Abstract: This article examines the UN’s programs of technical assistance for public administration as a “technology of stateness” during the postwar period of decolonization. Drawing on original research in the UN Archives, the article shows how these programs connected with a larger network of actors interested in promoting public administration reforms in decolonized states. Additionally, the article analyzes the assemblage of governmental rationalities and technologies advanced by UN technical assistance, finding both a tendency towards the centralization of state power and an effort to decentralize and disarm state bureaucracies. In doing so, the article suggests new lines of research connecting the colonial concept of “good government” to the more recent discourse of “good governance.”
Independence presents problems and responsibilities which, in the conditions of the modern world and of rapid change in your continent, are especially great. . . . In Africa, the scarcity of skills and the magnitude of the adjustments to be made create problems which no one should underestimate. To forge modern states with the imperfect tools at hand is not an easy task.1
Contribution des Nations Unies à la formation des élites de la Republique du Congo pour faciliter leur preparation à jouer un role important dans la grande famille des peoples du monde.2
In a speech delivered to the International Law Association at McGill University in May 1956, Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjöld outlined a new scheme to provide operational, executive, and administrative personnel to recently decolonized states. To Hammarskjöld, the self-determination of peoples was closely linked to the process of economic development; to the extent that the UN could provide technical assistance to support the latter, it would also advance the former. Yet economic development was difficult in countries that lacked an “independent administrative tradition.” Indeed, he argued, “this question of administration . . . constitutes the main bottleneck which must be broken in any soundly conceived policy aimed at solving the problems of self-determination and economic balance.”3 Coming from a family whose involvement in the Swedish civil service dated back to the early seventeenth century, Hammarskjöld’s experience in public administration and economic development made him especially attuned to the importance of those areas of UN activity.4 Moreover, possibly due to his own country’s position as a small, neutral power, the secretary-general was sympathetic to the challenges facing the newly independent states of Asia and Africa.
This essay examines the UN’s programs of technical assistance for public administration as a “technology of stateness” during the postwar period of decolonization (roughly 1945–1965). In part building upon interwar ideas of scientific management, public administration had attained the status of an independent science and discipline by the end of World War II. Beginning in 1948, UN technical assistance programs incorporated public administration as an integral part of their efforts to promote economic and social development. The essay traces the UN’s efforts over the next decade and a half to apply standards and techniques of public administration in “under-developed” countries, situating these efforts in relation to other development activities of the time and their attendant conceptions of the state.
This essay expands our understanding of development practices in the postwar period. There is by now a vast literature on the history of modernization theory and development.5 Yet, despite scattered references in many works, no significant study has yet appeared of the relationship between development and public administration. Nor has the UN’s promotion of public administration received much attention in recent scholarship on UN development thinking and practice.6 Official accounts notwithstanding, the UN’s contributions to public administration thought and practice in the context of development remain largely unexplored.7 Even works that aim to explain the spread of management ideas worldwide pay little attention to the role of the UN and other international organizations.8
These gaps are particularly surprising given the acknowledged influence of public administration on contemporary development practices. From the 1990s onwards, the UN promoted versions of “good governance,” informed by the “reinventing government” and “new public management” movements, in tandem with other intergovernmental organizations and nongovernmental organizations.9 To a significant extent, the focus of these efforts was to build the capacity of states to fulfil their core functions and deliver on development goals, against the backdrop of heightened fears about the possibility of “state failure.”10 These ideas have contributed to a distinctive management practice in the decolonized world, involving efforts to “engineer the neo-liberal modernization of nation-states.”11 Moreover, as critical scholars have noted, genealogical lineages connect concepts such as decentralization, participation, and good governance in present-day development management to antecedent ideas and practices in colonial administration.12 However, to date, critical development scholars have conducted little work to retrace the role played by international organizations in promoting public administration for development purposes during the crucial postwar period of decolonization.
This essay suggests some lines of inquiry toward connecting the colonial concept of “good government” to the “good governance” discourse of the 1990s. To do so, it examines UN technical assistance for public administration as a vector of ideas and practices that contributed significantly to the making of postcolonial states. First, drawing on the wider modernization and development literature as well as original research in the UN Archives, I show how the Public Administration Division of the UN’s Technical Assistance Administration connected with a larger network of actors interested in promoting public administration reforms in decolonized states. UN technical assistance for public administration thereby formed an important, under-appreciated part of the larger story of modernization and development during the postwar decolonization period.
Secondly, this essay analyzes the assemblage of rationalities and technologies advanced by UN technical assistance for public administration in decolonized states.13 According to a body of scholarship that views state formation as a cultural process, each “state” is produced and reproduced continuously through the technical routines of bureaucracies; through the “images, metaphors, and representational practices” by which a “state” may “come to be understood as a concrete, overarching, spatially encompassing reality”; and by the aggregation of manifold dealings and exchanges in multiple settings that generate a “powerful, apparently metaphysical effect.”14 Reading UN reports and archival documents in light of this scholarship, I find a complex picture in which the advice given and actions taken by UN officials suggests both a tendency toward centralization of state of power and an effort to decentralize and disarm state bureaucracies. In this respect, the essay’s findings accord with recent work that uncovers more diversity of approaches to development, including small-scale community-based efforts, than earlier scholarship on modernization suggested.15
Some of the strategies deployed by UN technical assistance to counter and constrain state bureaucratic power at this time can be seen as prefiguring later trends in development discourse and practice. As I show, it is possible to find here the articulation of emerging notions of accountability, transparency, participation, and decentralization that would later be closely associated with the turn to “good governance” in the 1990s. Another arena in which technical assistance for public administration reform has become prominent of late is in postconflict reconstruction efforts, and part 5 of this essay focuses attention on an early example of “peacebuilding” avant la lettre: the massive civilian peacekeeping operation launched in postindependence Congo in July 1960.16 Here, the actions taken by the UN in “emergency” circumstances provide a compressed case study of the techniques used by UN experts to construct, reform, and circumvent the postcolonial state. As background, the next part of this essay briefly sketches the rise of public administration in the twentieth century, first as a practice associated with the expansion of state bureaucracies, and secondly as a theoretical and academic discipline.
Birth of a Discipline: Public Administration in the Twentieth Century
Public Administration in Practice
Public administration in the contemporary sense is an outgrowth of the last two hundred years. Of course, large state administrations existed in various forms much earlier than this, including in the Islamic, Chinese, and Indian civilizations.17 In Europe, the first attempts to form bureaucratic states were associated with absolute monarchies in the early modern period, and with raison d’état, mercantilism, and the cameralist science of Polizeiwissenschaft.18 Important similarities remain between cameralism and present-day public administration, particularly in the widespread understanding of the latter as “driven by important public purposes, informed by social and administrative science, and organized under the leadership of a strong political executive.”19 As a regularized, relatively uniform and widespread practice, however, public administration was the product of material, economic, and political forces associated with the globalizing transformations of the nineteenth century.20
The first and perhaps most significant factor in the expansion of public administration in the modern era was the industrial revolution, which posed new problems of organization and management in private firms and government alike.21 As Alfred Chandler and others have shown, the growth of large-scale industrial enterprises, such as the railroads, gave rise to a series of innovations in system-building and management techniques.22 Rapid industrialization and urbanization in turn gave rise to the “social question,” associated with a large, underemployed proletariat: “Economic crisis, mass poverty, disease, pestilence, decay, crime, immorality, . . . urbanization, and unprecedented geographic mobility.”23 A rising concern with social welfare, spurred by the continent-wide revolutions of 1848, gave further impetus to the expansion of administrative states and the introduction of legislation on a wide range of issues, including “public health, factory conditions, . . . public utilities, trade associations, and so on.”24 Each of these legislative measures in turn introduced a new technology of “social” government—workmen’s compensation, factory inspections, vaccination programs, and social insurance, most notably in Bismarck’s Germany—and in turn an expansion of state bureaucracy.
A second factor in the growth of public administration, continuing into the mid-twentieth century, was the construction of systems of rule in colonial territories.25 As several studies have shown, European colonial expansion supplied highly productive “laboratories” for experimentation with new practices of government, including the creation of large-scale bureaucracies and a whole range of administrative techniques such as surveying, mapping, collecting, counting, recording, and standardizing.26 Once tested in overseas colonies, these governmental technologies were then repatriated and applied in metropolitan states.27 The administrative structures and practices implemented under colonial rule also set in train long-term dynamics that shaped self-government after decolonization.28
The first half of the twentieth century saw further expansions in state bureaucracies in connection with several additional, compounding factors. The two World Wars led to a great concentration in state authority, enlargement of the scope of central planning, and growth in government personnel and the number of state agencies.29 The emergence of single party states, beginning with the Russian Revolution of 1917, gave rise to highly centralized forms of governmental bureaucracy.30 In the West, many saw the apparent successes of the Soviet Five Year Plans as evidence of the need for greater state planning and social engineering.31 The onset of the Great Depression prompted a growing range of state interventions in the economy, welfare state agencies, and economic and social planning. The launch of the Marshall Plan in the immediate aftermath of World War II involved further extensions of government planning, combined with a promotion of American methods of business management and public administration in European states.32 As one observer put it, by the early 1950s, the “affairs of government [had] widely expanded in scope,” while “planning for progress and for the welfare of the nation [had] become part of the normal activities of government.”33 Finally, the acceleration of decolonization in the two decades following the end of World War II was accompanied by the more or less hasty construction of indigenous administrations to replace their colonial predecessors.34
Public Administration in Theory
Each of the developments in practice surveyed above incorporated and stimulated new thinking concerning public administration. A comprehensive intellectual history of public administration would encompass the writings of dozens of thinkers, from civil servants and colonial administrators to entrepreneurs and academics.35 However, two individuals stand out for their systematic reflections on the features of the burgeoning administrative agencies of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. First, Max Weber’s (1864–1920) ideal type of bureaucracy has supplied a hugely influential checklist of criteria for public administration, including the “continuous rule-bound conduct of official business,” “specified sphere[s] of competence,” hierarchical organization of offices, the use of written records, free selection of candidates on the basis of technical qualifications, salaried remuneration, office-holding as a vocation with a career path, and so on.36 Second, Woodrow Wilson’s (1856–1924) essay on “The Study of Administration” marked a sharp boundary between the “science of administration” and the political realm.37 Both Weber and Wilson described a process of increasing rationalization and specialization that proved to be highly influential on later state modernizers, particularly from the 1950s onwards.38
However, the dominant figure in twentieth-century public administration was the American engineer and inventor Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856–1915).39 Taylor’s Principles of Scientific Management, first published in 1911, reflected his era’s obsession with efficiency.40 Applying the methods of his profession to the factory workshop, he claimed to have conducted rigorous scientific studies of industrial behavior and devised techniques that would organize workers according to the “one best way” and incentivize more efficient production.41 To Taylor and his followers, moreover, scientific management held significance far beyond the factory floor. Although aimed especially at “engineers and . . . managers of industrial and manufacturing establishments,” scientific management claimed to offer a comprehensive art of government that was germane to broad problems of social organization. Taylor aimed “to show that the fundamental principles of scientific management are applicable to all kinds of human activities,” and hoped it would be clear to his readers “that the same principles can be applied with equal force to all social activities,” including the management of government departments.42 Indeed, Taylorism, as it came to be known, had far-reaching repercussions on methods of organization and management, both in manufacturers such as the Ford Motor Company and in state bureaucracies.43
Taylor’s ideas formed the basis of “classic” public administration as it emerged and evolved in the interwar period.44 Reacting against the mechanistic approach of scientific management, the next major influence on public administration was a behavioral emphasis on psychology and social systems. In this camp, scholars such as Mary Parker Follett, Elton Mayo, Chester Barnard, and Herbert Simon argued from a range of perspectives in favor of a more empirical approach to studying human relations in organizations, including aspects of leadership, motivation, and worker participation.45 The construction of the discipline of public administration involved a movement of ideas between the United States and Europe, promoted by US-based philanthropic groups aiming at the improvement of municipal government, especially the Rockefeller foundations.46 Key figures in the American public administration movement included Charles E. Merriam and Leonard White, both at the Rockefeller-funded University of Chicago; and associates of the University of Chicago–based Public Administration Clearing House (PACH), such as Guy Moffett, Beardsley Ruml, and Louis Brownlow.47 In Europe, PACH cooperated closely with the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) and the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA), both based in Brussels.48
Following World War II, public administration both consolidated and diversified as a field of study. On one hand, the establishment of national schools and institutes of administration around the world expanded formal training in the subject significantly.49 On the other, the academic study of public administration became highly comparative, traversing the newly independent states of the Global South.50 Administration had, of course, been central to the colonial state, and a limited number of studies had already examined the principles, machinery, and methods of administration as they applied to “native races.”51 Nevertheless, much of colonial administration—particularly the British variant—remained a pragmatic, untheorized practice, emphasizing the personal qualities of the “man on the spot,” rather than theory or technique.52 In a lecture at the University of London in 1933, Lord Lugard thus lamented that the British Empire had “no regular institution for instruction in colonial administration” like those in Paris, Antwerp, and Holland, and expressed hope that a Chair of Colonial Studies might be established “in this central university of the Empire.”53
A comparative approach to public administration supplied the basis for technical assistance provided by the UN and other international organizations. In part stimulated by that assistance, an applied dimension of public administration soon emerged under the rubric of “development administration.”54 The genealogy from colonial administration to development administration (and, later, development management) can be traced partly through the shifting focus of journals. For example, the British Colonial Service’s typescript Digest of African Local Administration was replaced in 1948 by a professional Journal of African Administration, which later became the Journal of Administration Overseas, and eventually (from 1981), Public Administration and Development.55 Generalist journals in public administration have also given attention to issues affecting development, and a number of specialist journals have emerged.56 The basic paradigm underlying both comparative and development administration was based in modernization theory.57 However, as discussed below, certain elements of the technical assistance for public administration provided by the UN could be traced back to colonial administration, and in some measure ran counter to the centralizing tendencies of modernization.
