by Fred W. Riggs
Dwight Waldo has treated public administration as an inherently political process ever since he wrote about it in The Administrative State. In that tradition, I attempt here to open a new chapter in the same narrative by recognizing that the greatest accomplishments of contemporary public administration and bureaucracy can be attributed to the triumphs of modernity and to its three proudest achievements: industrialization, democracy, and nationalism. Moreover, during the past two centuries these interdependent achievements have linked the whole earth into a single world system.
Until recently we have taken pride in this remarkable evolutionary story, largely ignoring its negative side-effects. Now, however, just as our astronauts discovered the dark side of the moon, so have we also become increasingly aware of the tragic costs of our greatest successes. However, we are not moving beyond modernity, as our post-modernists demand -- rather, the dreadful implications of our achievements are becoming apparent. We need to think seriously about them and their implications for the future. I shall use the term, para-modernism to pull together the sorry story of what our greatest successes have bred and the crises that we must now confront, with special reference to the role and power of public bureaucracies.1
Let me also distinguish the evolution of modernity as a uniquely Western phenomenon from the spread of modernization throughout the non-Western world as a mimetic reaction based, paradoxically, on the back-lash generated by modern imperialism, the most tragic and devastating aspect of the modern revolution.2. Although this terminology is not familiar, I will use it to distinguish modernity from modernization as two stages of the modern revolution. Each of the three major components of this revolution can be sub-divided temporally between its genesis in the West and its subsequent global dissemination -- unfortunately, the vocabulary needed to make these distinctions is also not readily available: however I shall distinguish:
1) the industrial revolution of the past from contemporary processes of industrialization;
(2) the emergence of democracy as a result of evolutionary or revolutionary domestic forces from contemporary democratization as a mimetic exercise based on foreign models; and
3) state nationalism as a state-to-nation development by contrast with contemporary ethnic nationalism as a nation-to- state undertaking.
The implications of these processes in their separate stages for public administration and bureaucracy are strikingly different. If we use modern to talk about both stages, then we can distinguish the positive connotations of modernity from the negative dimensions of para-modernism. However, both aspects pervade all of modern life and they have been present from the beginning. Our attitudes toward both modernity and modernization have always been ambivalent and confused. Now, however, we need to consider and assess both the more optimistic expectations of the modernizers and the negative forebodings of those who have begun to understand the inherent dangers of para-modernism.
If we compare the three prongs of the modern with Neptune's trident or the legs of a tripod, we can perhaps visualize their linkages with each other and imagine how they have shaped modern governance. Each element in the triad is distinctively different from the others, yet it was inseparably linked with the others during the rise of modernity. In the world today, however, each element in this triad has become increasingly divorced from the other element and, separately, they generate distinctive para-modern syndromes that afflict the whole world and present contemporary public administration with its most perplexing problems:
1) The Industrial Revolution created both the possibility and the need for complex, integrated administrative processes which, during the processes of industrialization, has led to grave maladministration with tragic consequences;
2) The rise of democracy replaced royal absolutism with popular sovereignty as the indispensable engine needed to drive modern public administration but failures in contemporary democratization have produced weak authoritarianism, anarchy, and the tragedy of bureaucratic domination; and
3) State nationalism built a foundation for the acceptance of administrative authority as a tool of public service but the rise of ethnic nationalism on the ashes of collapsed empires increasingly undermines the legitimacy of governance throughout the world.
