Comparative Institutions and Public Policy

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Profesor indrumator / Prezentat Profesorului: Lissa Talving

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Domeniu: Administratie Publica

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Imagine that you are a policy adviser in charge of engineering a brand new model of public administration. What would you recommend? Please use country examples in the discussion.


To answer this question, I will be the adviser of a developing country’s policy maker and leader. That country would be Algeria. Redesigning an existing model of bureaucracy and public administration in a developing country isn’t an easy task because of the complexity of the political, social and economical structures of those countries in general. The Algerian public administration example will help understand this complexity and to what extent could the models of bureaucracies in the Western world be applied to such complex context. Based on the administrative, political and socio-economic history of Algeria, and the failures of former large scale reforms plans, the paper will focus on specific lines of reforms and the most important features to recommend for a new model of Public Administration and the most relevant for the country in the current situation, and that are: Professionalism and qualified based recruitment; and Neutrality and independence. Those new characteristics are aimed to help curb corruption and increase public administration efficiency to facilitate economic growth.

Word count: 4,572

1. Introduction

In general, defining an ideal design for a public administration is very challenging and is conditioned by many factors and actors and the way those factors combined with those fluent actors’ power, interests and values interfere and control the decision and policy making process within each country. The way the decision and policy making are dealt with will shape the nature, the mission and role of the bureaucracy. This paper will try, based on literature on bureaucracy, and empirical studies on bureaucracies around the world, to help us identify the most important features and characteristics required for the functioning of public administrations.

The Algerian complex history and context with the direct and dominant role of the State in the decision and policy making and in providing public goods and services shaped the Algerian public Administration for more than 30 years. But with the 1986 severe Oil crisis, privatizations policies imposed by the IMF and the World Bank and most of all the 1990s security troubles, the role of the State in the public arena as sole provider of public services and goods was questioned and new concepts of reforms and modernizations and partnerships with private sectors emerged in the political agendas of the country. Rethinking the dominant role of the State and the shift in ideology from the planned economy and socialist political system, to the open market and globalization created frictions and a clash within the bureaucracy and the society as a whole between the old and new concepts and how to transit to a new mode of bureaucracy able to lead the country to a social and economic growth and in the same time provide a good quality of public services and goods as an interpretation of a citizenship and belonging to a system of values, norms and rules .

This paper will try to give advices to policy makers and leaders on what kind of features and characteristics should be considered for this new design and model of public administration, and how those characteristics will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of this bureaucracy in achieving social cohesion and progress and facilitate economic growth as an engine to the national DGP and efforts to attract investments and their monitoring and executions. Diversifying the economy, for a rent and Oil depending country like Algeria, is not an easy task, and the de-politicization of most of the public acts and policies within the public administration will be faced by fierce resistance in all ways and manners to maintain some privileges of a certain political class or elite and keep control on the State and government, through their executive branch, over the social and economic policies of the country, and that’s why many reform plans in the past has failed or had limited success in their implementation.

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