, particularly since the 1980s. At the outset, the experiences of Korea’s decentralization and local autonomy are briefly reviewed. It is then examined how the bureaucrats have played in the process of democratization in terms of three features: bureaucratic power, scope, and culture. Institutionalizing competitive local bureaucracy contributed to reduce the disparity between capital regions (Seoul and its surrounded area) and noncapital regions (locals). Empowering local bureaucracy to allow own localized decision-making process was the first move of Korean governance.

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The Experience of Democracy and Bureaucracy in South Korea
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-471-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 1988

Ernest Raiklin

The fate of a country like the Soviet Union concerns not only its leaders and its population. Whatever happens to the Soviet system, the directions which that nation…

Abstract

The fate of a country like the Soviet Union concerns not only its leaders and its population. Whatever happens to the Soviet system, the directions which that nation follows will affect the whole world. Therefore, an understanding of the Soviet regime, its limitations and potentials, and the options available to that country, would give the rest of the world the intellectual weapon necessary to meet challenges presented by Soviet development. The stakes may be very high; if the full productive capacity of the Soviet Union were developed, the Japanese economic miracle and the serious problems it has created for the United States might fade into relative insignificance.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 15 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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