We are all too familiar with many symptoms of the para- modern syndrome but our inability to see the mechanisms that drive them leaves us feeling baffled and confused. However, once we understand the dynamics of this process, and how it relates to the basic phenomena of bureau power, many questions will be answered. The contemporary situation resembles a jig-saw puzzle whose innumerable parts lie jumbled in a heap -- but once put together, a coherent though frightening picture appears. A more somber metaphor may be useful: consider that for some time after the symptoms of AIDS had begun to appear, doctors were alarmed by their gravity but did not know whether they were dealing with one disease or many -- they imagined at first that they were faced with a host of dire pathologies. However, after they learned that one virus could block anyone's immune system, they began to recognize a single cause for the diverse conditions that could kill victims in many different ways. Harbingers. In the world today, following the end of the Cold War and the two World Wars that preceded it, we are increasingly aware of a host of crises, big and small, global and local, that threaten our planet, dreaded harbingers of the future. Although post-modern sometimes reflects only cynical disrespect for authority or deconstructionist word-play, the term itself has no substantive content: words like "new" and "post" point to a time afterwards, a time when the unexpected can happen, but it fails to warn us about what to expect. Do we not need, instead, a point of view that can help us see the future and learn whether history has truly ended to be followed by a capitalist utopia of peaceful democracies, or whether civilizations will clash and anarchy will cover an earth populated with local despotisms warring with each other.
To flesh out our forebodings for the future, we need a better understanding of the past and the present. What we see looming over the world's horizon is neither the glowing promise of modernity nor its frightening contemporary collapse -- rather, the surprising and unwelcome events we now confront have been present but unheeded for a long time -- we simply chose to ignore them. Now that we are no longer preoccupied with the threats of nuclear war, of ideological confrontations between communism and democracy, or with the need for patriotic mobilization, the blinders have fallen from our eyes. In the dazzling light, it is hard to make sense of the chaos we can now see. Gradually, however, we will understand that modernization must continue but its dire side-effects can no longer be ignored.
Interestingly, although one might suppose that the post- modern literature would have warned us about the future and prefigured some of the great problems looming ahead, in fact, I believe, its focus has been on the past, accompanied, all to often, by efforts to deconstruct or discredit some of our proudest achievements. Far more relevant to understanding the future, I think, is the story that para-modern analysis can reveal about the costs of modernization that have long been with us but are only now moving to the front and center of the world stage. They give us clear warnings about the dynamics of future crises because they are already clearly manifest in the past. We don't have to renounce our achievements in order to understand that they have serious side effects that will, actually, escalate. Modernity is like a powerful drug or antibiotic medicine: it has achieved healing wonders yet it also produces damaging side-effects that may, eventually, strike us as truly terrifying.
What we see now is a direct consequence of modernization, of the revolution in human affairs brought about by the Western transformations that created modern states, all characterized by the three interdependent but tragically dissociated phenomena mentioned above: the industrialization democratization and ethnic nationalism. Nor have we really appreciated the profound historic importance of these phenomena and their long-term implications for the future of the world.
Actually, the para-modern costs of modernity have been with us from the very beginning. The Industrial Revolution uprooted peasant populations and transformed into urban workers, creating the proletariat that fueled the rise of communist authoritarianism. Democracies became linked, all too soon, with the growth of modern imperialism. It led, in turn, to liberation movements and the inter-imperial wars which, during the past half century, destroyed these empires and spawned a host of new and weak quasi-states (Jackson 1990) which, though nominally sovereign and independent, are in fact highly dependent and typically anarchic. Nationalism drove the imperialist urge and, ultimately, fueled the ethnonational movements that are now generating violent internal wars and terrorism on a mounting scale.
It is hard to talk about these phenomena in isolation from each other. It seems more natural and certainly encourages optimism to think of the positive by-products of modernity, including natural science, technological innovations, improved public health, space travel and cybernetics, human rights and social justice. By contrast, we have avoided looking at the negative by-products of modernity, including the invention and use of weapons of mass destruction, the rise and fall of modern empires and the great wars which culminated in their self- destruction and collapse. Other negative aspects include the escalating destruction of the world's environment and a population explosion that now threatens the globe's carrying capacity.
By contrast with the interdependence of the three components of modernity during the past centuries which fostered its positive aspects, we can, perhaps, see that as modernization spreads, these three aspects have begun to clash with each other. State-sponsored industrialization can hamper democratization and ethnic nationalism can undermine states. The collapse of communist authoritarianism accelerates ethnic nationalism rather than democracy, and the multiplication of weak quasi-states associated with widespread anarchy provokes mounting violence and ethnonational rebellions. We cannot blame these phenomena on the non-Western world and its traditional social and cultural structures -- rather, they result directly from the proudest achievements of Western-based modernity and the dissociation of its major components from each other. The three legs of the tripod have been wrenched apart and no longer support their original superstructures. Rather, they have become terrible rods used to beat their victims, each clashing with the other rods.
