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Administrative Discretion PA301 wk 5 - Research Paper Example

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He is known to be a philosopher, economist and sociologist all at the same time. He greatly contributed to sociology with his methodological antipositivism wherein the…
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Administrative Discretion PA301 wk 5
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Administrative Discretion and Max Weber Administrative Discretion and Max Weber Max Weber has been known to beone of the important people to lay down the foundation of social science. He is known to be a philosopher, economist and sociologist all at the same time. He greatly contributed to sociology with his methodological antipositivism wherein the meanings of every action must be analyzed (Ringer, 2000, p. 26). He is also concerned with the rationalization and the rise to fame of capitalism. He connected the influence of capitalism with the existence of culture through religion as he went against the ideals of Karl Marx regarding materialism. He also emphasized the use of violence in a legal way as he categorized social leadership from rational to traditional and appeal (Turner, 1992, p. 57). His analysis suggested that the government institutions of his time started the development based on logic or reason. In totality, his works summed up the existence of rational and legal implications of capitalism and state development.
Weber also influenced the concept of administrative discretion as he got into several sociological issues. Administrative discretion has been linked to bureaucracy. Bureaucracy allows the legal application of administrative discretion. According to Rosen (1998, p. 8), Weber listed three characteristics that allows administrative discretion:
1. Fixed and official jurisdictional areas, which are generally ordered by rules, that is, by laws or administrative regulations.
2. The regular activities required for the purposes of the bureaucratically governed structure are distributed in a fixed way as official duties.
3. Methodical provision is made for the regular and continuous fulfillment of the duties and for the execution of the corresponding rights; only persons with the generally regulated qualifications to serve are employed.
The three characteristics provided may limit the actions and decision-making of the government leaders as laws may not cater a broad perspective. Since some laws are limited, there would be less room for progress.
The author thinks that administrative discretion should be tolerated as long as the actions taken have rational basis. They must have a certain level of freedom in deciding and acting upon the policies they make and process since older policies may not cater the current needs of the state. With that, public administrators have the capacity to legally change or resist any changes without any sanctions. Having them enjoy the discretion allows them to resist or modify the decisions made by government leaders. They can do it to prevent themselves from becoming puppets of their leaders. In addition, they can also apply their knowledge regarding the policies for the public. With that, they are able to contribute in shaping the policies for the public to follow (Spicer, 1995, p. 67). It shows how the administrators can do something about the policies since they also have the rights to critically examine the policies created by political leaders. It prevents any rise of tyrant leaders since there would be people in the government to analyze their policies first.

Ringer, F. (2004). Max Weber: An intellectual biography. USA: University of Chicago.
Rosen, B. (1998). Holding government bureaucracies accountable. USA: Greenwood Publishing.
Spicer, M. (1995). The founders, the constitution, and public administration. USA: Georgetown University Press.
Turner, B. (1992). Max Weber: From history to modernity. USA: Routledge. Read More
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