Comparative Public Administration

Topics: Public administration, Government, Policy Pages: 4 (1285 words) Published: January 17, 2013
The Arab Spring has created opportunities for countries across North Africa and the Middle East to redesign their constitutions. There are ongoing debates on whether these countries will adopt the Anglo-American model or look at other paradigms. Political leaders and scholars have turned to a number of academic fields such cultural studies, sociology, economics, and political science in attempt to answers some of these questions. However, no other field of study will provide more insight into the development of these new government structures than comparative public administration (CPA). Simply put, it is the study of comparing two or more public administrations by using multiple disciplines. This definition, however, does not sufficiently describe the complexity of this field or its contributions to other academic areas, government employees, and country leaders. Perhaps the area in which CPA provides the most aid is in its cross-national analysis. Through this research, countries are able to learn from one another. CPA is not limited to cross-national comparison though as it evaluates different administrative processes and systems within countries. To fully appreciate CPA, however, it is necessary to understand how politics factors into it, its progression over the years, and its analysis towards delineating future challenges to public administration. Politics in CPA

The study of comparative public administration challenges the notion that public administration and politics are separate entities. Specifically, it has recognized that bureaucrats, pressure groups, and elected officials are all political actors in the policymaking process. In Germany, for example, politics influence policy formation because the law requires public agencies to consult with interest groups before making legislation and regulations. In other countries like the United States, public administrators and pressure groups engage in clientela politics which are mutually...
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