Public Administration Midterm
Study of Public Administration I
Difference between natural sciences and social sciences: In SS, every concept must be
explained. You can’t say 1+1=3 without an explanation. In natural sciences, 1+1 always
It’s all about perspectives and perceptions
Since 1970s, PAP is in a very difficult state—as a subject, in practice—due to subjection
to different applications.
Some think public management
Whether we like it or not, all of use are affected by PAP.
Ex: we have driver’s licenses, were born in hospitals, have been pulled over by
the cops, create garbage that needs to be allocated, use public transit at a cost
(a) Public goods produced in public interests. Some goods are found to be beneficial to
the public, and therefore government looks after the production of these goods and
Cannot be discriminatory
Ex: healthcare in Ontario. Need only to show residency of Ontario for 3 to 6
months to warrant coverage
Differentiates from business administration, which restricts based on finances
Determining the “Publicness”
(a) The extent of publicprivate distinction
The state says you cannot smoke in a car with a child in it, because the car is public.
However, when in your home, the state cannot tell you what to do or not to do,
because it is private.
(b) The composition of service recipients
(c) The magnitude and intensity and its socioeconomic role (nature of the role is
placed in society)
(d) The degree of public accountability
Someone who has a private company cannot be held accountable for how he/she uses
their private money. However, someone in the public sector has to be held
accountable for the use of funds.
(e) The level of public trust
Are you behaving the way the law says you should behave? Ex: Rob Ford, should we
trust him to use our money for the right things? In the public sector, we want to trust
out politicians and bureaucrats.
• In its broadest sense it refers to:
The activities of groups cooperating to accomplish common goals, that is, a
cooperative group behaviour. Needs more than one person to accomplish a task.
Ex: Passports—there’s an application process, and after that there are many
organizations that work together to determine whether or not you are deemed fit
to own a passport.
• In its narrow sense, it means: Those patterns of behaviour that are common to many kinds of cooperating
groups and that do not depend upon either specific goals toward which they are
cooperating or the specific tech methods used to reach these goals.
What is PAP?
It is the most important aspect of gov’t, according to Woodrow Wilson.
In 2006, when Harper was running for PM, he said he would cut GST and implement
further accountability laws. From there, it is the duty of the ministries to organize and
implement these changes. The idea must be carried out—by the administration. Further
example: fire marshal says no more than 200 people in the classroom, that total cannot be
Without public administration, politics cannot function.
The executive sets the policy and the administration administers the policy.
Wilson: Administration is the operation of gov’t; most visible part of gov’t; as old as
gov’t. Administration is gov’t in action.
According to Frank Marini
a. A professional practice (vocation, occupation, field of activity)
b. An academic field (prof)
Seeks to understand, develop, criticize, and improve professional practice,
as well as train individuals for the practice.
PAP refers, on one hand, the administration or management of issues, which have
principally to do with society, and its subparts, which are not essentially private, family,
commercial, or individualistic. On the other hand, it is about the discipline, or the study,
of what we are doing right now.
Public administration cannot exist outside of its political context. It is this context that
makes it public, that makes it different from private or business administration
a. PAP is what gov’t does, or what it’s going to do
b. PAP is both direct and indirect
Direct when gov’t employees provide services to the public. Indirect when
gov’t pays private companies to deliver public services. Should the gov’t
use public or private companies to deliver public services?
c. PAP is a phase in the public policymaking cycle
d. PAP is implementing the public interest
The policies and programs that they advocate, public interest is generally
taken to mean the commonly accepted good.
e. PAP is doing collectively that which cannot be so well done individually
Since PAP is about what the state does, it is both created and bound by an instrument of
law. The law is being enforced for the benefit of society. Enabling legislation—the law
that legally enables a program to exist.
a. PAP is a law in action
Every program established by law—the law dictates how it is administered
E.g.) can’t get a license until 16 years old
b. PAP is regulation
The government telling the business what they may/may not do
E.g.) Bottled water listing of contents, facts; can’t smoke In restaurants, etc. c. PAP is the King’s Largesse (generosity)
How the government gives out free power (“goodies”)
E.g.) Provide police and military protection, without interfering in the lives of
d. PAP is theft
Might right. In the state of nature, God has given us the right to govern
ourselves. We give the power to the Leviathan. We use the state of
government to interfere with bullying—but people don’t want the government
E.g.) The 1% should give up their hard earned money to benefit the demos
a. Public admin is the executive function in government; a branch of
management that is divided into public or private or nonprofit programs
b. Public admin is a management specialty. Some people in this section should
go back to school to learn how to manage people.
PAP is an occupational category
PAP as Governance
The concept of governance has overcome what is public admin
“Good governance” is how public admin operates in society
Concept of public admin: our government is narrow
Government becomes the “super” over all other political institutions
Governance: how the public sector is manager
There is a shift over time as to the way public admin is undertaken. 1900 TPA then 1970
95 New Public Management and now Public Governance.
The government and the market are separate and the citizens are in between.
