Culture, Development, and Public Administration in Africa


• The first text that integrates a cultural context into the study of public administration programs
• Covers the whole of southern Africa: South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
• Written jointly by an African professor of public administration and an American political scientist

Despite extensive theoretical consideration over the past several decades, the discipline of public administration still suffers from an inability to meet on-the-ground administrative challenges in developing countries. In the past, public administrators have relied upon Western organizational models considered rational and efficient. But in neglecting various social and cultural aspects of any non-Western country, development proceeds in fits and starts.

Using southern African nations as an example, the authors argue that emerging societies are poor today thanks to the overreliance on non-local models. Practitioners must consider local cultures--languages, symbols, customs, and rituals--in developing effective administrative practices. They must absorb the experiences of people who know first-hand the dynamics and conditions in these countries. Otherwise, neither citizens nor leaders will manage their affairs and development processes effectively.

Written particularly for undergraduate and graduate students in public administration, political science, and comparative and development public administration, but also for policymakers, managers, administrators, and individuals who seek to understand the challenges of organizing and managing development, this book helps foster a culturally sensitive understanding of public administration in a global context.


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