Globalization and Public Administration

There is no denying that globalization has brought about a paradigm shift in the nature and scope of public administration. It has virtually unshackled the discipline from the classical bondage of structure and paved the way for a more flexible, less hierarchical, and accommodative kind of discipline and encouraged a few sceptics and self-styled analysts to proclaim an imminent death of public administration.

However, more than two decades down the line, ever since globalization was first thrust upon nation-states, public administration has not shown absolutely any signs of receding.

On the contrary, rendering those doomsday predictions wrong, public administration has reincarnated in a readjusted form to cope with the new set of challenges.

Traditional notion of public administration

In fact, globalization had increased the urgency of having a more proactive public administration. However, the traditional notion of public administration with a sheltered bureaucracy, rigid hierarchy, and organizational principle no longer exists today. Both structurally and functionally, public administration has experienced a metamorphosis of sorts. Structurally speaking, thanks to the sweeping social – economic – political transformation under globalization, the rigid, hierarchical, and bureaucratic form of governance has given way to a more flexible, dehierarchal, and post – bureaucratic form of governance based on networks and partnership. Similarly, at the functional level, public administration has witnessed a profound transformation in the form of delivery of public goods and services. Until recently, the delivery of goods and services was considered as one of the important functions of public administration. But the onset of globalisation and the eventual rolling back the welfare state ushered in a new collaborative form of public administration, where state administration has had to readjust itself to deliver public goods and services in collaboration with the innumerable other players and NGOs functioning at the societal level.

Hence, public administration in the era of globalisation has been donning a new robe of the ‘enabler’ or ‘facilitator’ by privatizing the substantial part of welfare delivery, namely, contracting out, encouraging private provision, introducing quasimarkets, mobilizing voluntary sectors, and the like.

Reference :
Public Administration in a Globalizing world by Chakrabarty and Kandpal

Categories: Courses, Education

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