Jump to end for links to
See check-list of related papers and publications plus comments by Abdo Baaklini, Robert Gamer and Howard McCurdy
By Fred W. Riggs
NOTE: These recollections focus on my intellectual development and how the different strands in my life's work relate to each other. They are being written while I'm in a hospital bed recuperating from a broken leg. That means I cannot consult documents to verify dates and facts, but ultimately I will fill in the gaps. Moreover, I have promised my family a real autobiography which, I hope, will be an elaboration of materials offered below, including more personal and anecdotal information. As an intellectual rather than a personal history, however, this first draft will take up the following themes:
Chapter headings include:
Note that underlined words and phrases link to related texts, but underlined numbers in brackets permit jumps to the citation for a text -- use the BACK button to return to this text.
Chapter 3 of Riggs' Intellectual Odyssey
Because my degrees at Columbia and the Fletcher School
were in the field of international relations, I looked for my first
regular job in this sphere, and was pleased to get an appointment to the
research staff of the Foreign Policy Association in 1948. Little did I
dream that in a few years I would make a major shift of focus to the field
of Public Administration although, paradoxically, I had never taken a
course under this heading. The reasons for this shift reveal something
about the precarious support for research available to our voluntary
associations and some of its consequences: I wrote about this years later
[1981b] -- dates in brackets refer to entries in the
attached bibliography. The research unit of the F.P.A. published a series
of monographs called Foreign Policy Reports, and a weekly bulletin
with comments on current events. My job was to prepare several
Reports each year, and to contribute short pieces to the bulletin
on a regular basis. This activity was supported by grants from the
Rockefeller Foundation. After a few years, the Foundation terminated its
support for the research program of the F.P.A. and, therefore, I had to
seek a new position.
While I was hunting for a new position, I explored the possibility of making a living as a free lance writer -- my old interests in journalism surfaced, but I was not able to secure a position on any newspaper. However I did have two experiences that helped shape my career and thinking.
The Ethiopian Adventure
First, a representative of Collier's Encyclopedia came to
the F.P.A. to ask if any of us would like to write some articles for their
coming volumes on a pennies per word basis. When I said I'd like to try
my hand, I volunteered an essay on China. This offer was promptly rejected
because volume "C" had already been published. When I asked what
volume would be coming next, I was told it would be "E." The
most promising titles were "Egypt" and "Ethiopia."
Although I knew next to nothing about Ethiopia, I figured it would be shorter
and easier to write than an authoritative article on Egypt. Moreover, I
was advised that to simplify my task, I could just read the Britannica
article and paraphrase it! Needless to say, I found this procedure unacceptable
so I launched an extensive literature survey, as though I were about to
write another dissertation. What I found was, indeed, most interesting
and the long article I wrote  had to be condensed
to fit their space requirements so I lost a lot of pennies!
What I learned however, was interesting. Although there are important similarities between traditional kingdoms and empires, there are also great differences. A shared problem for all hereditary monarchies involves the succession problem -- who should replace a dead king? As Kautilya's Arthasastra shows, the ancient Indians had developed ingenious devices to cope with this problem, relying heavily on spies to detect regicidal plots and take preemptive action. Other kings avoided this risk by dividing their realms among the princes -- that was the Mongol rule, and it led to the rapid partitioning of the vast empire built by Ghengis Khan.
The Ethiopian solution was more brutal: it stipulated that the most
capable son should succeed his father as king. But how could one decide
which of several sons was the most capable? The Ethiopian rule was basic
but cruel. Each son was assigned a regional command to police the empire,
relying on local resources to finance each regional army. When the emperor
died, the most able son was the one who could conquer his rivals or induce
them to surrender without fighting. The succession struggles were bloody
but they succeeded in holding the empire together.
A striking contrast could be found in the Chinese imperial system which was held together by a career bureaucracy based on recruitment through competitive examinations, and by a shared written language using idiographs, as noted above. This contrast sensitized me to the political as well as the administrative importance of bureaucracies, a lesson that informed all of my later work. The word Mandarin was used to refer both to the class of Chinese career officials and the language they used. Both were important because they enabled the Chinese empires to maintain its authority over large areas for long periods of time. Because the written form of Mandarin was based on characters (idiographs) rather than a phonetic alphabet, officials could communicate with local educated gentries regardless of what local dialect (language) they spoke. The Mandarin system, therefore, provided the skeleton for Chinese imperial power and, as I shall show later, it established a formula for the development of modern bureaucracies in most industrialized countries -- with the notable exception of the United States. A distinctive problem faced by Chinese emperors was how to maintain control over its gigantic care Mandarinate. The solution hinged heavily on having a large imperial household with many wives and concubines, policed by a crowd of eunuchs who also served as loyal retainers to monitor the Mandarins. They were dependable because they were completely dependent on the Emperor's pleasure and, as eunuchs, could not produce offspring of their own who might have sought power in their own right. The Ethiopian empire lacked counterpart institutions that might have given it such stability.
Socially speaking, there was another contrast. The Chinese civilization was inclusive and led to the widespread sinification of conquered peoples -- they all became Chinese. Those who refused retreated to the hills or fled. By contrast, the ruling caste in Ethiopia was composed of Coptic Christians speaking Amharic, but they the non-Coptic speakers of other languages to retain their owe cultural traditions. Without attempting to explain this difference, let me just mention a consequence. When modern nationalism became a powerful force throughout the world, it enabled Chinese regardless of local dialects and identities to think of themselves as truly Chinese. By contrast, when the same influences came to Ethiopia they brought highly divisive inter-ethnic conflicts that divided and continue to divide the country to the present day. I remembered this many years later when I began to focus on nationalism and modernity -- see Chapter 5.
After completing my Ethiopian project I turned to a new project that
I received from the Institute of Pacific Relations in 1951. Its director,
William Holland, was reviewing a long and controversial manuscript about
the history and politics of Formosa. It needed to be up-dated with current
information about events since the Kuomintang, under the leadership of
Chiang Kai Shek, had taken control following the conquest of mainland China
by the Communists in 1950. Although the work had a lot of interesting information
about Taiwan under Japanese rule, it also had a pro-Japanese bias that
Holland wanted me to counterbalance in an annex that he asked me to write.
I accepted the invitation and produced a document which could not be published
in the proposed book because some major disagreements with the author persisted.
Ultimately, my annex was published separately as Formosa Under Chinese
Nationalist Rule .
This project was my first effort to do a multi-disciplinary area
study. I looked at the political, economic and social dimensions of post
war Taiwan society. They all affected each other and only by linking them
could one gain a balanced understanding of this particular society. However,
because it was designed as an annex to a work of history, I had to ignore
the historical context -- a serious defect in the product as a separate
work. I hoped some day to write an historical introduction for a revised
edition, but never had the opportunity.
Perhaps a word about that history and its relevance is appropriate
here. Taiwan became a political entity when Koxinga, a Ming resistance
leader against the Manchu conquest of China in 1644, fled to the island
as a sanctuary and created a new kingdom which, in fact, gained international
recognition. Obvious parallels can be drawn with the flight of Chiang Kai
Shek's forces to Taiwan in the face of conquering Communist forces.
The sequel might also be relevant. In due course, after Koxinga's death, his successors succumbed to Manchu pressure and agreed to the annexation of the island as an administrative district of the province of Fukien where I had been brought up. Although Chinese lived in Taiwan, the island had not previously been unified nor incorporated in any Chinese Empire. It was inhabited by aboriginal tribes surrounded by various foreign settlements on the coast, including some Europeans, mainly Portuguese. There were also Chinese immigrants, mainly from Amoy, a port city in southern Fukien, but there were also quite a few Hakka immigrants speaking their own distinctive language. The national language, Mandarin, was virtually unknown. Under the Manchus the sub-provincial governors ruled as imperial conquerors. When the Japanese conquered the island at the end of the 19th century, they began to develop it economically and created a significant local aristocracy educated in Japanese.
When the Japanese lost the island after the war, it was returned to China by international agreement, but the administrators sent by the Nanking government were stoutly resisted and substantial violence had occurred before Chiang himself came to the island as a Koxinga-like refugee-conqueror. The local population, for the most part, just wanted to be left alone. However, political activists like my former teacher, Joshua Liao, either sought independence or supported a return to Japanese rule -- however, under Chinese pressure, they fled, along with the Taiwanese landlords who, with American help, were ousted from their lands. For this reason, the Kuo Min Tang rulers, were able to achieve "land reform" in Taiwan although they had never been able to do so on the mainland.
Eventually, the mainland refugees who dominated the island by military force created a "national" government for the Republic of China, dedicating it to the overthrow of the Communists and their own eventual return home. They had no reason to identify themselves as "Formosans" nor to empathize with the local population. With the passage of time, however, that original situation has changed substantially. Much intermarriage has occurred, many Taiwanese have learned the national language, and the Taiwanese-born children of mainlanders now identify more with the island than with China.
Today, Taiwan has become a de facto state with all the features
of a successful regime except international recognition. It has prospered
economically and politically but other countries, including the U.S., hold
to the fiction that it is a Chinese province and not a state. Some day
it may well be returned by negotiation to its proper mother country, perhaps
following the precedent set by the British when they gave Hong Kong back
to the Chinese.
My experiences writing about Ethiopia and Taiwan taught me that states are normally defined as having both de jure and de facto status: i.e., they have the right to rule and they actually can rule -- most states in the world today can be understood as having both of these properties. However, there are some that have one without the other. Ethiopia and China (when I lived there) were de jure but not de facto states. I now refer to them as being anarchian regimes -- they had international recognition with out the ability to govern their domains effectively. By contrast, Taiwan is a shadow state -- having the reality but not the formal status of an independent state.
When I wrote my book on Formosa, the regime in Taiwan was recognized by the United States and other countries as having the right to represent "China" and hold its permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. At that time, the "Republic of China" was anarchian by my definition -- it was a de jure but not a de facto but not a de jure state. Since then this situation has been overturned: Taiwan today has the de facto but not the de jure status of a state. Without realizing it at the time, my work on Ethiopia and Taiwan paved the way for me to see later how, under prismatic conditions, what looked like this could actually be that -- the form and the substance need not correspond and formalism can prevail. I found this to be a major clue in my efforts to understand public administration in so-called "developing" countries.
Eventually, I realized that I could not make a living as a free lance writer and I returned to the quest for a salaried position. As luck would have it, the Ford Foundation had just given a substantial grant to the Public Administration Clearing House to open new branches in New York and Washington to strengthen its international and national programs. Rowland Egger, a long-term pillar of the PACH, was named to open its New York office which would be working closely with the United Nations where a new public administration department, advised by Egger himself, was to be established.
To help Rowland launch the New York program, PACH agreed that he
needed an assistant who could combine an interest in public administration
with international experience and outlook. Virtually all of American Public
Administration was deeply narcissistic -- it idealized our administrative
practices as though they had evolved independently without counterparts
elsewhere, and offered universally relevant answers to the problems confronting
the new states emerging around the world as a result of the collapse of
When I interviewed Egger for the new position, I confessed that I had never taken any courses in Public Administration. He acknowledged could be a problem, but he also said that those who had studied public administration in America did not know how their experience could be relevantly applied in other countries. He asked whether, as an internationalist, I could bring the two approaches together. He claimed it would not take much time to learn what was known about Public Administration, and offered me several books that would do the job. Then he asked whether I had written anything that might be relevant and, when I mentioned my thesis , he asked to see it. In a follow-up interview, he made me an offer and said that, although I did not know it, my thesis actually dealt with problems of public administration. On that note of agreement, I promptly accepted and became an instant member of the Public Administration community. Following a practice proposed by Dwight Waldo, I capitalize the names of disciplines (e.g.,, Public Administration) but write the activity studied in lower case (e.g.,, public administration).
My first assignment was to find out what was going on around the
world in the field of training for public service. I began to accumulate
information on these activities in many of which the United Nations, the
beginning to launch projects. Often they used contracts with American Universities
to provide technical expertise. My first relevant publication was a bibliographic
Among our special projects was one that especially appealed to me. We referred to IT as "Old Elephants." The premise was that before international technical assistance under official auspices had been started, private agencies such as foundation and missionary societies had already been engaged in relevant activities. Just as old elephants teach young elephants by their example how to perform assigned tasks, so the old hands in private technical assistance might be called in to advise and help the newcomers starting out under the banner raised by President Harry Truman in his inaugural address where he enunciated four points -- we only remember the fourth which called for sharing American technical expertise with newly independent countries anywhere in the world.
Since my own father had been an Old Elephant, I quickly supported this idea and recommended that we recruit someone to work on such a study. Although the metaphor was derived from Siamese practices where experienced elephants taught young ones how to move tree trunks, a recent news items reports that in South Africa orphaned baby elephants brought up without their parents become rogues that can attack rare white rhinos -- to socialize them, some mature elephants were brought in and they were able to re-socialize the young ones to behave themselves. I turned to an old a friend at the F.P.A. for leads and he introduced me to Ed Bock who had just returned to the U.S. from England where he had received a Master's degree at the London School of Economics and was looking for a job. I thought he had just the right qualification and introduced him to Egger who promptly hired him.
