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WHAT IS COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ?. QUOTES OF THE DAY “ Without theory, good planning is simply a random occurrence” R. Beauregard “Without practice.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ?. QUOTES OF THE DAY “ Without theory, good planning is simply a random occurrence” R. Beauregard “Without practice."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT IS COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION ?

2 QUOTES OF THE DAY “ Without theory, good planning is simply a random occurrence” R. Beauregard “Without practice theory is irrelevant, but practice without theory is chaos” W. Grant

3 TOPICS Relevant questions History of comparative PA What is CPA? Paradigms and CPA CPA as a professional practice CPA as a scientific endeavor The future of comparative PA

4 Relevant Questions Why is comparisons important to the practice of PA? What is the ultimate goal of CPA? What is relevant to PA to compare? What is the current state of knowledge of CPA? What is the future of CPA?

5 History of CPA Jreisat, using Ryan’s (1994) ideas, identifies three stage of CPA 1.Imperialist Missionary (Post WW II-1960s) 2.Anti-parochial, Anti- ethnocentric ( ) 3.Interdependence (1980s-Present) Heady argues that CPA started as a field focusing of development administration The 1970s was a decade of retrenchment. Financial support dried out. Scholars begin reappraising the field. Shift from technical assistance to action-goal oriented practice

6 History of CPA The emergence of CPA as a field is linked to the process of decolonization and the expansion of nation-states. CPA in its origins attempt to help develop the administrative practice of developing nations. CPA was a “cold war” strategy to contain communism. CPA as a field became almost irrelevant after financial support dried out because it could not established itself. CPA shifted from the development practice into academic debate Changes around the world (foreign debt, neoliberalism, etc.) offer a great opportunity for the revival of the field.

7 WHAT IS CPA? “CPA is the comparative study of institutions, process, and behaviors in many context. Context (or environment in comparative analysis generally refers to all external influences that affect management, such as societal values, norms, religion, political culture, and economy.” Jreisat (2002: 1) “[Public] Administration is concerned with means for the achievement of prescribed ends…found in political settings. Concerned primarily with the carrying out of public policy decisions made by the authoritative decision- makers in the political system.” (Heady 1991:2]

8 WHAT IS CPA? INSTITUTIONS Branches of government (executive, legislative, judicial) Bureaucracies Political Parties Military Civil Society PROCESSES Policy making Agenda setting Decision Making BEHAVIORS Self-interested behavior (rent-seeking, utility maximization) Socially motivated behavior

9 WHAT IS CPA? POLITICAL SYSTEM Democratic regime Authoritarian regime CULTURE Traditional Modern ECONOMY Market driven Command/planned Mixed

10 POLITICS CULTURE ECONOMY INSTITUTIONS PROCESSES BEHAVIORS Market Command /planned Democratic Authoritarian Traditional Modern THE ECOLOGICAL MODEL

11 WHAT IS CPA? In sum CPA cannot be disentangle from politics. Politics is a key intervening variable. Thus, cross comparison of different political structure become essential to advance the knowledge and practice of PA. Are bureaucracies the same among political systems, operating under a capitalist political economy and a democratic system? Example: USA vs. Canada Do public administrators behavior vary under different political systems with the same level of development ? Example: India vs. China What role does PA play under different political economies (market vs. command)? Example: USA vs. former USSR

12 PARADIGMS AND CPA It guides research on problems and solutions A paradigm governs in the first instance, not a subject matter, but a group of practitioners A paradigm commits the group of practitioners to a disciplinary matrix (methods, language, questions, values, etc.) Paradigms are formed to share examples that result in “tacit knowledge” acquired by doing science It is the common property of a group Institutionalizes the way knowledge is being taught and transferred

13 PARADIGMS AND CPA There will be “paradigm shifts” or “paradigm competition” but never a lack of paradigm (s) unless the field becomes simply speculative and unscientific. To reject a paradigm without substitution is to reject science itself A theory is accepted by the scientific community when it can be said to explain the phenomenon of a field better than its competitors (more theoretical leverage) Becoming a better instrument for discovery Becoming a better instrument to solve puzzles Represents better what nature or society is really like.

