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Ba Llb 3rd semester notes pdf Political Science III Public Administration Bureaucracy THEORIES OF BUREAUCRACY

Ba Llb 3rd semester notes pdf Political Science III Public Administration Bureaucracy THEORIES OF BUREAUCRACY
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THEORIES OF BUREAUCRACY

Q. 1. Discuss Max Weber’s views and the rise of Bureaucracy.


Ans. Bureaucracy developed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, first in the countries of Western Europe and then in other countries of the world. It attained new heights in the twentieth century despite the triumphs in several states of Marxist ideology which seeks to eliminate it. What factors, then have contributed to its rise?
Max Weber on the Rise of Bureaucracy
There were bureaucracies in the past e.g., in ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Chinese administrations; and in the Roman Catholic Church since the end of the thirteenth century, but they were less bureaucratic,
limited in numbers, and confined to the state and church only. With the rise of absolutism in Europe and modernization bureaucracies became more purely bureaucratic, proliferated, and penetrated much wider spheres of social life. Besides the state administrations. armies, churches universities, economic enterprises, and political parties also became bureaucratized. Weber regards it as the result of the following causes:
1. The Creation of Money Economy
This process occurred when Europe emerged from the Middle Ages. Weber does not regard it as an absolute pre-requisite because bureaucracies had existed in countries like Egypt, Rome, and China
even when compensation was paid in kind. But that could not ensure dependable revenues for bureaucrats. The system of rewarding bureaucrats by grants of land and/or the collection of tax revenues from given territories, in turn, tended to lead to the disintegration of bureaucracies into feudal and semi-feudal domains. On the contrary, a money economy permits payment of secure, regular salaries which in turn creates dependable organizations.
2. The Emergence of Capitalist Economy
The system of free enterprise, the essence of capitalism, fostered bureaucracy. It created needs which only bureaucratic organizations could satisfy. Capitalism requires and encourages strong and orderly
governments in their own interests. This is another way of saying that capitalism requires and encourages government based on bureaucratic organizations. Not only governments but also capitalist enterprises themselves began to follow bureaucratic principles of organization because of the requirements of rationality and calculability- the prime features of capitalism.
3. More Encompassing Trend Towards Rationality in Western Society.
Modern Western society experienced the growth of rationalism in many spheres. For instance, it was evident in the development of Protestant ethic was the basis of the spirit of capitalism which called

for the rational investment of time and efforts so as to maximize profits and achievements. This spirit, in turn, was one of the preconditions for the development of rational capitalism. The general trend towards rationality was also evident in other spheres like developments in science and governance. Thus Protestantism, capitalism, science, and bureaucracy are all part of one cluster of the developments-the process of rationalization.

4. Democracy 
The other side of the growth of democratic institutions was opposing and helping to eliminate the traditional rule of nobles and feudal elements and encouraging education and appointment to the office on the basis of knowledge.
5. Growth of the European Population
Population growth multiplies administrative tasks which must be coped with through larger organizations. Larger organizations on their part tend to assume bureaucratic forms.
6. Emergence of Complex Administrative Problems
The complexity of tasks to be performed by governments gives rise to large-scale bureaucratic organizations. This is what happened in ancient Egypt, a country that had the first large-scale bureaucracy in history when it faced the complex task of constructing and regulating waterways.
The newly emerged centralized states in Europe in recent times had to cope with administrative tasks unknown in the past. Not only did they have to control larger territories and populations but also they had to provide social services of a nature that no previous state had to procure before. The complexity of these tasks required expertise and effectiveness in organization i.e. bureaucracy: –
7. Modern Forms of Communication
Modern means of communication both required and facilitated a more complex and effective type of administration, which is bureaucratic.
Weber observed that bureaucracy developed because its rationality and technical superiority made it the most appropriate tool for dealing with the tasks and problems of complex, modern society. Because of this superiority bureaucracy had to become more pervasive and it is bound to become even more so in the future.
General Causes
1. Centralisation
The beginning of modernization set in motion the process of increase in the powers of the kings as against those of the Church and the nobles. It was the process of centralization-territorial as well as

