War and Public Administration War Term Paper

  • Length: 12 pages
  • Sources: 10
  • Subject: Government
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #84932314

Excerpt from Term Paper :

So, even in such situations as when the countryside has also been hit by war, the local administrators are much more likely to be able to function productively as they are fundamentally closer to the need and have strong community ties and possible a strong desire for social order but more importantly for the meeting of the local publics' needs.

The importance of establishing a public administration theoretical framework that prioritizes citizenship over consumerism, in a society where so much of the citizenry relies on public services is foundational to social order and to mitigating the change that has occurred as a result of war. There is no one right answer to all the functional changes to public administration, with regard to war as the many facets of war also create many facets of change in public administration. The level of degradation to physical and psychological networks must be analyzed and addressed as the foundations of war degrade the perceptions of public administration. One of the most difficult of social phenomena is the fact that public administrators are often seen as the arm of those in power. They are viewed as corrupt, when any aspect of the government has been deemed so. So, regardless of the good intentions of one or many inside the public administration there is a clear sense that public opinion will ultimately determine if they stay or go or if they change or clean house. (Chopra & Hohe, 2004)

Seeking to understand this relationship between two citizens in service to one another and the common goal the individuals must utilize the concepts of civic social responsibility, so all parties understand that they are not different, that the service provider is not a representative of control and the citizen seeking assistance is not an "other," not crucial to the achievement of service and not privileged to understand the systems in place. (Jung, 2003) Seeking to create a system where civic responsibility is the common goal, service will likely be improved, those who seek to be in positions of service is likely to increase, in number and the system is more likely to be conducive of group goals as those who seek services and those who seek provide a conduit for the provision of these services may have a greater empathetic relationship. Again, this is why a measure for positive change, after and even during a war can most logically occur in a local administrative setting, as individuals are often not in fear of limbo, as they are fully aware of the needs of their constituency. (Chopra & Hohe, 2004) the customer and provider relationship creates a divide, where a practice of mutual citizen servers produces a connect, two or more people in service to the common goal, be it a mythical war on poverty or a demand for a change in public policy to better serve common goals. In a well placed quote Denhardt & Denhardt point out the words of another civic democratic theorist who said; "The conduct of citizens in a culture of power is basically unvirtuous in that it has little to do with the citizen's main duty as an agent responsible for common participation based on independent points-of-view, eventually fostering the mutual responsibility which alone enriches the commonwealth's life"(1968, 53). (Denhart & Denhardt, 2007, p. 51)

This is not to say that service should not be conducted in a manner that is befitting of mutual respect, the concepts of customer service which define it as a semblance of mutual respect and satisfaction as Denhardt & Denhardt also point out. (Denhart & Denhardt, 2007, pp. 57-58) Denhardt & Denhardt demonstrate that the concept of consumerism is valuable but only to a certain degree in relationship to public administration, "…the theory of consumerism can certainly point citizens in the right direction with respect to improving service quality: however, ultimately, as an economic concept, the theory of consumerism cannot address the political question of how power might be more extensively shared between the governors and the governed." (Denhart & Denhardt, 2007, p. 62) the concept of citizenship must be the overriding philosophy that guides public service delivery, as well as public service seeking and yet during periods of war the issue of citizenship can be not only highly charged but highly controversial, as individual seek to realign their fundamental core values regarding the world view of their nation. Without this logical progression the broader demand of public administration would simply become a marketplace, rather than a political body in constant need of fluidity and civic sensibility. So, from the consumerist mindset the public administrator must take only the parts that apply positively to the system and leave the rest. This is reiterated in passing by Bolman and Deal when they state that; "..The human resource frame views participation as a way to build motivation and commitment." (Boleman & Deal, 2003, p. 199)

Bolman and Deal also stress the nature of power relationships as a conflict associated with differing operations of civic service. If a civic institution, such as a small public school is relegated a position of power that is lower or weaker than that of other counterparts it is put into a position of constantly seeking greater power over scarce resources. "…Schools, for example, have low power with respect to external constituencies and struggle to get resources they need. Small size, powerful competitors, well-organized external constituencies, limited flexibility, and scarcity of resources tend to increase dependence." (Boleman & Deal, 2003, p. 52) This dynamic is repeated perpetually all over the world, and regardless of the essential nature of education, as a recognized factor for the development of greater citizenry these seats of beginning for so many citizens are relegated to a position of almost constant decay, unless diligence and creativity are major personal character traits of those in administration. The very basis of compulsory education all over the world, but more specifically in the United States is civic education. The responsibility acknowledgement of the government's to teach its citizens how to effectively be citizens is the responsibility given to compulsory education, (Heater, 2003) and yet there is a clear sense that many other things, not the least of which is doctrinal inclusion of winner vs. loser dogma that pervades compulsory education in many nations, and especially those which are susceptible to war and unrest. This fundamental shift can mean that the dogma of either the winner or the loser in any given conflict will be the underlying dogma of the populous, and it will then depend on which side loses or wins as to how receptive the people will be to the "new" public administration.

This is in and of itself one of the best examples of a power system that can potentially create unvirtuous action on the part of those in power in powerless environments and those seeking examples of how their culture values them as citizens, on a daily basis. Nations may seek to create citizens through good public compulsory education and then repeatedly deny them access to resources based upon an uneven power distribution.

The implications of ethnic pluralism has been a neglected topic in the literature on public administration.(1) Normally, this literature assumes a society of individuals who may be divided by age, gender, region, occupation, or class, but not by ethnicity -- collective racial, cultural, or religious identities. This is equally true of the subfield of development that is concerned with problems of public administration in less-developed countries and with shaping administrative institutions that are conducive to social and economic development. Likewise, the copious literature on economic development demonstrates little concern for ethnic cleavages. The tendency is to treat such plural systems as India, Nigeria, Turkey, and Russia as integrated societies with aggregate economic growth as the accepted policy goals.(2) (Esman, 1997, p. 16)

War and its causal factors simply exacerbate the effects of this already pervasive social condition. Within policy design there must be a comprehensive framework that allows for theoretical models that are constructively matched to priorities.


Within education and other avenues of public service there has been a recent and enduring trend to create systems that sponsor active participation, to develop coalitions to problem solve. Denhardt & Denhardt state that, " in a world of active citizenship, the role of the public servant changes. Public administrators will increasingly play more than a service-delivery role-they will play a conciliating, a medicating, or even an adjudicating role. And they will no longer rely on the skills of management control, but rather on the skills of facilitating, brokering, and negotiating and conflict resolution." (Denhart & Denhardt, 2007, p. 84) This statement is likely one of the most telling with regard to…

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