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BPAC-107: Comparative Public Administration

BPAC-107: Comparative Public Administration

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2021-22

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Assignment Code: BPAC-107/ASST/TMA/2021-22

Course Code: BPAC-107

Assignment Name: Comparative Public Administration

Year: 2021-2022

Verification Status: Verified by Professor

Assignment A

Answer the following questions in about 500 words each.

Q1. Describe the meaning, nature, and scope of comparative public administration. 20 marks

Ans) Comparative public administration explores public administration globally. A subgroup of Public Administration, but with its own distinct identity. Structure, methods, behaviour, functions, and impacts of the global public administrative system. In this way, it compares and contrasts public administration systems from various countries and regions.

Nature Of Comparative Public Administration (CPA)

Normative Approach

Comparative public administration explores public administration globally. A subgroup of Public Administration, but with its own distinct identity. Structure, methods, behaviour, functions, and impacts of the global public administrative system. In this way, it compares and contrasts public administration systems from various countries and regions.

Empirical Analysis

Many contemporary comparative public administration studies rely on field survey and experiment data. National, state, regional, district, and local ‘loci'. Globally, including in India, many empirical studies on administrative systems are conducted. Recent research on administrative reactions to developments in agriculture and industry; education; health; child welfare; transportation; and communication. Many international, commercial, and national organisations have financed this research. Global trend.

Ideographic Studies

One nation, community, institution, or sector is studied. This empirical ideographic studies aid comparative analysis and even theory formation. Des centaines de research on individual institutions or programmes have aided understanding of cross-institutional and cross-national administrative reality.

Nomothetic studies

Fred Riggs uses the term nomothetic to characterise research that make empirical generalisations. So is a scientific approach to public administration. Ideographic research can help produce ideas that can be tested for generalisations.

Non-ecological Studies

Admittedly, many traditional comparative studies of governments focused mainly on the legal, institutional, and functional components of governance, including administrative structures. The effect of an administrative system on its environment was ignored. The majority of administrative and financial studies are not ecological. That doesn't lessen their worth.

Ecological Analysis

Certainly, the ecological approach is vital in public management. Based on his research, Fred W. Riggs concluded that an administrative system's dynamic relationship with its environment is required. Many public administration comparison studies have been ecological in nature. Comparative public management has to go from non-ecological to ecological analysis.

Scope of Comparative Public Administration

The field of comparative public administration is vast. Comparative public administration includes structures, methods, behaviour, influence, and environment. Examples of comparative public administration research include:

Cross-institutional Analysis

Structure, functions, procedures, environment, and influence of two or more institutions are compared cross-institutionally. It is possible to compare, for example, the Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu police forces and all Indian state agriculture departments. West Bengal's School Education and Higher Education Departments are comparable in efficiency and innovation.

 Intra-national and Cross-national

Comparisons inside a single country called intra-national. Comparisons between districts, divisions, or states within a country (for instance, India). A cross-national examination examines two or more administrative systems or subsystems from different countries. Comparing the health administrative systems of Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar is intranational, but comparing India's to Bangladesh's is international.

Cross-national but Intra-Cultural

Comparing the administrative systems of two or more nations belonging to the same ‘culture'. The term "culture" is somewhat unclear here. Thought to be two distinct cultures, industrialised and developing countries Cross-national but intra-cultural studies of women's status in India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka's administrative systems; cross-national and cross-cultural studies of Germany and Nepal.

Cross-national and Cross-cultural

There are many ways to do this, including studying administrative systems in different countries. Cross-cultural comparison of social justice administrative institutions in the US, Argentina, UAE, and Nigeria. Politics loses value due to culture. As such, comparing China to Vietnam or Cuba to Italy is cross-cultural. Cultural categories can vary throughout time.

Cross-temporal Studies

Time is temporal. Cross-temporal research compares two or more-time spans. A district administration prior to independence will be regarded cross-temporal. This study compares environmental management in Mauryan and independent India.

