DU SOL BA 3rd Year Administration and Public Policy Notes Chapter 8 Contemporary Development
Explain the ecology of Public Administration – Social, Economic, Cultural, Political and Legal.
Discuss the Meaning and Significance of the Ecological Study of Public Administration.
What are the Social, Economic, Cultural, Political and legal factors which have an impact on Public Administration ? Analyses briefly.
How is Public Administration affected by Social, Economic and Political structure ? Discuss with suitable examples.
Public Administration As A Profession Introduction –
The meaning and significance of the ecological study of Public Administration has been explained by Ramesh K. Arora and Agusto Ferreros. Thus, the basic premise of ecological approach in comparative public administration is that public bureaucracy may be regarded as one of the several basic institutions in a society. Thus in order to understand its structure and functions, it must be studied in the context of inter-relationships with the other institutions. In systematic terms, bureaucracy as a social institution is continually interacting with i.e. affected by and feeding back upon, the economic, political and socio-cultural sub-systems in a society. It is both a modifying influences on these systems as well as a system which is modified by their activity.
A look at the structures and functions of the public administration in different countries will reveal that through there is manifest similarly in formal organisations. Yet their informal and behaviour pattern possess considerable diversities which are being shaped by its societal culture. On account of these diversities. Fred W. Riggs classified social structures in to three types and outlined the peculiar characteristics of administration in each of these categories.
Studies conducted on political and administrative structures in Africa establish the relation between them and the environmental factors that range from kinship organization in different societies, to the level of economic and technological development.
Formal rules and the rational ethos have to be studied in the wider context of social and cultural milieu of which bureaucracy is a part. For example, in India “the civil service was developed by the British on principle of general competence, integrity and impartiality and political neutrality. The nature and role of Indian bureaucracy cannot be understood in terms of these ideal norms but must be studied in terms of their social and cultural traditions and orientations”.
Even in the Western economically developed countries which are often grouped into one category, public administration has not developed and functioned in a uniform pattern. The variation in the British and German patterns of administration will illustrate this point.
The above illustrations given from empirical studies are sufficient to support the interaction between the public administration and culture society, aims and politics in which it operates.
Cultural Factors And Public Administration –
There is a constant interaction of culture and administration. Since culture is subject to change, it redefines the role of government and public administration. The latitude of action allowed to the governments at present and performed through public administration would have been unthinkable before the two World Wars. The major economic depression and the Cold War fundamentally altered perceptions of the role of the government Similarly in the developing countries of Asia and Africa, the factors like emancipation from colonial rule, need for rapid economic development and modernization and to pull their societies out of mass poverty and ignorance, the rising expectations or frustrations of their people, die imperatives of material consolidation have cumulatively affected their traditional cultures and also the administration.
A Bilateral Interaction between Culture and Administration. The interaction between Culture and Public Administration is not unidirectional i.e. only culture and environment affecting the administration rather is bilateral. The Public Administration exercises equally significant influence v on social culture and environment. In a study of interaction of administration and culture in India, B.P. Singh writes, “Increasingly, a new administrative ethos has been in India which tries to reflect the popular will and is developing its organizational competence and inputs to tackle the new challenges. In this context, administration is continually interacting with the political, economic and socio-cultural value system of our society. It is both a modifying influence upon these systems and is getting itself modified by activities of these related systems”.
Since Public Administration is culture bound it follows that structures of Public Administration of one environmental setting cannot be transplanted In fused societies the two functions are not distinct. In political model, termed ‘archaic’ by Riggs both political and administrative functions are performed but cannot be understood in terms of making and enforcing the policies.
The situation is much more complex in prismatic societies. The prismatic characteristic of overlapping is very much in evidence among the political and administrative sub-system. The formal political structure may be universalistic, but in practice laws and policies often discriminate selectivitically against the excluded groups. The legislators attempt to secure positions for their proteges and devote little time to important functions like legislation and policy-making. The strength of elects makes universalistic policies impossible.
Political system thus does not perform its functions but tends to enter the field of administration. The administrative system is then called upon to interpret and adopt the laws * and policies to practical realities. In the absence of clear-cut policy guidelines and effective control by the political system, the Public Administration acquires considerable leeway in either enforcing policies ritualistically or circumventing them according to the convenience of administrators. Thus in a prismatic society, the administrative and political systems not only show a good deal of interdependence, but, also considerable overlapping.