Perhaps the most damaging partition has been that between History and the Social Sciences that compels many of us to ignore the historical experiences which generated the great triad of modernity and brought us to our contemporary crisis. Surely, social scientists cannot understand the present or anticipate the future so long as they lack a clear context based on past events and forces.
Within the social sciences, we further hamper our ability to understand the present by partitioning reality into separate academic domains. Political Science, for example, staked out a claim to understand democracy presuming to analyze its causes and consequences divorced from the dynamics of industrialization, a phenomenon belonging to the neighboring discipline of Economics. As for nationalism, it is defined as a cultural or social phenomenon best reserved for analysis by Anthropologists and Sociologists split from its political and economic implications. Perversely, even students of governance have further subdivided their domain into such sub-fields as Political and Administrative studies, scarcely aware that public administration has profound political implications, and politics provides the context needed for any real understanding of public administration.
To further constrict our vision, we have adopted a state- based myopic and parochial perspective which assumes that we can learn all we need to know if we focus exclusively on current events and phenomena taking place within the boundaries of a single state -- for Americanists, this has been an especially damaging limitation precisely because the U.S. is such a large country that it can easily be treated as though it were a world apart. Analysts in small countries rarely commit this stupidity - - they are well aware of the relationships and differences which can only understand by comparing themselves with others. However, Americans who claim to be comparativists are actually, for the most part, foreign area specialists who exclude the U.S. from their comparisons, thereby hampering their ability to understand themselves as well as the others they study.
To understand the phenomena of para-modernism, we need to recognize that a true understanding of America can be achieved only after we make comparisons with relevant phenomena in other countries, and the American experience also needs to be considered in any genuinely comparative framework. Above all, we need to see that we are part of a long-lasting world system: whatever happens to us results not only from our own actions but from those of people elsewhere with whom we are interdependent. Reciprocally, of course, what happens everywhere in the world today can only be explained when we take the American role into account.
To explore and clarify the many manifestations of para- modernism is a gigantic task that compels us to take an integrative approach, one that cuts across the established disciplines, that links the American case with what is happening everywhere else in the world and compels us to take a unified view of politics and public administration. The full dimensions of this task will, assuredly, preoccupy us for generations to come. We are only beginning to discover the diverse and untoward consequences of our greatest achievements, the victories we have lauded in the name of industrialization, democratization and nationalism, typically viewed as separate and unrelated processes rather than as linked components of the evolution of modernity. We must now also face up to their fearsome costs, especially when they are not organically linked with each other. In this paper I cannot even begin to deal with this whole subject -- but I will focus on one aspect of it that is particularly relevant for students of public administration, namely its implications for bureaucracy -- both as a cause and a consequence of bureaucratic phenomena.3.
It is worth remembering something that all of us know but easily forget: bureaucracy has been a fundamental institution of government for several thousand years. All traditional empires, and many pre-modern kingdoms, developed more or less elaborate bureaucracies -- those of the Chinese, Roman and Ottoman empires are among the most familiar. As hierarchies of appointed officials, bureaucracies were never democratic in structure nor purpose -- they were designed to enable rulers to administer domains under their authority, to expand these domains and to protect them from aggressive neighboring peoples.
Modernity has transformed traditional bureaucracies into a formidable dragon, the dragon of modern bureaucracy. Modern bureaucracy resembles traditional bureaucracy as a form of hierarchic organization designed to dominate and control subject populations and to do so more efficiently, with greater centralization of control. Its modern forms first evolved in the context of imperialism, a direct consequence of modernity. In order to rule their empires, even the most democratic of the modern states evolved mechanisms of colonial administration that permitted far-away peoples to maintain long-term domination over conquered peoples. In short, all bureaucracies, modern as well as traditional, are not democratic in design or function. Rather, their functions are administrative and hierarchic.
