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Political Landscape for Effective Governance

Introduction: Role of Bureaucracy

The political structure of a state is primarily run on the policies devised to attain the goal of any state. These goals are footprints that are structured in order to provide a systematic forum for the state’s political wing to devise a managerial system that accelerates the law-making process, formulate bye laws, rules and ordinances, especially policies. The most important aspect of any decision-making process is to shape up the resultant opinions into legislative framework that serves as a guide for the organs of the government to rationally apply the policy by analysing the same as per the need of the political environment. The bureaucrats often intervene in implementing the policies via process of evaluation of the policies by distinct governmental bodies through several models of such policy making like the Group theoretic or the Institutional, elite or Rational theoretic etc.

Bureaucracy can be traced back to the beginning of political structure in the era of Rome and Egypt and has been entrenched in the political structure from a long time. The importance and need of bureaucracy have been debated and opposed in many instances but the presence of the concept is certainly undeniable. Especially, the given modern era has seen the rise of bureaucracy as the need of governmental intervention has seen to rise in the contemporary times as well, thus, the need to have a system ruled by officials, greatly and largely has become the order of the day. The hierarchical structure of the line of work in the government evidences the vertical functioning of superiority in initiating order and command through the vertical line ensuring accountability by the superiors. This vertical arrangement also collectively holds a closer look on the responsibilities that are divided among the several groups and the delivery of the same. This ensures a collective, accountable activity through the Government and ensures a centralized microscopic monitoring system. Theoretically, this command system through the framed bureaucratic system is supposed to ensure diligent, disciplined and a structured delivery of responsibilities and instructions, the only idea is to develop and frame a highly reliable functioning system of officials acting within their power to attain the common goal.


Today’s structure of a state has seen to expand with the creeping modernization, transcending the system into a welfare state which is a lot more conscious and needs to have sufficient infrastructure to help establish the lives of people by providing a decent standard of living. The role of bureaucracy has necessarily expanded as the administrative decisions are more critical than before, thus requires the intervention of bureaucratic brain to authorise a sense of control and distribution of power.

Nature of bureaucracy

Bureaucratic agencies have been the topic of discussion among many scholars like Weber, Hegel, Wilson etc. The ideal questions on the nature of bureaucracy are probed to study the theoretical influences that help in developing an empirical base which could be implemented against a democratic setting. Even thought, the question of what the term bureaucracy could entail involved in understanding the same against a capitalist backdrop but after the second world war, the scenario changed quite a bit, claiming to put bureaucratic theories in a functioning democratic society. Years of academia on bureaucracy had been spent on the utility of the growing concept and scholars have researched the benefit of bureaucratic presence in fulfilling the goals of a nation. Since, the administrative structure allowed cadres who are qualified and proved eligible to handle such positions anointed by law. This made the position of bureaucratic officers irreplaceable and valuable, hoping to implement their responsibilities diligently. The second most important element that essentially establishes the essence of bureaucratization is the exertion of power. The role of power is significant and has been explored by many scholars. Bureaucratization has been interpreted by many, as an extended per functionary of power that is often utilised to achieve some vested interest and may go beyond its original purpose of existence. The interpretation of the term can have a positive or a negative connotation, which has given rise to several debates as to whether bureaucracy as a tool efficient or not. If we take a dig at the positive connotation, we might view bureaucracy as an ‘Enabler’. As an enabler, bureaucracy might function as a guiding light in an organization, where employees are provided with a support and over all allow dissipation of stress among individuals. However, the downside may be the functionality of bureaucracy is of a “Coercer”. This element creates an extremely rigid infrastructure among the organization, using tools of fear and pressure. Thus, as much as the enabler allows employees to feel motivated and execute their best of abilities, the coercive stream effects the opposite.

Max Weber’s idea of Bureaucracy:

The 19th century saw the systematic study of the concept of bureaucracy which was drawn upon by Max Weber. He was the first German Sociologist to identify the need to understand and study the administrative structure and dissipation of power in various realms of the administration in a functioning state. Weber emphasised on the need to have a certain training and have to satisfy the needs of an employment which can further determine his position in his course of employment, further affecting his salary, retirement and pension. The vertical bureaucratic structure would act as a push for employees among the vertical administrative realm to work satisfactorily to ensure their rising position in the vertical line.

Weber’s ideal political analysis focussed on the attainment of individual freedom and liberty along with economic freedom which allows and individual to accommodate their choices regarding any goods that were sold or bought. Furthermore, Weber, highly encouraged freedom of political conscience and most importantly, the need to be accountable to one’s own action. It is undeniable that given the social circumstances, administration has taken a gigantic shape, hence the bureaucratic organization has turned to be indispensable in order to tackle the democracy that governs us today. Weber broadly communicated the fundamental standards of administrative association and activity in his optimal sort. The system of recruiting and ensuring the principles of recruitment concerning the quality, tenure, retirement etc. would bring about a systematic structure and rationalise the government. However, discernment is to be perceived as the hypothetical or functional control or requesting of the real world, the requesting being purposeful and deliberate in character. Weber’s inclusion of rationalization brings forth an understanding that the general population of significant intelligence is affected positively with respect to their efficiency, diligence and the usage of one’s own independent though process and ideologies seem to take a distinct shape, thus enlightening the society as a whole. Modernisation, as indicated by Weber, fundamentally implies legitimization taking all things together areas of society.The rational ability also massively impacted the economy of the society transcending the economy into a capitalistic structure which directly involved production and realizing the impact of relationship of ownership and property. Economy being one of the aspects, rational influence also brought about a distinct change in the science and technological sphere, art and literature, culturally evaluating a society through the organizing bureaucratic movement. The prevalence of administrative bureaucracy is undeniable and has gained superiority over a long period of time in comparison to any other functioning organisation.

