Analyze the relevance of critical theory to public administration.
Public administration is a specialized academic field and it essentially deals with the machinery and procedures of governmental activities. Generally, administration has been defined as a co-operative human effort towards achieving some common goals. Administration can be found in various institutions such as a business firm, a hospital, an university, a government department and so on.
Thus public administration is concerned with the whole range of governmental activity under all the three branches legislature, executive and judiciary.
Critical theory was born in the year of 18th century by the contribution of various social scientists such as Max Horkheimer, Theoder Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, Georgr Luckacs, Antonio Gramsci, Jurgen Habermas, Karl Marx, kant and so on. The basic characteristics of the critical theory are contradiction or tensions, dialectic and change.
The aim of the critical theory to change the political system of the state. It works to create consciousness among the individual and work to establish a welfare state. Welfare state must provide equality to each and every individual in the society.
The concept critical theory is strongly based on individualistic, subjectivist and anti bureaucratic thrust. Critical theory relevance mostly to the public administration on certain activities, which is discussed in the following points:
Critical theory had greatly developed by some social thinkers of Frankfurt School. Frankfurt School beginning in 1920s and its principal members are Max Horkheimer, Theoder Adorno and Herbert Marcuse.
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Critical theory specially come from the work of philosophists and sociologists, and also all the post-modern public administration theories have given importance to people in the organization. Thus people are the key of the organization.
Critical theory helps for taking action to create social change. Change is the law of nature. Change bring new process in the political and social system in the society, So change come through revolution. It change the system and the structure of the political process.
So it is necessary for each and every society. Change establish democratic form of government and give equality to the individual. It change the laws and order to state. Thus it established a welfare state.
Critical theory create consciousness between the individual and it deals with equality and democracy principles.
It is also replacement of techno-administrative administration of bureaucracy through debureaucr- atisation and democratization of administration.
The primary objective of a critical theory of public administration is improving the quality of organizational life by advocating self-reflection and self-criticism.
The approach of critical theory involves a systematic analysis of social condition which is guided by normative purpose. But critical theory is based on dialectical change.
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Recently the concept of critical theory has been changed due to process of globalization and technological revolution. Globalization bring competition between the individual.
On the whole, the basic aim of critical theory is to reduce the system of domination or dependence and strongly established human freedom in all the spheres and it provide a better future.
Therefore, changes and reforms in public administration maybe explained from the perspective of critical theory. Critical theory provides the objectives and normative bases for social inquiry and also it has a narrow and broad meaning in philosophy and the history of the social sciences.
Thus, the aim of the critical theory is to explain and transform all the circumstances that enslaves human beings.