However, it is basic to our understanding of modernity to remember that democratizing countries were able to import bureaucratic structures and to bring them under popular control. No doubt, bureaucracies under democratic control in representative governments could and did provide public services that have been essential for the populations of all modern states. However, modern bureaucracies can also function as organs of domination and exploitation, as we can easily see in many countries where arbitrary and oppressive regimes rely on bureaucracies to sustain and maintain their ruthless domination. The key variable has not been any change in the structure of bureaucratic organization -- rather, it has involved transformations in the political structures established to maintain control over the conduct and performance of appointed public officials.
Historically, bureaucratic structures created to serve imperial rulers were imported to the modernizing democracies of the Western world where they have been tamed or domesticated to serve the common good (for more details see Riggs 1991). The denaturing of imperial bureaucracies is symbolized by our insistence on the separation of politics and administration. This myth or cliche, that I think of as the dichotomy myth, expresses a powerful drive to tame the potential furies of bureaucratic power and harness its benign capabilities to serve the public welfare. In its domesticated forms, modern bureaucracies, in private corporations as well as in democratic governments, became the indispensable tools of policies that supported industrialization and national interests. Even so, bureaucrats remain a bete noire in popular culture and much political rhetoric, even in the United States today, focuses on the alleged evils of bureaucratic power and performance.
My purpose, however, is not to elaborate further on the general phenomenon of bureaucracy, especially in its modern guise, but rather to talk about how the three aspects of modernity (industrialism, democracy and nationalism) have impinged on bureaucracy in the world today, especially in the liberated new states that have emerged on the ashes of collapsed empires. However, under each of these headings, I shall also look briefly at the implications of these para-modern developments for the industrial democracies, both today and in the years ahead.
The historical and interlocking dynamics of industrialization, democratization and nationalism are explored in Riggs (1994a) and I shall not repeat the discussion here. Instead, I will focus on the implications of each of these aspects of modernity for bureaucracy and public administration. Let me start with the industrial revolution4. whose direct implications for modern bureaucracy are obvious and stunning.
First of all, the need for complex and highly technical public services has been vastly increased by industrialization, as has the capacity of appointed officials to organize themselves for collective action. The growing need for their services conjoined with the new resources industrialization offers has greatly increased the potential political power of bureaucrats, giving them the capacity to destroy as well as to sustain the activities of a highly interdependent socio-economic system. Many examples can be given, but I suspect the point is so obvious that no elaboration is needed. We already have a substantial literature on bureaucratic politics that focuses on the role officials play in making public policy (Rourke, Lewis, etc.). Much less attention has been paid to the fact that, because of industrialization, good public administration has become a necessity for all modern societies and poor administration, or even the threat of administrative failure, seriously jeopardizes any industrialized society.
Consequently, I believe, administrative performance has major political implications in any industrialized society: whether or not bureaucrats exercise much influence in the making of public policy is less important, in my opinion, than their willingness and capacity to perform the functions assigned to them by others. Their ability to perform these functions, in turn, hinges on their expertise and dedication, on their own judgment and good sense, making them necessary partners in the process of developing public policies. This was not always true - - in fact, in traditional societies, most people lived on a subsistence basis, producing and consuming what they needed for their own survival with virtually no dependence on public services. In such an environment, bureaucrats primarily met the needs of a ruling elite who, alone, were the victims of administrative failure.
If this be true, we need to understand the uniqueness of the processes of industrialization that have made modern bureaucracy so indispensable. It has become a cliche to associate industrialization with capitalism but the relationship is complex. It is certainly true that without the innovative entrepreneurship of market-oriented business men, the industrial revolution could not have occurred. However, traders and merchants have been familiar figures in pre-modern times and could be found throughout the world for thousands of years. Advanced handicrafts and rare agricultural products produced the luxury goods that characterized pre-industrial civilizations -- they reached higher levels in the non-Western world than they ever reached in pre-industrial Europe.
