Bureaucracy and Pro-poor Change

Publication Year : 2006

Based on the premise that a functioning state is a necessary pre-requisite for pro-poor change, it is critical to investigate the role of the bureaucracy as a key catalyst in this process. Weber (1968) ascribes bureaucracies to be anchors of the modern nation state as their conduct is based on rational-legal norms. Bureaucracies, according to this ideal type, temper the populist urges of politicians who wish to execute policy unencumbered by rules and procedures. State success or failure in many cases, therefore, can be gauged by the degree to which this tension—between the rules based bureaucratic form of administration and populist politics—is resolved. Prognosis on pro-poor change in the light of the present and anticipated balance between bureaucratic procedures and political compulsions is thus an important area of inquiry.