Participation to administration in capitalist society : theoretical and political limitations of the critical and radical administrative theories

Güven, Erdem
This thesis aims at critically examining the specific place of the "critical" and "radical" theories within both the theory of public administration and political theory, particularly in terms of the discursive participatory framework they offer. The fundamental question dealt with is whether or not the power and dependence analyses of these approaches (which are treated as 'marginal' in the field) is convincing for an egalitarian, comprehensive and socially transformative democratic governance. Since a discussion of this sort essentially problematizes the reduction of political equality to a proceduralist and abstract philosophical equality, not to commit a similar fallacy of "apriorism", the study incorporates the observations on LA-21 Turkey processes as a local governance program, in terms of a concrete contribution to theoretical discussion. In the light of direct observations, interviews and data obtained from secondary resources regarding the participatory practices, the level of organization and current capacity of political representation are inferred to be also decisive on the capacity to participate, owing this decisiveness substantially to the economic and social resources in the real social formation, hence the conditions of production of local knowledge are consequently identified as far from reflecting a democratic environment purified from power relations. Highlighting the risk for the notion of self-governance to gain a hegemonic functionality for bourgeoisie democracy concealing and perpetuating social inequalities, the thesis argues for shifting the inquire for the dominant class, from solely political-administrative sphere to civil society, and the maintainable and reproductive conditions and mechanisms of dominance between these two spheres.


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When analyzed within Marxist theory understandings, local governments can be considered as a body of administrative, political, social and economic relations which are defined in a certain spatial scale based on uneven development of capital accumulation. This definition removes the local governments from the context of a simple organizational-administrative problem and places them into a political context. Hence, as experience and strategies of socialist customs in our country is investigated regarding loc...
Citation Formats
E. Güven, “Participation to administration in capitalist society : theoretical and political limitations of the critical and radical administrative theories,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.