Monday, February 09, 2015

Pleasure Pain Calculus and Benthamite Public Interest in Public Administration

Ques. 22. How do you rate the Public Choice’s ‘pleasure pain calculus of individuals’ to Benthamite public interest in public administration. Also explain the challenges faced by the bureaucracy to reorient itself for methodological individualism.

Ans. Benthamite principle propounds maximum good of the maximum populace to be administered by the State where as Pleasure pain calculus of individuals may mean change of ideology or ways of working from individual to individual.

Benthamite principle which relies on actions taken by the State may tend to ignore ground level realities as decision making is centralized whereas Public Choice Approach ‘Pleasure pain Calculus’ involves many Stakeholders and is more market oriented and decentralized which has the ability to cater to problems of a wider public interest which may get ignored by Benthamite principle.

Methodological individualism becomes a big challenge in complex democracies like India where so many ideologies and pressure groups exist. Bureaucracy has to act in accordance with the directions of elected representatives. Priorities of one Government may not be the priorities after the Government changes and different Government may have different ideologies and the bureaucracy has to adapt to the ideology of the prevailing Government.

Also the prevailing political environment plays a big factor in determining the attitude of the bureaucracy as can be seen in Pakistan, Egypt, Iraq, Tunisia etc.

So methodological individualism can not be fully adopted unless there is uniformity of approach all the time which is an impossibility even in the most developed countries of the world.

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