The French Civil Service: Bureaucracy in Transition

By Walter Rice Sharp | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XVI THE RENOVATION OF BUREAUCRACY

"The most democratic mass organization, if it has to solve modern social problems, cannot manage without a bureaucracy. . . . Modern democracy signifies not the abolition of bureaucracy, but its subordination to the members of the organization upon whose power of selection and control it would be dependent."

-- KAUTSKY, The Labor Revolution, p. 156.

It was the thesis of the preceding chapter that the psychological sine qua non of administrative reform in France would seem to be an attempt, somehow or other, to establish between high officialdom and the staff associations a coöperative modus vivendi. In the face of the deeply rooted idealogical obstacles which beset the development of such coöperation, one is by no means certain that it is likely soon to be realized. Assuming, however, that enough administrative statesmanship can be mobilized to achieve such an objective, what then? With the emergence of a genuine spirit of intra-staff coöperation, what further lines of change appear to be feasible and desirable in the light of the limiting sociological pattern? To suggest tentatively the main directions that reform should take is the task of this concluding chapter.

To avoid misunderstanding, the present investigator desires at the outset to emphasize that the observations he is about to make are in the main drawn from French sources. The formulation of proposals for administrative reform has engaged the attention of French publicists for a generation. The suggestion's that follow, therefore, are in no sense to be regarded as a bold prescription from a foreign diagnostician

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