In the first stage of evolution there was politics – administration dichotomy. It was said that both are two independent disciplines. But in the last stage that in today’s world it is argued that politics and administration go side by side. Administration has a role to play in public policy. There have been evidences from the practical world that there is close link between politics and administration. Keeping the public in mind the policies must also be decided from the administrative point of view that is weather the administrators can implement it or not. Or else it would create a havoc situation when it comes to implementation of the policies. Hence it can be said that PA is at cross road today.
This is the present stage. It is now being increasingly recognized that Public administration must involve itself in public policy analysis. Evidences from the practical world of administration have also been revealing the close nexus between politics and administration. Public Administration must be socially relevant. There is no use in mere stratospheric research. Mosher’s comment is particularly relevant in this context Public Administration is necessarily cross-disciplinary. The overlapping and vague boundaries should be viewed as a resource, even though they are irritating to some with orderly minds.”
With rapid change in the governance and implementation of neo-liberalization, public administration as a discipline is experiencing an unusual uncertainty about approaches to the study of public administration. There have been shifting stance from taylorism to systems theory via behaviouralism and other process theories such as those on decision making, leadership, coordination and communication and so on and so forth. A big question has been raised about the role of state itself under the bewildering processes coming from within and without the state. Due to globalization, the functions and role of the state has undergone paradigm shift. States responsibilities have changed and this has introduced important modifications both in qualitatively and quantitatively.
Traditionally, public administration has basically been am inward looking discipline concerned with the management of a country’s domestic public affair. They are more concerned with the policies and actions of a country’s formal governmental machineries. With the introduction of new public management, focus has shifted to market led growth giving important to the management competence. It emphasized on strategic planning with a view of an enabling framework for private enterprise and individual initiative. There are requirement for better transparency, accountability and stakeholder participation in policy debates.
Neo-liberal philosophy has been criticized, stating to detriment of larger ‘public interest’, affecting poor and the marginalized. The other consequence of downsizing has been to be the central position of government as the core regulator of society.
As suggested by Janet Denhardt and Robert Denhardt in his publication ‘The New Public Service: Serving, not Steering’ has succinctly put the central role of government as ‘service’. They argued that the government should not run like a business, it should be run like a democracy. Public interest and democratic citizenship are the hall marks of government. They wanted that public servant should invite citizens to participate in the governance process and both will work for the betterment of the society.
This has lead Public administration at the cross-road, whether to move ahead with the globalization or as suggested by Denhardth and Denharth, should it focus on providing public services.
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