Weber’s ideal Bureaucracy

According to Weber, authority of bureaucracies is executed to ensure an effective legitimate rule on the people which can be mainly categorized into three primary categories. Firstly, “Charismatic” authority can be understood as the influence invested on people by appearing to have a personality of a leader, wherein these kinds of people are meant to exhibit qualities. Such pioneers will be viewed as having extraordinary forces or characteristics which in the eyes of Weber is considered to be impersonation of an ideal authority that is subjected to maintain order an discipline in controlling the mass. However, there is another form of legitimate rule wherein the order is generally maintained by referencing to customs and conventions as a higher belief is gained by exercising the value of a higher power of rule, confidence in the sacredness of prehistoric customs and the authenticity of those practicing authority. Another guideline sketched out by Weber Is the “Rational Legal Authority” where a structural form of decision making is incorporated, a design for deciding, and the authenticity of the construction is kept up by reference to a lawful code. Weber contended that the relationship formed by is that at whatever point individual’s interface with one another they make assumptions for one another's conduct, and these assumptions structure an order. This order is considered normative and, on that reference, this sets out to be a legitimate legal code that allows and bounds individuals in a certain manner, which are therefore functioning laws that are formed. Thus, the concept of ‘natural law’ takes precedence and if evaluated, brings forward multiple questions as to whether these legal codes are purely running on coercion or not. The case of an ideal kind of level-headed lawful position that is examined by Weber is the administration. The entire legal administration or political structure, purely the government is a bureaucratic government as it is mostly carried out by the civil servants. However, Weber also claims that even though most decisions are carried out by the bureaucracy but this sort of government does not necessarily equip with a political decision making, which is the Parliament is relied on to ensure that the individual rights are secured.

If we look at the spirit of democracy that govern our society, bureaucratic may stand in opposition since the ultimate aim of democracy does not encourage the rule of bureaucracy. However, Weber has articulated the position of bureaucracy in the light of power and coercion. Weber discussion power to be in consonance with the concept of authority more than the concept of coercion. Even though authority can be commonly associated with power but it also provides a sense of freedom and claims a legitimate execution of power but coercion does not align with Weber’s idea of freedom or liberty since it involves a sense of fear thrusted amongst people to make them functional. In fact, the execution of authority and secrecy maintained by them often gives them the leeway to remain superior to other sectors. Weber did not shy away from acknowledging the fact that today’s progressive modern societal environment could be threatened by the rational policies of bureaucracy. The effects of such pragmatism may stand in the way of the freedom associated with an individual as bureaucracy tends to restrict individual liberty, almost creating a “slave -house”

Thus, Weber’s ideal form of bureaucracy can be understood if the organisation claims superiority and forms a hierarchy in the set up. The ideal system ensures a sense of efficiency thus, qualified officials ensure that the system is operational on a strictly technical basis. The steady application of rules and regulations, that are dynamic and can be applied to other organizations as well. The ideal bureaucracy contended by Weber, focusses largely on providing a systematic and technical administration, that is rule bound and allows the optimum utilization of labour and provide substantial training to the same. This framework is not definitely master-driven but is capable of suiting any form of ruling government as the basic tenets qualifies to ensure a highly functional organization that screens out the best. This process of rationalization, either confirming a consented set of rules or punishment centric approach of Weber, claims to set out an ideal form of bureaucracy.

Bureaucratic Approach of Hegel

Weber’s approach towards formulating bureaucratic theory is comprehensive and secured a sturdy base to conduct an empirical study to theorize the concept of bureaucracy much like Hegel, while he was on to determining the political climate of Germany and delved quite deeper in constructing the bureaucratic philosophy, mostly conducted a crucial investigation on modernization. As much as Weber, relied on the rationalisation and also evaluated the threat that the dominant bureaucracy posed. Hegel, notwithstanding, underlined cultural fracture or atomisation that brings about an absence of shared characteristic, normal will and municipal virtues that was eminently present in Germany. There was no unified system or interests in Germany, which is why Hegel was forced by the disintegrated system to look for a process of unification to find a modernized approach to implement on the functioning political climate. Hegel’s notion of modernisation mostly entailed favouring the bourgeois. The essence of innovation for Weber lies in justification and, all the more explicitly, in its danger of regulatory predominance and Beamtenherrschaft. Hegel, however, encouraged the accentuation of cultural fragmentation or discontinuity that would leave a shaft in between civil will in Germany. This, segmentation of community essences had nurtured the encryption of modernisation as favoured by Hegel.