UN Technical Assistance for Public Administration: Institutions and Networks
The acceleration of decolonization after World War II provided the setting for programs of international technical assistance on an unprecedented scale. Such assistance had already been offered in previous decades by institutions such as the International Labor Organization, the Permanent Mandates Commission, and the technical organizations of the League of Nations.58 It is worth highlighting especially the technical assistance provided by the ILO in connection with the establishment of mechanisms for the public administration of social insurance and social security schemes from the 1920s onwards, and the establishment in 1927, with funding from the Filene-sponsored Twentieth Century Fund, of the International Management Institute in Geneva.59 That assistance continued and intensified after the War in the efforts of new international organizations such as the World Bank as well as under governmental and nongovernmental initiatives in a variety of states.60
In the United Nations, two landmark resolutions of the General Assembly in December 1948 authorized the provision of technical assistance for economic development. The first called upon the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and the specialized agencies to “give further and urgent consideration to the whole problem of the economic development of under-developed countries in all its aspects,” while the second appropriated funds to enable the secretary-general to provide technical assistance to governments in connection with their economic development programs.61 These resolutions were boosted by United States President Harry Truman’s inauguration speech in January 1949, which invited other countries to “pool their technological resources” in “a cooperative enterprise in which all nations work together through the [UN] and its specialized agencies wherever practicable.”62 Within two years, the General Assembly had established an Expanded Program of Technical Assistance (EPTA), comprising the UN and seven specialized agencies; a Technical Assistance Board (TAB) to coordinate their efforts; and a Technical Assistance Administration (TAA) within the UN Secretariat, which grew to a staff of more than 100 within a year.63 Parallel to—but closely allied with the EPTA—were the extensive “Point Four” technical assistance programs established by the US government.64
The UN itself assumed primary responsibility for technical assistance in public administration.65 In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a resolution recognizing the need for international facilities to provide “adequate administrative training for an increasing number of candidates . . . mainly from the countries in greatest need of access to the principles, procedures and methods of modern administration.”66 Three years later, a Public Administration Division (PAD) was established within the TAA and given the additional functions, among others, of providing “advice and assistance to governments in the improvement of public administration and in the establishment or reform of national and regional training systems and institutions in underdeveloped areas,” collecting technical information “with a view to the selection and development of effective methods for technical assistance in the field of public administration,” and analyzing “problems of public administration with particular reference to underdeveloped areas.”67 In 1953, the General Assembly adopted a further resolution recognizing “the increasingly important role of governmental administration in programmes for the promotion of economic development and social welfare.” Approving a “revised United Nations programme in public administration,” the resolution authorized the provision of technical assistance, at the request of governments, through the advisory services of experts; fellowships and scholarships; training institutes, seminars, conferences, working groups and other means; and the provision of technical publications.68
From as early as 1950, the program’s work included all these areas of assistance. An expert mission to Bolivia that year, led by Hugh Keenleyside (who was later appointed head of the TAA), conducted a comprehensive survey of the country’s needs and resources; its report recommended making the improvement of public administration a priority, and resulted in the posting of a general consultant on public administration, based in the President’s office.69 Some 700 UN experts in public administration were assigned to over 40 countries in the 1950s. Between 1951 and 1958, the UN awarded approximately 900 fellowships, with the number increasing to almost 3,000 in the 1960s. The UN also established several regional schools and institutes in the early 1950s—including in Brazil, Turkey, Libya, and Costa Rica. By the early 1960s the program was providing assistance to 24 national institutes of public administration and had itself organized dozens of seminars, working groups, conferences, and workshops.70
Inevitably, these activities were influenced by European traditions of colonial administration. The first head of the PAD was a former lieutenant-governor of the Netherlands East Indies, Hubertus Van Mook, who had sought to reform colonial administration by introducing a training program in public administration for both Indonesian and Dutch students; he was succeeded by S. B. Bapat of India, and then Frederick J. Tickner of the United Kingdom. 71 More far-reaching was the “quick turn-around of European colonial officers in Africa and Asian into their ‘new’ positions as UN development administrators,” and as the staff of the new institutes of administration established in the 1950s and 1960s.72 As others have shown, it was quite common for colonial administrators to move directly into the UN, World Bank, and development NGOs after decolonization, taking with them all manner of know-how and ways of looking at the world.73
What is less well appreciated is how much the public administration networks established between the World Wars shaped the work of the UN and other international organizations after 1945. PACH associates such as Donald Stone, together with Louis Brownlow, Charles Ascher, Herbert Emmerich, and others, made crucial contributions to the design and operations of postwar international organizations.74 After serving as executive director of the Public Administration Service, the “consulting, research, and publication arm” of PACH, Stone worked with Brownlow on the reorganization of the executive branch in the Franklin Roosevelt administration, where Stone was appointed head of the Administrative Management division of the federal Bureau of Budget (BOB).75 He then served as an advisory member of the US delegation to the San Francisco Conference on the United Nations, as a member of the UN Preparatory Commission, and as a member of the UN General Assembly’s standing Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Affairs. Stone also assisted Paul Hoffman with planning the organizational structure for the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) to administer the Marshall Plan, and then worked in the ECA until 1954.76
Stone’s international activities reflected a pattern of efforts by members of the extended PACH network to shape the institutions of the postwar world order, frequently supported by funding from the Ford Foundation.77 Three of Stone’s associates in the BOB went on to become either Deputy or Assistant Director-General of UNESCO.78 Charles Ascher, who had served as chief of PACH’s New York office, became an advisor to UNESCO and promoted public administration activities in association with the IULA and IIAS; while another long-term PACH director, Herbert Emmerich, became a senior consultant in the UN’s PAD (1957–1963), where he conducted a series of technical assistance missions to Latin American countries.79 A former PACH trustee who had served as director of the ECA and as president of the Ford Foundation, Paul Hoffman, later became the first Administrator, together with David Owen, of the UNDP (1966–1972). That these men saw their work in the UN and its specialized agencies as an extension of their previous endeavours to “international administration” is well captured in a 1949 letter from Donald Stone to UN Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, assessing the extent to which the new international organizations had been successful in meeting “the administrative requisites for world organization.”80
These professional and personal networks were deeply imbricated with the UN’s public administration program. One file in the UN Archives concerning a “proposed survey of Latin American literature in the field of public administration”—to be carried out by a PACH expert on behalf of the Organization of American States with support from a Ford Foundation grant—features correspondence between UN officials (such as Emmerich, van Mook, and Tickner) and various individuals and institutions, including PACH, the Royal Institute of Public Administration in London, the Institute of Public Administration in New York, the European Productivity Agency in Paris, and the Ford Foundation.81 Elsewhere, we find correspondence from Donald Stone, writing as Director of Administration in the ECA, to David Owen, then Assistant Secretary-General at the UN, to provide advice on the establishment of a Training Center in Public Administration based on his experiences in the BOB and as Chairman of the IIAS Committee on Administrative Practices (CAS); and, a month later, writing in the latter capacity and referring to exchanges with Owen, Charles Ascher, and others.82
As it had been in the interwar period, the IIAS was a key node linking UN experts in public administration to those from other intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Meetings of the CAS allowed Stone (wearing his ECA hat) to interact with a wide range of contacts, including his former PACH associates, Ascher and Walter Laves (both representing UNESCO); Hugh Keenleyside (of the UN TAA); David Morse (ILO Director and another alumnus of the Roosevelt administration); Hugo de Haan (Secretary of the Berne-based International Committee on Scientific Organization and a former staff member of both the International Labour Office and the International Management Institute); Francis Wilcox (Chief of Staff of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations); representatives of the World Health Organization; and the Secretary General of the Paris-based Institut Technique des Administrations Publiques.83 Another attendee at CAS meetings was the international lawyer and human rights advocate, René Cassin, who served as vice president of the institute and president ad interim in August 1952.84
Among other things, the CAS carried out research on public administration at the request and with the support of the UN TAA. Between 1951 and 1954, the IIAS published twenty-four studies on aspects of administration, including reports on organization and methods, the central machinery of government, and “Some Human Aspects of Administration” (1951).85 In 1953, the IIAS began publication of a specialist journal, Progress in Public Administration, which merged three years later with the International Review of Administrative Sciences.86 Connections with the IULA also resulted in research into decentralization.87 An article prepared by Stone for the International Review of Administrative Sciences thus described the CAS as “providing an international network of communication and exchange of information whereby key administrative officials of various countries and international organizations can exchange information and experiences on the latest and most effective administrative practices.”88
Much of this research made its way into official UN policy and practice. Between 1951 and 1961, the UN published a series of reports and booklets setting out what it viewed as the most important principles and practices of public administration. The first of these, Standards and Techniques of Public Administration, was prepared by a special committee on Public Administration Problems, appointed by Keenleyside.89 The committee was led by Hubertus van Mook and included Rowland Egger, an associate director of PACH, and Albert Lepawsky, a professor of public administration who had been a member of the Bolivian mission and, earlier, an assistant to Charles Merriam at the University of Chicago.90 Other important publications included an International Bibliography of Public Administration, with many entries written by individuals mentioned above; a study of Public Administration Aspects of Community Development Programmes; and a Handbook of Public Administration.91 The next two parts of this essay analyze these and other publications, identifying the ideas and practices of public administration that were central to the UN’s efforts to construct postcolonial states in this period.
