Modernization Dreams and Public Policy Reform

Helen Margetts

in Paradoxes of Modernization

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780199573547
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722677 | DOI:
Modernization Dreams and Public Policy Reform

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This chapter does not attempt to verify the validity of the claims made for modernization, nor to develop the ‘theory of modernization’, but rather to discern from them analytically some meaning of the word that may be used to identify characteristics of a modernization reform, characteristics that might prove to be associated with surprise, disappointment, and other unintended or unanticipated consequences. It draws out from the most basic and earliest discussions of the term ‘modernization’ three possible candidates for the characteristics or ‘pillars’ of modernization reform: efficiency, integration, and specialization. It then looks at the work of analysts, proponents, and critics of three broad types of modernization: social modernization emerging from societal trends, such as changes in belief and value systems; state-centred modernization, where the state drives social change; and modernization of the state itself, geared at creating a more efficient and productive state. The final section considers whether the three characteristics of modernization (efficiency, integration, and specialization) have survived the analysis and how they might be used to classify a reform as ‘modernizing’ and be identified as possible sources of ‘paradoxes of modernization’ discussed in this book.

Keywords: social modernization; state-centred modernization; efficiency; integration; specialization; paradox; public policy reform

Chapter.  11113 words. 

Subjects: Public Management and Administration

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