Economic Factors And Public Administration –
Economy is yet another factor interacting with Public Administration. Economic environment affects the form, structure and functions of Public Administration. Low economic development generally goes along with low administrative capability. In turn, lower administrative capability generally reinforces a low level of goal achievement in economic life. That is why in several developing countries administrative reforms were considered necessary for rapid economic development and modernization. Though in the countries which are now developed, administrative reform did not parallel economic growth, these the latter proceeded the former.
In developing countries, generally, it is the state which has to act as the dominant agent for change. Therefore its capacity to carry out economic development programmes is an important determinant of its output. In order ‘ to enhance its capability to achieve development goals, the administrative system usually has to adopt a new set of values.
Low salaries of public servants and official corruption in developing countries are also linked with their low level of economic development and scarcity of technical and human resources.
According to Riggs, many of the characteristic of American Public Administration are patterned by the system of American economy, and so is the case with the administrations in developing countries. In the U.S. the economic productivity is very high and probably the highest in the world and that has relevance to its system of administration. The American economic institutional arrangement involves the use of “utilitarian” and “rational” use of scarce resources which leads to a great increase in the output of goods and services. It involves the treatment of many social values as though they were “commodities which would be bought and sold in the market Land, human labour, money, time come to be regarded as marketable and the society orients itself towards the market as the central institution. This marketization of American society, Riggs says has had both direct and indirect influences upon our system of administration”.
Public Administration Influences the Economy as well. In turn Public Administration influences the economy as well. In all countries, whether developed or developing. Public Administration regulates economy though licences, quotas, fixing of prices of commodities in certain circumstances preventing monopolies, preventing unfair trade practices, regulating imports and exports etc.
In communist countries this control is more strict In the proceeding paragraphs a reference was made to die close relationship between economic growth and administrative reform. In feet there is interdependence between the two. The economy in the present age cannot survive without the administrative system and the system is itself determined in many respects by the requirements of the economy.
Legal Factors And Public Administration –
The symbol system of a country has a bearing on its legal system. It includes ‘myth’, ‘formula* and ‘code’. ‘Myth’ means symbols to define source of sovereignty, ‘formula* determines the structure of the government and ‘code’ includes laws and regulations. For example, the myth of popular sovereignty determines the democratic form of government with its upivdsalistic lavvs. Whenever this myth is based on consensus among the population, the formal political structure also becomes the substantive one. The legislative, judical and the executive wings of the government perform their functions as laid down in the basic law, i.e., constitution.
Within the executive wing, the political executive is able to exercise control over the administrative wing as the guardian of the popular will. Laws enacted by the legislative wing represent the popular will and are faithfully implemented. In other word, there is a great degree of realism in the enactment and enforcement of laws. Any difficulties in implementation by the administrations can be brought to the legislature for amendment in the laws. The legal system thus creates interdependent legislative and executives although they are assigned different specific functions.
The interdependence of the political administrative and the legal system makes a sound administrative system. The laws and rules and regulations should be clear and policies should lay down clear goals. On fee other hand the enforcement of laws and regulations and implementation of policies depends t on a sound administrative system.
Internal Culture of Public Adminstration. A brief reference may be made to the internal culture of the Public Administration, sometimes called L, administrative culture. It refers to “conventional ways in which administrators think and act”.
Only one illustration of bureaucratic culture is given here. For instance, in India before and after independence the civil services represented two stands – the upper crust consisting of higher civil services and the lower | subordinate services. There was hardly anything called a sense of partnership between these two classes of services. These two class developed their own styles of life and work, their own afflictions and loyalties.
It may be said that the higher class developed the culture of the Hakim and the lower class that of the ‘Babu’ Administrative changes that followed the introduction of Panchayati Raj brought another elemer consisting of elected representative, “Thus the present administrative environment at the district level has three definite strands – the echo of the ‘Hakim’ culture at the apex of the district administration, the Babu culture pervading all the rest of district administration, and the Neta culture that increasingly impinges on these two official cultures.