Public Administration as a Technology of Postcolonial State Formation
How should we estimate the influence and effects of UN technical assistance on public administration in the world? Certainly, we cannot claim that the prescriptions set forth by UN officials were viewed as binding blueprints for action, or acted upon as such; to do so would be to deny the agency and choice exercised by innumerable actors, both national and international. The actual consequences or effects of the body of knowledge claims comprised in UN publications and working documents undoubtedly varied from case to case, and were highly contingent on many different factors. Nevertheless, as a literature of expertise that synthesized (while necessarily abstracting and simplifying) an array of complex practices and experiences, these documents comprised an important element within a larger network of knowledges, as described above, that amounted to an emerging internationalized “science of the state.” Moreover, this archive of knowledge claims exercised a qualitative influence beyond the UN’s immediate network, and the timeframe of this study, as they were translated and enrolled into other networks and archives of knowledge—in the World Bank, in aid agencies, and so on. The rise of UN technical assistance for public administration may therefore be seen as partially creating, universalizing, and making transmissible a kind of distributed global knowledge whose effects continue to be felt today.92
UN publications on technical assistance for public administration from this period were sensitive to the political nature of the reforms they were proposing. As one commentator put it in connection with colonial affairs: “Filtering an act of intervention . . . through an international organization may transform what would otherwise have been labeled “an imperialistic act” into an action recognized on every side as necessary and fair to all parties.”93 Accordingly, UN reports often stressed the importance of “close and continuous co-operation and consultation with the host government” and “carefully maintain[ing]” the “technical nature” of assistance.94 Yet it is hard to ignore that the contributors to UN publications on public administration were predominantly drawn from Western, liberal states, and that the techniques they promoted reflected that background.
Undergirding UN technical assistance on public administration was the ideology of modernization, closely allied to the nascent discipline of development economics. Modernization posited a universal teleology according to which all societies were destined to progress along a path similar to Western states—involving industrialization, rationalization, urbanization, specialization, and bureaucratization—while providing a way for US policy-makers to understand and respond to a rapidly changing world.95 As the economist Hans Singer put it later, there was a strong assumption in the West that “the same principles of planning, macroeconomic management of the economy by governments and mobilization of latent resources based on Keynesian principles, were also applicable to the problems of developing countries.”96 Singer and other economists closely associated with the UN, such as Arthur Lewis, Raúl Prebisch, Gunnar Myrdal, and Walt Rostow—who served as a special assistant to Myrdal at the UN Economic Commission for Europe for several years—all helped to establish the theoretical foundations for modernization theory, including an emphasis on state planning, industrialization, and social welfare.97
Official UN publications in this period reveal how far the tenets of orthodox modernization theory had suffused development thinking in the organization. A series of articles published in the United Nations Review in 1960, summarizing the conclusions reached in earlier UN studies, described a single path of economic progress along which all countries could be situated. Those that were “still in a more primitive phase” of economic development included “almost all of Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.” Predominantly agricultural, these countries had few industries and produced little beyond subsistence for exchange purposes. Apart from a small minority, their populations were “at present condemned to a life of unrelieved poverty and often of bitter hardship.” In addition to economic development through industrialization, these societies required a bundle of improvements in the fields of health, education, food production, social welfare, and human rights.98
In UN development thinking, as in modernization theory generally, states performed crucial functions in establishing the necessary conditions for economic growth. A 1951 UN expert report on economic development in “under-developed” countries stipulated that “the first thing demanded of governments is that they should be efficient and honest,” and argued that poorly structured institutions constituted prime obstacles to economic progress.99 Economic progress depended “to a large extent upon the adoption by governments of appropriate administrative and legislative action,” and central planning—at least of the indicative kind—was universally prescribed.100 Apart from one-off infrastructural projects, governments could legitimately intervene in economic development through a whole series of approved means, such as by prescribing national industrial policies, establishing industrial development corporations or research institutes to advise industrialists on technical matters, and setting policies on taxation, credit, exchange control, and financial planning—all of which involved techniques of public administration.101
Modernization in decolonized states demanded thorough-going administrative reforms. UN reports described the “problems of under-developed countries” in public administration using the classical vocabulary of modernization, as “primarily problems of transition . . . from semi-feudal and traditional to more responsible and rational forms of administration.”102 Newly self-governing states found themselves “faced with acute problems of social disorganization, economic depression and administrative confusion,” combined with “public inertia and lack of understanding of the need for administrative reform.103 In countries without “a long tradition of administration,” and where “economic and social development has come with revolutionary speed and intensity,” reforms were necessary to ensure that the “general organization of the government” was adequate to “deal with modern developments.”104 Moreover, such reforms necessarily extended beyond governmental structures and routines to political and social attitudes, whereby “traditionalism” and “old loyalties to family and tribe” were to be discarded in favor of a new ethos centered on the nation.105
An internationally shared ideology of modernization made it possible for UN experts to identify a common set of ideas and practices in public administration. Notwithstanding the differences in national and professional backgrounds of the committee members drafting the Standards and Techniques report in 1951, they had little difficulty in recognizing a “common body of principle and technique . . . which has some degree of world-wide and general validity.”106 Certainly, such principles and techniques needed to be adapted to particular cultural and social conditions, especially in “developing” countries.107 UN reports were also carefully framed to address political and economic differences among member states, from “completely socialized” to “capitalist economies.”108 More broadly, they displayed a significant level of political sophistication, seeking the real differences in constitutional arrangements in the actual “interplay of political, social and economic forces operating within—or without—the constitutional framework.”109 Overall, this political realism reinforced a Wilsonian tendency to separate administration from politics, focusing on administrative reforms while deferring larger constitutional or structural changes in government to a later date.110 Nevertheless, the implementation of generally accepted principles of public administration, in one form or another, was the “the sine qua non in the implementation of programmes of national development.”111
The model of public administration proposed by the UN broadly mirrored the values and functions of Western liberal welfare states. Effective administration depended on the application of core democratic values such as “consent of the people,” rule of law, and human rights.112 These informed administrative processes that respected due process and natural justice, but equally foundational was “a policy which tends to broaden the range of personal freedom, economic and social opportunity, and political democracy.”113 Moreover, by the early 1960s, the “ends of the modern State” had been revolutionized, with evident implications for public administration: states were now expected to be “the accelerator of economic and social change,” and the provision of social services constituted the central aim of government administration.114 UN reports urged states to give equal attention to social and economic development; in determining administrative priorities, they suggested focusing on “one or a few subject-matter programmes” at a time, such as “a health programme, a water-power project, a welfare programme, a petroleum project.”115 As a result, the “substantive functions of a modern Government” produced a common pattern of administration found throughout the world, with only “minor variations.”116
The administrative reforms prescribed by the UN also largely reflected Weberian and Taylorian notions of rationalization and efficiency, which resonated strongly with modernization theory. A “rational and analytical approach to organization” had evolved over the previous decades, the Handbook reported in 1961.117 The “modern methods of public administration” prescribed by this approach were characterized by legality and impartiality, speed and economy, simplicity and clarity; to these ends, it was important to ensure efficiency in movement, processing, action, filing, and storage of paper work, and to maintain “tidiness and good housekeeping” in public offices.118 As the process of development encountered (and itself produced) a series of technical, social, and legal problems, an efficient and responsible “national administrative machinery” was essential to ensuring that the process remained “orderly.”119
Furthermore, many of the reforms promoted through UN technical assistance, particularly in its earliest years, entailed the centralization of authority in the state through methods that owed much to scientific management. The Standards and Techniques report recommended keeping the number of departments and agencies “as low as possible in order to facilitate the executive’s control in terms of a manageable number of sub-executives reporting directly to him.”120 Reforms could be accomplished through the appointment of a central committee, board or commission, and the integration of administrative management could be pursued through a coordinating agency, again reporting to the central executive.121 One of the main recommendations of the Bolivian mission, for example, was to establish “a non-political, technically-staffed National Council on the Public Service,” appointed by and responsible to the president and chaired by a representative of the president; the Council would introduce “a comprehensive civil service system based on merit selection and permanent tenure,” over which it would retain oversight.122
The main purpose of administrative management was to establish procedural controls at “strategic points in the flow of administrative work” to enforce approved routines.123 A key mechanism in this respect were central organization and methods (“O&M”) offices, which aimed at promoting uniformity and improving the quality of administration. Often established directly under the chief executive, O&M offices conducted surveys and analyses of existing procedures, produced a “systematic organization plan” for each new program, and thus ensured “rational organization.”124 One of the techniques commonly employed by O&M offices was the production of organization charts, which reinscribed relationships of “verticality” between central government and state or local authorities, in which the former appeared “above” the latter.125 Similarly, the creation of a “central index” was recommended as a means of “setting forth the powers, functions and organization structures of all government agencies, with a citation of the relevant laws and decrees.”126 Such “useful device[s]” supplied convenient ways to depict the principal units of a bureaucracy, ministry, or agency, and to understand the lines of authority and responsibility between them.127 Beyond merely representing an existing structure, however, they helped to constitute that structure and bring it into being.
Planning for economic and social development, likewise, tended to extend the “reality” of the state, from metropolis to hinterland. For planning to be effective, it required the participation of many individuals across government departments, the legislature, local and regional authorities, and nongovernmental groups.128 Such engagement became a means of instilling both national and individual responsibility, such that “citizens and authorities learn to look ahead, to weigh alternatives, to assess priorities, in short, to plan.”129 But these participatory processes also reinforced the sense of the state’s “thingness,” maintaining “central responsibility” and a sense of state “encompassment.”130 Government programs were “designed to contribute towards national unity,” while “giving local authorities a sense of participation in the formulation and execution of national development programmes” served to “strengthen the identification of communities with the national government and with people elsewhere in the country.”131 Furthermore, local programs that contributed to the national plan were led by “village level workers” and technicians, who were recruited, trained, supervised, and paid by the central government, and therefore could reliably be expected to implement the government’s policies.132
UN publications prescribed a national planning process in substantial detail, including the selection of key projects, assigning priorities, time-scheduling projects, and assigning them to specific administrative agencies for execution.133 The national budget comprised a key instrument in this process, enabling a financial picture of the state and “the government’s programme reduced to the common denominator of money.”134 Going further, UN experts urged the production of annual national accounts that might incorporate the financial plans of the private sector entities, while the introduction of performance budgeting allowed financial expenditures to be linked to the accomplishment of particular tasks.135 These efforts were not merely the application of apolitical accounting practices to the state, but operated to develop and articulate “the very notion of the state as we know it today.”136
Moreover, effective planning depended on “expert fact-finding.”137 A first objective was to acquire comprehensive and detailed knowledge of all dimensions of the state, its population and resources. There was a need for “reliable statistics officially prepared,” training to use them properly, and a realization of “the importance of accurate statistical surveys.”138 Accurate information had to be gathered concerning “the size and quality of the labor force,” “the density and distribution of the population, its relative age groups, the various occupations pursued by the people, their degree of skill and remuneration,” and all aspects of their natural resources.139 The 1951 Standards and Techniques report supplied a detailed “Outline for a Survey of Administrative Conditions,” including a series of questions inquiring into all aspects of a country’s political and constitutional history; geography, geology, resources, and climate; demography; economy; social structure; governmental organization; public finances; and public personnel.140 The meticulous collection of data enabled governments to set priorities, plan, and take action in order to enhance the overall welfare of the country.141
Practices of planning, budgeting, accounting, auditing, in which the goal was to maximize efficiency and minimize inefficiency and waste, as articulated by scientific management, were therefore central to public administration.142 As James C Scott argues, however, these practices can also be understood as techniques of “legibility and simplification,” and thereby instruments of state control over territories and populations.143 Modern government required the application of techniques of statecraft that could penetrate the most intimate realities of social processes. Likewise, the methods of financial and fiscal administration recommended by the UN—property surveys, detailed tax maps, customs administration, and more—provided means by which states could gain knowledge of its resources and assert its authority.144 These methods drew on administrative techniques of cartography, collection, recording, and standardizing that had first been trialed and elaborated under conditions of colonial rule, before being applied at home.145
Finally, modern state formation required the recruitment, training, and hierarchical arrangement of individuals who would comprise the central bureaucracy of government. Here again, the UN prescribed measures that hewed closely to the Weberian checklist. Public administration was to be organized as an “effective career service,” with systematic “selection on the basis of merit, reasonable assurance of tenure, an orderly classification of positions, an equitable salary plan, adequate opportunities for promotion based on meritorious service, and a proper system of retirement.”146 Modern government began with “a civil service efficiently organized, adequately trained, and recruited from all levels of society.”147 The construction of a career service created a “break from established and perhaps traditional practices,” and the members of that service were expected to be forward-looking with a “continuous interest in reform.”148 Such an assemblage of well-disciplined governors could thereby become “one of the most effective instruments of national integration and a means of awakening an active and intelligent interest in government among the citizens.”149 In this way, UN technical assistance reflected the “elitist bias” of modernization, which viewed the administrative class as a principal means for advancing a whole population.150 As Milton Esman puts it:
The agents of modernization would be an enlightened minority, endowed with Western education and committed to transforming their societies along Western lines for the benefit of all. . . . through their control of government they would rationalize economic life, expand the modern centres, and gradually penetrate the traditional institutions of the rural periphery through the state bureaucracy. Public administration would be the principal instrumentality by which the modernizing elites would penetrate and absorb the traditional periphery.151
Not all UN prescriptions conformed to the Taylorian-Weberian model of administrative modernization, however. As early as 1951, the Standards and Techniques report declared that “there is seldom a One-Best-Way in public administration.”152
Against State Power? Counter-Tendencies in UN Technical Assistance
The previous part of this essay outlined certain ways in which UN technical assistance for public administration sought to construct postcolonial states by concentrating power in central bureaucracies and extending the reach of that power across territories and populations. Side-by-side with that effort, however, were aspects of the UN’s assistance that seemed to aim at undercutting, or at least tempering and constraining, central state power. In part, these counter-tendencies arose from long-held suspicions, consistent with Taylorian thought, that public administration, even more than the “management of private enterprise,” had a propensity to be inefficient and wasteful, whether through “corruption, awkward and obsolete methods,” or nepotism.153 Equally, however, they stemmed from concerns over “excessive proceduralism,” “legalism,” and “red tape,” which the 1961 Handbook described as “symptoms of bureaucracy, a term used in this document to denote the sickness and maladjustments of administration.”154 These pathologies of administration, as UN experts saw them, were particularly acute in “developing” countries, which suffered “almost without exception” from “the problem of excessive centralization,” while also carrying the burden of unrealistic expectations.155
UN prescriptions to counter these bureaucratic pathologies varied over time and place. As David Hirschmann demonstrates, Western academics and international agencies often saw “Third World” bureaucracies “not as the key to, but the obstacle in the way of, development.”156 Hirschmann thus describes a sequence of attempts to reform and transform bureaucracies in postcolonial states—including strategies of “de-bureaucratization,” “circumvention,” “reorientation,” “decentralization,” “privatization and pressure,” and culminating in attempts in the 1990s to make bureaucracies “accountable, transparent and even responsive to the public.”157 What is remarkable is that all of these strategies were already present, in one form or another, in the advice and assistance provided by UN public administration experts in the 1950s and early 1960s.