He produced an excellent study and we became good friends. Ed was a pragmatist who wanted facts and concrete examples, rejecting theories that could not easily be operationalized. He subsequently went on to head the Inter-University Case Program, with headquarters at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Shortly thereafter I was able to write a case study [1973b] -- it took years to secure clearance for its publication -- for Bock's program based on field work in Taiwan which I was delighted to be able to visit again after having done the book referred to above. I mention this because I found myself torn between the need to collect data and also to theorize about it.
My case study was a narrative with many facts involving fantastic misunderstandings between the U.S. foreign aid agency and the Chinese authorities in Taiwan. They were based largely on the effort to impose a theory of how veterans should be demobilized and treated based on U.S. experience in a context where these policies were really inappropriate. In the context of Bock's case methodology, I had to let the facts speak for themselves. At the same time, however, I was developing my theory of prismatic society based on observations in Thailand and the Philippines -- they are discussed below. I could easily have extended the analysis to Taiwan, but was not able to take time for that.
As for my assignment at the PACH, it essentially involved collecting data and establishing contacts -- as a "clearing house" our role was to help people in different places and organizations learn about each other's work and promote cooperation between them. I was not sure about my own strengths and weaknesses so I felt myself to be a kind of apprentice -- reading up on Public Administration and going to many meetings and interviews. Charles Ascher, who replaced Rowland as head of the PACH office in New York, used to tell me that I had the instincts of a squirrel -- I could accumulate a storehouse of information and store it away, but I didn't know what to do with it. I resolved to prove him wrong and began to pay more attention to theories that would explain and build on the facts.
POSDCORB and Korea
An opportunity to do just that came to me in 1956 when I was invited
by the State Department to go to South Korea to give some lectures in a
training program for former subordinate officials under Japanese rule who
were now being prepared for more important responsibilities in their new
state. I was glad to accept the invitation but perplexed about what I should
say. I remember asking an old timer in public administration working at
the UN to advise me. He said I would have no difficulty if I just remembered
"POSDCORB". This acronym identifies a list of basic functions:
Planning, Organizing, Staffing, Directing, etc. Anyone following the good
recipes for these functions would, presumably, be able to administer well.
I confess I was taken aback because my mind went immediately to my father's experience. If he found that basic agricultural implements could not easily be transplanted to a new context, would not the same principle apply to something so deeply involved in a country's culture and history as its system for organizing public administration. I decided to follow a dual course. I would explain to the Koreans that Americans had found certain principles helpful in their own context of public administration, and follow this up with questions and discussions about what might work well in Korea. Thus I went to Korea for a very hot summer in 1956 during which I spent as much time as I could trying to learn about their existing practices and the reasons for them.
As for my lectures, the main group of "students" in my lecture hall knew no English and so we had to rely on the services of an interpreter who may not have understood much of what I was trying to explain, and I certainly had difficulty getting any useful feed-back from them. However, I was fortunate to find a small group of English-speaking Koreans who wanted me to meet with them in a seminar format to talk about the future of Korea and what might be done to create a permanent center for research and training on Public Administration at Seoul National University. The leader of that group was Bark Dong Suh, who became a good friend and, in time, the dean of SNU's new graduate school of Public Administration. I was able to put the group in touch with a representative of the University of Minnesota at the American aid office, and they prepared a contract which paved the way for training the faculty and creating this school. By the summer's end, a number of my "students" gathered together and invited me to sit with them while they made a decision to launch the Korean Association for Public Administration (KAPA) which is now a flourishing and large professional society in South Korea where many universities now support their PA programs.
As for my "field work," I learned that under the Korean
monarchy there had existed an important class of scholar-officials, the
yang-ban, whose recruitment through royal examinations was patterned
on the Chinese mandarin model. However, the system was never strictly enforced
and it was strongly affected by family pressures and patronage -- it moved
in the direction of the hereditary samurai officials of Tokugawa Japan,
but without becoming a hereditary caste.
Although this old system had been destroyed under Japanese rule,
memories of it remained and were celebrated in the popular culture. Thus
the new American-sponsored system of training public officials was to become
a kind of amalgam of ancient and modern ideas. In this mix, the military
officials were to play an especially important role, and the new graduates
of the American oriented military academy became, in fact, the rulers of
South Korea under a succession of military regimes. The main lesson I learned
in Korea was simply a reinforced version of my father's experience: until
one understands the dynamics of change in any society and takes them into
account, one cannot expect to succeed in efforts to import rules and practices
based on the experience of other countries. At least, be prepared to find
that these imported notions are counter-productive, leading to unexpected
and undesired consequences.
The Move to Indiana
However, I still had only vague ideas about how to use this
information when I received a phone call from Walter Laves who invited me
to join him at Indiana University. He had but recently returned from Paris
-- where he worked at UNESCO during its formative years -- to become chair
of IU's Political Science Department. We had met several times in New York
at PACH meetings which I had organized. I felt that the Ford Foundation's
support for PACH would some day vanish, as had the Rockefeller support for
the F.P.A., so I jumped at the chance.
Moreover, during 1955-6, as a visitor, I had team-taught with Walter Sharp and Herbert Kaufman a seminar on Comparative Public Administration at Yale University. I enjoyed the experience and found it intellectually stimulating so I was prepared to jump at the opportunity to move to Bloomington and establish myself as a regular faculty member. Some time later, comparing notes with Dwight Waldo, I claimed that our Yale seminar was the first course in America on CPA. Dwight refuted my claim by asserting that he had previously taught such a course at UC Berkeley. Comparing our syllabi, I found that he had focused on public administration in Europe, thus enabling me to substantiate my claim to have developed the first CPA course with a focus on problems of third world countries.
My move to academia, from Manhattan to Bloomington, led me to write two preliminary essays. The first  was very empirical -- it summarized observations contained in International Bank reports on some of the problems confronted by the Bank in a dozen or so countries. My project was intended to provide background information to support the Yale seminar. After it was published, I was surprised and delighted to receive the Silver Pen award for this article. This award was given to scholars who had written academic articles in plain English! This may surprise readers who may think of me as an inveterate coiner of neologisms, like prismatic.
Indeed, my second article could not have won the Silver Pen award because it was quite speculative and even proposed several new words. They appear in the title, Agararia and Industria . To see whether members of the Department would support my appointment, I was invited to visit and give a lecture. I saw it as a serious test and knew that I had to deliver something useful and significant in order to secure my appointment as a specialist in the emerging field of Comparative Public Administration. In my paper, I argued that there were two basic patterns for public administration, the first had evolved in traditional empires and kingdoms where pre-industrial social and cultural conditions prevailed, and the second was a product of modernity following the Industrial Revolution and the emergence of the post-Westphalian state system. Most of my paper consisted of an effort to spell out the logical implications of what would work or could survive in each of these contrasting social contexts. My approach was based on the structural-functional framework proposed by Talcott Parsons which was very popular at that time.
The main point of the paper, however, was to speculate about what happens or would happen when the two contrasting systems overlap as we see throughout the third world today. I argued that residues from the past would mingle with imported innovations, producing unanticipated results. I rejected the escalator model of the new modernization literature inspired by the Point Four rhetoric in which "traditional" societies were expected to respond to the fresh breezes of "modernity" by embracing changes that would, sooner or later, bring them into the new world of opportunity created, with our help, on the morrow of collapsed imperial control.
It struck me that most societies would adhere tenaciously to many of their most valued ancient traditions and cultural norms while simultaneously importing and accepting a facade of practices and patterns that would, hopefully, enable them to maintain their distinctive cultures while, simultaneously, benefitting from the autonomy and material goods offered by the outside world. Some kind of amalgam would, I argued, result -- not in any uniform pattern but in varying combinations responsive to the needs and opportunities of concrete situations. Unfortunately, in the conventional logic of contradictories, the agraria/industria metaphors exclude the "normal" middle which we automatically think of when we view such terms as contraries. Consider that between the contradictories, male/female, we do not expect any middle ground, but between the contraries, hot/cold, there are a host of intermediate "warm" possibilities. I felt very frustrated because, although I viewed agraria/industria as contraries, not contradictories, I could not think of any term to use for a middle category.
However, I soon found the term I needed, prismatic. Actually, I saw that two contraries may be complementary, they may co-exist, as they do in the Chinese yin/yang symbol. I came to believe that traditions would not dissolve on an escalator taking a society from its old roots into the new age. Instead, curious amalgams would be formed in which both agraria and industria would be combined in unstable mixtures. In the prism of my imagination, the white light of undifferentiated social systems would mingle with the rainbow hues of highly differentiated social structures as found today in every industrialized society.
The notion of the prismatic model idea evolved in my mind
while I was doing field work in Thailand, 1957-8, under a grant from the
Committee on Comparative Politics of the Social Science Research Council.
I proposed Thailand primarily because the IU Political Science Department
had established a contract with the U.S. aid agency to help Thamassat University
in Bangkok create an Institute for Public Administration to train future
public servants and do supportive research. While in Thailand, I enjoyed
frequent contacts with colleagues from Indiana, as well as scholars at
the research center maintained in Bangkok by Cornell University for its
Southeast Asian studies program.
My research plans meshed with the goals of the SSRC committee: Gabriel Almond, its chair, had taken the lead in attempting to discover a universalistic framework for comparing all kinds of political systems at a time when the orthodox categories of Western systems of government appeared to have lost their utility -- at least, they seemed to be irrelevant to the amorphous or chaotic dynamics of politics in the emerging new states. The committee was much influenced by the notion of pattern variables as elaborated in the functional-structural concepts of Talcott Parsons, Marion Levy and other Sociologists seeking to establish universally applicable categories for social scientific analysis.
Their starting point was the ubiquity of certain basic functions that need to be performed in every society if it is to survive. A wide variety of institutional structures and cultural practices could be used to satisfy these functional necessities. Western patterns of analysis had typically started with institutional structures and asked what functions they performed. Parsons and Levy proposed that we might overcome ethnocentrism by identifying key functions and then asking what structures had evolved to perform them. Although I was not completely sold on this approach, and had difficulty with some important parts of it, I thought it provided a good starting point for my work in Thailand. My main reservation was that the set of pattern variables were all viewed as contradictories. I saw them as contraries that invited attention to intermediate categories.
To supplement the structural-functional formula, Almond and Pye hypothesized that in all political systems some kinds of groups would emerge to influence the political system and shape its design. This notion goes back to the work of Arthur Bentley as revived and popularized by David Truman and others. Almond asked me to test this hypothesis in Thailand. I said I could look at how bureaucratic groups affect policy and he agreed. However, toward the end of my research year he told me that I should really look into how private groups affect politics in Thailand. I felt obliged to spend a month of my remaining time doing this and wrote up my findings in [1962d] and [1963b]. When a reviewer later criticized this article, saying that it was a waste of time because policies in Thailand were determined by public officials, not private groups, I could only agree -- but I also felt my time was not wasted because my information about how civic organizations were manipulated by officials actually confirmed my main findings.
My original plan to study the role of public officials was informed by my discovery (in my dissertation research) that civil servants played a role in promoting the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion act in America. What I soon learned in Thailand was that officials, and especially military officers, not only influenced but indeed dominated public policy. When they felt abused and frustrated by the government, they were capable of seizing power and dominating a polity.
This was no surprise because I knew before I went to Bangkok that military officers dominated the Thai regime and I also knew that this phenomenon was not peculiar to the Siamese case. Long ago, when I was still a child, I had lived through the experience of military authoritarianism in China, both during the chaotic warlord period and also, later, when Chiang Kai Shek used military power to overthrow the fragile authority of the Kuo Min Tang Executive Committee. Moreover, although the elected government of Syngman Rhee which I saw while I was in Korea had become so corrupt and discredited that i fully expected it to end, as it did shortly thereafter, when power was seized by military officers.
American theories of Public Administration are predicated on the
assumption that public officials are always under the ultimate control
of a political institution based on notions of popular sovereignty and
the election of politicians able to reflect their interests and manage
the bureaucratic organs of the state. My experience told me, however, that
although copies of these Western political institutions might have been
established in new states, they might well be so weak that they could not
govern effectively, i.e., they could not maintain effective control over
the machinery of state in which bureaucrats, military as well as civil,
were nominally employed to implement public policies. If so, then it struck
me as important and useful to study how bureaucrats could and would shape
public policy when they were, in effect, the ruling class and not just
the agents of a government able to control its public officials.
