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Public Administration

When we pass on from ‘administration’ as such to ‘public administration’, more complications are added to an already vexed problem. The meaning of the word ‘public’ itself is fairly clear. It is what pertains to people as a whole, and is the opposite of ‘private’. In the context of ‘Public Administration’, however, the word ‘public’ has acquired a specialized meaning i.e., ‘governmental’. The justification for the equation of ‘public’ with ‘governmental’ is that in modern society government is the only association or organization in which all the people of any given territory are included without exception. So far there is no difficulty.

When we proceed further and enquire what or how much of governmental activity administration includes. We are up against fresh controversies. In its comprehensive sense government means and includes all of its three branches, i.e., the legislative, the executive and the judicial. Is public administration concerned with the work of all these or of only some? Both views have been held by thinkers. To some of them, the administration is concerned with the whole range of governmental activity under all the three branches, while to others it is concerned with the activities of the executive nature wherever they may occur. So, hear-again, we find ourselves confronted with two views of Public administration – a wider and a narrower one. This dual view-point super-imposed upon the duality o the outlook as to the nature of administration noted earlier, has produced a variegated pattern of definitions of public administration emphasizing this or that point of view.


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