Local Bureaucracy Analysis

1100 Words5 Pages
People encounter the state in myriad ways, at multiple levels of intensity and frequency. Beginning with wall paintings, hoardings and the media, the 'state- people ' encounters spread over to numerous instances where teachers, doctors, health workers, surveyors and other state bureaucrats interact with the people, affirming the existence of the state, its intentions, roles and current priorities. In rural India, the local government offices are the points wherein the people routinely negotiate with the state for the provision of entitlements, property rights, benefits and services, issuing certificates, licenses and permissions for their socio- economic activities. In these transactions, the people interact with bureaucrats of different…show more content…
Beginning with this concept and its implications on analyzing local bureaucracy, the paper uses the analysis of local bureaucracy based on the empirical studies of authors like Michael Lipsky, Akhil Gupta, Corbridge et al, Besley & Ghatak and others. It further presents the structure of local bureaucracy in the state of Karnataka in South India and links it to the analysis summarized above. India as a 'strong society and weak state ' Joel S Migdal 's Strong Societies and Weak States: State-Society Relations and State Capabilities in the Third World analyzes the state-society relationship in Third World nations. Migdal notes that although some Third World countries (including India) expanded their economy and defense capacities, are unable to mobilize their societies the way they wanted towards development. Even with considerable control on the economic and military resources, social control by the state is not effective. He notes that that society consists of “a melange of social organizations”, with a wide variety of institutions, ranging from family to vast clans, having differential distribution of social controls and the state forms one such institution, dynamically negotiating with other institutions for more social control over the…show more content…
Street level bureaucracy Michael Lipsky 's seminal work Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services (1980) provided numerous insights into the working of local bureaucracy that often goes beyond the Weberian model of rational bureaucracy. Based on extensive empirical work on the United States ' urban bureaucratic structure, Lipsky provides the important characteristics of 'street level bureaucracy ', its working conditions and behavior. Lipsky defines street level bureaucrats as “Public service workers who interact directly with citizens in the course of their jobs, and who have substantial discretion in the execution of their work”. School teachers, police officers, social workers, judges, public lawyers, health workers and other local public employees can be categorized as street level bureaucrats. Lipsky 's work summarizes the characteristics of bureaucracies, their decision making processes, use of discretion and relative autonomy, working conditions, client relationship and nature of
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