Bureaucracy by Martin Albrow (auth.)

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By Martin Albrow (auth.)

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It was a way of thinking which Mosca dubbed 'a-democratic' rather than 'anti-democratic'," Committed as he was to an objective social science, Weber needed the term 'bureaucracy' to serve the same function in his work as it did fer Michels. He did not wish to declaim against bureaucracy. Indeed it could be argued that he went in the opposite direction when he stressed its rationality. It was the very rationality of modem administration which raised problems for democracy. The concept of rational bureaucracy (a solecism in terms ofnineteenth-century thinking) summed up this issue in the shortest possible way.

Of course, consistent with his programme of analysing politics in realistic terms, Mosca could not afford to be any more sanguine about the operations of parliaments than he was about majority rule, He readily admitted that elected assemblies might not be able to exercise sufficient control upon bureaucracy. Hence, as" a further check, he drew upon what he considered to be the lesson of English experience. » Clearly Mosca's innovatory zeal was confined to scientific analysis. The political system he advocated differed little from the blueprints of Mill or Fischel.

It involved: a life-long, salaried, professional job for the official, with a clear and fixed career structure for which specialized preparation is necessary. The official is normally appointed by the head of state, and his status, rights and duties are regulated in detail by a developed code of office law. This office structure is the product of an advancing division of labour. As in all earlier civilized nations, it is linked with the formation of social classes. It presupposes an already developed system of offices, which, however, the professional officials radically transform.

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