One can also argue that capital, and even capitalism, especially in city states, is ancient. Industrialization, involving large-scale production using inanimate sources of energy (coal, oil, electricity) is a modern phenomenon that requires much more than capitalism. Capitalists could only afford to invest in the costly processes of large-scale production after they had secured enough political influence to protect their investments and to safeguard the required means of production, sources of raw materials and access to widespread markets. Until the 18th century or even later, they were unable to exercise such power except in trading cities that survived because they were tolerated by land-based imperial powers whose rulers were eager to secure luxury goods from remote places (Polanyi, Arensberg and Pearson, 1957). Industrialization could evolve only after alliances arose between merchants living in such cities and ambitious kings. Even the urban empires created by trading cities such as Carthage, Venice and Genoa, lacked the mass base needed for industrialization.
As their political power increased in certain Western states after the Westphalian transformation and under the influence of mercantilist agreements, merchants gradually secured enough protection for their investments to enable them not only to safeguard their stock in trade but also to build industrial factories in which costly factors of production could be protected from depradations by the state. No doubt this process required political protection for capitalism as a world-shaking innovative force that permitted individuals driven to accumulate wealth as a primary value to indulge their creativity and greed.
In all traditional empires, I believe, capitalists were politically marginalized in preference to other values shared by the ruling elites. But as a bourgoisie gained power, it also gained wealth through the technological innovations required for large-scale production. Concurrently, the organization of corporations protected by political allies, legal sanctions and social acceptance (see Riggs 1994a) protected industrialists from the natural tendency of pre-industrial rulers and officials to extract wealth from merchants by all available means, such as by confiscation, the imposition of tributes and the political marginalization of merchants.
An expanding array of pro-merchant benefits accompanied the empowerment of the bourgeoisie in Western Europe. These included access to employable workers "liberated" from the customary securities of peasant (serf-like) conditions (Polanyi, 1957), access to enough credit to finance large scale investments, secure passage over trade routes to markets and sources of raw materials, patent protection for their inventions, and recognition of corporations as "persons" with limited liabilities. Although the focus of these activities was in Europe, they depended for their success on the emergence of a global trading network in which the long-established civilized peoples of East, South, and Southwest Asia played a decisive role.5.
No doubt the human costs of the industrial revolution were staggering. Its para-modern consequences have been present from the beginning. Their human implications led to a growing flood of protests against working conditions for the poor and especially for women and children. Karl Marx and his followers organized the most dramatic campaigns to cope with them, but a large number of reformers at many levels in all industrializing countries called attention to these inequities and the human misery they caused.
Increasingly, however, state power was needed to acknowledge and respect the rights of property, and to restrain officials from oppressing entrepreneurs. The bourgeois project married public morality and discipline to self-interest, a project which continues to operate in our own times. It involved self-restraint by power-holders who needed to be persuaded that, by not killing the "goose that laid the golden eggs," they would become richer in the long run. If national production would grow, tax income could be raised and this would not only benefit the ruling elite but it would also finance a growing bureaucracy.
Bureaucratic expansion was an inevitable consequence of industrialization because it added new tasks to the traditional functions of governance. New roles and relationships evolved in all modern bureaucracies including the replacement of old norms based on honor and status with new ones oriented to efficiency and performance. Increasingly, industrialization generated new tasks for public policy and added technological tools to the repertoire available to public officials, always subject to the self-restraint that would safeguard the incentives and interests of the growing body of industrialists.
Among the innovations fostered by industrialization, the commodification of public service emerged as of paramount importance. Traditional bureaucracies were typically prebendary in the sense that official subventions were rarely adequate to cover the living expenses of public officials. The small compensation they received from government could be supplemented by personal gifts, side payments by beneficiaries, and income (rents) from properties attached to a post. Prebendary systems not only permitted but encouraged officials to impose every conceivable burden on private entrepreneurs. In fact, we may think of prebendary bureaucracies as inherently incompatible with industrialization -- so long as they prevailed in pre-modern societies, industrial production could not flourish. Small-scale crafts and trading operations, which were ubiquitous in pre- modern societies, could be milked by officials without destroying them, but they could never evolve into large-scale industrial forms of production.
