The major premise of the book is that the institutional trajectory of public administration in Africa is intertwined with the difficult process of professionalization and the often contested practice of professionalism. The book argues that the rational-legal bureaucratic elements that were an integral part of colonial rule articulated with indigenous norms and customs to produce administrative cultures and types of professionalism that depart substantially from Western ideals of political organization and the Weberian rational-legal ideal type of bureaucracy.
The chapters in the book aspire to an understanding and explanation of specific administrative cultures and organizations in select African states (in Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana-Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa). Generally they ask how the political regimes and the socio-political and historical context of African public administrations affect the authority and use of knowledge and public institutions, the formation of professions and the recruitment of professionals into public administration. The book investigates the status of professionalism in administrative and political decision-making and how advances or setbacks in the use of knowledge in public administration impacts on the structure, legitimacy and effectiveness of African states.
This book will be useful for students and scholars in political science and public administration generally and African public administration in particular. Practitioners and the informed public will also find this collection an invaluable accessory.