(Online Course) Public Administration for IAS Mains Exams
Topic: Public Policy: State Theories & Public Policy
In Max Weber’s influential definition, it is that
organization that has a “monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force within
a given territory.” In thus includes such institutions as the armed forces,
civil services or state bureaucracy, courts, and police.
Pluralistic Public Policy
Classical Pluralism: Public policy represents all sections which works for
the benefit of all. It is not based towards interests of any particular group
and is Sensitive interests of whole society. Pressure group activity plays the
most important role in Public Policy.
Certain groups are more influential in policy making
exercise. Public policy is not impartial and is biased in favour of some. Public
policy is the product of relative strengths of various pressure groups and
interests of the state public policy further the interests of the business
class. It also furthers the state’s interests.
Public Policy of Capitalist State
Marxist: Public policy carries the interest of the bourgeoisie.
Neo Marxist: Public policy is influenced by the powerful groups among the
bourgeoise. More powerful groups among the bourgeoise are able to influence the
policy in the favour.
Public Policy of Marxist State
- Public Policy is egalitarian and provides equal benefits to all
- There is no discrimination and no incentives are given to business
class. Public Policy is directed towards more equality.
Public Policy of Leviathan State
Public Policy is oriented towards more state
intervention, more taxes, more government expenditure, more government
activities and more bureaucratic control of private sector, voluntary sector
and individual life. Typical example would be a welfare state like India in
which state carries out Imperative and Centralized Planning, State
participation in economic activities, high regulation and control of market;
- Public Policy is based on Keynes philosophy and is responsive to demands of
policy. Even without demand, actions are taken for weaker and marginalized
sections (deficit financing etc.)
- Public Policy flows from general concern of equality and justice. For eg.
Gender Budgeting, reservation of women in various institutions.
- Public policy aims empowerment and welfare of all and social and
Economic justice for all.
- It is not biased in favour of anyone of any group.
1. Minimalistic State
- Public Policy is concerned with minimal functions – Providing legal
framework, board economic direction, provide suitable environment for
individual and markets to function. State performs the role of a night
- Public Policy is geared towards domestic order, legal framework,
economic stability, increasing competition, controlling monopoly etc.
- Public Policy is restricted to core areas.
2. Development State
- Public Policy is focused on State Development in economic life with a
purpose of promoting industrial growth and economic development.
- Public Policy is geared towards participation with the market.
3. Social Democratic State
- Public Policy is aimed at state intervention for social restructuring.
- The Focus of public policy is on redistributive justice; attempt to
eradicate poverty, reduced social inequality.
- Public Policy follows Keynesian philosophy viz. to manage/regulate
capitalism to promote growth and maintain full employment.
- Public Policy growth advocated demand management through policy viz.
Deficit Financing, public spending and taxation.
4. Collectivist State
- Public Policy is aimed at total state control of economic activities.
- Public Policy is too detailed.
- If Focuses on centralized and directive planning and Public sector.
5. Totalitarian State
- Public Policy geared towards maintaining control in all aspects.
- Public Policy strengthens the state and weakness the private and
- Public Policy is very detailed.
6. Elite State
- Public Policy is dictated by the elite. If flows from elite to masses;
- Masses have no participation in policy formulation.
- Public Policy is designed to perpetuate and intensify the gap between
elite and masses.
7. Competition State
- Public Policy focuses on investment in education, technical up
gradation; supporting market in increasing efficiency, reducing costs to be
globally more competitive.
- Human Resource Development is a major priority.
- Pblic Policy supports a largely private economy with inputs from
government in spheres where intervention is required.
8. Laissez Faire State
- Public Policy is totally liberal, covering very few areas of public
areas like Law and Order, Security etc.
- Public Policy provides no control of economy activities.
9. Hollow State
- Hollowing out of state – Functions that once belonged to the state have
gradually been transferred to other institutions and bodies.
- In prior Communist countries and developing countries.
- Role of state and its significance are threatened by developments like
ethnic conflicts, organized crime etc.
- Emergence of “Statements nations”, tribes and clans. E.G. Kosovo
- Public Policy of Hollow States in incapable of bringing any substantial
change in economic or social life of the state.