This is scarcely a new phenomenon nor a product of modernity. The history of traditional kingdoms and empires has shown that when central government control fails, bureaucratic offices become autonomous centers of power and, in the extreme case of feudalism, public offices are privatized and become hereditary family monopolies. The fact that this happened in Japan as well as in Western Europe suggested that it was not an idiosyncratic feature of Medieval Europe, but had more widespread significance. The Chinese Empire, by contrast, was able to retain control over its Mandarins for long periods of time -- as I have noted above. However, even in China, during periods of chaos that followed the collapse of dynasties, warlordism and something like "feudalism" emerged. During these periods, Mandarins continued to play an important role because, in order to survive, they often entered the service of warlords who, in fact, needed their services whenever they captured cities and confronted administrative problems their experience as rural bandit chiefs had not equipped them to solve. I wrote about this in [1966a].
Under contemporary conditions, instead of bureaucratic offices becoming feudal possessions, they are more likely to be organized around rival cliques or factions. In both the Thai and Korean cases, I found that each class of military school graduates maintained an alumni connection that enabled them to act together as a clique. This became important after the initial overthrow of the absolute monarchy in Thailand in 1932. The new military rulers governed as a ruling coalition until internal tensions evolved into power struggles which produced coup after counter-coup. There is no inconsistency between the formation of factions and the power of office. In fact, many bureaus, as organized groups, also exercised power. Indeed, the coup groups that seized power depended on their hierarchic authority to mobilize subordinates to follow them when seizing power.
The factual data I accumulated in Thailand led to a book called Thailand: The Modernization of a Bureaucratic Polity [1966c]. Although in its original sense, bureaucracy had been defined as a regime dominated by public officials, this meaning of the word had been swamped by accretions, notably those referring to a class of officials under the control of a central political institution. To recover the original sense of this word I decided it would be well to coin a new phrase, i.e., a bureaucratic polity, which I used in the title of my book..
Although I used this term in the context of an area study commissioned by the Committee on Comparative Politics, I thought it might have a far wider range of applicability. We should recall that the vogue for area studies in America sprang up after World War II when the government and foundations discovered that they knew far too little about the many countries which had suddenly become important objects of foreign policy and technical assistance programs. To fill this gap, they subsidized a host of scholars to go abroad and write reports on a wide range of countries, villages, regions and cultures. My impression is that most of these reports were idiographic narratives,, providing a lot of information about concrete situations without much nomothetic theorizing of explanatory value. The funding for the Committee on Comparative Politics benefitted from the support provided by the Ford Foundation for area reports, but the Committee struggled bravely to transcend the idiographic mode by linking scattered items of information into coherent explanatory theories with nomothetic significance.
With this in mind, I wanted to use my Thai data to contribute to
a general theory that would help us understand not only what could be seen
in Thailand, but also what we would find in many other countries. Normally
area specialists seek to identify unique features of the places they study
but, in my case, I suspected that although what I saw in Thailand was in
many respects different from what one might expect to find elsewhere, much
that I saw could also be replicated in other countries. If so, it could
provide the basis for fruitful generalizations.
From the Idiographic to the Nomothetic
Consider, for example, the seizure of power by a coup group in 1932.
On the premise that this was a unique event, I believe it is fair to say
that everyone who had described or tried to explain it before I did my
field work in 1958 had assumed that it could be fully explained by the
specific events, personalities, and cultural practices of the Thai people
-- they saw it as a unique (ideographic) historical event. I could not
have prophesied that similar coups would become commonplace in the years
ahead, both in Thailand itself and in many other countries. However, I
did know that in 1927 Chiang Kai Shek, as commander of the armed forces
of a new Kuo Min Tang regime, had staged a bloody and successful rebellion
I could also see already that the civilian governments of new states arising on the ashes of collapsed empires would be fragile and that they might have inherited or created relatively well organized public bureaucracies, civil and military. It was not unreasonable to speculate that in such situations, during times of crisis, a military commander able to mobilize enough soldiers and weapons would be able to seize power and that popular discontents would also lead to widespread applause for such acts. Could such comparisons lead to the development of a theoretical (nomothetic) framework?
With such speculations in mind, I began to look for information and theories that might have predicted what happened in 1932 in Thailand on the basis of comparisons with comparable situations in other countries. Although I did collect a lot of situation specific information as reported in my book on Thailand [1966c], I used that information to test theories of wider applicability. In fact, I gave priority to these theoretical dimensions as shown by the fact that my book on the prismatic model was published two years earlier [1964a]. Actually, I was working on them concurrently, but pushed to finish the theory book before completing the area report.
This theory required that I question the conventional wisdom in Public Administration that appointed officials, as state employees, perform only administrative functions. Of course, that premise is true in all viable modern democracies. However, I made the assumption that when officials are not well monitored and controlled by political institutions whose leaders are not appointees -- they may be elected to office or even inherit their authority, as in monarchies -- their ability to organize and use resources -- especially weapons of violence -- enables them to exercise political influence and even, in critical situations, to seize power and become a country's rulers.
I suspected that this would happen in many of the world's embryonic states whose new political institutions were necessarily weak. In Thailand the monarchy was, of course, a long-established traditional institution, but its efforts to handle the many new problems generated by the impact of industrial imperialism had led it to create a modernized bureaucracy led by Western-trained officers and civil servants. Ultimately, the king found himself overwhelmed by insoluble problems and his ability to rule collapsed in the face of a revolt by a group of civil servants and military officers.
Before coming to Thailand, as reported above, I had
written Agraria and Industria, but been unable to think of a good
way to characterize overlaps between these two paradigms. Now, in
Thailand, it became clear to me that they could coexist in contexts that
were quite different from both. Military rule in Thailand co-existed with
the continuation of the monarchy. Although the king's power had been
abridged, the religious and ritualistic practices which most of the
peasant population trusted to bring them good fortune were retained and
greatly helped the new rulers pacify the general public. At the same time,
in response to strong leadership from members of the coup group, a
Parliament was established with all the trappings of modern democratic
procedure. Indeed, shortly after I arrived in Thailand in September 1957,
parliamentary elections were held and I observed them with great interest.
To the best of my mind, I could see that all the formal requirements of
multi-party, open and fair competitive elections were followed, with
plenty of international exposure. However, I also discovered that it would
make no difference to the ruling group who won these elections because
they were confident the Parliament would also vote to support their
decisions. They had taken care to make sure this would happen by reserving
half of the seats in Parliament for appointees of the regime, virtually
all of whom were officials, military and civil. Moreover, they had
discovered that by promising support for some of their favorite projects,
the favorable votes of a goodly number of parliamentarians could be
assured. By this means, a facade of parliamentary democracy was created to
satisfy the concerns of the more Westernized citizens and, perhaps more
importantly, to convince the foreign powers that the new government would,
indeed, be democratic and responsible.
In short, a third way had come to the fore: real power was to be exercised by a group of appointed officials holding all the seats in the Cabinet, but simultaneously two contradictory facades would be presented to the world: both the old agrarian authority of the monarchy and new industrian powers vested in parliament. That was when I stumbled on the prismatic metaphor: what happens in a prism may be viewed as a mystery, but what goes in and out is in the public domain. I thought of white light as symbolic of the undifferentiated power of traditional monarchies, as of clans, tribes, and families. By contrast, I viewed the rainbow hues emanating from a prism as symbolic of the differentiated realms of authority exercised by a host of differentiated specialized institutions in all modern societies. The prismatic situation was neither traditional nor modern, but it contained novel elements generated by the juxtaposition of old and new social structures and forces.
In later years my further explorations of the circumstances which are most likely to lead to successful coups led to discoveries about the problems of constitutional design which have informed much of my more recent work. They help us understand why new states that sought to create modern democracies by organizing themselves as on parliamentary lines have been more successful than those that followed the American separation-of-powers principles. However, that's a story to be told below in Chapter 6 , not here.
Intermediates: Multi-Disciplinary and Cross-Pressured
Although the focus of my work in Thailand was on the political/administrative
aspects of governance, I soon realized that it is impossible to separate
them from the economic, social and cultural aspects. Indeed, these categories
are, themselves, artifacts of the differentiated societies in which Western
people live -- they belong to Industria. Under the undifferentiated conditions
of life in Agraria, such distinctions cannot be meaningfully made. My guess
was that under prismatic conditions, it would be possible to make these
distinctions in a formal sense, but that they might be meaningless in any
real sense. Only a multi-disciplinary framework could accommodate the facts.
I felt that the prismatic contradictions might well apply at the individual (psychological) level as well as at the collective (social) level. We could expect individuals in contact with the outside world to profess ideas and norms accepted in the industrian context, while continuing various practices rooted in their own traditions and values. The result would be formalism, defined as a facade designed to obscure inconsistent practices. At all levels of society, one might expect to find cross-pressures in which apparent contradictions co-exist.
A concrete example may be useful. It starts from a purely economic perspective but quickly brings up social, political and cultural aspects. While in Bangkok, I came across a village survey that started with the question: how much do villagers pay to borrow money? A widely held theory focused on usurious interest rates as an obstacle to economic growth -- farmers could not secure the resources needed for development if they had to pay much too much to borrow money. Government subsidized credit unions and banks were viewed as a possible remedy.
The survey reported that, as postulated, a substantial number of loans had been obtained at very high rates of interest. However, it also reported that many loans were also secured without any interest charges. Moreover, many loans were also obtained in this village at reasonable rates. Formal economic theory, however, leads us to expect that the price of goods -- and especially of money -- will cluster around a rate that equalizes supply and demand. The findings in this village study appeared to contradict this principle, but its authors offered no explanation -- perhaps because they were only looking at economic factors.
Using the prism, however, I speculated that traditional subsistence practices in which no money was used persisted. The village system used to be based on subsistence -- farmers growing food or making things would exchange them with each other -- no money would be involved Under the influence of modernity, however, shops operated by outsiders made various "imported" and easily appreciated manufactured goods available: they included soap, flashlights, rope, cloth, bicycles, hammers and steel knives, and a host of other desirable objects. However, in order to buy these desired manufactures, the villagers needed to sell products they could grow or make in order to secure the money -- but in emergencies, perhaps they could borrow it. Marketization is an on-going process that cannot happen suddenly, and Thai villages, I guessed, would scarcely be very different from villagers in most other new states of the world.
Looking at the human dimensions of this transformation, one could easily understand that traditional values prevented any member of the village from setting up a shop to sell products that could not be produced locally and could only be brought in from outside. Only outsiders not subject to traditional norms of reciprocity and congeniality could become shopkeepers. Such outsiders would not the village's long-standing values and reciprocal obligations and privileges. As an outsider, however, a merchant could bring to the villagers desirable goods -- provided they could pay for them. Once they understood how useful these goods would be, they learned that they would need money in order to buy them. They also began to need money to increase their productivity so that they would have more to sell.
Much of the subsistence economy survived, of course, as well as the
cultural norms it supported. However, a layer of contradictory institutions
and practice were superimposed without converting the rural community into
a fully marketized economy. In this context, well-connected villagers might
count on more affluent relatives to lend them money, and these generous
folks could not charge interest without violating strong cultural norms
and antagonizing their kith and kin.
The government, for its part, in order to increase the supply of food from the countryside for an expanding urban population, needed to stimulate agricultural production. It also saw the export of rice, the major crop, as a great source of the foreign exchange needed not only to pay for the common goods used by villagers but also to support the more luxurious life-style of city people. In this context, it supported a network of subsidized cooperatives and credit unions but, with limited resources, it could not serve everyone. It had to limit support to those farmers best able to utilize funds to increase their productivity. As a result, money could be borrowed at moderate rates by villagers who were able to become members of government subsidized programs.
There remained a good many villagers who could not benefit from either
generous relatives of government subsidies. When the were in desperate
need of funds, they had no option but to go to a "usurer." This
pejorative word is often used for a shopkeeper whose goods the borrower
wants to get. However, such merchants easily understood what a great rusk
they are taking. They could not lend money at low rate of interest because
that would mean putting their whole enterprise into jeopardy. Moreover,
as outsiders not subject to the traditional norms of reciprocity, they
would feel no obligation to take care of any local customers. It is also
easy to understand how borrowers caught in this trap would feel animosity
toward the shopkeeper and use negative words to talk about h/er and the
"outrageous" interest rates they would demand.
Reflecting on this analysis, it struck me that the situation existing in Thailand was probably not exceptional -- counterparts could be found at many levels in the same country, and in many different countries. I viewed it as typically prismatic insofar as it resulted from the overlap of traditional subsistence societies with well established "Gemeinschaft" norms and the new forces projected from outside by capitalist or marketized industrial forces having a "Gesellschaft" structure.
The village situation described above holds in microcosm three kinds of syndrome which typify the prismatic model. Many other aspects are discussed in [1964a] but these three will serve my present purposes: polycommunalism, the bazaar-canteen, and the sala model. In each case I felt it necessary to propose a neologism in order to emphasize the distinctiveness of this prismatic item which differs from familiar phenomena for which established terms already exist.