In all modern bureaucracies, by contrast, public service came to be seen as analogous to employment in private corporations: for service rendered, adequate wages and salaries had to be offered and prebends could no longer be tolerated -- salaries replaced prebend and bureaucracies became salariats. In exchange for salaries that were supposed to provide an adequate livelihood for all incumbents, officials were expected to dedicate themselves to the public service and reject sources of income (gifts, fees, bribes, promises) generated outside their official wages. This fundamental transformation in the design of modern bureaucracies maybe viewed as an aspect of the industrial revolution and the new concepts and practices of large-scale complex organization that it created. However, it was also a pre- condition for industrialization --when officials were paid enough to support themselves as full-time state employees, they could afford not to impose tributes on business men. Thus a salaried (modern) bureaucracy became both a cause and a consequence of the industrial revolution.
The transition from prebendary to salaried employment for public officials was certainly not easily made. In order for any state to pay salaries to its employees it needs to collect a lot of money and it needs to make sure that wage payments actually go to intended recipients. This transformation involved heavy costs but it also gave rulers important advantages. Above all, it enhanced their ability to control the performance of their dependents -- the prebendary system severely limited the amount of control rulers could exercise over officials who could, in principle, get along without any stipends from the state -- indeed, in some countries bureaucrats, paid for their posts in order to enrich themselves by the perquisites of office. By making officials salary-dependent, however, rulers could increase their ability to discipline their employees. The system of paying salaries to public officials (military as well as civil servants) enabled governments to control their public servants far more closely than prebendary systems ever could. By manipulating rewards and regulating work assignments, duty posts and status, it became possible for any government, whether it was authoritarian or democratic, to harness the energies of public officials as servants of the state.
The same principle, of course, evolved concurrently and interdependently in the management of private enterprises -- the new principles of large-scale organization needed for industrialization created the higher levels of production that also made salaried bureaucrats feasible because it raised the levels of national income that provided a foundation for greater tax revenues. Moreover, to maintain the principle of a salaried bureaucracy, it was necessary to establish payroll systems outside the control of any officer's immediate superiors -- traditionally, funds were often paid to such superiors who, in turn, paid their subordinates only part of what they received while retaining the "surplus" for themselves. In order to sustain a payroll system, it also became necessary to budget and plan, to improve tax collection, to audit and evaluate performance, to determine salary scales, and all of the paraphernalia of the "staff" services typical of modern public administration.
However, there is a down side to this process -- the para- modern aspect of modernization. Bureaucrats found that, under close supervision and salary-dependence, modern governments could abuse them much more easily than pre-modern regimes could. However, they could also fight back: when officials were not well enough rewarded for their efforts (in their own eyes) they could rebel if they acted in concert with each other. Sometimes they organized trade unions and demanded rights based on bargaining and even strikes. When regimes denied these rights to officials, they could respond with sabotage, threatening those in power and demanding more recognition and compensation in exchange for better performance. When such efforts failed, they could sometimes "moonlight," engaging in non-governmental activities to supplement their income, even when the resulting conflicts of interest resulted in poorer performance of their official duties or even sinecurism based on pro forma but non-effective compliance with their official responsibilities.
