Table of Contents
THEORIES OF BUREAUCRACY
Q. 1. Discuss Max Weber’s views and the rise of Bureaucracy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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