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The Public Service in Transition: Sustaining Administrative Capacity and Political Neutrality

  • Ian Scott

Abstract

Definitions of administrative capacity commonly focus on the management skills required for successful policy formulation and the effective delivery of services (Umeh 1992, p 58; see also Turner and Hulme 1997, pp 88–91). In this technical, managerial sense, most under-developed countries do not possess, and may never have had, sufficient administrative capacity to achieve their policy objectives. In apparent contrast to this view, however, there is a substantial literature documenting the actual loss of administrative capacity in post-colonial bureaucracies. World Bank structural adjustment studies, for example, suggest that a range of factors may lead to a decline in bureaucratic capacity under conditions of environmental turbulence (Langseth 1995). These include: structural reorganization disrupting established routines; corruption; political interference in administration; difficulties in retaining personnel; and an absence of the ‘governance’ values of accountability, openness and transparency (Barratt Brown 1995, Baker 1992, Grindle and Thomas 1991, Tordoff 1980, Cohen and Wheeler 1997). Any bureaucracy, in this wider, political sense of the term, could potentially be faced with a loss of administrative capacity.

Keywords

Civil Service Chinese Government Early Retirement Executive Council Administrative Capacity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian Scott

There are no affiliations available

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