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Comparative public administration and policy

Syllabus for pre-PhD Distance learning course on International Relations

COMPARATIVE PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND POLICY

Vahagn Aglyan, PhD, Associate Professor
Yerevan State University, Distance Learning Laboratory

1. Course module description
This course module is a comparative survey of administrative-political structures and processes through which public policies and programs are implemented in a variety of European states reflecting the predominant paradigms for state-level managerial reforms within European community. Comparative Public Administration, as an interdisciplinary field with an apparent horizon extending to managerial, technological, sociological and political domains, is primarily concerned with patterns of public administration in different nation-states, using a variety of historical and contemporary examples. The course module content is designed to widen and augment graduate students’ intellectual autonomy in examining the major features, structures, and settings of public administration in cross-national comparative perspective. Selected administrative/bureaucratic policy issues and problems will be addressed within international and domestic contexts. Yet, the theoretical arguments of the course are closely linked to empirical evidence, and students should draw on empirical material in analyzing administrative/organizational concepts and theories.

2. Objectives of the course module

  • To compare and contrast the basic elements of public administration in various nation-states.
  • To examine and evaluate internal and external factors (context) that affect public administration structures and instrumentalities in differing systems of governance.
  • To analyze the nature of relationships between basic elements of public administration systems in a variety of countries.
  • To assess modalities of administrative and political components within executive branch.
  • To distinguish and classify the role of bureaucratic power among various systems of public administration across the regions.

3. Assessment
Since this is a distance-learning course, assessment will be based only on students’ written work.

  • Weekly written essays – 60%
  • Final essay - 40%

4. Course module program

Class 1 Concepts of Bureaucracy and Elements of the Bureaucratic Model
- Meanings of Bureaucracy: three perspectives and theoretical & empirical repercussions.
- Bureaucratic Politics and Democratic Theory.
- Bureaucracy and Development.
- Power as a variable of bureaucratic politics.
- Issues of Professionalism in Bureaucratic system.

Readings:

  • Ali Farazmand (ed.), Bureaucracy and Administration, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 2006.
  • Fred Riggs, Coups and Crashes: Lessons for Public Administration; Professionalism, Bureaucracy, and Modern Governance: A Comparative Analysis (in Modern Systems of Government: Exploring the Role of Bureaucrats and Politicians, Ed. by A.Farazmand, SAGE Publications 1997).

Assignment 1:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 4 pages):

  • What is the power of bureaucracy and how it relates to democratic theory?
  • Describe the phenomenon of politicization of bureaucracy in relation of power variable.
  • How bureaucratic politics impact development? Substantiate your answer.

Class 2 Bureaucracy and Political Responsibility
- Political Context of Bureaucratic Performance and Public Administration.

- The interplay between bureaucratic variables: power, performance, cohesiveness, tenure, income, and interdependence.
- Modern polities and the bureaucracy.
- Bureaucratic politics under Parliamentary regimes vs. Presidential regimes.
- Bureaucratic power in the Third World countries.
- Types of polity and corresponding types of bureaucracy.

Readings:

  • Ali Farazmand (ed.), Bureaucracy and Administration, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, 2006.
  • Fred Riggs, Coups and Crashes: Lessons for Public Administration; Professionalism, Bureaucracy, and Modern Governance: A Comparative Analysis (in Modern Systems of Government: Exploring the Role of Bureaucrats and Politicians, Ed. by A.Farazmand, SAGE Publications 1997).
  • Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Sixth ed., NY, Marcel Dekker 2001.

Assignment 2:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages):

  • What are bureaucratic variables and what kind of interplay exists between them?
  • Describe the correspondence between types of polity and types of bureaucracy?
  • How control over bureaucracies is performed in parliamentary and presidential regimes? Contrast power capabilities of bureaucratic polities under parliamentary and presidential regimes.

Class 3 Concepts of System Transformation. Lecture Presentation: Understanding Development Administration and Concepts of Modernization
- The definition of modernization.
- Negative Development.
- Dependency Theories.
- Political Development and Political Modernization.
- Development capacities and public administration.
- Concepts of System Transformation in Developed and Developing countries.

Readings:

  • Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Sixth ed., NY, Marcel Dekker 2001.
  • Jamil Jreisat, Comparative Public Administration and Policy, Westview: 2002.