Moreover, and this is a point that I failed to appreciate at the time but have emphasized in recent years -- see Chapter 7 -- that our established terminology presupposes a differentiated society in which separate institutions prevail and the vocabulary of the disciplines reflects this social structure. Thus Economics rules over behavior in a marketized society where prices, supply and demand can be abstracted from politics, cultural norms and social structure. Political Science presupposes separate institutions for elections, legislatures and politicians and Public Administration assumes that, for the most part, bureaucrats are career civil servants preoccupied with administering policies while paying little attention to military officers and patronage appointees.
Psychology takes if for granted that individuals can be viewed as
autonomous entities without paying much attention to their social contexts.
Sociological concepts cover a wide range of phenomena but, until recently,
have been based on presupposed social structures prevailing in the West,
and especially in the United States. By contrast, Anthropologists looked,
traditionally, at relatively undifferentiated non-Western societies --
including indigenous peoples living in the West -- and their vocabulary
reflects these premises.
The phenomena that I saw in Thailand all required a radically cross-disciplinary way of seeing things. In the village price indeterminacy as reported in the study I mentioned above reported facts that could not be understood in the vocabulary of Economics. To understand what they saw, they needed concepts that would presuppose a social system in which socio-economic-political-cultural-psychological factors were all interwoven and, in fact, not distinguishable.
Cora DuBois, an eminent Anthropologist whom I came to know during my
years in New York, stressed the need for thinking in a holistic
way. According to my dictionary, the word was coined in 1926 and refers
to the effort to view systems as a whole, rather than dissect them into
separate parts. Although holism has not entered our popular vocabulary,
the notion stuck in my mind as I viewed the Thai situation and I had to
deal with the fundamental inability of our established vocabulary to provide
holistic descriptions and explanations. In order to break away from the
procrusteanism implicit in our social science vocabulary, I decided, perhaps
with reckless abandon, to propose neologisms whenever I saw something that
I thought could not be correctly represented by any of these terms. As
a result, my writings contain many new terms. Perhaps they over-taxed the
patience of potential readers. I learned to cut back on the number of proposed
innovations and even abandoned some of my favorite ideas, as you may see
4 . Here I shall write about four of my favorite prismatic concepts,
hoping this will not be too much of a burden. They are polycommunalism,
clects, the bazaar-canteen model, and the sala. All
of these concepts are holistic and require multi-disciplinary analysis.
Polycommunalism: A Multi-Ethnic Syndrome
We are increasingly familiar with ethnic diversity. Indeed, throughout
the world, population movements have brought diverse peoples into close
contact with each other and produced a host of problems. My work in Thailand
provoked my interest in these problems and they have become so much a part
of my subsequent work that I shall devote Chapter
5 to them. For most of these problems the terms diversity and
ethnonationalism are more appropriate than polycommunalism.
Although I say something about polycommunalism in Chapter
5 , it seems appropriate to say more about it here.
Industrial imperialism is responsible for polycommunalism which is a specific outcome of the imperial effort to penetrate, marketize, and exploit conquered peoples. Even though Thailand never fell directly into the grips of a foreign empire, it shared the global consequences of imperialism with virtually all the new states of the world. When writers talk in general term about how the industrial empires penetrated the world in their efforts to consolidate sources of raw materials and produce markets for mass-produced products, we get only a fuzzy idea about how that project actually impinged on the poor people of the world. The Thai village, in miniature, reveals how the process of global penetration worked. I avoid using the word capitalism here because, although the entrepreneurs who mass-produced products for sale to villagers, and the merchants who brought them within their reach shared the profit-making incentives attributable to capitalism, the phenomena are so complex and multi-faceted that we need other words to capture their specificity.
The multinational corporations engaged in the large-scale manufacture and sale of products and the importation of raw materials are quite different in many ways from the small-scale merchants who open mom-and-pop stores and sell a variety of products to individual consumers. What is more, although they may be private sector entrepreneurs, they may also be public officials working for state enterprises. Although the spirit of capitalism was necessary to create these processes, in their elaboration they became the common property of a host of workers, managers and consumers riding the crest of a tidal wave that I think of as industrialization. Capitalism existed long before the Industrial Revolution and merchants have flourished in Bangkok and innumerable ancient cities for several thousand years. But only under the impetus of industrialization were merchants able to reach into villages and re-shape the lives of peasants who had hitherto relied only on handicrafts, agriculture or pastoralism to meet their survival needs.
The ubiquitous agent of industrialization at the village level was an outsider who could mediate between local people and the larger world of mass-production and high finance. During a long transition period, such agents could not be local since buying and selling for money contradicted the chain of reciprocal obligations, the rights and duties of people living in a "kith and kin" relationship with each other. Of course, in many societies these patterns of social life have already been destroyed. In their place, neighbors are often strangers and everyone accepts the cash nexus -- we expect to buy or sell almost everything of value.
During the transition period, however, outsiders became the local-level transmission agents of change. In Thailand they were almost always Chinese, but that was an historical accident. They could just as well have been Indians, Lebanese, Greeks, Jews, Muslims, or any other community viewed as external and willing to perform these functions. The price they paid for this role, however, could be very high. As outsiders and, often, as usurers, they would eventually become scapegoats and, in times of crisis, experience massacres or pogroms. After many villagers had become re-socialized to accept a cash nexus for their lives, some of them became eager to oust the intruders and establish their own small businesses. Quite often they had been resocialized by urbanization -- after moving to a city and learning new life ways, they could return home to become change agents in their own original home communities.
Moreover, every shopkeeper needed outside contacts and credit in
order to acquire the goods to be re-sold in a village. Normally, these
contacts would be members of the same ethnic community, perhaps even relatives,
whose reciprocal trust permitted them to buy on credit. Such intra-communal
reciprocity in trading communities is an ancient phenomenon and persists
to the present day. I had seen it in action before going to Thailand while
living in North Bergen, NJ and commuting to work at the Foreign Policy
Association. A neighbor in that suburban apartment complex was a Chinese
merchant trading in New York. He told me that he could expedite imports
from Hong Kong or Singapore by telephoning relatives in those cities and
ordering something they were handling to be sent promptly, without written
contracts and lengthy procedures. That comparable relationships should
exist between Chinese merchants in a Thai village and their Chinese counterparts
in Bangkok was scarcely surprising.
Ultimately, however, these middle men would themselves need contacts to enable them to buy from the non-Chinese multinational corporations which typically had their own base of operations overseas. However, mediators were needed to smooth the way. I discovered them in Bangkok, where compradores were engaged by European banks to provide credit ratings for Chinese customers. These banks operated impersonally on a Western contractual basis and required borrowers to provide proof of their credit-worthiness. They said that they could not understand Chinese nor evaluate their probity and so they demanded that someone they trusted would vouch for these applicants.
To fill this need, Chinese agents could serve as compradores. I first wrote, "employed," but that's a wrong word because the banks did not pay the compradores. Rather, they were expected to take "commissions" from clients in exchange for guaranteeing that they could be trusted to pay their bills. The bank took no risk because, if a borrower defaulted, the compradore would be held accountable. Just as in my village example, would-be borrowers who could get a guarantee from a compradore were able to secure loans at a normal rate, but those who could not -- well, they may have had to turn to a usurer or find some other way to get the credit they needed. I was never able to discover how much the borrowers had to pay a compradore for his services and asserted that they did not know because it was not their business. The result, however, was that Chinese borrowers had to pay more for credit than Europeans simply because they also had to give a surcharge to the compradore. My guess is there was no standard rate, but compradores could bargain on the basis of their personal knowledge and would surely collect more from some clients than from others. Thus the principle of price indeterminacy was at work in the city as well as in each remote village. Subsequently, no doubt, the rise of a flourishing Sino-Thai business community has rendered this system obsolete, but I have no direct evidence on the subject.
Let me add one other link in this complex inter-communal nexus. Rice does not go directly from farmers to consumers. It has to be processed in various stages, especially by mills that remove the husks and polish the rice. This process involves direct contact with local suppliers in every village where rice is grown, something European firms would not do. As a result, Chinese-owned rice mills had monopolized the processing and shipping of rice from the villages to the city. Many had become wealthy in this process, incurring the resentment of Thai people who suspected them of exploitation.
One politically popular idea was to by-pass the Chinese by establishing a state-owned rice milling company that could set standards for this industry. Precisely because it was a Chinese preserve -- I was going to say "monopoly," but of course, there were many Chinese rice milling companies in competition with each other -- the government found it necessary to employ one of the most respected and successful Chinese millers to manage their enterprise. However, this company operated at a loss and required subsidies. Several private companies managed by the same man were quite successful, an apparent paradox. I went to see him and asked him to explain why the public enterprise he managed was so unsuccessful. He candidly told me that he had been pressured to employ unqualified Thai friends of influential politicians to work as managers in this state enterprise. By contrast, in his private companies, he was not subjected to that kind of pressure. Again, it seemed to me, the principle of price indeterminacy was at work.
However, this time it involved the exercise of public authority to provide favorable treatment for some at the expense of others. This led me to formulate the notion of a canteen defined as a place where insiders could get preferential treatment or outsiders would be penalized. I had seen the canteen principle at work in Korea where I was permitted, as a State Department grantee, to buy in the PX where all U.S. government workers could secure a wide range of products at low, subsidized prices. I was later to learn more about how foreign exchange control was used in the Philippines to encourage nationals to become entrepreneurs by buy dollars at an official rate that Chinese merchants could not obtain. However, instead of going into business, these privileged persons could sell their dollars on the black market to real merchants who were willing to pay more pesos per dollar than the official rate stipulated.
In all the examples mentioned above, complex inter-communal relationships had evolved which were economically functional but socially and politically destructive. They permitted consumer goods and rice to provide a market-like mechanism for developmental purposes, but they depended on maintaining social distance and even distrust and mutual antipathy between the Thai people and Chinese and European minorities. Some years later I was able to see at close range how similar relationships had evolved in Ethiopia between the local people and Indians who performed functions in that country similar to those of the Chinese in Thailand -- and also of Chinese in the Philippines where I spent the next year.
It is true that these relationships involved ethnicity, but they differed qualitatively from those between different ethnic groups in the U.S., or between, let us say, Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, as currently reported by the mass media. The Chinese and Thai were not just ethnically different. They were closely linked in mutually cooperative and hostile relationships that were economically and politically functional but socially disruptive. J. S. Furnival had described such relationships very well in such books as Colonial Policy and Practice. Unfortunately, the term he used, plural society is highly ambiguous. It has come to be used in contexts that suggest ideas of interest group pluralism, or even ethnic diversity, as both are found in the U.S.
However, the organic socio-economic-political linkages that I saw in Thailand, which Furnival had described in Burma and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) were qualitatively different. I could have referred to them with Furnival's term, as a "plural society," but I believed this term would surely be misunderstood. Looking around for words, I thought of communalism which is used, especially in India, to refer to the attitudes and hostilities expressed by one community against others -- usually but not always based on caste or religion. Like racism, communalism refers to an attitude, not a social system. However, because the reciprocal attitudes of Chinese and Thai that I saw resembled those between the different communities in India, I thought I could use this word, but with a prefix that would point to a society in which different communities are organically interactive in ways that provoke mutual suspicion and hostility. I chose poly- for this purpose, giving me polycommunalism. Just as I had chosen bureaucratic polity to represent the original meaning of bureaucracy [19??], so I picked polycommunalism as a synonym for the meaning given by Furnival to plural society. Perhaps I should have stuck with his phrase, but I knew that it would lead to misunderstanding and so I chose a neologism that might prove puzzling but would, I thought, be less ambiguous once anyone took the trouble to learn how I had defined it.
My research on the Chinese community in Thailand led me to a discovery
that sparked the introduction of another neologism [1962a].
The idea came to me when I realized that the Chinese Chamber of Commerce
was not just a business association, as one might assume from its name,
but it provided, actually, the political, social, educational, and economic
core for the Chinese community. It reflected the universalistic economic
norms and formal organizational structure familiar anywhere in the world
where one might find a chamber of commerce. However, it was also ethnically
particularistic, seeking to promote the welfare of Chinese in all aspects
of their lives -- this made it a premier political arm of the community
for dealing with the government. It also provided religious and educational
facilities, and a focus for social activities.
Attempting to find a word to characterize this kind of organization, I thought about using sect and clique. Yet neither word was right. Sects normally have a particularly religious or esoteric doctrine which could not be found in the Chinese CofC. Cliques are defined as factions or cabals within an established organization, but the Chamber was an autonomous organized body, scarcely a clique. Finally, I decided that we needed a new term and it struck me that we could merge clique and sect to form clect. I found the word easy enough to remember and pronounce and useful because, looking more broadly, one could find many clects.
