The Ecology of Public Administration

The Ecology of Public Administration

The Ecology of Public Administration

The Ecology of Public Administration

Excerpt

With the attainment of independence and the advent of planning in a number of countries of South East Asia, they have been faced with the problem of reorganizing and adapting their administrative organisation and practices to the demands of new, varied and expanding tasks, particularly of a developmental character. Here, one of the major difficulties for reformers and planners has been that the administrative concepts and techniques evolved in the context of the social, economic and political conditions of Western countries are not as such fully valid and applicable in our area. Though some progress has been made in recent years in building up conceptual administrative themes which are culture-free and of universal application, the comparative study of public administration in so far it concerns under-developed areas and regions in their ecological setting is still in its infancy.

In the three lectures on "The Ecology of Public Administration", which are published in this monograph, Prof. Riggs successively deals with "American Administration: An Ecological View"; "Thailand: Reflections on the Traditional Ecology"; and "Administrative Change in the Philippines and Thailand". He examines in detail the administrative ecology of the latter two countries in the context of their transitional phase from an agrarian to an industrial society, and against the wider background of a multiplicity of sociological, political and institutional factors. Prof. Riggs' new administrative model, called the "Prismatic Society", is certainly an interesting attempt to improve our previous conceptual framework for understanding the dynamics of administration in developing and semi-developed economies, though one may not necessarily agree with all the characteristics he identifies. The application of model-building to administration has just begun and as it gets more refined and varied it will not only help in a rethinking of basic administrative concepts and principles in their application to a parti-

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