Thursday, February 17, 2005

More on Post Modern turn in public administration

Although McSwite introduce the process theory but do not detail any action plan. In relation to each other they propose the alternative task not beyond achieving “the correct existential stance”; regarding us and others at the same time and “in the same moment”. In this approach, trying to do the “right” thing is nothing but meaningless. Reasoned and justified results could mobilize energy and direct social action if is shown to be confronted with unreasoned and illogical results, all of which is founded on one interpretation of truth. Thus pursuing such reasoned and planned results based on our sketch of value and the derived facts; itself ends in authoritarian evil.

Recasting local public management as to aim for the ethos of process rather than achieving anticipated and reasoned results could prevent the universal evil to prevail. What matters, then, is to achieve a fluid status, within which authority is prevented to be dominated by one or few over others. McSwite portrays the reality of human condition as: “I am you” and characterize this fluid status as a transformed reason. A reason as embraces the alternative style of dialogue and assumes the primacy of receiving the other as oneself; or in other words the first step is “to listen”.

An urgent implication of such transformed reason is a pragmatic and collaborative relationship with citizens, better called: citizen-oriented bureaucracy, an active relationships between citizens and administrators should be the basis of redefining public administration. One could claim that encouraging and engendering the role of citizenship in local governance is, at least, partly due to the emerging influence of such post modern thoughts as process theory in response to the existing problematic social relations. It is also through practices of process-focused public management that alternative identity for the now rigid and scientifically reasoned public administration could be developed.

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