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Blue Team “ A significant motivation of comparative PA is to discover regularities through the human experiences, irrespective of place and time.” – Jreisat 2002, 5 ‘Golden Oldies’ Woodrow Wilson (1887): administrative-politics dichotomy

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blue team
Blue Team

“ A significant motivation of comparative PA is to discover regularities through the human experiences, irrespective of place and time.”

– Jreisat 2002, 5

golden oldies
‘Golden Oldies’
  • Woodrow Wilson (1887): administrative-politics dichotomy
    • Administration is “government in action” (14); it is the executive, the operative, the most visible part side of government (14)
    • Who shall make law, and what shall that law be (politics)?
    • How law should be administered (administration)?
    • Administration lies “outside the sphere of politics” (20)
    • Politics is state activity “in things great and universal” versus administration as“the activity of the state in individual and small things”
    • General plans (politics) versus special means (administration) (21)
golden oldies3
‘Golden Oldies’
  • Max Weber (1922; Gerth/Mills translation 1946): ideal type of bureaucracy
    • Principle of fixed and official jurisdictional areas
    • Office hierarchy and of levels of graded authority
    • Management based on written documents
    • Specialized office through expert training
golden oldies4
‘Golden Oldies’
  • Kharasch
    • Develops three axioms that lead to his “institutional imperative”
      • Action by the institution constitutes the internal dynamics of the institution
      • Institution must function continuously if it is to stay in existence
      • What the institution does is its purpose
    • Institutional imperative: “every action or decision of an institution must be intended to keep the institutional machinery working” (49)
golden oldies5
‘Golden Oldies’
  • James Thurber
    • Cynical description of reality in politics through death of an invented public hero
    • Depicting a completely acceptable character of the “hero”; death of “the greatest man”
    • “Perilous heights of fame (126); “a accidental death of its most illustrious and spectacular figure” (128)
comparative pubic administration towards a synthesis
Comparative Pubic Administration: Towards a synthesis
  • Origins and development of the field
  • Conceptualizing comparative public administration and methodology
  • Cross-cutting topics
    • Corruption
    • Culture
    • Implementation
origins and development of field
Origins and development of field
  • Emergence of field of public administration
  • Politics - administration dichotomy (Wilson 1887)
  • “Ideal type” of bureaucracy (Weber 1922)
  • Comparative public administration: move away from US-centered PA
origins and development of field8
Origins and development of field
  • 1960s-early ‘70s: ‘New’ public administration
    • Obligations of PA to society: activism, ethics, solution to problems
  • Development administration
    • The administration of development programs, to the methods used by large scale organizations to implement policies and plans to meet their development objectives (Riggs 1971)
    • Away from Western-centered; unique challenges, contexts
    • CAG; Ford Foundation; Riggs
  • Postmodernism: Movement away from rationality as answer
  • New Public Management
    • ‘reinventing government’: decentralization, contracting, privatization, performance-based evaluation
  • Governance
  • What is CPA?
    • “comparative study of institutions, processes, and behaviors in many contexts” (Jreisat , 2002)
  • Objective of CP
    • The discovery of patterns and regularities of administrative action and behavior across cultures in order to produce new knowledge and to affirm or refine existing information (1)
  • Why we compare?
    • Increasingly globalized, interdependent world
    • Expand our knowledge and understanding of phenomena
    • What works: characteristics of successful/unsuccessful administrative performance; best practices
    • Insight for practitioners of various political contexts and impact on administration
comparative methodology
Comparative methodology
  • A focus for comparison
    • Bureaucracy as a focus
    • Organizational setting
    • The ecology of administration
comparative methodology12
Comparative methodology
  • Functionalist
    • Interest articulation, interest aggregation, rule-making, rule application, rule adjudication, communication
  • Neo-institutionalist
    • Attention to structure
  • Peters’ perspective
cross cutting topics
Cross-cutting topics
  • Corruption
    • What is it? (Heidenheimer et al. 1990)
      • Many different meanings, but in social sciences often focus on:
        • Public-office centered, market-centered, and public interest-centered
        • Friedrich: “behavior which deviates from the norm actually prevalent . . . [and is] deviant behavior associated with . . . private gain at public expense” (15)
    • Why is it a problem?
      • Challenges for developing countries
      • “Man is conceived in sin and born in corruption” (Warren 1946, 223, All the king’s men); “Brant seized the greatest man in the world and pushed him out the window” (Thurber 1991, 138-146)
cross cutting topics14
Cross-cutting topics
  • Culture
    • Riggs: “prismatic model pertaining to the ecology of administration in a type of society” (Heady 2001, 96)
    • Almond and Verba: civic culture, types of political culture
    • Picard: historical, and contemporary political (and bureaucratic) structures and processes (2); authoritarian political culture (5); inherited authoritarian patterns of government (6)
cross cutting topics15
Cross-cutting topics
  • Implementation: intersection of public policy and administration
    • Errors of third type (EIII) (Dunn 2007, 84)
    • Problem structuring in policy analysis (81)











Development (CAG)

Almond/ Verba



Guy Peters


Policy Implementation


  • Wilson, Woodrow, “The study of administration,” in Shafritz, Jay M., and Albert C. Hyde. 2007. Classics of public administration. 6th ed. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Weber, Max, “Bureaucracy,” in Shafritz, Jay M., and Albert C. Hyde. 2007. Classics of public administration. 6th ed. Boston: Thomson Wadsworth.
  • Thurber, James, “The greatest men in the world,” in Archer, Jeffrey, and Simon Bainbridge. 1991. Fools, knaves, and heroes: great political short stories. 1st American ed. New York: Norton.
  • Kharasch, Robert N. 1973. The institutional imperative; how to understand the United States Government and other bulky objects. New York,: Charterhouse Books.
  • Picard, Louis A. 2005. The state of the state: institutional transformation, capacity and political change in South Africa. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.
  • Heady, Ferrel. 2001. Public administration: a comparative perspective. 6th ed. New York: Marcel Dekker.
  • Jreisat, Jamil E. 2002. Comparative public administration and policy. Boulder, Colo. Oxford: Westview.
  • Baker, Randall. 1994. Comparative public management : putting U.S. public policy and implementation in context. Westport, Conn.: Praeger.
  • Bekke, A. J. G. M., James L. Perry, and T. A. J. Toonen. 1996. Civil service systems in comparative perspective. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press.