One way in which UN technical assistance sought to counter the pathology of “excessive proceduralism” was by emphasizing “human relations” approaches to public administration.158 The field had been “greatly advanced by scientific research in individual and group psychology and sociology.”159 As both an “art and a science,” human relations went beyond mere rules and procedures: “A high degree of wisdom and tolerance must pervade the application of rules in any system where human beings are the main concern. For people cannot be treated like cards in an index file.”160 With experience, senior administrators would learn when exceptions could be made and rules relaxed to meet the needs of unusual circumstances, while maintaining “the integrity and soundness of the service as a whole.”161 Good administrators had the ability to foster high morale, “esprit de corps and team work,” which in turn resulted in greater efficiency.162 Supervisors needed to be “neither autocratic nor over-paternalistic,” “combine understanding with firmness,” and learn to “take a personal interest in . . . staff without sacrificing impartiality or discipline.”163 Modernization thus involved the inculcation of an ethos and a shaping of individual subjectivities, not just the erection of bureaucratic systems.
Anxieties about rigid proceduralism also motivated UN experts to urge greater openness in public administration. The circulation of information within an administration had salutary effects on the formulation and execution of policies, and coordination among departments.164 By “reporting to the nation” on a regular basis, an administration met its democratic “responsibility to the people and to their elected leaders.”165 Good public relations could also be served through courteous and open communications with individual citizens.166 We see here an early expression of a set of concerns that would return some three decades later—re-clothed in the vocabulary of “transparency,” “accountability,” and a “public service orientation”—as part of a package of public administration reforms associated with the “new public management.”167
To counteract “excessive centralization,” UN technical advice increasingly emphasized practices of deconcentration, devolution, and community development.168 These practices had roots in colonial techniques of participation and indirect rule, while also resonating with a widely felt communitarian impulse and “localist” endeavors that in some ways opposed mainstream modernization ideology.169 Articulating a principle of subsidiarity in connection with the delegation of functions to “provincial or other autonomous or semi-autonomous authorities,” the Standards and Techniques report affirmed that “normally all authority which can be adequately exercised at a lower level should be delegated.”170 Devolution to the local level made government programs “more responsive and better adapted to local needs,” while encouraging greater initiative in community members.171 Community development aimed to “encourage and make effective the will to community self-help,” evading even the reach of local governments.172 In this respect, decentralization practices in public administration prefigured the turn to “government through community,” which became a significant feature of late-twentieth century neoliberalism in both “developing” and “developed” states.173 And, of course, devolution and decentralization could also serve equally well to extend the “colonizing, expanding bureaucratic power” of the state.174
Another device for avoiding the pitfalls of state bureaucracy, closely linked to the decentralization strategy, was the use of parastatals.175 By the early 1950s, it was not unusual for governmental activities to be carried out by autonomous or semi-autonomous agencies, in the form of public corporations and enterprises, in areas such as central banking, industrial and agricultural credit, commodity marketing, public utilities, port operations, and so on.176 In “developing” countries, in particular, establishing such entities was a way to circumvent “the normal rigid routines and formal procedures” of public bureaucracies.177 Semi-governmental and nongovernmental agencies could thus take responsibility for the delivery of social services in a way that ensured “more flexibility and responsiveness to changing needs.”178 Alternatively, the necessary degree of governmental control could be achieved by granting a concession or a management contract to a private corporation or firm.179 In these and other ways, the technical assistance provided by the UN included elements that would later be seen as contributing to the “hollowing out” or “retreat” of the state as an increasing number of public functions were privatized from the 1980s onwards.180
Where “administrative talent” was even more lacking, UN experts often felt a need to step in and provide direct administrative assistance. Already in 1950, the Keenleyside Mission to Bolivia had recommended the appointment of “a number of experienced and competent administrative officials of unquestioned integrity drawn from a variety of countries to positions of influence and authority as integral members of the Bolivian public service,” where they would perform operational and executive functions.181 Other, similar appointments were made in Indonesia, Jordan, Ecuador, and elsewhere, though on a more informal basis than in Bolivia.182 In 1956, this form of assistance was institutionalized, at the suggestion of Lester Pearson and with the enthusiastic support of Hammarskjöld, as the UN Program for Operational and Executive Personnel (“OPEX”).183 In legal terms, OPEX created a new category of “hybrid personnel”: its officers were contracted to the UN, but would only be appointed to particular posts by and at the request of a national government; they were under the sole direction of the governments that employed them; and their salaries were paid by the governments to which they were seconded, although supplemented by the UN.184
To Hammarskjöld, postcolonial state-building in all its manifold dimensions required, above all, the creation of a disciplined, elite cohort of national administrators. Unlike other forms of technical assistance, OPEX was designed so that civil servants from “developed” countries could be seconded to serve for longer periods of time in an executive and operational capacity in the national administrations of “developing” countries, rather than as technical advisors for specific projects.185 More importantly, these executives were conceived as the bearers of an internationalist, cosmopolitan sensibility to the governments to which they were assigned. While responsible solely to those governments, they served “the cause of the United Nations” and had to “accept the rigorous standards of conduct and competence required of international civil servants.” They were selected, therefore, on the basis of “quality of character and social outlook” no less than on “intellectual background and professional competence.”186 Although a few governments objected that OPEX would constitute a form of neocolonial intervention in the domestic affairs of UN member states, contrary to Article 2(7) of the Charter, many newly independent states in fact sought assistance under the scheme.187
That scheme took on even greater significance in the circumstances facing the newly independent state of the Congo. Within days after the Congo declared independence, on June 30, 1960, a series of mutinies broke out in the Congolese army, the Force Publique, and reports of violence by soldiers prompted a mass flight of Belgians from the country. Before independence, Belgians had overwhelmingly dominated the higher levels of the Congo’s civil service; although the administration provided a relatively advanced level of “colonial welfarism,” the Congolese themselves had very little part in directing or managing their own affairs.188 The rapid departure of so many Europeans left the new state struggling to deliver many basic governmental services and functions.189
Claiming grounds for humanitarian intervention, Belgium deployed some ten thousand troops to the Congo to protect European residents and property. On July 11, the province of Katanga declared independence with the support of Belgian troops stationed there. The following day, the Congo’s new prime minister and president, Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Kasa-Vubu, cabled Hammarskjöld to make a formal request for military assistance.190 The secretary-general brought the situation to the Security Council’s attention and recommended the establishment of a peacekeeping operation (ONUC, after its French title, Opération des Nations unies au Congo). On July 14, the Security Council authorized Hammarskjöld to provide the Congo with military assistance, and called on Belgium to withdraw its troops from the country.191 The first UN troops began to arrive the next day. By the end of July, ONUC’s military force had peaked at almost twenty thousand troops.192
ONUC provided the best opportunity yet for the UN to offer a comprehensive program of technical assistance to a single country. International organizations had had very limited involvement in the Congo before July 1960, yet within a matter of weeks a wide range of UN agencies had established operations there.193 In late September, Hammarskjöld’s special representative in the Congo reported that the UN and its specialized agencies had “put together, in a little over a month, the largest civilian team they have ever had in one country at one time.”194 Under ONUC’s organizational umbrella, a corps of some two thousand experts and technicians, together with funds, training programs, and equipment, provided assistance in myriad fields of administration and government: law- and constitution-making, civil administration, civilian policing, communications, education, finance, foreign trade, medical and public health services, agriculture, food distribution, civil engineering, and civil aviation.195
From the outset, UN technical assistance granted particular attention to re-establishing the central public administration of independent Congo. Robert Gardiner, a Ghanaian serving as deputy executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, was “assigned to handle public administration aspects” of ONUC. In this role, he assisted the government in creating a new Cabinet post, Ministre de la Fonction Publique, and establishing a public service commission to “examine the organization of existing ministries, make suggestions for the rationalization of their work and outline future personnel requirements.”196 As part of that “rationalization,” Gardiner prepared high-level organigrammes for each ministry, anticipating that an “Organization and Methods team” would elaborate further organizational charts for each section and review the “lines of communication between Central Ministries and their Provincial counterparts.”197
More significantly, Gardiner made plans for the “immediate maximum africanisation of each ministry and . . . programmes for the training of Congolese Civil service cadres with a view to complete africanisation of each service at the earliest possible date.”198 Such “localization” was a common strategy in postcolonial administrations, but it was especially urgent in postindependence Congo.199 Gardiner reasoned that the promotion of Congolese officials to fill gaps created by the departure of Belgian officials would cause “no real damage,” would help the newly established government win some support by being seen to fulfil some of its pre-election promises, and would “provide evidence that the United Nations sympathises [sic] with and supports national aspirations.”200 Identifying “administrative organization and the training of key personnel” as “first essentials for the proper functioning of the Congolese administration,” Gardiner made early plans for an institute of management, expressing interest in working with the Comité International de l’Organisation Scientifique to this end.201 A National School of Law and Public Administration was soon established with funding mostly provided by the Ford Foundation as well as Congolese authorities, the UN, and the International Cooperation Administration of the US government.202
In carrying out these activities, ONUC officials took care to guard against the reassertion of colonial influence in the Congo, whether formal or informal, by European powers. Congolese civil servants were sensitive to the possibility that the UN might attempt to bring back ex-Belgian officials, or even that the massive influx of UN personnel was a scheme to replace those officials with other international staff.203 At the same time, ONUC officials had to be careful to coordinate with Belgian and French bilateral assistance, while avoiding the appointment of experts whose past associations with one side or another in partisan conflicts may prejudice the attitude of other Congolese toward UN-sponsored activities.204 The suggestion of appointing a British judge to the Congolese judiciary was thus rejected out of hand “for obvious political reasons” relating to the candidate’s previous activities during the “Mau Mau emergency” in Kenya.205 Nevertheless, an early assessment by Gardiner concluded that the UN would soon need to provide direct operational assistance, along the lines of OPEX.206