Q2. Elaborate the features, advantages, and limitations of the ecological approach to the study of comparative public administration. 20 marks

Ans) The term ‘ecology' comes from biology, which refers to the interaction of animals and their surroundings. John M. Gaus emphasised the need to study ecology to understand bureaucracy's relationship with its environment (Cited in Arora, 1984). The Ecological Approach predates Talcott Parsons' General Systems Approach in sociology. Ecological Approach was established by sociologist Fred Riggs to study dynamic interactions between administrative systems and their environments. Since an administrative structure cannot function in isolation from its surroundings, Riggs assumed that the administrative system is a sub-system of society that influences other sub-systems. A cultural context is a two-way dialogue that administrative systems live in.

Riggs felt that a society's functions push individuals to develop social, economic, political, communicational, and symbolic structures. Therefore, administration is culture-bound. In 1961, Fred Riggs published “The Ecology of Public Administration”, a book that explored the dynamics of public administration and its environment. However, Dwight Waldo proposed this Approach in 1955. To grasp the Ecological Approach in its entirety, it is necessary to study Riggs' three major model categories: Agraria, Industria, and Fused-Prismatic-Diffracted.

Advantages of Using the Ecological Model

The model allows for there to be integration between behavioural and environmental change. It allows for attention to be given to the interaction between personal and environmental factors. The model also can assist those in need with education of how different factors can play a role in their overall health. It allows for them to understand how to balance personal and environmental factors to promote safe and healthy living. Examples include vaccinations and yearly check-ups for different diseases.

Limitations of the Ecological Model

The social-ecological model is useful in understanding the reasons as to why we behave the way we do; however, the model still possesses limitations. For example, the model may tell us what factors are contributing to a certain situation, the model does not give insight into how much an effect has over another. This makes it hard for families to uncover which aspect of the model they can focus more on to make a change in their environment or personal actions. Implementation of the social ecological model into communities can be difficult because of cost. For example, it will be difficult to implement violence prevention programs in cities that have high crime and violence rates.

In the absence of comparative public administration, ecology and public administration have filled the void. Fred Riggs deserves credit for analysing public administration in light of ecology.

Riggs has compared the administrative systems of numerous countries. He noted that practically all researchers compared administrative structures of industrialised and developing countries without taking environmental factors into account.

He thought it was unfair to compare administrative systems. He stated that the environment has an ineluctable influence on administration in every country, and that any comparative public administration must acknowledge this. Because an industrialised developed state's administration is qualitatively different from an underdeveloped state. The best comparative public administration method, according to Riggs, is ecological study or analysis. As a result, Riggs categorised all societies into two main categories: industrial and agrarian. Riggs says the two sorts of states have diverse public administration, political structure, social mobility, judicial systems, and laws. So, when comparing, these things must be considered.

Assignment B

Answer the following questions in about 250 words each.

Q3. Write a note on bureaucratic approach . 10 marks

Ans) Both a body of non-elected governing officials (bureaucrats) and an administrative policy-making group are referred to as bureaucracy. A bureaucracy was once defined as a government administration run by departments manned by non-elected individuals. Bureaucracy is the administrative system that governs every significant institution today, whether it is publicly or privately held. Many jurisdictions and sub-jurisdictions have bureaucracies, but any centralised hierarchical structure of an institution, such as hospitals, academic bodies, business organisations, professional societies, social clubs, and so on, epitomises bureaucracy.

The capitalist system, according to Weber, has aided the evolution and strengthening of bureaucracies. Large-scale organisations, which require bureaucratic procedures for management, institutionalise capitalism. As a result, it should be apparent that the term "bureaucracy" refers not only to government systems, but to all large-scale organisations, including those in the private sector. Almost every country in the world, industrialised or developing, has institutionalised some type of bureaucratic organisation. Even countries with monarchies or one-party governments have embraced bureaucratic structures and procedures. The implementation of these aspects varies, but they are all universal to all governance patterns.

Weber's bureaucracy is idealistic in nature, and no real bureaucracy can hope to entirely match it in practise. Ideal type bureaucracies are not empirical (actual) bureaucracies; they are envisioned institutions that inspire the creation of real-life administrative systems. In most countries, there is a reference to the inadequacies of bureaucracy. These problems are not inherent in the bureaucratic concept, but rather in the way bureaucratic institutions are run. Weber's bureaucracy is idealistic in nature, and no real bureaucracy can hope to entirely match it in practise. Ideal type bureaucracies are not empirical (actual) bureaucracies; they are envisioned institutions that inspire the creation of real-life administrative systems.