They play a particularly important role in the dynamics of polycommunalism. Here we see communities that cannot expect equal treatment such as we find in situations of ethnic diversity -- Hawaii, where I now live, provides a fine example. Nor could these communities hope to become accepted as nations with their own autonomous status, as we find in contemporary ethnic nationalism -- again, we find a good example in Hawaii where a national sovereignty movement flourishes on behalf of the indigenous population. The best that any ethnic minority can hope for under conditions of polycommunalism hinges on the important economic roles played by their members and their ability to bargain with those in power. In order to bargain, they need an organization of their own and it has to be a clect.
As I began to look outside of Thailand, I realized that clects exist
virtually everywhere, including the United States. When I spent a night
in a hotel owned and managed by Father Divine's organization, I realized
that it combined exclusive religious, ethnic, educational, economic and
political functions -- a true clect. This interracial public hotel, unlike
most such establishments, promulgated a strict set of ethical norms on
its guests, going far beyond what one would normally expect. In a more
formal sense, clects look like ordinary associations with rules for decision-making
that comply with widely accepted universalistic norms. Informally, however,
they feel much more like traditional hierarchic (tribal, clannish, familial,
or even mafia) types of social system. It was only after I realized how
ubiquitous they are that I decided to write, "The Prevalence of Clects."
The Bazaar-Canteen Model: From Micro to Macro Indeterminacy
Turning to the third term mentioned above, let me first point out
that there is a significant difference between the dynamics of price indeterminacy
as found in the Thai village discussed above, and the dynamics of price
indeterminacy found in Bangkok as reflected in the compradore institution
and the state owned rice mill. I saw what I thought was an important distinction
between the one-on-one relations between villagers when looking for loans,
and the macro-level structure of the compradore and rice mill structures.
As I looked at other examples, both in Thailand and the following year
in the Philippines, I began to see many different contexts of price indeterminacy
-- some at the micro- and others at the macro- levels. Of course, no sharp
line could be drawn between them. I decided to use bazaar to refer
to the former and canteen for the latter, but to link them and distinguish
my meaning from that intended by anyone using either bazaar or canteen
separately, I decided to link them in a single term, bazaar-canteen
The village money represents the bazaar where individuals bargain
with each other over the sale of goods and agree on quite different prices
for the same product. Such bazaars can be found throughout the world and
invite tourists as well as local people to come and haggle. No doubt the
final price reached in any particular case reflects the skill and determination
of both buyers and sellers to reach an agreement, but this is only part
of the story. What interested me especially, and this relates to polycommunalism,
is that one may well predict that most white tourists will pay much more
for a given product than a local person, and friends and relatives will
strike better bargains than strangers. The point is that in the bazaar,
prices are not determined just by supply and demand, though economic factors
are a part of the equation. They are also affected by ethnicity, propinquity,
affinity, and persistence -- a variety of cultural, social, familial, psychological,
and related considerations that are commingled inextricably. The price
of loans in my Thai village are only one sample of a widespread pattern
that can be found in virtually every country of the world. However, it
escapes systematic attention because it fails to lodge neatly into an economic
formula, or it may be viewed anthropologically as an idiographic product
of some unique cultural pattern.
Bazaars occur at the micro level in villages and markets where price bargaining prevails. This micro level is organically linked to enterprise size. Only small scale family businesses can handle price bargaining because it requires a high level of trust -- as soon as a firm hires outsiders, it opens itself to cheating by any salesman willing to report receiving less cash than was actually paid for a product. This also means that the socio-cultural aspects are important -- choices about who must pay more or less are not only personal but hinge on social prejudices and preferences.
The canteen, by contrast, involve large-scale organizations, both governmental and private. My guess is that also bazaars are more numerous, canteens are more important. The rice milling and banking businesses in Thailand, as reported above, provide good examples. Banks, through their compradores, put all Chinese borrowers into a tributary canteen where they have to pay more for money than other borrowers who enjoy a subsidized canteen, having to pay less. A government canteen exists whenever foreign exchange controls prevail, as they did in Thailand and the Philippines when I was there. I saw it most clearly in Manila where only Filipinos were able to secure dollars at the official (subsidized) rate -- this was in the fictitious belief that they would use these dollars to buy imports and develop indigenous entrepreneurship. However, Chinese merchants actually engaged in foreign trade really needed dollars and were willing to pay higher black market rates to buy them. Predictably, the favored Filipinos could make a quick profit by selling their lost-cost dollars at a markup rate to Chinese buyers. Private companies also created canteens. An important Philippine product is copra, made from cocoanuts. Large plantations in southern provinces employed workers at low wages and provided canteens in which they could buy goods on credit. Because they rarely had enough cash in hand, they needed the credit which they could not get at stores off the plantation. Predictably, canteen prices were higher than those in near-by stores. But once caught in the credit crunch, workers found that on pay-day, the amount subtracted to pay their bills at the canteen would leave them helpless and still in need of credit.
The same plantations needed shipping to transport copra to market
and their bargaining position enabled them to get preferential rates. When
small holders came to the wharfs with small shipments, they might be told
there was not enough space for them. However, by paying a premium, the
freighter might, somehow, be able to find a nook or cranny for them. These
shipping companies provided a subsidized canteen for preferred customers
but imposed a tributary canteen on their victims. More examples can be
found in [1964a]. Here let me just remind readers
that although bazaars and canteens (both tributary and subsidized) look
like market-based economic institutions, in fact they involve behavior
patterns that inextricably link social, cultural, psychological, political
and economic forces. They can only be understood in a holistic way that
cuts across our established disciplines and the vocabulary that each discipline
The Sala Model: Prebendary Offices
Since my project in Thailand had been financed with disciplinary
premises, both political and administrative, I spent much of my time in
Thailand trying to understand what officials did and why. It may come as
no surprise to learn that although much governmental activity formally
resembled Western counterparts, it also had a strongly indigenous flavor.
The result was a pattern that was neither modern nor traditional nor, indeed,
something that could be plotted as "intermediate." In fact, it
had its own special features. I began to think of them as pertaining to
the sala model -- my original discussion can be found in [1962b]
I'll explain the origin of this word after characterizing the traditional and modern exemplars. We all know that modern public officials receive a salary and agree to perform certain services in exchange. To characterize this pattern I speak of the office. It might also be called a bureau, but I prefer to give a broader interpretation to this word so that bureaucracy can apply to all forms of public employment, traditional as well as modern. This enables me to characterize traditional bureaucracy as prebendary. Dictionary definitions of a prebend characterize it as a stipend given to a clergyman, but Max Weber gave it a broader meaning to cover anyone who was able to make a living on the basis of an established position. As applied to bureaucrats, it fits any office which enables its incumbent to benefit from income not provided by his employer.
Feudal offices in the West are exemplary, but extreme -- a feudal lord or knight owed allegiance to a suzerain but had to be self-supporting, usually from land assigned to them. Tax farmers -- referred to with opprobrium in the Bible as publicans -- had the authority to collect taxes, keep much of it and turn some of it over to the government. However, even highly centralized empires, like the Chinese, expected their mandarins to supplement the modest stipends provided by government with prebendary income secured, for the most part, from "gifts" offered by clients seeking their support. In these days, such gifts would be classed as "bribes" because they are forbidden, but in most societies, traditionally, prebendary bureaucrats expected to receive gifts as a perfectly legal type of income.
What I found in Thailand -- and the Philippines -- was a type of bureau that looked, formalistically, like an office, but beneath the surface, was quite prebendary. National budgets in most of the new states are so limited that they cannot begin to pay officials well enough to enable them to maintain their status and expected standard of living. When they supplement their income by accepting gifts, they are condemned for taking bribes. There is much concern about corruption in third world countries which seems to assume that it is a moral issue -- that bureaucrats who take bribes are dishonest persons who ought to be disciplined or trained to assure honesty. I found this unrealistic because my studies in Thailand persuaded me that it was also a matter of necessity.
No doubt there are exceptions, as in Singapore, where the state can afford to pay officials extremely well and hold them to high standards of ethical conduct. Moreover, I found in Thailand that there are ways to augment an official's salary by legal means. For example, in one Bureau that maintains canals for irrigation, a basic service for paddy rice farmers, employees were able to take second jobs in a cement company that was nominally private but actually controlled by the Bureau. More informally, some officials combined private employment with public office. Physicians, for example, could work for the Public Health service and simultaneously take private patients and own pharmacies at which their prescriptions would be filled. This may not surprise Americans who have had experiences in HMOs whose doctors are employed on salaries, but may also take patients on a fee for service basis. Even University Professors, also with salaries, may also take private contracts to do research or serve as consultants.
In short, what I saw was scarcely surprising but I found it hard to discuss because we lack any term that succinctly links the prebendary and salaried basis for public employment. Eventually, I adopted the word sala. In Thailand the pavilion adjacent to a temple (wat) that can be found in every village provides a meeting place for the community, and it is called the sala. Here people gather for entertainment, business, worship, and public purposes. I thought the word might be a convenient metaphor for the mixture of motives and practices found in public offices. Like bureau, the word refers to a place, but also to practices centered in that place, and to its incumbents. I also found that in Spanish, sala refers to a room, having a sense equivalent to that of salle in French and salon in English. It also has a similar meaning in Arabic.
When I wrote about the sala model, I found that the concept
was easily understood and accepted in many third world countries -- indeed,
the prismatic model seemed to be as applicable to Egypt, Brazil, and Ethiopia
as to Thailand, as I learned from colleagues and acquaintances in these
The sala has deep cultural roots, but it also reflects a political reality. Any modernized bureaucracy subject to ineffective political controls has many opportunities to increase its income by charging people either to do or not to do something -- like providing a service or enforcing a tax. It has economic roots because of the usual discrepancy between salaries and expectations. The principle of price indeterminacy applies -- those with more power and money are able to secure benefits at lower cost than those who are powerless and impoverished.
To explain the sala model more formally, one could say that it links in a single bureau the prebendary practices of the past with the official practices of a modern bureaucracy. This requires a lot of formalism -- nominal compliance with the rule of law and official norms based on universalism, functional specificity, and equity, combined with respect for old traditions which require loyalty to giving preference to family, neighbors, friends, and members of one's cultural community. It also supports contradictory norms based on the premise that a salaried official offers services equally to all, while simultaneously (perhaps secretly) accepting gifts and services that violate this premise.
A particularly interesting example that came to my attention in Bangkok involved the behavior of top military officers and civil servants who had participated in coups and held cabinet seats. These bureaucrats were the country's top political elite. To supplement their formal income many of them held seats on the boards of directors of corporations that were typically owned and managed by Chinese. In exchange for their sponsorship, these corporations were able to get many government contracts. I provide a lot of information about these directorships in [1966c] but I was never able to determine how much money directors received for their services. But one may say that is typical sala behavior: what is formal is public, but the informal aspect is secret.
Since the emergence of non-military parliamentary government in 1992, the political dynamics of Thailand has significantly changed and, under its new Constitution, I expect that many aspects of the sala model are being replaced by a more widely understood office model. However, as the current scandal involving members of the International Olympic Committee illustrates, sala behavior is still widespread. In the minds of many IOC members, accepting under-the-table benefits while presumably voting impartially on the location of future games seems not to have been very problematical. Now, surprisingly, they may be held to a stricter standard.
As the examples given above indicate, the sala links with polycommunalism and the bazaar-canteen. They are all part of a single syndrome or pattern that I called prismatic. No established discipline has concepts or terms that reliably describe these phenomena. At least, I could not find them which is why I decided to develop some new concepts and propose neologisms to represent them. My work has been faulted because of its preoccupation with analytic explanatory hypotheses instead of more utilitarian prescriptions for strategies that would achieve reform and development. However, as I had learned from my father's experience, as explained in Chapter 1 I came to believe that without a sound understanding of the dynamics of what exists one might easily fall into the error prescribing harmful remedies based on irrelevant experiences. My observations confirmed this opinion when I saw that efforts to strengthen bureaucracies that were not accompanied by the creation of political institutions able to monitor and control them could easily lead to the empowerment of public officials, always led by military officers. I also came to believe that the success of administrative reform depended on concurrent political development and could not succeed without it. Each of these processes, of course, was also continent on economic, social and cultural changes that would mutually reinforce political and administrative change.
While I was in Bangkok, I received an invitation from Carlos Ramos
to go to Manila to teach in the new Institute of Public Administration
which had been established with help from the University of Michigan under
a contract with the U.S. foreign aid program. While there, from 1958-59,
I was able to present some of my ideas about the prismatic model to students
at the University, and test their relevance to the situation -- students
and faculty colleagues stimulated my thinking and I owe them a great debt
of gratitude. I also tried to replicate my experiences in Korea and Thailand
where I felt I had learned a lot by travel and interviewing around the
country. So many things came up during my year in the Philippines that
it's hard to know what to focus on. However, let me just tell a few stories.
