Fred W. Riggs and Comparative Public Administration G.D.R.U.U. Abeyrathne, Dept. of Economics, University of Ruhuna, Matara Specificity of Riggs • Has concerned with developing grand theory of public administration. • His approach has been characterized with Structural Functionalism • His theory is macro, systematic, ecological and structural functional. • It has opened new vista for cross cultural administrative study. • He has emphasized the importance of administrative system with which it interact and operate in. • This perspective has provided him to view administration as a subsystem of the broader social system. • He was interested in analyzing the interaction of administrative sub system and political ,social, economic and cultural subsystems. • He adopted this approach because he believed that nature of public administration of any country cannot be grasped without understanding the social setting in which administration operates. Five Functional requisites of any Society • According to him, there are five functional requisites for any society 1. Economic, 2. Social 3. Communicational 4. Symbolic and 5. Political. He has been of the opinion that the same set of functional requisites applies to an administrative subsystem. Early typology of Societies • He has constructed two models of societies. One is to represent modern industrial society and the other for agricultural societies. First one is called Industria. The Next is agraria. • These are two polar types one representing contemporary America and imperial China is agraria respectively. • He also identified a third category called transitia. Characteristics Agraria 1. Predominance of ascriptive norms, particularistic and diffuse patterns. 2. Stable local groups and limited spatial mobility 3. Relatively simple and stable occupational differentiation 4. A deferential stratification system of diffuse impact. Industria 1. Predominance of universalistic, specific and achievement norms 2. High Degree of social mobility. 3. Well developed occupational system. 4. Open class system based on occupational achievements 5. Prevalence of voluntary association performing specific functions. Transitia • It is the one which has got a social system that co-exists both characteristics of agraria as well as industria. Prismatic Model • Later he developed the prismatic model to explain the administrative systems of Developing World. • He categorized societies into three 1. Fused 2. Prismatic 3. Diffracted. He used Fused model to explain the ecology of traditional societies. Prismatic society to explain the developing world. Diffracted society to explain the developed societies. • According to him no societies is neither totally fused nor diffracted. Everyone share some features of the other. Key terms used in his explanations • Structure: A basic pattern of activity which is repeated over and over again in a society. The result of such pattern of activity is called function. • A society that performed all the functions necessary for its survival by a single structure is called fused . • A society which has got different specialized structures is diffracted. • A society in which there is a mixture of traditional and modern structures is called prismatic. Fused Society • Main Features • Archaic political structures: Indistinct and nonformal power. The elite would be an clect, (holders of all type of power) rather than rulers. • The conscious establishment of policies is negligible. • There is no distinct political or administrative structures • The main function is to maintain order. • Administrative functions are arbitrary. Not Restricted by law. • Their acts are non effective in the sense they have minimal direct impact on the population. • The political system is neither democratic, nor autocratic. • The rulers are not subject popular control. Diffracted Society • Highly differentiated • Highly developed specialized structures of work • Functions of the society are very specific. • Level of integration is high. • Pattern of behaviour is characterized by norms of universalism and achievements. Prismatic Society • In a prismatic Society, there exists characteristics of Fused and diffracted Societies side by side. • No real structural differentiation Sub-systems • Every system is composed of sub-sytems. I.e. Economic, Administrative and Cultural. He names the administrative subsystem of Fused society as chamber. Sala is the administrative subsystem in prismatic society. Office is the administrative subsystem in diffracted society. Sala in Prismatic Society • It is the administrative subsystem. It has got three characterics 1. Heterogeneity 2. Formalism 3. Overlapping. Heterogeneity • There exists modern features of society side by side with traditional features. • The people are not integrated but divided on line of religion etc. • Un equal level of development. • Highly westernized and modern urban sector co-exists with rural irrational sector. Formalism • Formalism = the amount of discrepancy or incongruence between the norms and practices • Formalism = the deference between the prescribed and the practiced • Level of formalism is dependent on the nature of pressure for development. If the pressure comes outside Level of formalism increases. • In Formalistic situation, values and norms may receive lip service but ignored in real practice. Overlapping • Riggs discusses dimensions of culture, economy, political, communicational and symbolic developing world. • The coexistence of modern and traditional structures in these societies. • In urban areas modern technology is used while traditional methods are employed in rural areas. • Rural areas, clergy, elders and other traditional leadership groups are very important in politicoadministrative as well as other sphere of life. The rural areas lack modern facilities. • You can observe the existence of modern structures as well as traditional structures side by side. • Both traditional and Modern structures are important in discharging the assigned functions. However, importance attached to traditional structures is high. Characteristic of Overlapping Situation • • • • • Policommunalism Polinormativism Nepotism Bazaar Canteen Model Authority V Control Poli-communalism • • • • Diverse religio-ethnic groups live side by side. Still they are not friendly to one another. Lack proper motivation for social work This situation affect society as well as administration • High ranking officers in the bureaucracy favors members of his community. • This behaviour affects social relations. • Different communities pull the society in different directions. • There is no consensus on what is to be done. Polinormativism • People subscribe to different values and norms • In Prismatic societies, there two different sets of norms • 1. One for public appearance. • 2. One for use in real practice. • Traditional and modern ideas are in conflict. • The cumulative impact is the difficulty in decision making. Nepotism • Relatives (Kith and kin) are given favarable treatment in recruitment to government jobs. • They enjoy privileges because of link to the officer. Bazaar Canteen • This is the economic subsystem of prismatic society. • Prices are not decided on the basis of demands and supply. • Prices are not fixed. • Bargaining is an important feature. • Prices change from one customer to the other customer. • Goods are sold at lower prices for some customers. This is a feature of a canteen. Authority v Contol • Authority is highly centralized while control is dispersed. • Authority and control lie in different structures. Impact on Administration • The unequal distribution of services raises the administrative cost. • Family connections leads to sinecures. • People without pull find them assigned low positions. • Fringe benefits are abound. • Corruption is institutionalized. • Application of rule is suspended or selectively applied. • Citizens have to offer bribes. • There will be prismatic budgeting. Budget allocation would be based not on the requirements of bureaus, but on the power relations with the political authorities. Some departments may have extra money. Some will lack resources to implement public policies. Implications of Prismatic Society on Administration • The formalism and separation of authority will lead to unduly heavyweight bureaucracy. • Riggs has developed new terms to describe the administrative process of developing countries. • Rigggs also helps to understand the lingering importance of rank difficulties of personnel reform, the problem of planning . • He has been able to developed a theoretical framework that could be used to explain large number of variables, otherwise forgotten as un-important. This is one of the strengths of his theory. Criticism • This is a valuable contribution to the administrative thought as well as science. • However, there are some problems associated with it. • He Says “ Things are seldom what they seems”. It implies that the latten function quite differs from the manifest function. • There are problem of un-observable things in social world. The un-observable nature of social reality has be used to prove certain social theories. This is not acceptable to scientific study. • He has nothing to offer to the understanding of administrative process except building new jargons. • He has not gone beyond the comparative political scientists in analyzing the socio-economic factors that affect politico-administrative process. • He has been totally silent over the impact of ecological factors on different combinations of elite. (Rural and Urban.