KGAOGELO MASHILOANE 209202060
Marie- Celestine MEKOUA 209005655
EVALUATE CROSS NATIONAL COMPARATIVE public administration STUDY IN THE DESCIPLINE AND PRACTICE OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION.
LECTURER: Mr Ashmah Andoh
DUEDATE: 23 March 2011
Public administration is the one area of government that is most susceptible to meaningful comparison and development. Comparative Public Administration is concerned with positive developments therefore comparing Public Administration across-nations with past performance or with bench is vital for administrative improvement and for nation development. Administrative knowledge is derived from cross national comparative analysis, which provides broader and better understanding of the larger context of governance and development. It also provides the practitioner of public administration with significant insights in to policies and administrative the practices that work and those that do not work at the national and global level.
The objectives of this assignment are to evaluate cross-national comparative public administration in the discipline and practice of public administration, to define and assess the contributions of comparative public administration in nation development. A comparison between two countries will be done with the help of a case study with the purpose of expanding our knowledge in the significance of comparative public administration as a discipline and practice of public administration.
... will of necessity place even greater responsibility on public administration. The success of the development program may depend more on the efficiency and ... COMPARATIVE STUDIES OF NATIONAL CIVIL SERVICE SYSTEMS by NEIL M. CAN LOBO Laguna College ... degree do civil servants affect policy making and implementation? In practice there is considerable participation of civil servants in policy-making, ...
Comparative public administration is a method of learning and discovery that utilizes comparative analysis to advance administration knowledge. Jreisat (2010:3).
Comparative methods will be utilised as a basis of analysis, to evaluate the comparative public administration across-nations. This will assist us in highlighting its advantages, shortcomings and significance.
1. THE RISE OF COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
According to Peters (1995:9) Comparative Public Administration is a specialised branch of the study of Public Administration. In this section we seek to understand how Comparative Public Administration was developed.
Following the Second World War, a new field in Public Administration came into being, that is comparative public administration as a sub discipline of Public Administration. Scholars and practitioners in the comparative administration field set out to achieve greater understanding of style, structures and functions of other countries with whom their countries became suddenly involved. Their first concern was to concentrate on the countries of Europe. Dwivedi and Henderson (1990:9) state that this concern originated from the valuable exposure gained by contact with different administrative structures abroad during wartime, post-war occupation and during the period in which technical assistance programmes were being put in place. Dwivedi and Henderson (1990:9) discuss that interaction with Europeans enabled these scholars to compare not only their domestic systems but it encouraged them to expand their horizon to include countries of Asia, Latin America and Africa when the programmes for foreign aid started.
Comparative public administration was first presented as a course by various universities for post graduate students and professional disciplinary associations.
... trends in the studies of Comparative Public Administration: 1) Studying the status of human rights in the nations of the problems associated with ... administrative setup before they could set off on a comparison with others. So, while this was being contemplated the ... on the basis of elaborateness and degree of specialisation compared in regards to different administrative systems. The limitations of ...
In the 1960’s comparative public administration movement progressed greatly through the demonstration of the Comparative Administration Group, however in the 1970’s and 80’s the support for the study decreased because it was undergoing identity crisis because few aspects did not fall in the field of study hence there was no consensus on a paradigm.
2. CROSS-NATIONAL COMPARISON
This section intends to focus on comparison which is done across nations. We seek to understand why administrations in different states differ and how it affects the context of administration. Dahl contends that we cannot afford to ignore the relationship between administration and its social setting (A.Dunsire 1975:135).
From this statement we learn that the social setting which is the overall environment of a county or nation influences its administration. Public administration proficient in a certain country will be not be proficient in another, e.g. public administration practised with success in the USA might unsuccessful when practised in South Africa.
It is integral to find a common denominator which will serve as a basis for comparison otherwise comparison is going to be a difficult task to execute. On these considerations one needs to be acquainted with these questions (i) why compare? (ii) what must be compared? and, (iii) compare how?. Answers to these questions will be provided below which will highlight the purpose of comparison.
2.1 The purpose of cross national comparison
Dogan and Kazancigil (1994:14) state that a consensus exists that comparative research consists not of comparing but of explaining. In this case the general purpose of cross-national research is to understand why. Dogan and Kazancigil (1994: 14) contend that comparative knowledge provides the key to understanding, explaining and interpreting; and building of empirically falsifiable explanatory theory. One can add on by saying that the purpose of comparing is learning from the experiences of others. A researcher who engages in cross-national comparison is for explanatory purposes.