functional. In the case of the former, quasi-independent feudal domains, localities and towns became incorporated into the state. In the case of the latter, military, judicial and other functions previously carried out independently by these domains, successively came to be monopolized by the states governments. These processes were complex and protracted and lasted for several centuries. Ultimately they culminated in the emergence of the European territorial nation-state with the absolute ruler. By the end of the sixteenth century, Western Europe included a number of such states and absolutism had budded, developing further in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.” Even after the establishment of royal absolutism, the growth of centralization was not uniform in all states, nor was its growth uninterrupted. In England, the Civil War and the Puritan Revolution weakened it considerably. In France, the centrally controlled administration developed significantly in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. In both France and Russia, centralization made strides forward following the French Revolution, its repercussions and aftermath throughout, the Western world. “One year of the Revolution had accomplished more for royal authority than had all the many years of absolutism.” Napoleon erected a centralized, hierarchical administration, designed to consolidate his rule.

Accordingly, officials were strictly controlled from above. Prefects were put in charge of departments (provinces or districts) and through them, effective control over these departments was gained. “The French bureaucracy remained centralized under the Restoration and the Third Empire and even in the twentieth century continued to be based on the foundations laid by Napoleon.”
2. Rationalization
The centralization of bureaucracy was related to a trend of growing rationalization. That means that bureaucracy became more closely differentiated, more methodical, coherent, and effective in the execution of its tasks. It came to adhere more closely than before to the model of bureaucracy spelled out by Weber.

Gladden opines that the sixteenth century marked a watershed between feudal and modern administration. The administration was still based on personal relations, but with increasingly complex administrative problems a differentiation between personal ties and administrative tasks became noticeable. Also, functional differentiation between the judiciary and the administration, and among administrative units themselves, became more emphasized. Further specialization occurred during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Side by side some progress was also made in the institutionalization of bureaucratic processes and more definite procedures of selecting, training, and promoting officials came into being. But the progress towards it was intermittent and beset with setbacks.

Russia was the first, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, to introduce rules of conduct and duties, training of officials, and qualifications for specific offices. A system of entrance examinations was
also introduced. But the new principles of merit coexisted with the old system of favoritism and purchase of offices. By 1770 a centralized recruiting system for the whole bureaucracy and a superior examination commission for that purpose began to operate. By the end of the eighteenth century merit system of recruitment applied to all posts. However, by this time “Russian organization had degenerated into a caste system …. (characterized by) exclusiveness, contempt for outsides… social discrimination, aloof paternalism.”
In France and Britain, it was only in the nineteenth century that a systematic bureaucracy in the modern sense emerged. Napoleon introduced many reforms and built up a very effective administration.
Officials were paid regular salaries and became public servants. The introduction of an annual budget, the submission of accounts by each administrative unit, and the rationalization of the tax collection system were also introduced. The reforms introduced in France spread across to other countries of Europe.
Eva Etzioni-Halevy observes “The present division of the executive and its bureaucracy into a series of ministerial departments on a functional basis, supplemented by a variety of territorial division, has its basis in the administrative system that evolved and was being reformed in the nineteenth century and was unquestionably more rational and effective than its predecessors.”
3. Increase in Government Functions

From the seventeenth century onward there has been a general increase in the functions of the state which necessitated growing bureaucratic apparatus. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, government control increased in the area of coinage, weights and measures, imports and exports, wages and prices, etc. In the nineteenth century, many new functions were added like responsibility for roads, canals, bridges, harbors railway, building standards, water supplies, sanitation, education and culture, social problems created by industry like working hours, workers’ compensation, poor relief, social services, etc. The twentieth century has been the period of government intervention in several other spheres. These functions obviously had to be performed by increasing public bureaucracies.

