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Public administration in China

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NPM in Asia Introduction Mapping the history of public administration of a vast region such as Asia is indeed an enormous task, especially since the region consists of nations that demonstrate significant racial, ethnic, cultural and political differences. The following will use the case of China to demonstrate some special feature in Asia. The history of legacy The old feudalist and the budding bourgeois systems of organizing the economy were replaced with a socialist system after 1949.in spite of the significant change in both economy and polity, the system of administering the country remained remarkably similar to the earlier imperial days. The Cultural Revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s temporarily disrupted the operations of this system by accusing managers and bureaucrats of being 'enemies of the revolution'. Nonetheless, it was eventually restored and did not change until the 1980s after a policy of market reform had been adopted by the government in Beijing. The Chinese version of "market socialism' had gradually given more autonomy to administrative and managerial organs in the state. ...read more.


4 the public's dependence on these officials discouraging them from reporting illegal activities, thus enhancing the anonymity of corrupt officials. With the advent of a materialistic orientation in the 1980s,however, many new opportunities for enrichment emerged while the ascetic code of public service ethics was disregarded. Those, who acquired wealth, were admired, envied and became socially acceptable by the rest as long as they were not caught. In such a situation, those who enriched themselves from corrupt practices would shy away from reporting similar transgression by their colleagues or subordinate employees. Slowly, a climate of corruption developed, at the same time, honest officers became materially poor compared to their colleagues and were ostracized as stupid, the principle of leadership by virtue, which is so deeply ingrained in the Confusion tradition, no longer applies with the same degree of consistency. The market reforms have brought in new values that seem to undermine the old principles. This is increasingly an issue in China that the political leadership is grappling with. 2 Governance Governance has become a very fashionable way of talking about reform in government and its relations with society. ...read more.


It is here where the moral approach acquires a holistic tone; ultimately, our public servants exist for the public they are employed to serve. This approach needs to be revitalized in public service in Asian countries. Unless public officials are guided also by a sense of vocation, service to others and accountability, we cannot expect moral government (Dwivedi,2002) Conclusion Although it may be an oversimplification to talk about a set of distinctive Asian values, it is true that a good number of Asians do not subscribe to the set of Western values that dominate global discourse about administration and governance .For example, the notion of duty and community rights, sacrifice for the family and other communal needs, respect for authority, and consensual decision making are deeply rooted in Asian societies, but they do not feature at all in the prescription for improved public administration or better governance that the international development community advocates today .Public administration, more than ever before, can be fully analyzed and understood only in its political context. This is a lesson that can convincingly be drawn from the cases discussed above, but applies also to other Asian countries, all of which are confronting issues of legitimizing the role that public institutions play in society. ...read more.

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