A researcher will not be able to explain a particular phenomenon if a common ground or denominator is established. Dogan and Kazancigil (1994:16) argue that if the nations being compared have nothing in common, there is nothing to compare. The comparisons in which researchers engage in are thus those between nations whose attributes are similar. In this case, to compare is both to assimilate and to differentiate. Dogan and Kazancigil (1994:17) state that classification is used as a mode of analysis to establish a common ground of analysis, to classify is to order a given universe into classes that are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive. Therefore classification establishes what is the same and what is not. Same brings in together whatever falls in to a given class and different is what falls under the other class. By classifying variables in to certain classes the will facilitate the researcher with the knowledge of what is comparable, e.g. the comparative researcher may classify the functions of government in to operational, administrative and political functions of different nations. This will serve as a basis of comparison for him. This will answer the question to what must be compared.
... to Public Administration The study of CPA emphasizes a comparative approach to identify new challenges that public administration will face ... limited to cross-national comparison though as it evaluates different administrative processes and systems within countries. To fully ... than comparative public administration (CPA). Simply put, it is the study of comparing two or more public administrations by ...
After the comparative researcher has found what must be compared or the basis of comparison which is referred to as the denominator, he must establish a method of comparison which will provide answers to how comparison should be conducted.
Different methodologies are utilised to compare phenomena of different countries. These methodologies comprises of approaches that can be used as instruments of analysis scientifically. “These approaches are divided into two categories: comprehensive and specific approaches” (SPA 301 study guide 2011:29).
* Comprehensive approaches
Comprehensive approaches are of general nature. They compare many variables of between nations or states. Phenomenons of different countries are compared to point out the differences and similarities. Comprehensive approaches use empirical, logical and normative approaches as their basis of comparison.
* Empirical approach
Empirical approach will first have to describe the phenomenon in each country separately. It will simply be describing what is without making value judgements and description
* Logical approach
Logical approach seeks to answer why that is the case in order to explain the similarities between public administration phenomena among countries.
* Normative approach
Normative approach provides answers what should be. Comparing can only be achieved by judging the comparison of the similarities and differences of particular phenomena among countries according to value.
Examine The Costs And Benefits From Multinational Business Investment In Poor Economies Introduction A multinational corporation is a very large firm with a head office in one country and several branches operating overseas. These branches can be to do with production, marketing or distribution it doesn t matter. However each branch has its own role and this is part of the trend of globalisation ...
Comprehensive approach gives a broader perspective of comparison.
* Specific approaches
“Specific approaches compare particular phenomena in public administration from a specific perspective. A number of specific approaches are also followed by which a particular phenomenon and specific details can be compared with regard to specific approaches” (NMMU 2011:30).
Specific approaches are:
* Institutional approach
* Functional approach
* Governmental relations approach
* Environmental approach
Specific approaches focus on specific phenomena of a nation and compare it to that of another nation.
These are the methods used for comparison, which provide answers to how comparison should be conducted.
2.2 Advantages of Cross National comparison
The activity of comparing countries centres four main advantages, all of which mutually reinforcing systematic comparative study. These advantages are: contextual description, classification, hypothesis testing and predictions.
* Contextual description
According to (…:14) Contextual description allows comparative researchers to know what countries are like. Contextual description helps the researcher and students for comparative studies to gain knowledge about the nation and knowledge about their political and administrative systems. Description serves as an important component to the research processes and ought to precede the other three advantages of comparison. Description serves as the raw data for those comparative studies that aspire to higher levels of explanation and provide initial hunches about which topics of research may be of interest and which factors may be important to explain observed phenomena that are related to those topics.
According to (…:15) comparative researchers often establish different conceptual classifications in order to group vast numbers of countries, political systems, events etc in to distinct categories with identifiable and shared characteristics. Classification makes the world of politics less complex. Classification is a necessary component for systematic comparison but represents a higher level of comparison since it seeks to group many separate descriptive entities into simpler categories. Classification schemes can be the first step towards capturing cross-national variation in political or administrative phenomena, such as developed and under-developed countries, core and peripheral countries and many other distinctions.
