[Official Answers] 21 August 2017 | Pub Ad | Daily Answer Writing Session

Q.1 Explain Karl Marx’s view on the relationship of bureaucracy with the state and the society.

Marx’s main interest centred around three basic concepts the development of capitalism, the magnitude or
extent of its exploitation of working class and, finally, the emancipation of working class. In the course of
analysis of these three basic issues he has discussed almost all the major issues of economics, politics and
sociology (Criticism to Political Economy of Capitalism). Bureaucracy is one of these issues.
Marx’s View on Bureaucracy and state

  • Bureaucracy is a party to exploitation and most probably for this reason he used two words state
    bureaucracy. Bureaucracy helped the bourgeois state in its activities of exploiting working class.
  • Bureaucracy was a very common system of administration of states irrespective of differences in state
    administration. The probable reason was that Industrial Revolution completely changed the political,
    economic and social structures of society and became inevitable.
  • Marx has said that in France bureaucracy established class rule “under the absolute monarchy, during
    the first revolution, under Napoleon, bureaucracy was only the means of preparing the class rule of the
    bourgeoisie, under the Restoration, under Louis Philippe, under the parliamentary Republic,’ it was the
    instrument of ruling class.” What transpires from the above analysis is that Marx treated bureaucracy as
    an instrument of ruling class—the most powerful class of society.
  • He knew that bureaucracy is, no doubt, an efficient instrument of administration but it is the most
    powerful instrument of administration that tortures and exploits working class.
  • The bureaucratic system that prevailed in the contemporary states was not neutral at all. Bureaucracy
    not only ensures class rule but the capitalist class uses it to establish supremacy in all sections of the
    state. So, in Marx’s opinion, bureaucracy cannot be separated from state system.
  • A crucial characteristic of the bureaucracy is that of behaving like a private owner vis-a- vis the public
    resources, it conserves a substantial degree of control over these resources and uses them for their own
    purpose.
  • According to Marx, the bureaucracy is bearer of private interests and a reinforcer of private spirit in the
    society as a whole. It is precisely by reinforcing such privatism or particularism of the society that the
    bureaucracy may claim a monopoly of the public-spirit—a monopoly of public resources.
  • It assumes a ‘formalism’ and as such presents itself as a ‘superior consciousness’. Hence the view of Marx was in sharp contrast with that of Weber. But the Neo Marxist scholars admit the relative Autonomy of the State, opening up thereby a fresh line of thought on the analysis of bureaucracy as a fairly autonomous body.

Q.2 New Public Service starts with the premise that the focus of public management should be citizens, community, and civil society. Elaborate in comparison with NPM.

New Public Service approach is a model to understand public administration from bottom up perspective which came in late 1990s in response to the domination of New Public Management (NPM) and Traditional Public Administration. Robert B. Denhardt and Janet V. Denhardt are the main propagator of this model. This approach believes, “public servants do not deliver customer services, they deliver democracy.”

New Public management (NPM) approach was an outcome of Minnobrook conference II which was held in 1988. The main features of the NPM are-

  • It proposes a thorough organizational revamping so that organizational structure will
    become conductive for organizational leadership;
  • It reconceptualises citizens as ‘active customers’.
  • It calls for more autonomy for the public sector managers;
  • Application of rigorous performance measurement technique;
  • Inspired by New Right philosophy, the NPM is in favour of cost-cutting in public sector;
  •  It believes in a decentralized form of governance.

In 1990s, because of the conceptual and practical problems encountered with the old public administration and New Public Management approach a number of theories developed to conceptualize public management.

New Public Service is one of them. Most of the approaches believe that public administrators should provide public services with great efficiency but for the NPS approach, what really matters is not how efficiently they are doing their job but how they are contributing to make better life for the citizens. According to Denhardt and Denhardt administrators should realize that they have much to gain by ‘listening’ to the public’ rather ‘telling’ and by ‘serving’
rather than by ‘steering’.
FEATURES OF NEW PUBLIC SERVICE APPROACH

  • Serve, rather than steer.
  • The public interest is the aim, not the by-product.
  • Think strategically, act democratically.
  • Serve citizens, not customers.
  • Accountability isn’t simple.
  • Value people, not just productivity.
  • Value citizenship and public service above entrepreneurship
  • Characteristics NPM NPS
  • Theoretical foundations Economic theory, positivist

Case studies
By using New Public Service approach, in 2001, President George W. Bush and a bipartisan group of
Congressional leaders passed the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”) that sought to improve public
education through greater accountability.
CONCLUSION
In short NPS presents a framework which gives full priority to democracy, citizenship and
service in the public interest. This approach is appropriate in contemporary time where the whole world
is talking about good governance. New Public Service approach strengthens the idea of good-
governance as it suggests that public administrators should begin with the recognition that an engaged
and enlightened citizenship is critical to democratic governance. It focuses ‘Outcomes instead of
outputs’.