14 PARADIGMS AND CPA CPA, as any other social science, is said to be pre-paradigmatic in the sense that the community of scientists has not committed to a single paradigm. That is, there is a paradigm competition. PA scientific and professional community rely on the structural-functional dichotomy

15 PARADIGMS AND CPA Structures are often associated with institutions (bureaucracies) and functions with activities (interest articulation, interest aggregation, rule making, rule application, communication). The fundamental question of structural- functionalism is: “What functions are performed by a given institutions and how?” (M. Landau cited by Heady 1991:8)

16 CPA AS A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE CPA has been closely linked with international development agencies such as USAID. The objective was to “help” developing countries to “catch-up” with the developed world by improving the practice of the public sector. The profession’s faith went hand in hand with the commitment of developed nations to international development. The fact that most developing nations have failed to make the leap into the league of developed nations and, many are failed states, put into question the professional practice of public administrators.

17 CPA AS A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE Recently CPA has been more closely linked with IGOs such as the IMF, World Bank, UNDP in the form of technical assistance. Heady call this group international/ organization administration The focus has becomes institution building to make the state more effective and responsive. The focus has moved from public administration (institutions and functions) to public management (skills, techniques, best practice) The emergence of supranational governments (EU) has opened CPA to new paradigms coming from international relations (neo-realists vs. internationalists)

18 CPA AS A SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOR To what extent has CPA been able to: developed a paradigm? Commit to a method, analytical framework, puzzle solving, values, etc.? According to Van Wart and Cayer (1990) the scientific output of CPA has been extremely disappointing. The above authors look at four key aspects: 1) The field itself, 2) Methodological aspects, 3) Focus, theory vs. practice, and 4) Where to look for inspiration.

19 CPA AS A SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOR WHO IS PRODUCING KNOWLEDGE? 1.Government Practitioners (16.6%) 2.Non-government Practitioners (83.4%) TYPE OF RESEARCH PRODUCED 1.Thesis assertion: Articulated statement around which data and arguments are structured (47.5%) 2.Descriptive: Deals with where, what, and who (40.2%) 3.Hypothesis testing: Use of deductive reasoning where relationships are stated and tested prior to data gathering (12.3%) Source: Van Wart & Cayer 1990: 242

20 TOPICS 1.Personnel Administration (16.6%) 2.Organization Theory & Behavior (15.8%) 3.Development Administration (14.2%) 4.Bureaucracy & Politics (13.0%) 5.Citizens and Administration (10.3%) 6.Public Budgeting (9.9%) 7.Concepts and Paradigms (4.3%) 8.Administrative History (3.2%) QUANTITATIVE VS. NON QUANTITATIVE Non quantitative (79.1%) Low level quantitative (8.7%) High level quantitative (5.5%) CPA AS A SCIENTIFIC ENDEAVOR

21 METHODOLOGY (N comparisons) One Country (66.1%) Two Countries (7.9%) Three Countries(2.8%) Four Countries(2.4%) Five Countries(0.4%) Six Countries (1.2%) None Non-empirical(7.1%) In summary, only 26.8% of the articles can be considered comparative strictly speaking.

22 CPA FUTURE CHALLENGES FIELD IDENTITY What should the field focus be? Theorizing to advance PA as a scientific field? If the field wants to be relevant, it is necessary to bridge the theory-practice gap. It is necessary to advance with regard to what would subject matter be.

23 CPA FUTURE CHALLENGES METHODOLOGY A field that claims to be comparative and which only produces single case studies is doom to failure More “truly” comparisons should be encourage. Students should be expose to comparative research methods (quantitative and qualitative) Explanatory (model development and testing) as well as evaluative policy research (assessing cause and effect) should be encourage

24 CPA FUTURE CHALLENGES PARADIGM SEARCHING The fact that the world is moving towards developing supranational governments (EU) and commercial blocks (NAFTA, ASEAN, MERCOSUR, etc.) opens up new opportunities. I concurred with Heady when he points out the exploration of new paradigms from international relations (realist and transnationalist). The convergence of international and comparative approaches is necessary.


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