My interest in information problems helped me understand some local issues. Because of my past experiences at the Fletcher School as a librarian (see Chapter 2 ), I volunteered to consult with the librarian at the UP Institute of Public Administration. I remember that she had a refresher grant for travel abroad and was thinking of returning to the U.S. where she had received her professional training. I told her I thought she might learn more that was relevant to her real problems if she made an Asian tour instead. When she responded that she probably knew more about librarianship than most of her counterparts in other Asian countries, I told her I thought that was not relevant. The point was that the problems she faced were more like those found in other Asian countries than anything she could see in America.
To illustrate what I mean, let me recount a small adventure. I was asked to speak to a conference of special librarians of the Philippines and we agreed to focus on government documents relating to local government. I looked into the matter and discovered that virtually all of the official documents were formalistic reports from local governments, often carbon copies of original typescripts. The explanation was not hard to find: these reports were responses to a questionnaire concluding with recommendations which, I found, repeated themselves from year to year. Apparently the exercise brought no rewards and was executed with minimal effort.
By contrast, I learned, some really interesting local information, including
statements by local officials, could be found in the printed and attractive
"programs" distributed at annual fiestas which are attended by
large crowds of local people. Here the writers found an interested audience
and, I believe, the relevant local leaders had learned there were good
rewards for preparing thoughtful reports and proposals. My paper on this
matter was published by the Special Libraries Association .
No American Library School would, I think, have suggested that collecting
fiesta programs might shed more light on local government than official
documents. Actually, the IPA library was collecting documents, but with
great difficulty because there was no central printing office: documents
were, therefore, hard to find and were often no longer available. I thought
I knew why.
I had discovered while in Thailand that when official documents are not sold but only available on a complimentary basis, the agencies producing and paying for them print only the minimal number of copies needed for official purposes, leaving no surplus for private citizens or libraries. Information problems turned out to have causes that reflected deeper administrative, economic and political forces. To complete this anecdote, the librarian finally accepted my advice and, after returning, said she had learned a great deal, and shared her experience with counterparts who were looking for solutions to similar problems and appreciated the chance to meet with her. As for government documents, she built an extensive network of personal contacts in many agencies to prod them to put the library on their distribution lists.
Although the Institute was preoccupied with national problems, it
was interested in creating a unit to study local problems. Raul de Guzman
was charged with responsibility for organizing this project and he took
me with him on a tour of the southern Philippines where we visited local
officials and community groups. On his trip I developed the idea that Western
concepts of local government and center/local relations need to be revised
if they are to be relevant to contexts like those of the Philippines.
AID was at that time involved in a project to promote decentralization
through a law that would give more autonomy to local government. My field
trip led me to think that, instead of trying to establish a uniform pattern
for the whole country, important differences ought to be recognized. In
a few localities, I agreed that economic and social development had reached
a level where self-government would be quite feasible. These communities
ought to be able to opt for a set of rules that would increase their autonomy
and reduce their eligibility for central government subventions.
At the other extreme, however, I believed there were quite a few localities in which traditional social structures remained strong and there had been very little economic growth. I argued that they also should have substantial autonomy, without subventions or other kinds of external intervention.
Between these extremes, however, there were many places where traditional institutions had eroded and poverty prevailed. Here, I thought, it might make sense for Manila to offer substantial aid coupled with centrally imposed rules and guidance. However, I argued that decisions about what status a community would have ought to be determined locally, not centrally, but it should be subject to revision at periodic intervals. These ideas were published in [1959b]. Raul went on to become dean of the Graduate School of Public Administration and Vice-chancellor of the University of the Philippines. Many years later, I was pleased to contribute an article to the festschrift published in his honor [1995b].
Others to whom I owe special debts were Carlos Ramos and Pepe Abueva. Carlos was director of the Institute when I accepted his invitation to go there, , and Pepe was one of the first staff members to return from the University of Michigan with a Ph. D. in Public Administration. I had met him in New York at PACH when he visited there at the beginning of his American experience -- he eventually became president of the U.P. He was a neighbor and we had many fruitful conversations comparing the administrative theories based on American experience with those needed to cope with the problems of countries experiencing the traumas of change under Western influence.
Because the Philippines had been under American domination, its new structures for self-government were based on the separation-of-powers model. Pepe played a leading role in the Constitutional Convention that recommended a switch to parliamentarism, but the crises that led to the Convention also led President Ferdinand Marcos to seize power and impose authoritarian government. This historical fact also affected my own later thinking about constitutional regimes, as discussed in Chapter 6 .
Among my good memories of Carlos are those associated with the establishment of the Eastern Regional Organization for Public Administration (EROPA). Carlos took the lead in creating contacts with counterparts throughout Asia and I helped him plan the conference in 1958 at Baguio where EROPA was established. It has become a vigorous regional organization with both state and non-state members, including also individuals -- I am pleased to have been awarded a life membership.
Anyone curious to learn how the "Eastern Region" is defined might appreciate knowing that it includes all the countries named on a list -- the idea of specifying geographic boundaries was soon abandoned. When the list was first compiled it included Taiwan (The "Republic of China") but not China (The People's Republic). Later, the list was revised to exclude the former and add the latter. Guam is included but no other portion of the United States, although Americans as individuals can become members. There were both state and institutional members -- this permitted Indians to be represented though the Indian Institute of Public Administration although India refused to join as a state member although it is listed as belonging to the "Eastern Region." The secretariat has remained in Manila to the present day: Raul de Guzman succeeded Carlos as EROPA's Secretary General, serving in that capacity for many years. He has now been replaced by Patricia A. Sto.Tomas, head of the Philippine Civil Service Commission.
My observations in the Philippines, which differs in many ways from
Thailand, persuaded me that, beneath these differences there are important
problems and processes that these two countries shared, and that the prismatic
model can be a useful tool to help identify them -- as, perhaps, do many
other third world countries. The Philippine Journal of Public Administration
offered me an opportunity to publish early formulations of some of my ideas
[1959b & c, 1960a, c, &
d] for which I was grateful. Discussion of these ideas helped me a lot
and I was able to incorporate many of them later in [1964a].
I also learned that states are more or less artificial political constructs covering a wide range of variations within each state -- geographically, historically, ethnically, developmentally and culturally. It was a European preconception to think that all citizens of a state should be, or could become, members of a homogeneous national community. This idea is inconsistent with the prismatic model in which polycommunalism seems to be a major element -- so much so that I made ethnicity and nationalism a focus of much of my later work, as reported in Chapter 5 .
On my return trip to the U.S. During the summer of 1959 I was invited
to stop in India to visit the Indian Institute of Public Administration
where I gave several lectures. They were later published under the title,
The Ecology of Public Administration .
Actually, this was the first book in which my ideas about the prismatic
model were explained. I used the notion of ecology in a narrow sense
to refer to the socio-political environment as it affected politics and
administration -- years later I began to teach "political ecology"
as a field which included interactions with the natural as well as the
human environment. The book is somewhat naive in its characterization of
Western and Traditional societies -- I think I learned more about them
later in life -- but I saw it as an opportunity to depict the intermediate
(Prismatic) ways of life that I had only been able to touch on in Agraria
and Industria . My ideas were well received
showing that the prismatic model was relevant in India. Later on trips
to Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Korea, and Tanzania I received confirmation
from scholars familiar with my work that they had found the prismatic model
more relevant to their real problems than alternative models resting on
bi-polar concepts of tradition and modernity.
One striking difference about the Indian situation that impressed we was that, although it had a powerful mandarin-type bureaucracy that had been created by the British, following the Chinese model, to administer their empire in India, a political superstructure anchored in the Congress Party was strong enough to maintain more or less effective control over the bureaucracy. Significantly, the Congress Party did not spring into existence as an independent movement -- as its counterpart in many other countries did -- but had evolved gradually as a reform movement intended to generate opportunities for Indians in the Indian Civil Service. Much later, after they had succeeded in building an experienced cadre of indigenous civil servants did they turn, under the leadership of Gandhi and Nehru, to the struggle for national independence.
By contrast, in Pakistan, where the same British system of imperial rule had created a powerful bureaucratic infrastructure, the political context created only on the eve of independence by the Muslim League, was too fragile to maintain control and, shortly after independence, the country came under the domination of a military leaders. My ideas about the reasons for military rule in many third world countries are reported in [1993a].
Indiana University and CAG
Upon my return to Indiana University in 1959, I developed courses and seminars based on my overseas observations in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and India. I also became involved in a new group established by the American Society for Public Administration to promote research and teaching in Comparative Administration, and to help the growing number of members who were involved in overseas technical assistance projects. Of course, I eagerly enrolled and we started looking for funding. The contacts I had made in the Ford Foundation while working at PACH were very helpful and soon enabled us to get a grant administered by ASPA which enabled us to launch an ambitious series of summer seminars, conferences, and continuous interactions with a growing number of members, mainly by means of Occasional Papers. These were the papers prepared for our seminars and conferences and many of them were eventually, after revision, incorporated in about a dozen books that emerged from our work.
Since this is an autobiographical account, I shall not say much about
CAG -- details are available in [1971c] -- except
that it was a great experience for me and I was able to consolidate my
own thinking about the prismatic model, revising and elaborating my own
ideas. CAG also provided a sounding board that gave these ideas a wider
audience than they might otherwise have had. However, many members were
also skeptical about my views which many found to be rather esoteric, and
they had their own views about how to compare and theorize about administrative
systems. CAG never had any position or doctrine, nor could it produce findings
in any formal sense. In fact, the mandate we had from the Ford Foundation
precluded any such sense of closure. Two stipulations limited the scope
of our work.
First, because the grant was to a professional society rather than to a research center or university, we were precluded from sponsoring any research. I was told that the Foundation's experience had taught them that membership associations had to be responsive to so many competing claims from their members that they could not properly organize a research project that required a specific focus and would, in fact, engage only a few people in its work. They saw associations as useful vehicles for the sponsorship of conferences and seminars in which members would report on research that had been funded by others. In the CAG case, this was often not formal research but, rather, more informal essays written by participants on the basis of their experiences in various countries around the world. This led, of course, to a wide diversity of approaches and views that could be discussed and reported but not synthesized into any coherent "findings."
We were later criticized severely for having failed to reach useful conclusions, but I think that, under the conditions of our foundation support, we would have only wasted time if we had made a serious effort to synthesize our work. We did, of course, have major themes for each workshop and conference, and these are reflected in the titles of the dozen books which grew out of them. The editors of each book were encouraged to provide introductions and conclusions that linked the papers and identified relationships between ideas -- but none of them, I think, produced any coherent doctrine or discoveries.
A second limitation involved a significant difference between the
original interest of CAG in comparative administration as a focus
for empirical inquiry, and the foundation's interest in development
which they visualized as a program of action designed to help people in
the new states in concrete ways. In fact, they asked if by comparative
administration we really had development administration in mind!
That was more than a gentle hint. It meant that to meet the expectations
of our sponsor, we had to pay a lot of attention to action formulas and
"how to" questions, and we would not have received any funding
if we had not agreed to this approach. We were expected to be prescriptive.
My own more descriptive work was faulted by many of our members who saw it as too "academic." However, I felt, and still feel, that before one can confidently prescribe remedies, one needs to understand the situation -- to describe and explain -- in order to be able to recognize what is possible and likely to work. I have become more and more convinced that prescriptions based on American experience, or that of any other country, are essentially irrelevant unless they are used with a solid understanding of limitations imposed by the dynamic forces and processes that exist within each society where innovations are to be made -- this opinion goes back to my father's experience as an agricultural "old elephant" in China. The cultivation of descriptive information through the "area studies" approach and the effort to elaborate explanatory theories is not antithetical to action -- rather, it is a necessary precursor to well grounded action. Without it, action project all to offer are counter-productive and produce unintended consequences that can be very damaging.
Within the CAG context I was able to complete a book that summarized
my findings about the prismatic model: Administration in Developing
Countries: The Theory of Prismatic Society [1964a].
I wanted the title to begin with "The Theory of Prismatic Society"
but my publisher insisted that more copies would be sold if the opening
phrase sounded more conventional -- in retrospect, I think I was right,
but the publisher had his way. Simultaneously, I was working on Thailand:
The Modernization of a Bureaucratic Polity [1966c]
which provided much of the data for the theory book. My work on these books
was greatly facilitated by a year spent at the East-West Center (1962-3),
thanks to Edward Weidner, a leading CAG member who helped to establish
the Center, and another year at the Stanford Center for Advanced Studies
in the Behavioral Sciences (1966-7).
During a summer at the Institute for Social Studies in The Hague (1972), I wrote an extended essay, Prismatic Society Revisited, in which I reassessed and revised my views on the prismatic model [1973a]. An invitation to lecture at the Center for Economic Development and Administration at Tribhuvan University in Nepal challenged me to say something about the practical implications of the prismatic model, leading to a lecture series called Applied Prismatics that was eventually published in Nepal [1978a] -- because it was almost impossible for anyone in America to get a copy, this work is virtually unknown. In that Buddhist environment, I found myself thinking about some social implications of Buddha's teachings about the "8-fold path" offered originally as a guide to individual salvation.
