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Bureaucracy and Democracy (Cont’d). January 17 th , 2005. Liberal Democracy and Bureaucracy. confluence bureaucracy is good in that it emphasis impartiality (over participation) dissonance danger is if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and threatens individual rights “Big Brother”.

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Bureaucracy and democracy cont d l.jpg

Bureaucracy and Democracy (Cont’d)

January 17th, 2005


Liberal democracy and bureaucracy l.jpg
Liberal Democracy and Bureaucracy

  • confluence

    • bureaucracy is good in that it emphasis impartiality (over participation)

  • dissonance

    • danger is if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and threatens individual rights

      • “Big Brother”


  • Elite democracy and bureaucracy l.jpg
    Elite Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • top-down and hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is good

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

  • dissonance

    • danger if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and undermines competition among elected/political elites

      • e.g. development of a permanent non-elected bureaucratic elite making decisions

      • ultimately decisions must be ratified by elected elites


  • Participatory democracy and bureaucracy l.jpg
    Participatory Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

      • e.g. to put into effect the will of the majority

  • dissonance

    • top-down hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is bad

    • excessive focus on impartiality (over participation)


  • Main messages l.jpg
    Main Messages!!

    • bureaucracy and democracy

      • relationship with democracy is paradoxical (but in different ways depending on model of democracy)

        • in tension with all models of democracy

        • extent of paradox depends on the model of democracy in question

      • range

        • bureaucratic model fits well with ideal model of democracy (elite democracy)

        • bureaucratic model has inherent characteristics that fit with democracy but also poses threat to individual rights (liberal democracy)

        • bureaucracy is a necessarily evil (participatory democracy)

      • the paradoxical relationship generates a number of imperatives for each democratic model in designing and managing bureaucracy...


    Liberal democracy and bureaucracy6 l.jpg
    Liberal Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • bureaucracy is good in that it emphasis impartiality (over participation)

  • dissonance

    • danger is if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and threatens individual rights

      • “Big Brother”


  • Liberal democracy and bureaucracy7 l.jpg
    Liberal Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • bureaucracy is good in that it emphasis impartiality (over participation)

  • dissonance

    • danger is if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and threatens individual rights

      • “Big Brother”

  • imperative

    • make sure that bureaucracy is tightly constrained (e.g. tight rules)


  • Liberal democracy and bureaucracy8 l.jpg
    Liberal Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • bureaucracy is good in that it emphasis impartiality (over participation)

  • dissonance

    • danger is if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and threatens individual rights

      • “Big Brother”

  • imperative

    • make sure that bureaucracy is tightly constrained (e.g. tight rules)

    • subject to individual rights protection (e.g. Charter, privacy protection, FOI, etc.)


  • Elite democracy and bureaucracy9 l.jpg
    Elite Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • top-down and hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is good

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

  • dissonance

    • danger if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and undermines competition among elected/political elites

      • e.g. development of a permanent non-elected bureaucratic elite making decisions

      • ultimately decisions must be ratified by elected elites


  • Elite democracy and bureaucracy10 l.jpg
    Elite Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • top-down and hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is good

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

  • dissonance

    • danger if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and undermines competition among elected/political elites

      • e.g. development of a permanent non-elected bureaucratic elite making decisions

      • ultimately decisions must be ratified by elected elites

  • imperative

    • ensure that elected elites can be reasonably held accountable for decisions


  • Elite democracy and bureaucracy11 l.jpg
    Elite Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • top-down and hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is good

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

  • dissonance

    • danger if bureaucracy becomes too powerful and undermines competition among elected/political elites

      • e.g. development of a permanent non-elected bureaucratic elite making decisions

      • ultimately decisions must be ratified by elected elites

  • imperative

    • ensure that elected elites can be reasonably held accountable for decisions

    • ensure bureaucracy with high level of professionalism, merit and commitment to public service (while ensuring that they have adequate scope to expercise these capacities)


  • Participatory democracy and bureaucracy12 l.jpg
    Participatory Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

        • e.g. to put into effect the will of the majority

  • dissonance

    • top-down hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is bad

    • excessive focus on impartiality (over participation) is bad


  • Participatory democracy and bureaucracy13 l.jpg
    Participatory Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

        • e.g. to put into effect the will of the majority

  • dissonance

    • top-down hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is bad

    • excessive focus on impartiality (over participation) is bad

  • imperative

    • ensure that bureaucracy is representative of the population


  • Participatory democracy and bureaucracy14 l.jpg
    Participatory Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

        • e.g. to put into effect the will of the majority

  • dissonance

    • top-down hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is bad

    • excessive focus on impartiality (over participation) is bad

  • imperative

    • ensure that bureaucracy is representative of the population

    • provide opportunities for democratic participation (e.g. consultations, citizen input, bottom-up initiatives)


  • Participatory democracy and bureaucracy15 l.jpg
    Participatory Democracy and Bureaucracy

    • confluence

      • effective mechanism to pursue the general welfare

        • e.g. to put into effect the will of the majority

  • dissonance

    • top-down hierarchical nature of bureaucracy is bad

    • excessive focus on impartiality (over participation) is bad

  • imperative

    • ensure that bureaucracy is representative of the population

    • provide opportunities for democratic participation (e.g. consultations, citizen input, bottom-up initiatives)

    • ensure accessibility and transparency


  • Public administration in canada l.jpg
    Public Administration in Canada...