The modern societal formation is extremely private and individual-centric which has gone on to form relationships that develop on one to one basis and definitely accompanies the need to atomise and this peril could most certainly pose various issues. The ideal society should be constructed of such value that identifies the general will and interest and strives to achieve an inclusive sense if society but this lack of united vision regarding individual interest bar the possibility of accumulating the general feeling, therefore lacks to fetch a commonality in achieving the common goals as well. A state that is functioning in order to provide one and all their individual rights to property, rights to life or basic liberties includes just fulfilment of requirements, surmises an overall responsibility. Another perilous situation that may arise through this concept is the fact, a structure like such may always be extremely value based and survive on transactional relationship, which according to Hegel, may not be sufficient. He believed that, to acknowledge genuine opportunity, more is required than the fulfilments of necessities in a common society. Thus, it is undeniable that acknowledging opportunity for Hegel includes defeating atomistic or particularistic independence which by being occupied with relations with others must rise above the stature of a condition- based relationship. This further highlights the fact that it is not only in the interest of people to satisfy temporary need but the need to have a community centric ideology must be the ideal goal of modernization.

Hegel’s ideology has much of a sociological and philosophical influence which looks out for two primary things in a state; One, is to have a state that is absolutely blind towards maintaining the rule of law and the other relies heavily on an “Enterprise or purposive’ government. To Hegel, the attempt to have a bureaucratic structure is no less than a political organization in coherence with the utility of the executive power. This power exercised by the executive is most important to uphold and execute the legal necessities wherein the common universal will of the civil society is the fundamental goal to be achieved. Hegel also stresses on the separation of power and the relationship shared in between the legislature and the executive along with the presence of a nominal head or the Monarch, even though the position of a monarch does not necessarily attains any greater power in the constitutional framework of a state.

The civil officers are considered to obtain the highest possible position that sincerely evaluates political consciousness and retains the position that has the capacity to ensure universal interest. The crux of modernisation, transcended from rationalisation has quite a few demerits according to Hegel which firstly falls upon the civil servants or the bureaucrat’s knowledge and awareness in synchronising labour, resources and other activities that generates the only ideal result of achieving a common goal. It cannot be considered that bureaucrats, having gained the position by exhibiting satisfactory quality could be self aware and united in accommodating the universal goal. Another, problem that modernisation may pose is in relation to the accountability of the civil servants which may be supervised either by internal means or through external means, but accountability needs to be a top priority as otherwise, the superior position might go corrosive and arbitrary without any sense of accountability.

Comparison of Weber and Hegel’s ideology

Both Hegel and Weber had visioned a modern bureaucratic presence in the socio-political structure of a state attaining growth from feudalism, which had traversed since the period of monarchy and made way for a modern cohesive administrative instrument. Even though a bird’s view shall suggest that there is sufficient commonality between the two perspectives forwarded by Hegel and Weber, but on a closer look, their attempt to under bureaucratic theory differ enormously. Weber’s notion tend to be a little more technical and mechanical as opposed to Hegel. Hegel's hypothesis concerning modernism was mostly expressed in a speculative mystical establishment whereas, Weber forwarded an approach that can be called a "positivistic- political sociology". Encounters crafted by Weber is evaluative of the political atmosphere along with its effect on the sociological structure of the same, however, in the eyes of Hegel, we can perceive considerably more sociological knowledge, than is frequently recognized. His political views on the modernisation does entail an essence of 'Metaphysics' or contains little transcendentalism. Even if we attempt to reject his argumentative rationale and theoretical way of thinking, there still remaining parts a great investigation of innovation and its fundamental issues. The stark difference in the individual approaches can be deciphered as the notion of Weber's rationalisation which i opposed to the sense of discontinuation and fragmentation as forwarded by Hegel.

Weber and Hegel’s complementary position –

Despite the dissimilarities, certain similarities can also be found within their studies which primarily reflects on the place of administrative and parliamentary control in alignment with the modern state. Both have stressed on the need to have a control that does not lead to hostility in between the elements controlled as well as the controller. Weber has evidently emphasised on the essence of power, control and authority as much as Hegel’s emphasis on the ‘Participation”. Weber contention lies on a viable and potent authority is fundamental, that largely emphasise on assuring and creative a positive political framework by incorporating the parliamentary body to be effective in utilising the various tools and instruments available, nurturing the ideological and intellectual resources in order to sustain leadership for a longer haul. In order to secure the objective to facilitate general interest, having a controlled system of administrative structure benefits in attaining such a goal. Hegel has also aligned with Weber's notion of a positive political climate that functions to achieve a universal good which can be arranged through the dynamic of sufficient control and sufficient participation that allows individual growth.

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In summation, Weber and Hegel both have no affinity towards a direct from of democratic situation as well as presence of individual mandates. Weber also believes that the notion of participation is not comprehensive and sufficient in alignment with the necessary control. As much for Hegel, the participatory inclusion is not sufficient to construct a coordinated functional. Ultimately, both of them hold the notion that effective control must lie and executed to attain the greater good thus denying the presence of a horizontal form of administration in the field of social, political governance.


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