Assignment 3:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages):

  • What is the Negative Development and how the development capacities can influence the Negative Development?
  • What kinds of interrelationship exist between the aims of political development and administrative development?
  • What are the major differences (social-political and social-economic) between system transformation concepts in developed and developing countries?

Class 4 Traditional / “Classical” Administrative Systems of Europe: France and Germany
- Shared political and administrative characteristics.
- P
ublic Administration system of France.
- Patterns of professional socialization and recruitment in France; Grands Corps; Presidentialism, Cabinet and administrative regime stability.
- Structural aspects of administrative system in federal political setting;

Readings:

  • Comparative Public Administration, Ed. by J. Chandler, Routledge: 2000.
  • Ferrel Heady, Public Administration, A Comparative Perspective, Sixth ed., NY, Marcel Dekker, 2001.

Assignment 4:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages).
Compare and contrast the public administration systems of France and Germany based on the following criteria:

  • Multifunctional characteristics of bureaucracy.
  • Bureaucratic links/ structural linkage.
  • Mechanisms of control over the bureaucratic systems (political and hierarchical controls; interplay).
  • Patterns of personnel recruitment.
  • Educational base of civil servants and executive politicians: generalist vs. specialist orientations.
  • Relative power of the bureaucratic systems in dual comparison perspective.

Class 5 “Civic Culture”: Public Administration systems of UK and USA
- Specifics of Anglo-American Governance and Civil Service Organization and the concept of “Civic Culture”.
- New Public Management: basic characteristics; Political context of public administration and bureaucratic systems in UK and US; Major drivers of administrative change; Professionalism, career based service, efficiency and effectiveness of PA systems.

Readings:

  • Comparative Public Administration, Ed. by J. Chandler, Routledge: 2000.
  • Ferrel, Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Sixth ed., NY, Marcel Dekker 2001.
  • Modern Systems of Government: Exploring the Role of Bureaucrats and Politicians, Ed. by A. Farazmand, SAGE Publications 1997.

Assignment 5:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages).
Compare and contrast the public administration systems of UK and US based on the following criteria:

  • Multifunctional characteristics of bureaucracy.
  • Bureaucratic links/ structural linkage.
  • Mechanisms of control over the bureaucratic systems (political and hierarchical controls; interplay).
  • Types of Decentralization and structural change: administrative and political.
  • Privatization patterns and public-private partnership.
  • Relative power of the bureaucratic systems in dual comparison perspective.

Class 6 Public Administration systems of Japan and China
- Adaptive Modernizing Administration: the case of Japan. Specifics of Chinese administrative system: party-controlled bureaucracy.
- Decision-making procedures and processes in PA domains of China and Japan.
- Issues of bureaucratic cohesiveness, performance and accountability.

Readings:

  • Comparative Public Administration, Ed. by J. Chandler, Routledge: 2000.
  • Ferrel, Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective, Sixth ed., NY, Marcel Dekker 2001.
  • Modern Systems of Government: Exploring the Role of Bureaucrats and Politicians, Ed. by A.Farazmand, SAGE Publications 1997.

Assignment 6:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages).
Compare and contrast the public administration systems of Japan and China based on the following criteria:

  • Multifunctional characteristics of bureaucracy.
  • Structural linkages and party politics.
  • Mechanisms of control over the bureaucratic systems (political and hierarchical controls; interplay).
  • Cohesiveness of bureaucratic systems in relation to performance quality and efficiency.
  • System-level capacities of adaptation.
  • Relative power of the bureaucratic systems in dual comparison perspective.

Class 7 European Integration and European Governance & Public Administration Models
- Political and Administrative Culture of the European Union.
- Issues of management and coordination policy; Accountability and Bureaucratic Performance; Reforms of European Governance and Administration: European Commission.
- Agency role within the framework of EU admninistartion.

Readings:

  • Comparative Public Administration, Ed. by J. Chandler, Routledge: 2000.
  • C. Pollitt, G. Bouckaert, Public Management Reform: A Comparative Analysis, second edition, Oxford UP: 2004.

Assignment 7:
Please, answer the following questions (up to 5 pages):

  • What is the European governance: institutional level?
  • What kind of mechanisms exist between democracy requirements in work? Substantiate your answer.

Class 8 Closing exam
Based on your interest, choose any topic discussed withing this course module and write an analytic essay (13-15 pages).

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