Indeed, the plan elaborated by Hammarskjöld for ONUC took the OPEX model of operational and executive support a step further, introducing a group of experts who would serve “on a level of higher administrative responsibility.” These experts would “receive a new and so far untried status” as consultants to the Chief of Civilian Operations. Unlike OPEX personnel, they were not accredited to Congolese government ministries but instead formally functioned only within the UN “orbit.” Nevertheless, they were de facto “able to serve, with senior responsibility, at the request of the Government, the various Ministries and departments.” In order to achieve the desired level of integration, each expert was appointed first as a “local representative” of the relevant specialized agency, thereby remaining in “the proper relationship to his agency and under its authority,” and then as a member of the Consultative Group. That group included consultants that could cover a wide range fields, including agriculture, communications, education, finance, trade, health, labor, judiciary, natural resources and industry as well as public administration.207
Despite never receiving formal approval, this scheme effectively placed much of the Congo under UN administration and subordinated the activities of all specialized agencies to the overall authority of the secretary-general.208 Overseeing the “vast pattern of activity” that he had initiated in the Congo, involving so many of the specialized agencies as well the UN itself, Hammarskjöld sought to bring all aspects of the operation into a single, coherent command structure, ultimately reporting to him.209 The civilian and military heads of ONUC—both Swedes, like Hammarskjöld—reported to a political officer and personal representative of the secretary-general, and were also linked to him through separate coordinators at UN headquarters in New York.210 Together with a few other officials in the Secretariat, these coordinators were members of an informal group of close advisers known as the “Congo Club,” which Hammarskjöld consulted on a daily basis, and which exercised considerable control over the direction of UN policy.211
Hammarskjöld’s scheme for administering the Congo was greeted with deep suspicion in certain quarters. The Soviet Mission to the UN described the proposed Consultative Group as having “wide powers” that would “not be subordinate to the Government of the Congo,” and argued that this would result in “the restriction of the sovereignty of the Republic of the Congo and the transformation of the Congo, in fact, to the position of the Trust territory, which is contradictory to the Charter.” Objecting to the fact that citizens of the United States and its allies were likely to dominate the most important posts, the Soviet Mission concluded that these experts would “possess authorities of ministers and fix the policy of the Congo for the future and the trend of the country’s development.”212 Certain Congolese government officials also noted that ONUC had a tendency to stray outside its mandated authority. In a letter to the secretary-general’s special representative, the Minister for Foreign Affairs expressed concern regarding a “dangerous attitude” that was “gaining ground” among “certain technical staff members more directly responsible for various technical assistance sectors”:
It would seem that, in a praiseworthy desire to produce immediate results, some of your colleagues are tending to work more and more independently of the Congolese Government and administration. Very gradually, a duplicate administration, intent on monopolizing all the relations between the Congo and other countries, is in the process of formation. If this trend (which I understand even if I oppose it) were to prevail, it would mean a return to that paternalism, practised all too long by Belgium, which is precisely one of the main reasons for our troubles.213
Several features of ONUC’s civilian operation suggest that these suspicions were not entirely misplaced. Western experts dominated the operation, and Hammarskjöld’s most trusted advisers were either American or “uncompromisingly pro-Western and anti-Communist.”214 Moreover, there is reason to believe that, at least in the earliest stages, Hammarskjöld did indeed envisage the Congo being administered in effect by UN personnel, with UN officials at the head of all the most important ministries. After observing an immediate need for a sound “administrative structure,” an internal Secretariat planning document from late July 1960 thus set out Hammarskjöld’s “tentative approach to civilian affairs” in candid terms:
Whatever the facade, these people will not be advisers but effectively heads of departments with immediate access to their Ministers and authorized to act in their absence. Half a dozen to a dozen good men are enough to full such posts as Permanent Secretary or Director of Finance, Customs, Commerce, Agriculture, Medical Services, Civil Aviation, etc.215
Despite the UN’s stated goal of “Africanization” and efforts to support the establishment of strong central administrations in decolonized states, then, its activities appeared at times to work against the achievement of those ends.
This essay has examined the role of UN technical assistance for public administration in the construction of postcolonial states. In revealing new connections with ideas of scientific management and human relations as well as practices of colonial administration, the essay complicates existing stories about modernization and development in the postwar period of decolonization. In reconstructing the professional networks that interlaced with UN technical assistance, it exposes continuities between interwar and postwar structures of influence in this field. In analyzing the rationalities and technologies of public administration promoted by the UN, moreover, it demonstrates the complex ways in which international organizations shaped the structures and functions of postcolonial states. Finally, this essay has highlighted a series of continuities that link postwar development practices with the “neoliberal” consensus as it emerged in the last two decades of the twentieth century.
Public administration remains a central technology of stateness, with particular salience in “developing” states. In today’s development discourse, problems of “state capacity” are largely addressed as technical issues through the expert vocabularies of public administration, institution-building, and governance.216 The decades since World War II have no doubt seen remarkable growth in administrative capacity in many “developing” countries; in this respect, the Congo might be seen as an extreme case of the difficulties in transplanting the techniques of public administration into a decolonized state. Yet the very extremity of the case study highlights how central the practices and assumptions of public administration are to the development enterprise.
Much more remains to be explored to understand the contributions of public administration to development thought and practice. How did public administration articulate with adjacent disciplines concerned with development, such as economics, engineering, and law? How were UN proposals for reform actually implemented, and how were they viewed by their “targets”? What obstacles and resistances did they encounter, and what were their effects on the ground? How were UN approaches similar to or different from those of other international organizations and development agencies, on both sides of the Cold War? What strategies and maneuvers did UN officials use to enroll other actors into an alliance centered on their articulation of problems and solutions? And how did these various approaches interact and evolve over time? Seeking answers to these questions will further expand our understanding of the relationship between public administration as a technology of government and the making of modern states, particularly in the decolonized world.
Early drafts of this essay were presented and discussed at workshops at the European University Institute, the Global Studies Institute of the University of Geneva, New York University School of Law, and Victoria University of Wellington Faculty of Law. I am grateful to the organisers and participants in those events, and especially Nehal Bhuta, Megan Donaldson, Corinna Unger, and Nils Gilman; Yusra Suedi, Myriam Piguet, and Nicolas Levrat; Karin Loevy, Julian Arato, and J. Benton Heath. Thanks also to Georgia Whelan and Steven Reinhold for excellent research assistance.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, “Statement at the Second Session of the Economic Commission for Africa,” in Public Papers of the Secretaries General of the United Nations, vol. 4, ed. Andrew W. Cordier and Wilder Foote (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974), 516–17.
- Printed cards on file, United Nations Archives and Records Management Section (hereafter abbreviated as UN ARMS), S-0739-0026-0001.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, “An International Administrative Service,” in Servant of Peace: A Selection of the Speeches and Statements of Dag Hammarskjöld, ed. Wilder Foote (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 115.
- Hammarskjöld had previously served in a variety of positions in the Swedish government. Brian Urquhart, Hammarskjöld (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1972), 368–69; Mark W. Zacher, Dag Hammarskjöld’s United Nations (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970), 13–15.
- For reviews of this literature, see David C. Engerman and Corinna R. Unger, “Introduction: Towards a Global History of Modernization,” Diplomatic History 33, no. 3 (June 2009): 375–85; Corinna R. Unger, “Histories of Development and Modernization: Findings, Reflections, Future Research,” H-Soz-u-Kult, September 12, 2010, http://hsozkult.geschichte.hu-berlin.de/forum/2010-12-001; Frederick Cooper, “Writing the History of Development,” Journal of Modern European History 8, no. 1 (2010): 5–23; Joseph M. Hodge, “Writing the History of Development (Part 1: The First Wave),” Humanity 6, no. 3 (Winter 2015): 429.
- See, for example, the few scattered references to public administration in Olav Stokke, The UN and Development: From Aid to Cooperation (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009); Stephen Browne, United Nations Development Programme and System (New York: Routledge, 2011); Digambar Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid: A Study in History and Politics (New Delhi: Academic Foundation, 2007); Craig N. Murphy, The United Nations Development Programme: A Better Way? (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006); Gert Rosenthal, “Economic and Social Council,” in The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations, ed. Thomas G. Weiss and Sam Daws (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 137; Richard Jolly et al., UN Contributions to Development Thinking and Practice (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 80.
- Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Division for Public Administration and Development Management, Contribution of the United Nations to the Improvement of Public Administration: A 60-Year History (New York: United Nations, 2008); Guido Bertucci and Adriana Alberti, “The United Nations Programme in Public Administration: Reinventing Itself to Help Reinvent Public Administration,” International Review of Administrative Sciences 71, no. 2 (2005): 337–53; Louis E. Hosch, “The Public Administration Division of the United Nations: A Brief History,” International Review of Administrative Sciences 30, no. 3 (1964): 231–41. There are, of course, a few exceptions to this scholarly oversight; see Eva-Maria Muschik, “Managing the World: The United Nations, Decolonisation and the Strange Triumph of State Sovereignty in the 1950s and 1960s,” Journal of Global History 13, no. 1 (March 2018): 121–44; Eva-Maria Muschik, “Building States through International Development Assistance: The United Nations between Trusteeship and Self-Determination, 1945 to 1965” (PhD diss., New York University, 2017); Guy Fiti Sinclair, To Reform the World: International Organizations and the Making of Modern States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), chap. 4. On international organizations beyond the UN, see Marc Frey, Sonke Kunkel, and Corinna R. Unger, eds. International Organizations and Development, 1945–1990 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014).
- See, for example, Kerstin Sahlin-Andersson and Lars Engwall eds., The Expansion of Management Knowledge: Carriers, Flows, and Sources (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2002); Ali Farazmand and Jack Pinkowski, eds., Handbook of Globalization, Governance, and Public Administration (New York: Taylor & Francis, 2007), chap. 14.
- Bertucci and Alberti, “United Nations Programme,” 337–53; Denis Saint-Martin, “How the Reinventing Government Movement in Public Administration was Exported from the U.S. to Other Countries,” International Journal of Public Administration 24, no. 6 (2001): 573–604.
- Derick W. Brinkerhoff, “The State and International Development Management: Shifting Tides, Changing Boundaries, and Future Directions,” Public Administration Review 68, no. 6 (November–December 2008): 985–1001; Shahar Hameiri, “Failed States or a Failed Paradigm? State Capacity and the Limits of Institutionalism,” Journal of International Relations and Development 10, no. 2 (June 2007): 122–49. The idea of “state capacity” plays a central, though largely undefined, role in recent World Bank thinking on development; see, for example, Naazneen H. Barma, Elisabeth Huybens and Lorena Viñuela, eds., Institutions Taking Root: Building State Capacity in Challenging Contexts (Washington, DC: World Bank Group, 2014); World Development Report 2017: Governance and the Law (Washington, DC: World Bank Group, 2017).
- Bill Cooke, “The Managing of the (Third) World,” Organization 11, no. 5 (September 2004): 622.
