This role varies according to the nature of the state and its politics. However, in the developing world the role of public administration in political development is quite significant because of the prevailing political culture in the developing countries.
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Though the concept of political development itself is not clear but attempts have recently been made to critically examine the role of bureaucracy in political development. The word “Political” is generally used to connote both partisan politics and policy making. Political development is interpreted as a process of political institution building and people’s participation on it.
It is now well established and accepted that public administration is an important instrument of policy. Since bureaucracy is the only available instrument to the state in the developing society it becomes a crucial arbiter in deciding who gets what, when, and where.
In the ultimate analysis, this is the most decisive political role of public administration. Further, public administration is called upon to participate in the political socialization, political bargaining and representation and resistance to political pressure.
That is why E. H. Walson opines, “Bureaucracy is to participate in the political education of the masses according to the socialist ideologies or developmental goals set by the nation.
Public speaking is a part of their job in development projects and however, natural they may be in partisan politics, they relate their immediate technical responsibility with the overall ideology of the national leadership”.
Similarly public administration has to play the political game of either resisting or responding favourably to continuous political pressure. The way to react to the politicians in many such situations is by being extremely tactful in tackling the situation. This is perhaps the most difficult “political role” of public administration in the developing society.
However, the extent to which public administration can play a political role depends to a considerable extent on the nature of the policy within which it operates. It could be more effective in dictatorship or in the newly independent nations.
In any case the actual role it can play would depend on the internal strength and character of the concerned administrative system. This can not always be gain said and actual experience round the world both in democratic as well as other forms of politics demonstrates that the role is not entirely autonomic.
In this regard Eisenstadt tells us that all political systems are subjected to a pattern of demands and that all of them have some capacity to deal with increases in demands and organization that may develop.
In reaction to demands, alternatives are also available to the authoritative structures in the sense that the development of demands may be minimized, controlled or observed by responding to them with government policies.
A modern democratic system would be one in which there exists both a high degree of structural differentiation for dealing with demands as well as a reasonable correspondence between the level of demands and their substantive satisfaction.