Comparing Agencification in Eastern and African Countries

  • Martin Painter
Part of the Public Sector Organizations book series (PSO)


Unlike the other case clusters in this book, the five in this cluster do not share a common set of administrative traditions. Outside the relatively more settled and historically embedded state structures of developed Western democracies, administrative traditions are often either transplanted or hybridized as a result of foreign occupation and colonialism (as with the remnants of the British colonial-administrative tradition in Hong Kong, Tanzania and Pakistan), or they are of recent origin and as yet somewhat indeterminate (as in Israel) (Painter and Peters 2010). In some cases, the state as a self-ruling entity is of relatively recent creation, often a product of decolonization or other global political forces. Among the five cases in this cluster, only Thailand has its own unbroken tradition of autonomous statehood stretching back beyond living memory. One case—Hong Kong—has never been an autonomous nation state. Variety within the cluster is high on a number of other dimensions. There are two of the world’s recent ‘economic miracles’—Hong Kong and Israel—and two of its poorest countries—Pakistan and Tanzania. In the IMF per capita GDP rankings, Hong Kong is 24, Israel 30, Thailand 88, Pakistan 141 and Tanzania 162 (out of 180 in the IMF-country database) (IMF 2011). Domestic turbulence makes it even harder to categorize these cases, as their recent developmental trajectories have included recent political as well as economic disjunctures.


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© Martin Painter 2012

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  • Martin Painter

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