- Bill Cooke, “A New Continuity with Colonial Administration: Participation in Development Management,” Third World Quarterly 24, no. 1 (2003): 47–61; Bill Cooke, “From Colonial Administration to Development Management” (Working Paper No. 63, Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, 2001), https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/6418169.pdf; Anshuman Prasad ed., Postcolonial Theory and Organizational Analysis: A Critical Engagement (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003); Vernon Hewitt, “Empire, International Development & the Concept of Good Government,” in Empire, Development & Colonialism: The Past in the Present, eds. Mark Duffield and Vernon Hewitt (Woodbridge, UK: James Currey, 2009), chap. 2; Antony Anghie, “Civilization and Commerce: The Concept of Governance in Historical Perspective,” Villanova Law Review 45, no. 5 (2000): 887–911.
- On the role of international organizations in state formation, see Guy Fiti Sinclair, “State Formation, Liberal Reform and the Growth of International Organizations,” European Journal of International Law 26, no. 2 (2015): 445–69; and Sinclair, To Reform the World.
- See George Steinmetz, ed., State/Culture: State-Formation after the Cultural Turn (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1999); Thomas Blom Hansen and Finn Stepputat, eds., States of Imagination (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001); Aradhana Sharma and Akhil Gupta eds., The Anthropology of the State: A Reader (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2006); James Ferguson and Akhil Gupta, “Spatializing States: Toward an Ethnography of Neoliberal Governmentality,” American Ethnologist 29, no. 4 (November 2002): 981–1002; Timothy Mitchell, “Society, Economy, and the State Effect,” in State/Culture: State-Formation after the Cultural Turn, ed. George Steinmetz (Cornell University Press, 1999), 89.
- See, for example, Daniel Immerwahr, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2015); Stefan Couperus et al., “Experimental Spaces: A Decentered Approach to Planning in High Modernity. Introduction,” Journal of Modern European History 13, no. 4 (November 2015): 475–79; Valeska Huber, “Introduction: Global Histories of Social Planning,” Journal of Contemporary History 52, no. 1 (January 2017): 3–15.
- See, for example, Mark Evans, “Post-war Reconstruction and Public Administration,” in After the Conflict: Reconstruction and Development in the Aftermath of War, ed. Sultan Barakat (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005), 191–212; Shaun Goldfinch and Karl Derouen, “In it for the Long Haul? Post-Conflict Statebuilding, Peacebuilding, and the Good Governance Agenda in Timor-Leste,” Public Administration and Development 34, no. 2 (May 2014): 96–108.
- Edgar N. Gladden, A History of Public Administration. vol. 2: From the Eleventh Century to the Present Day (London: Frank Cass, 1972).
- Keith Tribe, “Cameralism and the Sciences of the State,” in The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought, ed. Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006), chap. 18; Michael W. Spicer, “Cameralist Thought and Public Administration,” Journal of Management History 4, no. 3 (1998): 149–59; Mark R. Rutgers, “Beyond Woodrow Wilson: The Identity of the Study of Public Administration in Historical Perspective,” Administration & Society 29, no. 3 (July 1997): 276–300.
- Spicer, “Cameralist Thought and Public Administration,” 157.
- Jürgen Osterhammel, The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century, trans. Patrick Camiller (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2014), chap. 11. There are, of course, important differences between national traditions of public administration, even among Western European states: Walter J. M. Kickert, “Distinctiveness in the Study of Public Management in Europe: A Historical-Institutional Analysis of France, Germany and Italy,” Public Management Review 7, no. 4 (2005): 537–63. As this essay shows, however, by the mid-twentieth century it was possible to identify a set of widely shared principles and techniques.
- Daniel A. Wren, The History of Management Thought, 5th ed. (Hoboken: Wiley & Sons, 2005), chap. 3.
- Alfred D. Chandler Jr., The Visible Hand: The Managerial Revolution in American Business (Cambridge: Harvard Belknap Press, 1977); Reinhard Bendix, Work and Authority in Industry: Ideologies of Management in the Course of Industrialization (New York: Wiley, 1956); Wren, History of Management Thought, chap. 6.
- George Steinmetz, Regulating the Social (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1993), 57.
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of Our Time (Boston: Beacon Press, 1957), 147.
- Gladden, History of Public Administration, vol. 2, 319–30.
- See, for example, Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996); Arjun Appadurai, “Number in the Colonial Imagination,” in Orientalism and the Postcolonial Predicament, ed. Carol A. Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1993), 314; David Scott, “Colonial Governmentality,” Social Text 43 (Autumn 1995): 191–220; U. Kalpagam, “The Colonial State and Statistical Knowledge,” History of Human Sciences 13, no. 2 (May 2000): 37–55.
- Cohn, Colonialism, 3–4.
- Martin Lodge, Lindsay Stirton and Kim Moloney, “Whitehall in the Caribbean? The Legacy of Colonial Administration for Post-Colonial Democratic Development,” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics 53, no. 1 (2015): 8–28; Leonard Kooperman and Stephen Rosenberg, “The British Administrative Legacy in Kenya and Ghana,” International Review of Administrative Sciences 43, no. 3 (September 1977): 267–72; Fred G. Burke, “Public Administration in Africa: The Legacy of Inherited Colonial Institutions,” Journal of Comparative Administration 1, no. 3 (November 1969): 345–78.
- Dwight Waldo, The Administrative State: A Study of the Political Theory of American Public Administration (New York: Ronald Press Company, 1956), 10–11; David C. Engerman, “The Rise and Fall of Central Planning,” in The Cambridge History of the Second World War, vol. 3: Total War, Society and Culture, ed. Michael Geyer and Adam Tooze (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 584–93.
- Gladden, A History of Public Administration, vol. 2, 335–41.
- Engerman, “The Rise and Fall of Central Planning,” 578–82.
- Anthony Carew, Labour under the Marshall Plan: The Politics of Productivity and the Marketing of Management Science (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1987); Richard Kuisel, Seducing the French: The Dilemma of Americanization (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1993) 84–89; Giuliana Gemelli, The Ford Foundation and Europe (1950s-1970s): Cross-Fertilization of Learning in Social Science and Management (Brussels: Peter Lang, 1999).
- Frederick J. Tickner, “The Improvement of Public Administration,” United Nations Review 2 (1955–1956): 47, 48.
- Burke, “Public Administration in Africa.”
- Gladden, A History of Public Administration, 319–23; Wren, History of Management Thought.
- Max Weber, Economy and Society: An Outline of Interpretive Sociology, vol. 1, trans. Ephraim Fischoff et al., ed. Guenther Roth and Claus Wittich (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968), 217–26; also see vol. 2, 956–69.
- Woodrow Wilson, “The Study of Administration,” Political Science Quarterly 2, no. 2 (June 1887): 197.
- Guy B. Adams, “Enthralled with Modernity: The Historical Context of Knowledge and Theory Development in Public Administration,” Public Administration Review 52, no. 4 (July–August 1992): 363, 368.
- Robert Kanigel, The One Best Way (Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 1997).
- Samuel Haber, Efficiency and Uplift (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964).
- Clarence Bertrand Thompson, ed., Scientific Management (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914); Daniel Nelson, “Scientific Management in Retrospect,” in A Mental Revolution, ed. Daniel Nelson (Columbus: Ohio State University Press 1992), chap. 1.
- Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (1911; repr., New York: Harper & Brothers, 1967), 7–8.
- Judith A. Merkle, Management and Ideology (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1980); Waldo, Administrative State, chap. 3.
- Other influential writers in this period include Henri Fayol, Luther Gulick, Lyndall Urwick, Leonard White, and Louis Brownlow. Gavin Drewry, “The Administrative Sciences—The Intellectual Context of an Institutional History,” in IIAS/IISA Administration & Service 1930–2005, ed. F. Rugge and M. Duggett (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2005), 61–79, 69–72; Luther Gulick and Lyndall Urwick, eds., Papers on the Science of Administration (New York: Institute of Public Administration, 1937); Claude S. George, Jr., The History of Management Thought (Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1968), chap. 6; Wren, History of Management Thought, chap. 7–8.
- See Herbert A. Simon, Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Process in Administrative Organization (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1945); Herbert A. Simon, Donald W. Smithburg, and Victor A. Thompson, Public Administration (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1950); Wren, History of Management Thought, chap. 13–18; John C. Buechner, Public Administration (Belmont, CA: Dickenson, 1968), 11–15.
- Pierre-Yves Saunier, “Ulysses of Chicago: American Foundations and Public Administration, 1900–1960,” American Foundations in Europe: Grant-Giving Policies, Cultural Diplomacy and Trans-Atlantic Relations, 1920–1980, ed. Giuliana Gemelli and Roy MacLeod (Brussels: Peter Lang, 2003), 115–28, 116–17. Also see Alasdair Roberts, “Demonstrating Neutrality: The Rockefeller Philanthropies and the Evolution of Public Administration, 1927–1936,” Public Administration Review 54, no. 3 (June 1994): 221–28.
- White was the first professor of public administration at a U.S. university. Saunier, “Ulysses of Chicago,” 118–19. On the background of some of these individuals in the municipal reform movement, see Martin J. Schiesl, The Politics of Efficiency: Municipal Administration and Reform in America, 1800–1920 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1977).
- Stefan Fisch, “Origins and History of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences: From Its Beginnings to Its Reconstruction After World War II (1910–1944/47),” in IIAS/IISA Administration & Service 1930–2005, ed. F. Rugge and M. Duggett (Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2005), 35–60; Saunier, “Ulysses of Chicago,” 124–25.
- F. J. Tickner, “Public Service Training in the Past Decade,” Public Administration 34, no. 1 (1956): 27–33.
- Drewry, “Administrative Sciences,” 76–77; Ferrel Heady and Sybil L. Stokes, eds., Papers in Comparative Public Administration (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1962); Ferrel Heady, Public Administration: A Comparative Perspective (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1966); N. Raphaeli ed., Readings in Comparative Public Administration (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1967).
- Burke, “Public Administration in Africa”; F. D. Lugard, The Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa (Edinburgh & London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1923), chap. 5, 6, 10, 11; Lord Hailey, Native Administration in the British African Territories (London: Colonial Office, 1950). See also Antony Anghie, “Civilization and Commerce.”
- Anthony Kirk-Greene, “Public Administration and the Colonial Administrator,” Public Administration and Development 19, no. 5 (December 1999): 507–519.
- Lord Lugard, “Colonial Administration,” Economica no. 41 (August 1933): 248–63, 263.
- Derick W. Brinkerhoff and Jennifer M. Coston, “International Development Management in a Globalized World,” Public Administration Review 59, no. 4 (July–August 1999): 346–61; Derick W. Brinkerhoff, “The State and International Development Management: Shifting Tides, Changing Boundaries, and Future Directions,” Public Administration Review 68, no. 6 (November–December 2008): 985–1001; Burke, “Public Administration in Africa.” Also see Edward W. Weidner, Technical Assistance in Public Administration Overseas: The Case of Development Administration (Chicago: Illinois Public Administration Service, 1964); B. B. Schaffer, “The Deadlock in Development Administration,” in Politics and Change in Developing Countries: Studies in Theory and Practice of Development, ed. C. Leys (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1969), 177–212; F. W. Riggs, Administration in Developing Countries: The Theory of Prismatic Society (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1960); Uma Kothari, “From Colonial Administration to Development Studies: A Post-Colonial Critique of the History of Development Studies,” in A Radical History of Development Studies: Individuals, Institutions and Ideologies, ed. Uma Kothari (London: Zed Books, 2005), 50.
- Kirk-Greene, “Public Administration and the Colonial Administrator,” 515; “Editorial Preface,” Public Administration and Development 1 (1981): 1–2.
- These include African Administrative Studies, Indian Journal of Public Administration, International Review of the Administrative Sciences, Philippine Journal of Public Administration, Quarterly Journal of Administration, and Third World Planning Review. See Cooke, “Managing of the (Third) World,” 608–09.
