PhD cand. in Political Science and Public Administration
Throughout the history of the devolpment of Public Administration we have seen debates and claims about the meaning of Public Administration, the nature of Public Administration as Science or as Art or claims on the dichotomy of politics and public administration.
Conceptes like politics, public administration, politics-public administration relationship, politics-public administration dichotomy have been the subject of considerable debate. The pioneers of the dichotomy of politics and public administration are scholars of Classical Theories of Public Administration like Wilson, Goodnow, Weber.
Rightfully we can ask: when the science of administration is the latest fruit of that study of the science of politics and it is a birth of 19th and 20th centuries, why these scholars are talking about dichotomy between politics-public administration? Were they claims justified or not?
In order to give a scientific answer these questions; we have to keep in our mind not just the historical, economical, political and social context in which these scholars developed their theories, especially the dichotomy politics-public administration, but the meaning of politics and public administration according to these scholars. Also, Classical Theory of Public Administration includes two main theories: Theory of bureaucracy and The theory of Scientific Management (Taylor and Fayol).
Based on historical, economical and social context these theories were a product of the interaction between the employers and the capital control during that period. The focus was to confirmation the interest of employers and the production process. These theories were developed in a context in which it was discussed about the principles of Scientific Management and a universal Administrative Science. So, the dichotomy model rise after founders by the Scientific Management and the Principles of Administration Movements. For instance Wilson, as the first pioneer of this separation, was concerned with the corrupting and politicizing interference of party organizations in administrative affairs.When Wilson suggested the clearer differentiation of politics and administration, he was seeking to strengthen and redirect the former while protecting the latter. Wilson was based on the division of functions of powers, of Government. His ultimate concern was to promote democracy, that’s is needful to have an independent science of Administration. The European version of the dichotomy was elaborated by Goodnow. He discussed to the executive, legislative, and judicial functions as three basic functions of government. Instead, he argued, there were two basic functions of government: the expression of the popular will and the execution of that will. Goodnow argued that the function of politics was to express the state’s will and the function of administration was to execute the state’s will. He argued: “political control over administrative functions is liable…to produce inefficient administration…’ Weber also discussed to a dichotomy between politics and administration. He draws a line between administrators and politicians: ‘the civil servant…should not engage in politics, but administer, above all impartially…’ It should be said that in founder’s classical theories the dichotomy between politics and administration implied a deep concern about the political neutrality of administrators, attempts were made to take politics out of administration.The aim was always to render administration impartial, an outsider to political controversy.They wanted to advance the neutrality of the civil service and modernizing of Public Administration, based on principles of Scientific Management Movement. The study of public administration started to the late 1800s, it was needful to develop the idea of dichotomy in order to have a modern state, modern public administration based and developed on scientific principles. An attempt to create and develop an independent Science of Public Administration as promotor of Democracy and Human Rights.
It continuos to be an open debate this issue among of the students of Public Administration. In my point of view, in order to have a scientific opinion about this is needful to have a clear idea about the meaning of Politics, Public Administration, to keep in mind the historical, political, economical and social context and the tradition, culture of your country. The development of Public Administration and relationship between it and Politics. Having a clear idea about these, keeping in my mind a weak Public Administration in front of Politics in my country, unable to protect Democracy, Human Rights and Principles of Public Administration from inteferences of Politics, I am pro the dichotomy of Politics-Public Administration. As the founding fathers of Public Administration, I am agree Public Administration is not isolated and separated completely from other sciences and Politics also. The need for this dichotomy is justified to permit scientific methods and principles to be applied in Public Administration and to protect principles, values and aims of Public Administration from the interference of politicians. The politics and administration differentiated not in terms of principle, but in terms of specialization and the division of labor.
Woodrow. W, The study of Adiministration;
Weber. M, Bureaucracy;
Taylor. F, Scientific Management;
Gvishiani. A, The “Classic” Theory of Organisation and Management;
Tahmasebi. R, Politics-Administration Dichotomy: A Century Debate;
Marume. S, Meaning of Public Administration;
Nhema. A, Relevance of Classical Management Theories to Modern Public Administration: A Review;