In this article, Grindle discusses how the structure of the sexenio and the prevalence patronage have come to shape the Mexican bureaucracy. She details the many ways that the patron-client system works, revealing how important it is for bureaucrats to create strong social networks in order to advance their careers. Additionally, she focuses on how this system effects bureaucracy and emphasizes that there are both pros (dedication of bureaucrats, efficiency, trust) and cons (lack of merit recruitment, high turnover rates, inexperienced bureaucrats).
What I have found interesting from these readings is the extent to which Mexican bureaucrats must network in order to both obtain and keep their jobs. They must be in the right networks during administration turnover to prove their loyalty to whoever is in charge of an agency, and then continue to be in the right networks to keep their job or get a new one once the administration turns over. The Grindle reading points out that it is the extremely personal nature of these networks that is problematic and leads to corruption. Overall, these readings seem to fit into the Frederich argument that these bureaucrats need less political accountability and more impersonal and meritocratic networks.
I knew very little about Mexico coming into these readings, and found it very interesting how corrupt it was. I feel as if before I viewed Mexico as having weak governance and rule of law, but the two are more connected that I thought. I also got a good idea of corruption before and during the 1990s, but the one recent article didn’t go into it as much, so I think my main questions would be is what is the current state of corruption is toady?
During the 90’s India underwent a series of reforms in response to a failure of the government to translate economic growth into improving the social and economic quality of life for it’s citizens. A big priority became transparency, particularly using technology to enable citizen access to government actions in order to promote the ability for citizens to benefit more directly from government action, while also promoting transparency. As a result of the computerization of India’s Government there was a dramatic reduction in communication costs, as well as a significant decrease in many instances of corruption in their government. Although there are some adverse effects (such as the ability to deliver social benefits to each individual effectively, especially those without access to the internet) the study found that increased internet presence of a government is helpful is decreasing instances of corruption, as well as improving government service delivery.
What I found interesting in this chapter was the ability of technology-enabled service reforms to reduce the susceptibility of government services to corruption. I thought this was intriguing because it could imply that the worldwide rise of modern technology is resulting in a subsequent decrease in states’ susceptibility to corruption.
And on a different note, perhaps the existence of technology services could be factored into corruption indicators, as their existence tends to thwart corruption.
Finally, I thought it was interesting that these book chapters tacitly emphasized a need to analyze corruption at the agency and/or state level. I found this very similar to the literature I’m using for my project on bureaucratic capacity, as both highlight the important differences of performance between states or agencies and what it means for government effectiveness.
This article provides a very in depth overview of both the long history of Indian bureaucracy, its structure today, and the corruption it faces and possible reforms. Starting in the medieval period, the state had the capacity to collect taxes and conduct trade, and this moved into English colonization which created a strong bureaucracy to further the interests of the UK, but for only the British and eventually a limited group of Indian citizens. When India gained independence again, they have structured their bureaucracy into groups based on importance, A, B, C, D. The system is dominated by the Weberian principle that bureaucratic work is impersonal, creating a system where procedure precedes results.
The 8 million civil servants makes up 50% of organized employment in the country, which causes many to believe the government is oversized. Corruption has grown rapidly in recent years. There is much more to this article as it provides wide ranging information.