4. Economic and Social Crises
One of the important causes contributing to the increase in government functions has been economic setbacks and crises. The deeper the crises, the quicker the upheavals, the greater the government bureaucratic intervention to cope with them or smooth them over. There were a number of economic crises and depressions between 1873 and 1929. Most of these were the consequences of the rise of capitalism in the past two centuries. Marx had prophesied that these crises would lead to the inevitable collapse of capitalism. But contrary to what ‘Marx had said, these crises led to growing state or bureaucratic intervention into the economy in an attempt to counter the threat they posed to capitalist economies. They did so by means of price supports, bulk buying, the creation of jobs, the regulation of credit and interest rates, monetary controls, and import and export quotas.’ “These measures marked a watershed, many of them became permanent, thus giving the government bureaucracy an unprecedented foothold in the guidance of the economy.” The Second World War also created a crisis of its own leading government bureaucracies to even further intervention. “Whether or not government intervention precipitated by the crises has in fact, been successful in curbing them, it has in any case been a major source for the growth of bureaucracy.”
5. Economic Development
The advent and maturation of modern capitalism were marked by unprecedented economic development and growth. This process not only required but also facilitated the growth of bureaucracy. Economic development after the industrial revolution has been particularly rapid. Economic development is closely related to the evolution of taxation, without which an increase in government activity and bureaucratic expansion would not have been possible. As has been said, “neither the centralization of administrative functions nor the expansion of bureaucratic intervention nor the unprecedented growth in the size of the administration could have come about without an enormous increase in the government’s financial means through the development of taxation.”

In the middle ages, a ruler’s revenues, which mostly came from his own lands sufficed only to replenish his privy purse; he was usually under much financial pressure and therefore very limited in what he

could accomplish. These straightened financial circumstances prevented him from enjoying salaried agents, and therefore, from developing his own military forces, administration, and judicial system.
The process of regular payment of taxes to the ruler by the people developed slowly over a long period. It was only after the advent of democracy that the people reluctantly acquiesced in the paying of taxes. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, taxation soared and far outstripped economic development. “It is this trend which enabled the volume of bureaucratic activity to grow in excess of economic development as well.”
6. Advent of Democracy
Democratic institutions and bureaucracy developed side by side. In the nineteenth century, both of these made considerable progress in several Western countries. The transition to democratic government changed the public’s perspective as to when it was entitled to, and hence the demand for more government services increased. These growing demands for government services tended to expand government functions and consequently bureaucratic pervasiveness. Moreover, with the growth of democratic institutions, people no longer feared the encroachment of government on their lives unlike the period of royal absolutism. “So it is because of democracy and under the cloak of democracy that bureaucracy has become more pervasive than any Western government establishment could have hoped to become before.”
7. Development of the Nation-State
The development of the nation-state is a recent phenomenon. Several factors combined together led to the disintegration of feudalism and, in its place, to the rise of modern nation-states. France, Spain and
England was the first to be so. The process continued in other countries through the past four centuries. After the Second World War, most of the states in the world have become nation-states. Eva Etzioni-Halevy observes. “The importance of this development for the expansion of bureaucracy lies in the ability of the nation-state to mobilize a much higher level of commitment of its citizens than any prior political unit was capable of doing. It is this type of national political identification … that apparently makes citizens willing …. to serve the states for, example through increased taxation (or military conscription) while it also makes people more willing to accept the government’s leadership
and authority and it’s (and hence bureaucracy’s) decrease in matters of resource allocation.”
The extent of bureaucratic Expansion
As has been explained in the previous pages, bureaucracy has grown in size and importance, and this is a universal phenomenon. To what extent has it expanded, an idea can be formed from the following
statistics. In 1950 there were only four departments/ministries in the government of India. In 1953 this number went up to 18, and in 1980 it increased to 30. The number of Central Government employees was 15,61,000 in 1953; in 1980 this number went up to 36,78,000. In 1986 the number of Central Government employees excluding those in the Public Sector Undertakings but including the armed forces went up to about 54 lakhs. The number of departments/ministries given here does not include public corporations, commissions, boards, institutes, etc. which have been set up in the past few decades and whose total number in India is around 300. This is an estimate of the size of the Central Government in India. Besides, there are State governments, Local Bodies in urban and rural areas, each having its own bureaucracy.
In India, there have been some special factors necessitating the expansion of public bureaucracy. These are rapid increase in population, urge for social security, industrialization, and urbanization, economic and social development and planning, nationalization of industries and financial institutions to promote a socialistic pattern of society (ideological factor) and the political factor, that is India being a developing country there is much to be done; and leaders and political parties outdo each other creating government jobs in the country.
In the U.S.A. there were three Federal departments (State, Treasury, and War) in 1789. But their number had risen to 14 by 1977. Besides, there are a large number of public corporations, independent regulatory commissions, and Federal aid programs. In 1954 the Federal Government embraced no less than 2133 different agencies including departments, bureaus, and divisions. What has been said here about India and the U.S.A. is also true about all countries of the world.

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