THE ROLE OF BUREAUCRACY IN DEVELOPMENT: A STUDY OF THE NEW CHALLENGING ROLE OF BUREAUCRACIES IN THE DEVELOPING SOCIETIES
The ICFAI Journal of Public Administration 02/2006; II(3).
This article on the role of bureaucracy in development presents the environment in which the administrators function. Beginning with the post-World War II, there has been a constant change in the priority areas of governments as colonialism and imperialism gradually came to an end. Though the developing countries rely upon bureaucracy for their developmental requirements, the bureaucrats themselves owe their way of functioning to the imperialist requirements where people were subjugated to serve the interests of government in power. After the countries gained independence, the thrust changed from revolution or evolution to planning, but the attitude of those who were required to act as change agents did not change in a similar manner. This resulted in a slow pace of development. The reasons for such sub-optimal performance of bureaucrats are manifold. This article divides the analysis into four parts and discusses issues like authority, transformation, and power-conflicts within as well as outside the bureaucratic arena. This is followed by the existing relationship between the bureaucracy and its clientele, where the ambivalence in the aspiring lot and the actual role of the two are discussed. The article further states that bribery, corruption, and nepotism play a significant role in deterring the system to function well but any effort to curb the menace will not succeed unless the bureaucracy itself is receptive to proposed changes. Further, it has explored the potential of decentralization in enhancing the effectiveness of bureaucratic functioning and has raised concerns like the 'scapegoat' role played by bureaucracy enabling the political masters to shed off their responsibility when things do not work out. In the last part of the article, some observations which lead to a way out of the present turmoil, are laid out.
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