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Critique of Public Administration - Research Paper Example

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This paper seeks to evaluate and critique three articles; the Critical Role of Street-level Bureaucrats by Lipsky, the Politics of Public Budgeting by Irene Rubin, and the Rise of the Bureaucratic State by JQ Wilson. The three articles have a similar theme in their coverage of public administration…
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Critique of Public Administration
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Download file to see previous pages Rubin’s article narrows down on the effect that these bureaucrats have on the budgeting process. Overall, the three articles deal with how these unelected officials have more effect on public administration and policy than the elected officials do. Summary In his article, the Critical Role of Street-level Bureaucrats, Lipsky undertakes an examination of the functions and roles, which bureaucrats perform at what he refers to as “street level”, have in the process of policy formulation, as well as the process of its implementation. While the public policy theory model traditionally assumes that choices on policy are done by the political executives elected by the electorate, with the implementation of the policy choices left to bureaucrat jurisdiction, Lipsky challenges this model. He bases his argument on his belief that since the bureaucrats at the street level possess a wider room for discretion during the performance of their work, they are actually the ones who make these policy choices (Lipsky, 2010: p4). On top of implementing them, they also create them. JQ Wilson, in his article the Rise of the Bureaucratic State, raises pertinent issues concerning the power wielded by bureaucratic agencies, as well as their lack of accountability towards the legislature and the public that formed them. He also covers the discretion that these agencies possess in carrying out government affairs. The author goes further to talk about the agencies as self-perpetuating. These self-perpetuating agencies are created by the separated powers regime, which acts to protect them from the change that is unwelcome since the major change is new legislation, which, in effect, must maneuver similar hurdles to those faced by the original law (Wilson, 1975: p9). This time, however, one hurdle they must clear is the wish of the particular agency, as well as its clients, which is raised higher. The agency, therefore, once created, becomes almost impossible to disband. The author concludes that this process of public power delegation to private interests that go unchallenged, as well as various factional interests, is able to set a public agenda sans modification of competing interests or scrutiny. Irene Rubin, in her article the Politics of Public Budgeting, shows how political interests beset public budgeting. She argues that this allows short-term goals to trump long-term goals interests of the public, the erosion of public and institutional capacity to deal with collective issues, and erosion of the democratic process. When Rubin presents a local, state, and federal budgeting in a framework that is competitive, he gives attention to federal issues that are reactive to power struggles between various levels and branches of government (Rubin, 1997: p190). She addresses issues such as how much autonomy is present at each government level, as well as what influence elected officials have on priorities of the government. Through an analysis of each process of decision-making, she shows the coordination that is involved when passing a budget and achieving some accountability. One of her conclusions is that the public budgeting process must be divorced from politics.   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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