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Winter 2003

The International Review of Administrative Sciences is a journal of comparative public administration that has examined the major debates in public administration for more than 75 years. The December 2003 issue begins with the Second Annual Braibant Lecture, delivered by Professor Klaus Koenig and entitled "Typology of Public Administration." Professor Koenig provides a critical analysis of the classification of public administration into such types as pre-modern and anti-modern, post-industrial and post-modern, and post-bureaucratic.

The next four papers constitute a symposium on the theme of “Quality Governance for Sustainable Growth and Development.” These papers were initially presented at the annual conference of the International institute of Administrative Sciences held in New Delhi in November, 2002. The papers were selected by the General Rapporteur for the conference – Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi (South Africa) – in consultation with the sub-rapporteurs –B.N. Yugandhar (India), Regina Pacheco (Brazil), Pan S. Kim (Korea), and Jacques Ziller (Italy).

The symposium papers were set within the context of the following major emerging trends

  • the realities of increasingly inequitable dispensations and marginalisation –within and across nations, widening the gap between the rich and the poor, the powerful and the powerless, the skilled and the unskilled, with resulting high levels of human insecurity;
  • unsustainable resource utilisation as the basis for short-term wealth, affluence and immediate gratification of consumerist societies;
  • the struggle of the nation state to retain relevance in the face of increasingly powerful governments working in unison with powerful multinational corporations, influential international financial and political organisations in addition to security threats and risks in the borderless, global society; and
  • rising levels of corruption and organised crime.

Fraser-Moloketi notes that these trends - in which a mere fifth of the world’s population are walking away with the bulk of the spoils –are the consequences of deliberate policy choices by powerful governments and international organisations and the advice espoused by them. She notes also that the New Delhi conference offered an opportunity to examine ways of ameliorating the negative fall-outs and of identifying paths that will permit exploration of governance and administrative practices that will result in sustainability, justice and peace instead of unsustainability, inequity and strife.

The first of the four symposium papers, by Venkateswara Subramaniam, examines the integration of complex state-society relationships and the presence of high levels of cohesion among all social groups as part of a response that will lead to self-sustainability. The author goes so far as to elevate an ability to “enthuse, energize and guide all aspects of integrated society”as a key consideration in defining quality governance, on par with more typical characteristics such as transparency, integrity and efficiency. In his view the challenge for quality governance in the first half of the twenty-first century is to strengthen the internal social cohesion of states, and even of sub-regions, in order to act as a countervailing force against the expansion of multinational corporate influences. There is, however, sufficient skepticism and realism this time round to avoid falling into the mental set of regarding bureaucracy as bad, the market as a necessary evil, and civil society as the new saviour.

In the second paper, Hiroko Kudo argues that in Japan New Public Management (NPM) was implemented in a unique way. The crisis in public finance, the urgent need for public sector reform and political instability led to two extreme options: reform by the bureaucracy itself and citizen empowerment resulting in pressure on the bureaucracy. While there have been difficulties in implementing the latter approach, the former approach has resulted to some extent in the reorganization and restructuring of administrative institutions and in the creation of both a legal framework and an operational system for measuring performance and evaluating policy. The paper contains a discussion of Japan’s experience with the introduction of a “governance” model, the so-called ‘Atarashii Kokyo” which literally translates into “new public”.

Next, Bey Benhamadi examines the issue of creating and sustaining diversity in public service, with particular reference to the experience of Canada which has one of the most diversified populations in the world. Representation is one of the main operating principles of the federal public service. The author reviews the development of diversity issues from a general historical and political viewpoint, with a special focus on employment equity; describes the results that have been achieved; and identifies the challenges in this sphere for responsible governance.

In the final symposium paper, Demetrios Argyriades notes that the Millennium Declaration of September 2000 and subsequent events bring into sharp relief the salience of good governance and public service values. They also cast doubt on the validity of the managerialist doctrines that dominated the 1980s and 1990s and that put so much emphasis on the values of efficiency and effectiveness. He argues that "a degree of separation" between the public and private sectors is needed to preserve and sustain the values of integrity, commitment, objectivity and independence - which are the marks of the true professional.

In addition to the symposium on quality governance for sustainable growth and development, this issue of the Review contains three additional articles dealing with important issues in public management.

Pan S. Kim reviews the overall status of the hundreds of quasi-governmental agencies in Korea and the management challenges they face, assesses similar cases from countries overseas, and examines possible measures for more efficiency management of these agencies. Professor Kim calls for a careful review of the validity of quasi-governmental organizations; for legislation that clarifies the legal status and relations of these agencies; for improving the morale of agency employees by giving them some of the rights and responsibilities held by civil servants; for developing evaluation mechanisms to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the agencies' operations, and for rules governing the naming of these agencies.

Roger Levy uses comparative analytical frameworks developed to explain the incidence, intensity and success of managerial reforms in government to examine the Kinnock management reforms in the European Commission. The paper draws on international experience to identify and evaluate critical success factors, situates the Commission reforms within this comparative international context, and then focuses on the reforms and their implementation. The paper charts the progress of implementation against critical success factors and structural "conduciveness", identifying both the unintended outcomes likely to result and the overall likelihood of success.

In the final article in this issue of the Review, David Giauque uses the concept of organizational regulation as a basis for examining the impact of NPM reforms on the functioning of public organizations. The introduction of NPM principles and tools results in a new type of regulation that Professor Giauque refers to as "liberal bureaucracy". On the basis of a comparative analysis of federal administrative departments in Switzerland and Canada, he describes the main features of this concept. He concludes by comparing the data he gathered on the public sector with certain facts relating to the functioning of private sector organizations and highlights some striking similarities.

Upcoming Debates

The major theme to be examined in the next edition of this web page is Public Performance Data and Private Business Decisions. The papers in this symposium, together with other papers, will be briefly summarized on this web page and published in full in the International Review of Administrative Sciences. Information on the Review is available at http://www.iiasiisa.be/iias/airisa/airisa.htm).




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