    • the structure of the Canadian bureaucracy (and its interface with elected officials) represents a particular response to these various concerns and imperatives!!

    • What is that response???


    Part ii the structure of bureaucracy and the canadian political system l.jpg

    Part II: The Structure of Bureaucracy and the Canadian Political System

    The Political-Bureaucratic Interface


    Cabinet government l.jpg
    Cabinet Government Political System

    • what is it?

      • collective sharing of executive power

    • how is the structure of cabinet government determined?

      • the Prime Minister

        • who becomes PM?

      • prerogatives of the Prime Minister (vis-a-vis cabinet)

        • size and structure of cabinet

        • departmental organization

        • cabinet committee structure

        • appointments to cabinet

        • cabinet agenda

        • cabinet decisions


    Principles roles actors in cabinet government l.jpg
    Principles/Roles/Actors in Cabinet Government Political System

    • relationships NOT roles

      • not generally legally prescribed

      • considerable room for manoeuvre

  • organic link between different relationships

    • nature of any given relationship has implications for the nature of other relationships

    • change in any one set of relationships implies changes in other sets of relationships

  • relationships are based on tradition but also on continuing acceptance of the obligations/rights inherent in them

    • implicit bargains


  • Centralized accountability collective ministerial responsibility l.jpg
    Centralized Accountability: Collective Ministerial Responsibility

    • what is “responsible government”?

      • the executive must maintain the confidence of Parliament

    • what is collective ministerial responsibility?

      • all ministers must resign if the cabinet loses the confidence of Parliament

        • what constitutes having the confidence of Parliament?

      • what pre-conditions would the operation of collective cabinet ministerial responsibility require?


    Centralized accountability collective ministerial responsibility21 l.jpg
    Centralized Accountability: Collective Ministerial Responsibility

    • requirements (enforced by PM)

      • cabinet solidarity

      • cabinet secrecy

        • cabinet documents exempt from Freedom of Information

        • the problem of leaks

    • why would cabinet ministers agree?

      • price of being in cabinet

      • collective self-interest


    Diffuse accountability individual ministerial responsibility l.jpg
    Diffuse Accountability: Individual Ministerial Responsibility

    • what is individual ministerial responsibility?


    Diffuse accountability individual ministerial responsibility26 l.jpg
    Diffuse Accountability: Individual Ministerial Responsibility

    • what is individual ministerial responsibility?

      • do ministers typically resign for errors committed in their department?

        • no...not if they can help it!!

        • why not?

      • minister is answerable publicly (to parliament) for the actions of their department

        • regardless of whether the minister was in charge at the time a problem occurred

        • ministers are responsible for correcting problems within their department


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    Diffuse Accountability: Individual Ministerial Responsibility

    • why would individuals agree to accept this role?

      • price for exercising power


    Slide30 l.jpg
    Centralized Accountability (Collective Ministerial Responsibility) and Diffuse Accountability (Individual Ministerial Responsibility)

    • the individual minister and cabinet

      • collective vs. individual ministerial paradox

        • ministers interest in maximizing their own latitude from cabinet control

        • ministers interested in maximizing cabinet’s ability to direct other ministries

      • the conundrum of cabinet solidarity/cabinet secrecy and individual ministerial responsibility

  • cabinet/departmental link

    • minister represents department in cabinet

    • minister represents cabinet to the department


  • The structure of government centralized and diffuse accountability l.jpg
    The Structure of Government: Centralized and Diffuse Accountability

    • Prime Ministerial/Cabinet government is an attempt to ensure political control...

      • over the centre of government (Prime Minister)

      • over individual departments (Ministers)

    • structure of government is an attempt to balance between collective ministerial responsibility (centralized accountability) and individual ministerial responsibility (diffuse accountability)


    The structure of government the balance of centralized and diffuse accountability l.jpg
    The Structure of Government: The Balance of Centralized and Diffuse Accountability

    • cabinet structure and operation

      • size

        • 30 ministers with portfolio

        • 6 ministers of state

      • cabinet committees

        • importance and number

    • central agencies vs. line departments

      • line departments – e.g. HRSDC, DFO, Agriculture

      • central agencies – PCO, PMO, Finance, Treasury Board

    • role of the Deputy Minister

      • technically accountable to minister

      • appointed by PM

        • receives direction from PCO


    Individual ministerial responsibility shaping the political bureaucratic relationship l.jpg
    Individual Ministerial Responsibility – Shaping the Political/Bureaucratic Relationship

    • the individual minister demands from their senior bureaucrats...

      • loyalty in service

      • honesty in advice

      • refrain from public comment

        = public service neutrality


    Individual ministerial responsibility shaping the political bureaucratic relationship34 l.jpg
    Individual Ministerial Responsibility – Shaping the Political/Bureaucratic Relationship

    • the senior bureaucrats agree to public service neutrality in exchange for...

      • official anonymity

      • promotion based on merit

      • security of tenure


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