Hockey and Cross country are two completely different sports in many aspects for example one is played on ice and is very physical and the other you are running on dry ground and all you do is run. But in many aspects these two sports have more in common than most people would think. These two sports in some aspects are polar opposes but having played them both I can say they are very similar. ...
According to (…:16) once thins have been described and classified, comparative researches can now move on to search for those factors that may help explain what has been described and classified, this is hypothesis testing. Comparison of countries allows rival explanations to be ruled out and hypotheses derived from theoretical perspectives to be tested through examining cross-national similarities and differences. Hypothesis is done in an effort to help to build more general theories.
This is the final and difficult advantage of comparison. According to (..:20) predictions are made about outcomes in other countries based on the generalizations from the initial comparison or to make claims about future outcomes
3. CASE STUDY: SOUTH AFRICA AND ETHIOPIA
In order to show the importance of cross-national Comparative Public Administration, two countries will be compared; South Africa and Ethiopia.
Comparative Public Administration is a specialisation within the study of Public Administration. It seeks to improve public administration by comparing administration of different nations. In other to compare countries, scholars in this field usually make use of either the Comprehensive approach-which is a broader approach, or the Specific approach-which concentrates on a particular variable to compare. For the purpose of this assignment, the Specific approach will be used. The specific approach looks at one particular variable, and uses it as the basis for comparison. One of the sub-approaches is the Relationship approach that identifies government functions, and looks at the creation of necessary institutions. It gives attention to the relationships that link government functions and structures together. There exist three relationship sub-approaches:
Federal laws and regulations requiring specific action from state and local governments without providing federal funding to pay for it are called " unfounded mandates." The Clean Air Act (CAA) of 1970, which established nationwide standards for air quality, is one such "unfounded mandate." Although it is a federal law, states must pay the cost of implementation and enforcement. For years, state ...
* Intergovernmental approach
* Intra-governmental approach
* External government approach
Our focus will be based on the intergovernmental relationship approach. The approach will highlight the relationships between the spheres of government of the countries that are being compared.
3.1 Intergovernmental approach
When a scholar in the field of Comparative study decides to use this approach, the main aim will be to examine the relationship that exists between the different spheres of government of both countries, and then compare these relationships.
* SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT
Section 40 of the 1996 Constitution of the Republic of South Africa acknowledges the existence of three levels of government which are interrelated and interdependent to each other Venter &Landsberg (2006; 133).
The three spheres are:
* National government
* Provincial/Regional government
* Local government
3.1.1 National government
In South Africa, the national government is the executive sphere in which some of the public servants constitute a cabinet. This cabinet carries the duty to govern and administer the South African state. The public servants are charged with the responsibility of executing laws and decisions coming from Parliament (Venter& Landsberg 2006:82).
As such, the national sphere stands as the central body which helps and supports the other two levels of government. The national legislation always has prevalence over the provincial and local legislation because it is the highest sphere.
3.1.2 Provincial government
Provincial government was created mostly due to the following reasons;
* The needs and the expectations of the citizens are unlimited
* The incompatibility in the demands and goals of groups and individuals made it difficult for the central government to deliver services.
* The division of a community into groups may lead to a cleavage.
Thus, the government saw the creation of a provincial sphere as a way to solve all the above mentioned issues. The provincial level is to bring different regions together under one administration, bring national and local government together, help local government carry out its developmental programs. There exist nine provinces in South Africa, each of them headed by a Premier.
3.1.3- Local government
To further decentralise power, section 151 of Chapter 7 states that the local sphere of government consist of municipalities whose primary aims are to bring administration closer to the local areas and the individuals( Venter &
The creation of the local government was seen as a remedy to the service delivery problem in the country. Before the creation of the local sphere, inhabitants of the localities and remote areas had little to no access to services delivered by the government and others were disadvantaged.
Local government was given the power to develop its areas economically, socially, politically and environmentally. The White Paper on Local Government makes provisions for the local government to create developmental plans and programs that will enable it develop its municipalities. The local government is free to make its own decisions without the interference of the other spheres of government, and it is not autonomous but rather takes its own initiatives. The local government relies on both the national and provincial government when carrying out developmental actions.
From the brief explanation given above, we can see that the three spheres of government in South Africa have different functions and different powers but they are interdependent.