These norms call for appropriate action based on the harmonization
of conflicting values, something I viewed as quite consistent with
my own interest in finding intermediate positions between contraries. In
the West, we tend to pose problems in terms of contradictory right/wrong
categories that compel one to look for the right path and avoid the wrong
one. The Traditional/Modern dichotomy reflects this way of thinking. By
contrast, the Buddhist way of thinking looks for appropriate actions that
avoid polar extremes. For example, instead of promoting asceticism or hedonism,
Buddhists endorse moderation. In Western thinking, our language and conventional
thinking make it difficult even to conceptualize such "middle
We have words for the extremes but not for the normal situation which lies
between these extremes.
This point may clarify my critique of the pattern variables
identified by Talcott Parsons. They typically postulate contraries:
universalism vs particularism, specificity vs diffuseness, achievement vs
ascription, etc. In the prismatic perspective, I saw that making either/or
choices on the basis of these ideal types would be unrealistic and not
helpful. In fact, there exist and there is a need for norms that embrace
both contraries. The yin/yang symbol rooted in ancient Chinese
philosophy provides a graphic illustration of this paradox. Yin may
be viewed as a polar opposite of yang, but in the yin/yang symbol,
both are harmonized as complementary parts of a circular image. I cannot
elaborate this metaphor here, but in my book I spell out a set of norms
for nations or societies that struck me as appropriate "middle
way" strategies for coping with the challenge of reconciling the
traditional norms of a society with the new values and practices
introduced by modern Western influences.
I cannot go, step by step, through the various projects and ideas that came to my mind during the CAG years. However, problems of comparative public administration absorbed almost all my attention during the 1960s, and led to a considerable number of papers and publications -- they are listed in the check-list appended to this chapter. Although I became preoccupied with other problems, they were all related to my findings in Thailand and my exploration of linked phenomena. I wrote less about public administration in the following years than I had during the 1960s, but I never stopped thinking about its problems, and have written, on and off, about them ever since, right up to the present day.
Legislatures and Constitutionalism.
Without duplicating what can be found in the next chapters, let me
point out a couple of links with the CAG experience. Strangely enough,
legislatures were largely ignored by the SSRC Committee on Comparative
Politics, but I thought they played a major role in political development
-- and real reform of administrative practices always hinges on effective
political control from outside the bureaucracy. In any democracy, such
control depends, I thought, on having an effective legislature.
With this in mind, I spoke one day with a friend who held a position in AID that related to the evolving interest of that agency in the politics of development. Through him I was able to arrange for a contract with ASPA that permitted CAG to organize a conference on the role of legislatures in development administration. We met in Planting Fields, on Long Island, NY, and held a wonderfully stimulating conference that is reported in [1970b].
I recruited Lloyd Musolf to organize it and he, with Allan Kornberg,,
edited the papers for publication. My contribution included a strong recommendation
for the establishment of a consortium of interested individuals and institutions
to promote research on legislatures in relation to their political and
administrative roles. I became actively involved in our follow-up activity
outside of ASPA/CAG, and this explains why I began to think and write about
legislative and constitutional matters, as reported in Chapter
Actually, I had been thinking and talking about the political role of bureaucrats for many years before Planting Fields. In [1963a] I argued that appointed public officials always play an important political role, and that when the political framework is too weak, they can seize power and become a country's rulers. This article was also a protest against projects to strengthen public administration which, no doubt unintentionally, had the political effect of empowering bureaucrats (military and civil). In the first CAG-sponsored summer seminar I gave a paper discussing the notion of "administrative development" arguing that it could not occur in a vacuum -- that its precondition had to be countervailing political power [1964b]. Subsequently I began to look back on the American tradition. When I re-read Woodrow Wilson's famous essay that provides a pretext for the notion that politics and administration can be separated, it struck me that a different interpretation was called for. As I tried to understand what he wrote, it struck me that he presupposed the political effectiveness of representative governance within which administration could be viewed as a politically neutral process [1965a]. His basic argument presupposed a context that has been ignored by many of his followers.
Some Other Ramifications
In this mood, I sought to put public administration into different
contexts, These included:
NOTE: Rather than supply links to each of these entries, I anchor only the latest one where dates for the related items are listed.
I cannot discuss here the different ideas put forward in these various
papers but one notion that especially interested me was the dynamic relationship
between bureaucratic power and the countervailing power of political institutions,
especially those based on representation and poplar elections. I argued
that balance is needed and either side could become so powerful that it
would swamp the other [1971b], a theme revisited in
[1988b]. Investigating the factors that would affect
the viability of political institutions led me to consider constitutional
variables in relation to bureaucracy, as discussed as early as [1979a]
and as recently as 1997a & b]. This became a major interest of mine
and I talk more about it in Chapter
As indicated above, my sense that new concepts and terms are needed to enable us to discuss meaningfully the problems confronted by societies caught in cross-pressures between their own traditions and modern forces led me into terminological controversies that generated my interest in semantic problems. My paper on the multiple meanings of bureaucracy [1979c] provides a bridge between my work with CAG and my subsequent involvement in work with the Committee on Conceptual and Terminological Analysis (COCTA) that I helped to organize and guide for many years. A report on that aspect of my work is contained in Chapter 4 .
The emergence of polycommunalism, as one dimension of the prismatic model, started me thinking about ethnicity and ethnic conflicts. When we chose a theme for our first conceptual glossary in the COCTA project, we decided to focus on ethnicity, and I spent a lot of time on this project. It led me into the literature on nationalism and ethnicity that has now become so salient in world politics -- the story of how that evolved is told in Chapter 5 .
As explained above, I discovered that all the key concepts of the
prismatic model have multi-disciplinary implications. Starting with the
effort to explain great differences in the rate of interest paid for loans
in a Thai village, I became convinced that every real world problems has
aspects that are relevant to every social science discipline.
This conviction led me while I was in Palo Alto at the Stanford Center to prepare a "manifesto" calling for the creation of a society for comparative interdisciplinary studies that would cut across all the area studies and the disciplines to create holistic understandings of what is happening in our world. The International Studies Association persuaded me that they could help by recognizing a new Comparative and Interdisciplinary Studies Section (CISS) which I could lead. I accepted their invitation and began a continuing research effort that has led, today, to a growing interest in globalization as a phenomenon that involves all the disciplines and also raises important conceptual and terminological problems -- Chapter 7 is devoted to a report on this aspect of my work.
This includes a new focus for comparative administration: in addition to studying foreign countries why not look also at the American system of government in a comparative perspective. I believe such a perspective will reveal important problems and possibilities that have hitherto simply escaped attention. My main suggestions are offered in a recent PAR article entitled Public Administration in America -- [1998a]. See also Chapter 7 .
My concluding point for this chapter should be that although I have not been writing and thinking much about prismatic society and comparative administration during the last 30 years, the theme remains salient in my mind as my greatest intellectual adventure and I have adopted the prism as a logo on my Home Page.
As for CAG itself, my last official activity involved the preparation
of a final report to ASPA [1971c]. However, when some
sharp criticisms of CAG were aired in PAR, I accepted an invitation to
respond and wrote [1976a]. I found some of the criticisms
to be true but unfair because they failed to take into account the constraints
imposed by our foundation funding. That note was also my final public assessment
of what we had accomplished in CAG.
Its life as an ASPA unit came to an end early in the 1970s when it was replaced by SICA (The Section for International and Comparative Administration) of ASPA. Although I have remained a member, I have not been active in this Section, although in recent years I have tried to interest its members in adding the United States to the scope of their comparative studies, as reported in [1998a]. To my great surprise, mixed with pleasure, SICA elected me to serve on its Executive Committee at its latest meeting in Orlando, Florida, during April 1999. Perhaps, by e-mail, I can be helpful, though at 81 it is no longer easy for me to attend conferences.
I should add that Ferrel Heady, who played a leading role in CAG, was
also elected to the SICA Executive Committee. His text on Public
Administration in Comparative Perspective has gone through many editions
and is the leading work in this field. In it he talks a lot about my
ideas, and refutes many of them. We have, however, remained in continuous
contact ever since, and I am grateful to him for having played a leading
role in establishing the Philippine Institute (now College) of Public
Administration where I was first able to test out my "prismatic" notions.
My work on comparative public administration since the demise of CAG has been somewhat spasmodic. However, as opportunities have arisen, I have returned to this theme. I became interested in a broader view of ecology and reflected this in [1979b, 1980a 1989a, 1994c]. I was able to broaden my analysis of bureaucracies [1988a, 1991a, 1993b, 1994d] and paid more attention to the structural differences that affect both the amount of power bureaucrats can exercise and the capacity of political institutions to control them [1995a]. Responding to requests from the editor, I have made several contributions to the Public Administration Review during the last two decades:
Before CAG was created, a Committee on Comparative administration
was established in ASPA. In principle, committee members were committed
to the analysis and comparison of all administrative systems, including
the United States. When we found that the Ford Foundation was interested
in funding our work, we had to accept the reality that they were only willing
to help us if we would focus on development administration, a term
that was somewhat fuzzy, but we understood that included both the administration
of projects and programs in developing countries, and also the effort to
held government improve their administrative capabilities -- i.e., it embraced
both the "administration of development" and the "development
of administration." Although CAG stretched the boundaries of this
definitions, we pretty much focused on it, and most of our members were,
indeed, interested primarily in work on and in developing countries.
That interest has survived in SICA whose members do a lot of excellent
work on "development management," a term that puts an
even more a-political slant on my original concern about administration
in a political context. On a purely marginal point, the word, group,
was used to characterize the CAG because of our highly autonomous program
made possible by the Ford grant. When foundation funding was terminated,
it became necessary to handle SICA projects within the normal context for
ASPA committees, which explains the name change.
I am hopeful that there will be a growing interest among both Public Administration specialists and Political Scientists in the need to subject American Government to comparative analysis. Although this may seem somewhat bizarre, I think the impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton, as the House managers insist on calling him, highlights a major problem for Americans that can only be well understood in a comparative perspective. Although originally designed as a way to remove presidents who had become tyrannical in their behavior, it has devolved into a threat used by members of an opposition majority in congress to harass and influence the conduct of a minority president -- at least, that's my opinion. I have explained the administrative implication in  and I discuss more political aspects in various notes posted on my Web Page at IMPEACH In this connection, readers may be interested in a segment of my Web Page that offers a thumb nail sketch of the "Prismatic Model," followed by a list of links to my recent work in comparative public administration.
To conclude this narrative, let me say that although I have often felt frustrated because my ideas about the prismatic model seemed unintelligible or unimportant to Americans, they were often greeted overseas as illuminating and helpful. I took that as evidence that they clarified phenomena experienced by people outside the Western context where we have so easily assumed that the way our institutions are structured has universal validity. Two specific signs of this appreciation can be found in the festschrift edited by Ramesh Arora for me  and the doctoral dissertation about my ideas prepared by Sangeeta Sharma, one of Arora's students [1989c]. See also the comments and evaluations by Abdo Baaklini, Robert Gamer and Howard McCurdy .
Links to Home Pages containing information relevant to Comparative Public Administraton can be found at Sites
CHECK-LIST of works by Riggs
2001b.Public Administration in America The Exceptionalism of a Hybrid Bureaucacy
2001c. Comments on V. Subramanian "Comparative Public Administration," International Review of Administrative Sciences 67:2 (June 2001) pp. 323-328. See the Draft .
2000a. "Globalization and Public Administration" Draft paper for an encyclopedia
2000b. "Past, Present and Future in Korean Public Administration." Draft of a talk for Seoul Association for Public Administraton, May 20, 2000
1999. "Impeachment vs Harassment." Guest
editorial in Public Administration Review: 59:1, Jan/Feb. pp. 1-4.
1998a "Public Administration in America: Why our Uniqueness is Exceptional and Important." Public Administration Review, 58:1, pp.22-31. See the abstract and the unabridged draft.
1998b. Global Perspective on Comparative And International Administration Unpublished note. For other entries relating to globalism and the world environment, see [1968a, 1987a, 1994b].
1997a. "Coups and Crashes." Ali Farazmand, ed. Modern Systems of Government: Exploring the Role of Bureaucrats and Politicians. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE. pp. 8-47.
1997b. "Bureaucracy and Viable Constitutionalism." Abdo Baaklini and Helen Desfosses, eds, Designs for Democratic Stability: Studies in Viable Constitutionalism. Armonk, NY; London, UK: M.E.Sharpe. pp.95-125.
1997c. "Modernity and Bureaucracy." Public Administration Review, Vol.57/4, pp. 347-353. This is an abridged version of a paper presented at a symposium honoring Dwight Waldo, the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, July 1996. To see the original draft, go to Para-Modernism and Bureau Power" :
1996. "Viable Constitutionalism and Bureaucracy:
Theoretical Premises." Journal of Behavioral and Social Sciences.