- O. P. Dwivedi and J. Nef, “Crises and Continuities in Development Theory and Administration: First and Third World Perspectives,” Public Administration and Development 2, no. 1 (January/March 1982): 59–77, 62; David Fashole Luke, “Trends in Development Administration: The Continuing Challenge to the Efficacy of the Post-colonial State in the Third World,” Public Administration and Development 6, no. 1 (1968): 73–85.
- Sinclair, To Reform the World, chaps. 1–2; A. Alexander Menzies, “Technical Assistance and the League of Nations,” in The League of Nations in Retrospect, United Nations Library (Geneva: Walter de Gruyter, 1983), 295; Antony Anghie, Imperialism, Sovereignty and the Making of International Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), chap. 3; Patricia Clavin, Securing the World Economy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013); Susan Pedersen, The Guardians (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015).
- Sinclair, To Reform the World, 90–97.
- Ibid., chap. 5; Frederick Cooper, “Development, Modernization, and the Social Sciences in the Era of Decolonization: The Examples of British and French Africa,” Revue d’Histoire des Sciences Humaines 1, no. 10 (2004): 9–38; Kenneth Younger, The Public Service in New States: A Study in Some Trained Manpower Problems (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1960); Edward W. Weidner, Technical Assistance in Public Administration Overseas: The Case of Development Administration (Chicago: Illinois Public Administration Service, 1964); Walter R. Sharp, International Technical Assistance (Chicago: Public Administration Service, 1952).
- “Economic Development of Under-developed Countries,” Gen. Ass. Res. A/RES/198(III), December 4, 1948, para 3; “Technical Assistance for Economic Development,” General Ass., Res. A/RES/200(III), December 4, 1948.
- Cited in Stokke, UN and Development, 49.
- Ibid., 46–50; Sharp, International Technical Assistance, 64–70.
- Sharp, International Technical Assistance, 25–58. Also see H. L. Keenleyside, “Administrative Problems of the United Nations Technical Assistance Administration,” Public Administration 33, no. 3 (1955): 241–67.
- Sharp, International Technical Assistance, 67.
- “International Facilities for the Promotion of Training in Public Administration,” Gen. Ass. Res. A/RES/246(III), December 4, 1948.
- Cited in Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 233–34. See also Hugh L. Keenleyside, International Aid: A Summary with Special Reference to the Programmes of the United Nations (New York: James H. Heineman, 1966), 228–29.
- “Technical Assistance in Public Administration,” Gen. Ass. Res. A/RES/723(VIII), October 23, 1953.
- Albert Lepawsky, “The Bolivian Operation: New Trends in Technical Assistance,” International Conciliation 29, no. 479 (1952): 103–40; Keenleyside, International Aid, 40–41, 60–62; Hugh Keenleyside, Memoirs of Hugh L. Keenleyside, vol. 2: On the Bridge of Time (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1982), 326–51; Muschik, Building States, chap. 2–3.
- G. Martinez-Cabanas, “Technical Assistance in Public Administration,” United Nations Bulletin 9 (October 1, 1950): 315–17; Albert Lepawsky, “Technical Assistance: A Challenge to Public Administration,” Public Administration Review 16 (1956): 22; Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 231; Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Contribution of the United Nations to the Improvement of Public Administration: A 60-Year History (New York: United Nations, 2008), 46–50.
- Marc Frey, “Dutch Elites and Decolonization,” in Elites and Decolonization in the Twentieth Century, ed. Jost Dulffer and Marc Frey (Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 56, 65–67.
- Dwivedi and Nef, “Crises and Continuities,” 63; Kirk-Greene, “Public Administration,” 517.
- Uma Kothari, “Spatial Practices and Imaginaries: Experiences of Colonial Officers and Development Professionals,” Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 27, no. 3 (November 2006): 235–53; Joseph M. Hodge, “British Colonial Expertise, Post-Colonial Careering and the Early History of International Development,” Journal of Modern European History 8, no. 1 (2010): 24–46.
- Saunier, “Ulysses of Chicago,” 123–24.
- Howard Rosen and Winifred J. Weizer, “Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Donald C. Stone,” Public Works Management & Policy 1, no. 1 (July 1996): 10, 13.
- Ibid., 14–15; Donald C. Stone, “Administrative Management: Reflections on Origins and Accomplishments,” Public Administration Review 50, no. 1 (January/February 1990): 3–20, 11–12.
- Pierre-Yves Saunier, “Sketches from the Urban Internationale, 1910–50—Voluntary Associations, International Institutions and US Philanthropic Foundations,” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 25, no. 2 (June 2001): 380–403, 391. Ford Foundation money also supported the IIAS, the IULA, and the International Federation for Housing and Town Planning, all of which were concerned with public administration in one form or another: Saunier, “Ulysses of Chicago,” 124–25. On the postwar activities of the Ford Foundation in the development field, see Edward H. Berman, The Influence of the Carnegie, Ford, and Rockefeller Foundations on American Foreign Policy: The Ideology of Philanthropy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983), 41–66; Corinna R. Unger, “Towards Global Equilibrium: American Foundations and Indian Modernization, 1950s to 1970s,” Journal of Global History 6, no. 1 (March 2011): 121–42.
- These were Walter Laves (Deputy, 1947–1950), Alvin Roseman (Assistant, 1960–1963), and John Fobes (Deputy, 1971–1977). Donald C. Stone, “Administrative Management”; James Patrick Sewell, UNESCO and World Politics: Engaging In International Relations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1975), 314.
- Saunier, “Sketches from the Urban Internationale,” 390–91; “Herbert Emmerich Dies at 73; Teacher Wrote on Government,” New York Times, September 9, 1970, http://www.nytimes.com/1970/09/09/archives/herbert-emmerich-dies-at-73-teacher-wrote-on-government.html.
- “Letter from Donald C. Stone to Trygve Lie, UN Secretary General,” October 31, 1949, UN ARMS, S0441–1113. See also Donald C. Stone, “The Application of Scientific Management Principles to International Administration,” The American Political Science Review 42, no. 5 (October 1948): 915–26; Charles S. Ascher, “Current Problems in the World Health Organization’s Program,” International Organization 6, no. 1 (February 1952): 27; Walter R. Sharp, “The Study of International Administration: Retrospect and Prospect,” World Politics 11, no. 1 (October 1958): 103–17.
- Document entitled “A Proposed Survey of Latin American Literature in the Field of Public Administration,” UN ARMS, S-0441-1113. One letter from the Public Administration Division to the Public Administration Clearing House (PACH) was addressed to Fred Riggs (July 8, 1953), who later became a leading scholar of development administration. The PACH expert who was proposed to carry out the seven-month visit to the Organisation of American States members states was John B. Blandford, who had previously served as, among other things, deputy chief to the United Nations Economic Cooperation Administration Mission to Greece (1948–1950), advisor to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugees (1950–1951), and director of the UNRWA for Palestine Refugees (1951–1953). John B. Blandford Papers, Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, available at https://www.trumanlibrary.org/hstpaper/blandford.htm.
- “Letter from Donald C. Stone to David Owen,” February 6, 1950, UN ARMS, S-0441-1115; “Letter from Donald C. Stone to Louis Camu,” March 21, 1950, UN ARMS, S-0441-1113.
- UN ARMS, S-0441-1113; UN ARMS, S-0441-1115.
- UN ARMS, S-0441-1113; see also UN ARMS, S-0441-1116.
- Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 237; “Letter from Donald C. Stone, Chairman, Committee on Administrative Practices, to Mr. Byron Price, Assistant Secretary General,” United Nations, November 21, 1949, UN ARMS, S-0441-1113; UN ARMS, S-0441-1115.
- Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 237; Martinez-Cabanas, “Technical Assistance,” 315, 317; Lepawsky, “Technical Assistance,” 22, 29.
- Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 237.
- Undated document headed “The Committee on Administrative Practices: An International Network of Communication and Exchange,” UN ARMS, S-0441-1115. A footnote on the first page states: “This article was prepared in June 1949 for publication in the Revue internationale des sciences administratives of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences.”
- Report by the Special Committee on Public Administration Problems, Standards and Techniques of Public Administration with Special Reference to Technical Assistance for Under-developed Countries (New York: UN Technical Assistance Administration, 1951) (hereafter cited as Standards and Techniques).
- Standards and Techniques, v–vi. On Lepawsky’s research for Merriam on municipal administration in Nazi Germany, see Ido Oren, Our Enemies and US: America’s Rivalries and the Making of Political Science (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), 67–71.
- Technical Assistance Programme, International Bibliography of Public Administration (New York: United Nations, 1957). Office for Public Administration, Public Administration Aspects of Community Development Programmes (New York: United Nations, 1959) (hereafter cited as Aspects of Community Development). United Nations Technical Assistance Programme, A Handbook of Public Administration: Current Concepts and Practice with Special Reference to Developing Countries (New York: United Nations, 1961) (hereafter cited as Handbook of Public Administration).
- Thanks to Nehal Bhuta for drawing out and helping to articulate these insights.
- Annette Baker Fox, “International Organization for Colonial Development,” World Politics 3, no. 3 (April 1951): 340, 343.
- Standards and Techniques, 2. In 1961, the Handbook of Public Administration reported that sensitivities around technical assistance for public administration had dissipated, see Handbook of Public Administration, 3.
- Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003); Michael E. Latham, Modernization as Ideology (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2000); Michael E. Latham, The Right Kind of Revolution (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011); David Ekbladh, The Great American Mission (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2009).
- Cited in Stokke, UN and Development, 594, n. 54.
- John Toye and Richard Toye, The UN and Global Political Economy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2004); John Toye, Dilemmas of Development, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), chap. 2. There were significant differences among these theorists, of course.
- UN Office of Public Information, “What is Economic Development? I. Developed and Underdeveloped Economies,” United Nations Review 5 (February 1959): 11–17, 11–12.
- UN Department of Economic Affairs, Measures for the Economic Development of Under-Developed Countries (New York: United Nations, 1951), 14 (hereafter cited as Measures for Economic Development).
- Measures for Economic Development, 17; Richard Jolly, Louis Emmerij, and Thomas G. Weiss, UN Ideas That Changed the World (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009), 118–19. See also David Webster, “Development Advisors in a Time of Cold War and Decolonization: The United Nations Technical Assistance Administration, 1950–59,” Journal of Global History 6, no. 2 (July 2011): 249–272, 257–59.
- UN Office of Public Information, “What is Economic Development? III. How Governments Can Help Promote Economic Development,” United Nations Review 5 (April 1959), 21–27.
- Standards and Techniques, 5.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 6, 8.
- Tickner, “Improvement of Public Administration,” 48–49.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 6, 8, 12 and 63–64.
- Standards and Techniques, 2. Members of the committee were drawn from the United States (including Puerto Rico), Cuba, India, France, and the Netherlands (Standards and Techniques, v–vi). See also Handbook of Public Administration, 1.
- Standards and Techniques, 11.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 5.
- Standards and Techniques, 13.
- Ibid., 36.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 1.
- Ibid., 4, 10.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 11; Standards and Techniques, 9.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 4–5.
- Standards and Techniques, 26, 32; Part 4 of the Bolivian mission report addressed “Social Development,” including significant discussion of living standards and labor. Technical Assistance Administration, Report of the United Nations Mission of Technical Assistance to Bolivia (New York: United Nations, 1951), 118 (hereafter cited as Bolivia Report).
- Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Report on the Organization and Administration of Social Services: Report by the Group of Experts appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations (New York: United Nations, 1962) (hereafter cited as Organization and Administration of Social Services).
- Handbook of Public Administration, 17.
- Ibid., 28–29.
- UN Office of Public Information, “What is Economic Development? II. Obstacles to Economic Development,” United Nations Review 5 (March 1959): 19–27, 21, 20.
- Standards and Techniques, 14. Also see Handbook of Public Administration, 20.
- Standards and Techniques, 14, 15, 24.
- Bolivia Report, 9.