* ETHOIPIAN GOVERNMENT
Looking at Ethiopia, the phenomenon of decentralisation happened differently. Decentralisation was an initiative undertaken by the new government of Ethiopia from 1991. Decentralisation was seen by this new government as a system that will enable the government to bring unity and harmony amongst the various population groups, as well as rendering this group capable of self-rule(Decentralizaion in Ethiopia,Taye Assefa, Tegegne Gebre-Egiabher, 2007;1).
According to Assefa and Tegegne (2007, 1), the decentralization process occurred in two phases.
3.1.4- Phase one
The first phase was from 1991-2001, when the new regime came to power. As earlier mentioned, the new regime came with the decentralization system so as to bring the population together, and enable them to govern themselves. This first wave also called the mid-level decentralization mainly concentrated on creating the National/Regional governments. These two spheres of government were given legislative, judicial and executive powers on all matters concerning their areas. During the creation of the National/Regional spheres, changes were made in the central and local governments as well.
3.1.5- Phase two
In this phase, the fiscal decentralization had already occurred. Subsidies were made available for all spheres of government so that they could be able to carry on with their developmental programs. During this phase, four regions were created and developmental programs like the Urban Management Program (UMP) were also established. Legislation was enabling for the local government under this phase, and Wereda governments were also established.
The fiscal decentralization was seen as being detrimental in the decentralization of power because it made it possible for all spheres of government to access funds to embark on their developmental activities.
Here, we can see that both South Africa and Ethiopia a decentralization process occurred. But the difference is that in South Africa the creation of three spheres happened at the same time while in Ethiopia, it happened in phases. Again, the main reasons why Ethiopia decided to create the other spheres of government was because the government wanted t unite its citizens, and also wanted them to be able of self-rule in South Africa, there existed many reasons for the creation of other spheres. For example the government wanted to be closer to the people and as such render better services, the government also wanted those that were previously disadvantaged to now benefit from the services it provides.
Looking at this case study above, the problem that a comparative researcher would have experienced is that of the same phenomena but different meanings. The south African and the Ethiopian government are similar in the structure of government and the relationships between all spheres of government. We have to take in to consideration that both countries are democratic countries. “when phenomena are compared in different societies , it should be borne in mind that the meaning of certain actions are determined by the conventions and customs in the society in which they occur’’ NMMU (2011:16).
The establishment of these governments differ, this may be due to differing social setting, or by the conventions and customs in the society. Dahl contends that we cannot ignore administration and its social setting. Therefore the social setting plays a fundamental role in the structuring of the government.
4. THE IMPORTANCE OF CROSS NATIONAL COMPARISON
According to Peters (1995:12), comparative study of Public Administration is important for the understanding of administrative issues, policy implementation, and policy formulation and provides an important point of access for understanding what governments actually do.
Comparative Public Administration enhances national development, as stated above that comparison helps us learn from the mistakes of others, therefore by learning from other nations we able to have positive developments.
Comparative Public Administration enhances our knowledge on how different social settings in different nation’s structure administration of that specific state or country and how administration can be make p improved.
Its importance is highlighted by allowing us to gain more insight of a specific country and be able to make future predictions.
It can be concluded that making comparisons is a human activity. Humans have sought to understand and explain similarities and differences they perceive between themselves and others. To compare is a human activity, it is not only a human activity but it is also universal activity. Governments apply the methods or techniques of comparison to improve public administration in their countries. Comparing countries centres the four advantages of comparison, all of which are mutually reinforcing in any systematic comparative study.
Cross national comparison has its usefulness in development administration and in terms of change programmes intended to solve pressing national problems.
Comparative public administration as an academic study can assist the practicing administrator and change agent by providing information and insights not otherwise available. It can also assist administrators embarking on change strategies.
* Dogan, M & Kazancigil, A. 1994. Comparing Nations: Concepts, Strategies, Substance. Blackwell Oxford & Cambridge USA
* Dunsire, A. 1975. Administration: The Word and Science. Martin Robertson & Company Ltd
* Dwivedi, O.D & Henderson K.M. 1990. Public Administration in The World Perspective. Iowa State University Press
* Venter, A & Landsberg , C. 2006. Government and Politics In The New South Africa. J L Van Schaike
* Heady, F. 2001. Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Marcel Dekker
* Peters, B. Guy. 1995. The Politics of Bureaucracy. Longman Publishers USA