Tokyo: Tokai University, Research Institute of Social Sciences. Vol.
1995:2, pp. 1-35. A lecture presented at Tokai University in Tokyo (March
1995) based on a presentation at the conference on viable constitutionalism
held at Tokai University in Honolulu, with co-sponsorship by COVICO, Nov.
1995a. "Bureaucrats as a Ruling Group."
Administrative Change. 22:1, Jy-Dec. 1994 [released Dec.1995], pp.
1-22. Based on a paper, "Bureaucrats as a Ruling Group: Mandarins,
Retainers, Transients and Functionaries," originally presented at
the International Sociological Congress, Research Committee on Comparative
Sociology, in Bielefeld, Germany, July 1994.
1995b. "Presidentialism: A Problematic Constitutional
System." Conquering Politico-Administrative Frontiers. A festschrift
honoring Raul de Guzman, Ledivina V. Carino, ed. Quezon City, Phil:
University of the Philippines Press. pp. 541-562. Revised version of a
lecture presented in honor of Jose Abueva at the College of Public Administration,
University of the Philippines, Jan. 1994.
1994a ."Bureaucracy and the Constitution." Public Administration Review. vol. 54:1, pp.65-72. Based on a paper presented at the ASPA conference in Chicago, April 1992.
1994b. "American Public Administration in a Global Village." Jean-Claude Garcia-Zamor and Renu Khator, eds. Public Administration in the Global Village. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. pp.17-44.
1994c. "The Ecology of Public Administration Theory." Administrative Change. vol. 20:1-2. (July 92-June 93) pp.1-27. Also published in The Universe of Public Administration: Essays in Honour of Professor Sudesh K. Sharma. Ramesh Arora, ed. New Delhi: Associated Publishing House. pp.7-35.
1993a. "Fragility of the Third World's Regimes."
International Social Science Journal. No. 136 (May) pp. 199-243. Revised
version of "Bureaucratic Power in the Third World," based on
a draft prepared for the Conference on Comparative Research on National
Political Systems. Wissenschaftzentrum, Berlin, 9-12 July, 1984. An earlier
version was published in 1984 as "Bureaucratic Power and Administrative
1993b. "Bureau Power: Some Paradoxes for
Northeast Asia." The Korean Public Administration Journal.
Vol.1:4, pp. 50-68. Seoul, Korea: Korean Institute for Public Administration.
Paper presented at international seminar in October 1992.
1994d. "Bureaucracy: A Profound Perplexity
for Presidentialism." Ali Farazmand, ed. Handbook on Bureaucracy.
New York: Marcel Dekker. Pp. 97-148.
1992. Ramesh K. Arora, ed. Politics and Administration in Changing Societies: Essays in Honour of Professor Fred W. Riggs. New Delhi: Associated Publishing House. Contains "Fred W. Riggs: An Introduction." pp. 1-34.
1991a. "Bureaucratic Links between Administration and Politics." Handbook of Comparative and Development Public Administration. Ali Farazmand, ed. New York, Basel, Hong Kong: Marcel Dekker. pp.587-509. Based on a paper presented at the American Political Science Association conference, Atlanta, Sept. 1989.
1991b. "Public Administration: A Comparativist
Framework." Public Administration Review. 51:6, pp. 473-7..
1989a.. "The Political Ecology of American Public Administration: A Neo-Hamiltonian Approach." International Journal of Public Administration. 12:3. pp. 355-384.
1989b. "Unity of Politics and Administration: Implications for Development." Administrative Change. 15:1 ("1987"). pp. 1-33. A paper presented at the American Society for Public Administration conference, Anaheim, CA. April 1986. Republished in Ramesh K. Arora and Sangeeta Sharma, eds. Comparative and Development Administration. Jaipur, India: Arihant Publishers, 1992. pp. 133-170. For other entries relating to bureaucratic professionalism see [1965b, 1968b, 1969e, 1972, 1974]
1989c. Sangeeta Sharma, Administrative Thought
of Fred W. Riggs. Ph.D. dissertation at University of Rajasthan, Jaipur,
India. Supervised by Ramesh K. Arora.
1988a.. "Bureaucratic Politics in the U.S.," Governance. 1. pp. 343-379.
1988b. "The Interdependence of Politics and Administration," Philippine Journal of Public Administration. 3l:4. ("Oct. 1987"). pp. 418-438. A revised version of the paper, "Unity of Politics and Administration," delivered at the American Society for Public Administration conference, Anaheim, CA. April 1986. For other rentries related to world environment and globalism see: [1968a, 1987a, 1994b, and 1988b]
1987a. "Afterword." Dennis A. Rondinelli, Development Administration and U. S. Foreign Policy. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner publishers. Pp. 177-180. For other entries related to development see: [1966b, 1967, 1969b, 1970a & c, 1971a, 1978b, 1987b];
1987b. Development Debate. With Daya Krishna.
Jaipur: Printwell Publishers. Contains "The Ecology of Development,"
Indian Administrative and Management Review, 1970; plus various
essays published subsequently in Administrative Change, with rejoinder
essays by Daya Krishna.
1982. "Epilogue: Politics of Bureaucratic Administration," in K. K. Tummala, Administrative Systems Abroad. Washington, D.C.: University Press of America. Pp. 392-410. For other entries relating to the structures of government see [1969a & d, 1981a]
1981a. "Cabinet Ministers and Coup Groups: The Case of Thailand. International Political Science Review. 2:2. pp. 159-188.
1981b. "The Rise and Fall of 'Political Development'," in Samuel Long, ed. The Handbook of Political Behavior. New York: Plenum Press. Vol.4. pp. 289-348.
1980a. "The Ecology and Context of Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective." Public Administration Review. 40:2, pp. 107-115.
1980b. "Three Dubious Hypotheses." Administration and Society. 12:3. Pp. 301-326.
1979a. "Bureaucracy and Development Administration." Philippine Journal of Public Administration. 21:2; pp. 105-122.
1979b. "The Ecology of Administrative Development." Conference Proceedings, International Conference on the Future of Public Administration. Quebec: Ecole Nationale d'Administration Publique. 4. Pp. 757-787.
Journal. 31:4. Pp. 563-584.
1978a. Applied Prismatics. Kathmandu, Nepal: Center for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University. 181 pages. Based on lectures given in Nepal, 1973.
1978b. "Technology and Development," S. K. Sharma., ed. Dynamics of Development -- An International Perspective. Delhi: Concept Pub. Co., Vol II, pp. 1-16.
1976a. "The Group and the Movement: Notes on Comparative and Development Administration." Public Administration Review. 36-6. Pp. 1-20.
1976b. "Introductory Concepts on Bureaucracy and Development Administration in Africa." African Administration Review. 36:6. Pp. 648-654.
1975. "Organizational Structures and Contexts." Administration and Society. 7:2 (Aug.). pp. 150-190.Revision of a paper, "The Organizational Contexts of Organizations," prepared for a CAG conference on Comparative Organization Theory. For another item relating to organization theory, see [1969b],
1966a.. The Ambivalence of Feudalism and Bureaucracy
in Traditional Societies. Bloomington, Ind. CAG Occasional Paper. 48
pages. First presented at the American Political Science Association, Chicago,
Sept. 1964. Reprinted in The Chinese Journal of Administration.
8 (Jan. 1967). pp. 1-14, and (July 1967). pp. 1-19.
1966b. Modernization and Developmental Administration. Bloomington, Ind. CAG Occasional Paper.60 pages. Reprinted in Philippine Journal of Public Administration. 11:1 (January). pp. 41-57.
1966c.. Thailand: The Modernization of a Bureaucratic Polity. Honolulu: East-West Center Press. 470 pages. Two chapters reprinted in John T. McAlister, Jr., ed. Southeast Asia: The Politics of National Integration. New York: Random House, 1972. "The Bureaucratic Polity as a Working System," Ch.10, published in John Ravenhill, ed. The Political Economy of East Asia. London" Edward Elgar Pub., 1994
1965a. "The Political Context of Administrative Reform: Relearning an Old Lesson." Public Administration Review. 25:1 (March). pp. 70-79.
1965b. "Developing Research Capacities in Emerging Countries to Support Training in Administration." Brookings Institution, Symposium on Research Needs Regarding the Development of Administrative Capabilities in Emerging Countries. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution. Part III. 34 pages.
1964a. Administration in Developing Countries: The Theory of Prismatic Society. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Published in Korean, 1966; and in Portuguese, as Administracao nos Paises em Desenvolvimento--A Teoria de Sociedade Prismatica. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Getulio Vargas Foundation, 1968. Excerpts reprinted in Michael D. Reagan, ed. The Administration of Public Policy. Palo Alto, CA: Scott, Foresman, 1969. pp. 33-43.
1964b. "Administrative Development: An Elusive Concept." John D. Montgomery and William J. Siffin, eds. Approaches to Development. New York: McGraw-Hill, pp. 225-255.
1963a. "Bureaucrats and Political Development." Joseph LaPalombara, ed. Bureaucracy and Political Development. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. pp. 120-167. Excerpted in Jason L. Finkle and Richard W. Gable, eds. Political Development and Social Change. New York: Wiley, 1966. pp. 409-429. Also reprinted in part in Frank Tachau, ed. The Developing Nations: What Path to Modernization. Dodd, Mead. 1972.
1963b. Census and Notes on Clientele Groups in Thai Politics and Administration. Reports and Selected Papers.... Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University, Department of Government, Institute of Training for Public Service.
1963c. Models in the Comparative Study of Public Administration. Paper at American Society for Public Administration. 37 pages.
1962a. "The Prevalence of 'Clects'." The American Behavioral Scientist. 5:10. pp. 15-18.
1962b.. "The 'Sala' Model: An Ecological Approach to the Study of Comparative Administration." Philippine Journal of Public Administration. 6 (Jan.). pp. 3-16. Reprinted in Ferrel Heady and Sybil L. Stokes, eds. Papers in Comparative Public Administration. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan, Institute of Public Administration. Also reprinted in Nimrod Raphaeli, ed. Readings in Comparative Public Administration. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. pp. 412-432, and in Arnold J. Heidenheimer, ed. Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970. pp. 212-219.
1962c. "Trends in the Comparative Study of Public Administration," International Review of Administrative Sciences. 27. pp. 9-15. Reprinted in Maurice O'Donnell, Readings in Public Administration. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. A revised and expanded version published as: Convergences in the Study of Comparative Public Administration and Local Government. Gainesville, FL: University of Florida, Public Administration Clearing Service, Studies in Public Administration no.23.
1962d. "Interest and Clientele Groups," Joseph L. Sutton, ed. Problems of Politics and Administration in Thailand. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University, Dept. Of Government, Institute of Training for Public Service. Pp. 153-192.
1961. The Ecology of Public Administration.
Published under the auspices of the Indian Institute of Public Administration,
New Delhi. Bombay: Asia Publishing House. 152 pages. Published concurrently
in New York by Taplinger Publishing Co. Portuguese translation, by Hugo
Wahrlich. A Ecologia da Administracao Publica. Rio de Janeiro: Getulio
Vargas Foundation, 1964. Published in Chinese translation. Taipei: 1967.
1960a. "Prismatic Financial Administration." Philippine Journal of Public Administration. 4(April), pp. 132-150. Republished as "Prismatic Society and Financial Administration." Administrative Science Quarterly. 5 (June). pp. 1-46.
1960b. "The Use of Models for Administrative Analysis: Confusion or Clarity." Indian Journal of Public Administration. 4 (Summer). pp. 225-242.
1958. A New Look at Government Documents."
Bulletin, Association of Special Libraries of the Philippines. (Sept-Dec)
1957. "Agraria and Industria: Toward a Typology of Comparative Administration." William J. Siffin, ed. Toward the Comparative Study of Public Administration. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press. pp. 23-ll6.
1956 "Public Administration: A Neglected Factor in Economic Development." Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. 305 (May). pp. 70-80. (Winner of Silver Pen Award)
1954. "Notes on Literature Available for the Study of Comparative Public Administration." The American Political Science Review. 58 (June) pp. 515-537.
1952. Formosa under Chinese Nationalist Rule. New York: Macmillan. 195 pages. Reprinted, NY: Octagon Books. 1972.
1951. "Ethiopia.." Collier's Encyclopedia.
1950. Pressures on Congress: A Study of the Repeal of Chinese Exclusion. New York: King's Crown Press. Reprinted, Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1971.
See drafts of papers by Robert Gamer and Howard McCurdy on my work in Comparative Public Administration.
Linked pages:  INTELLECTUAL ODYSSEY || Panel on Riggs' Work 
Return to top of this page or click here for Home Page links:
|Personal Autobio||Prism GRD||Globalization Concepts||Ethnicity ETHNIC-L||COCTA Onoma.||COVICO Choices||Impeach