- Standards and Techniques, 24–25.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 33.
- See, for example, UN Technical Assistance Programme, Decentralization for National and Local Development (New York: United Nations, 1962) 11, 144–48, 197, 205–06 (hereafter cited as Decentralization for National and Local Development); Aspects of Community Development, 77–78, 96.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 19.
- Standards and Techniques, 29.
- Ibid., 30.
- Decentralization for National and Local Development, 26, 56; Ferguson and Gupta, “Spatializing States.”
- Decentralization for National and Local Development, 8.
- Aspects of Community Development, 33–43.
- Standards and Techniques, 26.
- The UN proposed units of measure for performance that also included achievements in health, employment, and education. Standards and Techniques, 19.
- Bolivia report 1951, 15; Standards and Techniques, 19; Handbook of Public Administration, 82.
- Peter Miller, “Accounting for Progress—National Accounting and Planning in France: A Review Essay,” Accounting, Organizations and Society 11, no. 1 (1986): 83–104, 101. See also Peter Miller, “On the Interrelations between Accounting and the State,” Accounting, Organizations and Society 15, no. 4 (1990): 315–38.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 92.
- UN Office of Public Information, “What is Economic Development? II,” 20.
- The “most pointed statistics” to determine progress included “social” data relating to infant mortality, literacy and schooling, and average calorie consumption as well as economic data such as per capita income, family incomes, balance of payments, and so forth; Standards and Techniques, 28.
- Ibid., 42–65.
- UN Office of Public Information, “What is Economic Development? III,” 23–24.
- Standards and Techniques, 16–20; Handbook of Public Administration, 78–91. See Peter Miller, “Management and Accounting,” in The Cambridge History of Science, ed. Theodore M. Porter and Dorothy Ross (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), chap. 32.
- Scott, Seeing Like a State, 2.
- Standards and Techniques, 16–20.
- Cohn, Colonialism; Appadurai, “Number in the Colonial Imagination,” chap. 10; Kalpagam, “Colonial State and Statistical Knowledge,” 37; Helen Tilley, Africa as a Living Laboratory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011).
- Standards and Techniques, 21. See also Handbook of Public Administration, 34–55.
- Standards and Techniques, 23.
- Standards and Techniques, 23; Handbook of Public Administration, 9.
- Standards and Techniques, 23.
- Dwivedi and Nef, “Crises and Continuities,” 60.
- Milton J. Esman, “The Maturing of Development Administration,” Public Administration and Development 8, no. 1 (January/March 1988): 125–34, 126.
- Standards and Techniques, 12.
- Memorandum headed “Establishment of an International Centre, under the auspices of the United Nations, for training in Public Administration,” from Mr. Benedicto Silva to Mr. David Owen, Assistant Secretary-General, Department of Economic Affairs, UN ARMS, S-0441-1113.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 13.
- Ibid., 5, 7.
- David Hirschmann, “Development Management versus Third World Bureaucracies: A Brief History of Conflicting Interests,” Development and Change 30, no. 2 (1999): 287–305, 289.
- Ibid., 287–305, 301.
- The Handbook of Public Administration included a whole section on human relations: 55–62.
- Ibid., 56.
- Ibid., 55.
- Ibid., 56.
- Ibid., 57.
- Ibid., 105.
- Ibid., 108.
- See, for example, Christopher Pollitt, Managerialism and the Public Services (Oxford: Blackwell, 1990), 149–64. See Sinclair, To Reform the World, 262–66.
- Handbook of Public Administration, 63–70.
- Lugard, Dual Mandate, 96; see also Bill Cooke, “A New Continuity,” 47; See Immerwahr, Thinking Small.
- Standards and Techniques, 15.
- Decentralization for National and Local Development, 32.
- Aspects of Community Development, 2, 47. See also Handbook of Public Administration, 69–70.
- Nikolas Rose, Powers of Freedom: Reframing Political Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), 167–96; Tania Murray Li, The Will to Improve: Governmentality, Development, and the Practice of Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007), 232–39.
- James Ferguson, The Anti-Politics Machine: “Development,” Depoliticization, and Bureaucratic Power in Lesotho (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1994), 273.
- Standards and Techniques, 15. On World Bank support of parastatals, see Corinna R. Unger, (this issue).
- Handbook of Public Administration, 20–21, 71–78. The Bolivia mission report noted fifty “peripheral entities” in that country, including eighteen public corporations or publicly owned business enterprises, Bolivia Report, 19.
- Standards and Techniques, 15.
- Organization and Administration of Social Services, 19–21. Also see Handbook of Public Administration, 71–78 (chap. 8, on “Autonomous Institutions and Public Enterprises”).
- Standards and Techniques, 29.
- R. A. W. Rhodes, “The Hollowing Out of the State: The Changing Nature of the Public Service in Britain,” Political Quarterly 65, no. 2 (April 1994): 138–51; Susan Strange, The Retreat of the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
- Bolivia Report, 3 (italics removed). See also Muschik, “Managing the World”; Lepawsky, “Technical Assistance,” 22; Hosch, “Public Administration Division,” 231.
- Lepawsky, “Technical Assistance,” 26. See Standards and Techniques, 37.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, “An International Administrative Service,” in Public Papers of the Secretaries General of the United Nations, vol. 4, ed. Andrew Cordier and Wilder Foote (New York: Columbia University Press, 1974), 149, 153. See also Üner Kirdar, The Structure of United Nations Economic-Aid to Underdeveloped Countries (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1966), 64–83; Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid, 179–86.
- Oscar Schachter, “The Relation of Law, Politics and Action in the United Nations,” Recueil des Cours 109 (1963): 165–256, 242–43. See also Kirdar, Structure of United Nations Economic-Aid, 67–70.
- Alexander Yonah, International Technical Assistance Experts (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1966), 15.
- “New Tool for Economic Development: An International Administrative Service,” United Nations Review 5 (July 1958): 25–27, 26.
- Kirdar, Structure of United Nations Economic-Aid, 76 n. 1; Alvin Z. Rubinstein, The Soviets in International Organizations (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1964) 82; Bhouraskar, United Nations Development Aid, 181.
- Arthur H. House, The U.N. in the Congo: The Political and Civilian Efforts (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1978), 10–13.
- “Progress Report on United Nations Civilian Operations (Organization and Activities),” ACC. A/521, August 24, 1960, United Nations Archives (hereafter abbreviated as UNA), S-0201-0003-01.
- “Cable to the Secretary-General” from Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the Congo, and Joseph Kasa-Vubu, President of the Congo, to Dag Hammarskjöld, July 13, 1960, UN Doc S/4382.
- UN Security Council, Resolution 143, S/4387 (July 14, 1960).
- Catherine Hoskyns, The Congo Since Independence (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1965); Georges Abi-Saab, The United Nations Operation in the Congo, 1960–1964 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1978); Ernest W. Lefever, Uncertain Mandate (Baltimore, MD: John Hopkins University Press, 1967); Alan James, Britain and the Congo Crisis, 1960–63 (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996).
- “United Nations Technical Assistance in the Congo,” (undated, pre-1960), UNA, S-0752-0040-06.
- Rajeshwar Dayal, “First Progress Report to the Secretary-General from His Special Representative in the Congo, Ambassador Rajeshwar Dayal,” September 21, 1960, UN Doc S/4531, 16.
- House, U.N. in the Congo; Harold Karan Jacobson, “ONUC’s Civilian Operations: State-Preserving and State-Building,” World Politics 17, no. 1 (October 1964): 75–107.
- Document headed “Public Administration,” August 16, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0005.
- Interoffice Memorandum headed “Handing over-notes” from Mr. Robert Gardiner, Public Administration Expert, to Mr. Khiari, October 31, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0004.
- Interoffice Memorandum headed “Review of Public Administration and Budget,” from Robert Gardiner, Public Administration Expert, and D. Dinour to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, August 15, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0005.
- Hirschmann, “Development Management versus Third World Bureaucracies,” 291.
- Memorandum headed “Public Administration” from Robert Gardiner, Public Administration Expert, to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, August 1, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0005.
- Report on “Public Administration,” (undated, c. 1963), UN ARMS, S-0728-0031-0002. Interoffice Memorandum headed “Comité International de l’Organisation Scientifique” from Robert Gardiner, Public Administration Expert, to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, August 17, 1960, UN ARMS, S0739-0025-0005.
- UN ARMS, S-0739-0027-0001. See also Report on “Public Administration,” (undated, c. 1963), UN ARMS, S-0728-0031-0002.
- Memorandum headed “Public Administration” from Robert Gardiner, Public Administration Expert, to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, August 1, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0005; Memorandum headed “Public Administration” from Robert Gardiner to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, August 6, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0005. Also see UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0007.
- Memorandum headed “Public Administration” from A.C. Gilpin, Deputy Resident Representative, UNTAB, Leopoldville, to Mr. W. Houston Miller, Programme Officer in Charge, Congo (Leo) Unit, November 4, 1964, UN ARMS, S-0728-0031-0002. Interoffice Memorandum from Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief of Civilian Operations, to Mr. J.M. Grossen, Senior Consultant for Judicature, November 5, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0004.
- Interoffice Memorandum headed “Sir John Whyatt” from J.M. Grossen to Dr. Sture Linnér, Chief, UN Civilian Operations, September 30, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0007. The candidate was Sir John Whyatt. As Attorney-General and Minister for Legal Affairs, Whyatt’s CV stated that he had been “responsible for prosecutions and maintaining the rule of law, as far as possible, during the Mau Mau emergency; in particular, responsible for prosecution of Jomo Kenyatta, the principal Mau Mau leader, and appeared on behalf of the Crown on Kenyatta’s appeal to the Privy Council. Responsible for drafting a large number of emergency regulations to deal with Mau Mau trouble. . . . responsible for administration of Prisons Department.” On British brutalities during the Kenya emergency, see David Anderson, Histories of the Hanged (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005); Caroline Elkins, Britain’s Gulag (London: Pimlico, 2005).
- Gardiner felt the need was especially pressing in the Ministry of Finance. Interoffice Memorandum headed “Progress Report, week ending 27 August 1960” from Robert Gardiner to Dr. Sture Linnér, August 27, 1960, UN ARMS, S-0739-0025-0004.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, “Second Report by the Secretary-General on the Implementation of Security Council Resolutions,” UN Doc S/4417/Add.5 (August 11, 1960).
- “Cable B336 from Secretary General to Cordier” (date illegible), UNA S-0845-0006-06-00001.
- Dag Hammarskjöld, “Statement on UN Operations in the Congo before the General Assembly,” in Public Papers of the Secretaries General of the United Nations, vol. 5, ed. Andrew W. Cordier and Wilder Foote (Columbia: Columbia University Press, 1974), 204.
- House, U.N. in the Congo, 77–78, 90.
- Conor Cruise O’Brien, To Katanga and Back (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1963).
- Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics Mission to the United Nations, “On the Plan of ‘The Civilian Operations’ in the Congo, Submitted by the UN Secretary General on August 12, 1960,” August 20, 1960, UNA, S-0845-0006-06-00001.
- Letter from J. M. Bomboko, minister for foreign affairs, to the special representative of the secretary-general of the United Nations, ACC. A/521, March 27, 1962, UNA S-0201-0042-0005.
- Madeleine G. Kalb, The Congo Cables: The Cold War in Africa—From Eisenhower to Kennedy (New York: Macmillan, 1982), 22. See also House, U.N. in the Congo, 190; O’Brien, To Katanga and Back, 51, 53, 56–57.
- “A Tentative Approach to Civilian Affairs—Draft,” July 23, 1960, UNA S-0845-0006-06-00001.
- Hameiri, “Failed States or a Failed Paradigm?”; Barma et al., eds., Institutions Taking Root; Brian Levy and Sahr Kpundeh, eds., Building State Capacity in Africa: New Approaches, Emerging Lessons (Washington, DC: World Bank Institute, 2004).