Whenever modern public officials are hard pressed enough, however, they now also have the means to revolt against governments that mistreat them. In many of the newer states created by the collapse of modern empires, they have been able to seize control, thereby becoming a new ruling class. This did not happen in pre-modern regimes (Riggs 1991) but it happens so often nowadays that we need to recognize it as an important symptom of the para-modern syndrome. Indeed, it compels us to recognize bureau power as a major potential for all contemporary states, especially the newer states of the "second" and "third" world (Riggs 1993)
Instead of working as obedient public servants on a "non- political" basis, a group of bureaucrats -- always headed by military officers who, of course, monopolize the means of violence required to stage a coup d'etat -- can establish a bureaucratic polity dominated by appointed officials rather than by elected representatives of the people or even hereditary monarchs. We typically think of such regimes as a form of military authoritarianism" but I consider this term misleading. Military officers are unable to manage a government without the active support of some civil servants. Because all bureaucrats (military and civil) are vulnerable to the same complaints and grievances when they feel abused by the state, most coup groups include some civil servants as well as military officers. In any bureaucratic polity where, by definition, appointed officials dominate the state, those who choose to engage in corruption, oppression and laziness cannot be disciplined -- the quality of public administration declines even further, spurring a vicious circle that can scarcely be arrested.
Fortunately, successful coups rarely if ever happen in the industrialized democracies of the modern world, but they have become endemic in the newer states that have arisen on the ashes of collapsed modern empires. In order to understand this phenomenon, we need to look at democratization as a second major facet of the process of modernity, and at the imperial conquests which a few of the largest and most powerful modern states created. The cross-pressures between democratic ideals and imperial authoritarianism is directly responsible for some of the most tragic aspects of para-modernism.
The second leg of the triad of modernity involves the transformation of monarchic authoritarianism into democracies fueled by the notions of popular sovereignty and majority rule. However, the internal structure of bureaucracy cannot be democratized --effective public administration everywhere depends on the ability of officials to implement policies made outside the bureaucracy. If officials were to use democratic methods to formulate policies of their own, would they not risk conflicts with the organs of representative governance needed in any democracy? To say this is not, of course, to deny officials an important role in the processes of policy implementation where their expertise and experience is, indeed, needed if general policies are to be implemented wisely and effectively.
When, therefore, we think of democratic public administration we cannot imagine that it involves fundamental transformations within the design and structure of any bureaucracy. Rather, it refers to the development of effective control over the implementation of public policy by organs of representative government, including the judicial procedures designed to assure the role of law in public affairs. In this context, a fundamental problem confronting every country where democratic governance replaced monarchic rule was not how to democratize the bureaucracy, but how to bring bureaucracy under effective control by the organs of representative governance.
In some countries the process of modernity could unequivocally involve the creation of representative institutions capable of controlling the public bureaucracy -- perhaps Iceland could give us a prototype of such a process. However, in the largest and most powerful democracies, domestic control over a national bureaucracy was accompanied by imperial control over conquered domains -- England and France provide classic examples, but the U.S. also conquered territories and administered them from outside, even though some of these territories eventually became self-governing states with the Federal Union. This means that even the most celebrated modern states whose democratic achievements are most widely admired and emulated, a dark side existed from the earliest times. Our blindness in looking at modern forms of governance can be well illustrated by the failure of most textbooks that analyze governance in America, France, or England to pay serious attention to the way these states administered conquered peoples -- it was assumed that a report on how representative institutions in these countries shaped public policies and controlled the state apparatus would be sufficient.
Now, however, I think we now see that arbitrary rule by democratic regimes over conquered and marginalized peoples is also important. For a long time, we chose to ignore this dark side of the achievements of modernity, but since our empires have collapsed and conquered peoples have formed new independent states, we must surely pay serious attention to these side- effects, i.e. to the "para-modern phenomena.
Actually, even within the homelands of the modern empires, growing cynicism about the role and functions of bureaucracy prevails. In this context, think about the rather abortive "New Public Administration" movement: it sought to "democratize" bureaucracy by inducing officials to be more responsive to the clienteles they affected and had to work with. No doubt these efforts were extremely high minded and I shall not offer a critical analysis of their theories. Rather, I want to mention this episode as evidence that even among specialists in Public Administration, feelings of disillusionment and despair about bureaucratic conduct were widespread in America. If this happened within the heartland of a democracy, how much more pervasive must anti-bureaucratic sentiment be among dominated peoples, both while under imperial control and, since independence, under the rule of authoritarians, including bureaucrats (both civil servants and military officers).