Public Administration and Democracy
1. Public Administration, Power, and Politics
2. Public Administration and Democracy
3. Public Administration, the State, and Government
4. Public Administration and Political Culture
• What is the relationship between public administration and democracy?
• What is the influence of power and politics on public administration?
• Does the democratic environment we live in influence public administration?
• What is the difference between the concepts: state and government? What is/are
the effect(s) of state and government on public administration?
• Does political culture, in any way, shape public administration?
• What are the skills needed by future public administrators?
Public Administration, Power, and Politics
A. What is Politics?
1. Politics is the exercise of power
- Resources are limited, people compete for limited resources, there is conflict.
We need someone with authority to resolve the conflict (police).
2. Politics is the public or authoritative allocation of valued (David Easton, 1953).
- Authority (police) will resolve the conflicts
3. Politics is the science of who gets what, when, and how (Harold Lasswell, 1936).
- State of nature will determine the value of the resources and will help to
B. What is Power?
- Power is the ability of one actor to impose its will on another, to get its own
way, to do or get what it wants.
- x has power over y insofar as:
1. x is able in one way or another to get y to do something.
2. that is more x’s liking
3. which y would not otherwise have done
- Robert Dahl: Power is a relation among social actors in which one social
actor A, can get another social actor B, to do something that B would not
otherwise have done.
- Weber (1978): The ability to get others to do what you want them to, if
necessary, against their will. - Power, therefore, is the capacity to make one’s will to prevail over that of
others, even against their will; and the desire to exercise power seems to be
inherent in the nature of human beings.
These definitions, although simple, present the negative, rather than the positive view of
Forms of Power:
- Implies a control of the body, (rather than the person).
- By which a person may persuade to change.
- Legitimate power.
- It is understood as the existence of rights to command and corresponding
duties to obey.
- Consists of controlling people through threats.
- Involves control, without threat, using information and ideas.
What is Legitimacy?
- The idea that a regime’s procedures for making and enforcing laws are
acceptable to its subjects.
- Legitimacy refers to an attitude in people’s mind that the government rule is
- Ex: Harper has legitimate power. King of Egypt did not.
Sources of Legitimate Power (Max Weber):
a. Traditional legitimacy
- This is domination based on inherited position, based on inheritance.
Example: monarchy. Such people hold the rights of command, not because of
any extraordinary personal qualities, or because they have been chosen or
selected by others, but because they have inherited the position from a parent or
a relative. The arrangement is regarded as legitimate because it has the
sanction and prestige of tradition, meaning that things have done that way from
time in memorial (for a long time).
b. Charismatic legitimacy
- It is based on projection and perception of extraordinary personal qualities.
Charisma is defined as a certain quality of an individual personality by virtue of
which he or she is set apart from ordinary people and treated as somebody with
supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers.c. Legal/Rational legitimacy
- The central idea of authority is that of “the rule” or law binding on all
participants in the system. Authority is exercised only when it is called for by
these rules/laws. It is not associated with individuals or inherited status, but with
legally created office that can be filled by many different people. Ex: PM Harper.
- Democracy has its roots in the Greek term “demos,” meaning “the people”
and “kratos,” or “cracy,” meaning “rule.”
- That is: “people” + “rule” + (power) = democracy
- Democracy: Rule by the People
Types of Democracy:
- A political system in which citize