Characteristics of Governance
a. Networks—most dominant feature
Collection of actors in the policymaking process
Need the group to come together so it benefits (mostly) everybody
b. From control to influence
Under Traditional Public Administration, the state controls all. In the governance
model, the state loses some control. The state influences by giving more
c. Blending public and private resources
Resources are not all about money, but contribution from citizens
The citizens input their opinions on how the money should be used
They bring free advice, good ideas to help with process
Government doesn’t have to put loads of public money into a project
d. Use of multiple instruments
Government can enter into publicprivate partnerships and it can contract out to
Differences between public and private administrations
a. Activities of a government agency are usually authorized by a statute or
executive order based on statutory or constitutional authority b. Interpretation of the relationship between the organization and general public
c. Differences in public attitudes toward private and public administration
Mission and Goals
i. Public administration is geared toward the provision of public service, not the
ii. Public managers tend to work with relative short time frames dictated by the
iii. Goal measurement
iv. Differences in human resources management
v. Differences in equity and efficiency
vi. Media scrutiny
vii. The provision of public goods
viii. Efficiency and service
ix. Professionalism and Ethics
Parliament: the will of the people
Public Admin and Democracy I
Executive, Legislative, and Judiciary branches
What is politics?
i. The exercise of power
ii. Politics is the public or authoritative allocation of valued
iii. The dcience of who gets what, when, and how
There is a link but public admin is the action
• The valued? Resources
o In every society, there are scarce resources
o E.g. we need people to work, but people need degrees
o Competition arises
o We need an authority to allocate the resources so might does not equal
o There is greed in society, so there needs to be a referee
o State uses authority to ensure everyone gets piece of the pie
• There are different wants and needs… Who gets a certain? … When will they
get it? … How will they receive it?
• What is power? The ability of one actor to impose its will on another, to gets
its own way, to do or get what it wants.
o 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 have done otherwise.
E.g. final exams, speed limits
o A has power over B so that A has effects on B’s choices and actions; A
has the capacity to move B’s choices and actions in ways that A
intends; A overrides opposition from B
5 Forms of Power
• Force: • Persuasion:
As I know it: coercion, conformity, and consent.
Types of Democracy
Direct: a 17 , 18 c. concept, like town hall meetings. It doesn’t exist anymore.
Indirect: we elect our representatives who we believe will do the best in upholding certain
Liberal Representative Government:
• A system of government where rules are held accountable for their actions in the
public realm by citizens
o Equality of political rights
o Majority rule doesn’t mean minority ignored
o Political participation: citizens expected to participate in process of
decisionmaking by electing their reps to national, provincial, and
• Forms of participation:
o Referendum : electors are asked to voted directly on a new constitution, a
constitutional amendment, a piece of legislation, or other policy proposals.
They can be binding or nonbinding (advisory)
o Initiative : if X voters (the # being specified in the constitutions, statute, or
city bylaw) sign a petition on a particular issue, the government is required
to act on it.
o Recall : enables voters to remove an elected representative from office
What is legitimacy?
The idea that a regime’s procedures for making and enforcing laws is acceptable to its
Refers to an attitude in peoples’ minds that the government rule is rightful.
Even if we don’t like the government, we obey it because it has legitimate power.
Legitimacy= the capacity of the political system to generate and maintain the
belief that political institutions are most important for society
Government power without legitimacy is only coercion or force
Source of legitimate power
• Max Weber:
o Traditional: Inherited legitimacy—royal family
o Charismatic: Based on perception of extraordinary personal quality
• If the people obey by fear, it’s illegitimate authority. Consent makes it legitimate
• It must be sovereign (authority to override all others) o Internal: sovereignty resides in the people. Overseeing government has
authority to condemn its citizens.
o External: to deal with other sovereign nations. Also means it has the
recognition from the international community of the right of the people to
run their own affairs, free from interference by other gov’ts
• Territory: Canada is sovereign based on the boundaries it has. 2 different
sovereign nations must respect each other’s sovereignty—unless human rights is
• Population: a specific group of people over whom the state the state exercises
sovereign control will be its boundaries. Size regardless; it can be homogeneous
• Independent: Territory regardless, the state governs itself. neither responsible nor
subordinate to any other authority
Functions of Government
• Rule making: about gov’t making laws and regulations that responds to the
demands of the people or population that it serves
• Rule application: Implementation of gov’tdetermined public policies
• Rule adjudication: in the area of the courts—adjudicate when there is a conflict
between individuals, groups, and individuals & gov’t (a group of people can take
the fed gov’t to Supreme Court
What is an organization?
A group of people who jointly work to achieve at least one common goal
• A consciously coordinated social entity with a relatively identifiable boundary
that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set
o E.g.) the SFUO pushing to get students cheaper bus passes. The SFUO has
a body of students working to achieve this common goal
o The boundary: can change over time and can be unclear—though it must
distinguish members from nonmembers
o Social Entity: the unit composed of people or groups who interact with
one another. Organizations=social entities.
• People in an organization have a continued bond. This bond doesn’t mean life
long membership (ex: uOttawa student email deactivated after graduation)
• Organizations exist to achieve something—goals that are usually either
unattainable by individuals working alone or; if attainable individually are
achieved more efficiently through group efforts
• Complex org is an organization so large and structurally differentiated that a
single individual cannot manage it effectively.
o E.g.) uOttawa, corps, gov’t agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, and most
voluntary associations • Primary instruments through which modern societies can achieve goals.
o For the material wellbeing
• Government agencies provide public services and collective goods that shape
overall quality of life
• Family is an organization, but it is not complex
5 Advantages of Formal Structures
• At most basic level, we can often accomplish more by working together with