Reforming the State: Managerial Public Administration in Latin America

Reforming the State: Managerial Public Administration in Latin America

Reforming the State: Managerial Public Administration in Latin America

Reforming the State: Managerial Public Administration in Latin America

Synopsis

The authors of this volume explore general themes of managerial public administration and government reform, then focus on specific Latin American experiences and trends. Discussions of accountability, empowerment, citizen values and new institutions are also included.

Excerpt

The global scenario in which we currently live is one that presents new challenges to societies and nations. We are experiencing a phase of worldwide reorganization, not only of the economic system but of the political system itself. in view of this phenomenon, nation-states must be restructured to enable them to face the challenges inherent in this current global environment.

It is imperative to ponder the risks and opportunities offered by the globalization process realistically and creatively, for only thus will it be possible to transform the state in such a manner that it will be capable of adjusting to the new demands of the contemporary world. This is an exercise that no government can shirk without placing its prospects of national development in jeopardy.

To reform the state does not mean to dismantle it. On the contrary, reform could never entail destruction of the administrative and political decisionmaking systems, much less lead to a lessening of the state's regulatory capacity or of its power to steer the process of change and to set its course. To change the state means, above all, to set aside visions of the past, visions of a paternalistic welfare state—a state that, due to circumstances, focused largely on direct intervention in production of goods and services. Today, all are well aware that the production of goods and services can and should be handed over to society, to private enterprise, with substantial gains in efficiency and lower costs to consumers.

The notion of a state that adapts to enable itself to face the challenges of the contemporary world must not be confused with the lack of a competent and effective government capable of setting a course for society or at least of heeding courses proposed by society that require more consistent political and administrative action; nor can it be seen as inertia in the . . .

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