Building administrative capacities in developing countries: Swat teams or beat cops?

  • Tankha S
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Abstract

After reading Professor Ali Farazmand's essay “Building Administrative Capacity in the Age of Rapid Globalization: A Modest Prescription for the Twenty-First Century,” one is reminded that the list of capacities we need to develop is long, the tasks are diverse, and the challenges are tremendous. By offering a “modest” prescription, Farazmand departs emphatically from recent attempts to rewrite administrative capacity by downgrading it and outsourcing it to the market or by making it imitate corporate structures and techniques. Such exercises of yesteryear are correctly being excoriated now, but it would be well to remember that this failed model was inspired and facilitated by the stagnation and many perversities of the state-centered model that it replaced. As we stand at the cusp of a new generation of public administration reforms, we are reminded by Professor Farazmand's exposition that we no longer have any widely accepted and integrative theories left to guide our practice of reform, and that a search must begin to look at past evidence with a critical eye toward developing practical and theoretical insights to advance the public administration agenda. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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Authors

  • Sunil Tankha

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