Q4. Describe the political and administrative systems of United States of America. 10 marks

Ans) On July 4, 1776, the United States of America (USA) declared independence from British colonisation.

Political system in the United States of America.

The United States of America is a liberal democratic constitutional republic. The Federal Republic is a presidential republic with liberal democratic principles. The presidential election is a lengthy process that begins with primary and caucus elections. Nominating conventions follow, where political parties choose their nominees, who then announce the Vice-Presidential candidate. Following that, these candidates launch nationwide campaigns and debates to define their positions and plans for action while in power. The President is chosen by an electoral college. A majority of electoral votes must be obtained by the winner. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the President is chosen by the House of Representatives, and the Vice President is chosen by the Senate.

Administrative System


The Congress is the legislative branch of government. The 'Senate' and the 'House of Representatives' are the two houses that represent it. It has a wide range of functions, including tax assessment and collection, interstate and foreign commerce control, law making, recruiting and sustaining an army and navy, and declaring war. It may even deploy armed forces to quell insurgencies and resist invasions.


The President is given executive power by the Constitution. He or she is the President of the United States, the head of the federal government, and the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces. He is elected for a four-year term and can only be re-elected twice. On the advice of the Senate, he has been given the authority to draught treaties, nominate and appoint ambassadors, public ministers and consuls, and Supreme Court judges.

The Vice President of the United States of America is the second most powerful person in the country after the President. He/she is the Senate's presiding officer, and he/she has the power to break a tie in the Senate. He is elected for a four-year term. In the event of the President's removal, death, resignation, or inability, he or she assumes the job of President.

Q5. Explain the impact of New Public Administration on the study of comparative public administration. 10 marks

Ans) The New Public Administration (NPA), which has enriched administration by tying it closely to society, has had an influence on Comparative Public Administration (CPA).

Theoretical underpinnings of public administration should be based on the ideal of democratic citizenship, as New Public Administration (NPA) theory involves dealing with concerns of democratic citizenship, public interest, public policy, and citizen services. The obligation to assist citizens in the public interest gives true meaning to public service. This is the institution's raison d'être, the source of inspiration and pride for all those who choose to make it their home, whether for a season or a lifetime.

The NPA rejected the value-free notion of public administration. Because not all dispositions to values are undesirable, and so are good at some times, public administration should be value oriented. It also rejected a deterministic and rationalistic conception of human type, finding that human behaviour is both important and unexpected. As a result, rather than focusing on what administration can 'be,' public administration studies should focus on what administration can 'become.' Finally, it rejected the "politics-administration divide," because today's administrators are involved in all stages of policy formation and implementation. A new CPA has risen to prominence as a result of this.

Again, based on the principles, the proponents said that value neutrality in government is impossible. The values that are served by administrative action are clear. Furthermore, social equity; positive, proactive, and responsive administrators with a client-cantered approach; management-worker relationships built on not only efficiency but also human relations criteria to achieve organisational success; and operational flexibility and organisational adaptation to meet environmental changes should all be built into the administrative system.

Assignment C

Answer the following questions in about 100 words each.

Q6. Write a note on formalism. 6 marks

Ans) Formalism is defined as "the degree to which there is a discrepancy between the prescriptive and descriptive, between formal and effective power, between the impression created by the Constitution, laws and regulations, organisational charts and statistics and the actual practises and facts of government and society." In other words, it refers to the degree of disparity between nominally defined and effectively implemented norms and realities, as well as the existence of a gap between declared objectives and actual performance. The bigger the gap between the formal and the actual, the more formalist a system will be. In comparison to a prismatic society, which is dominated by formalism, fused and diffracted societies have a higher level of realism.

Q7. List out the limitations of general systems approach. 6 marks

Ans) The general systems approach had its roots in the disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology.


  1. The original general systems approach to comparative public administration had some limitations:

  2. They were abstract and difficult to operationalize for research purposes.

  3. In the absence of operational definitions and other aspects of empirical methodology, the approach was too general.

  4. It was difficult to identify all conceivable inputs, throughputs, and outputs, therefore analysis was limited. The ‘whole' system concept was appealing but translating it into practical study was problematic.

  5. It would take a great deal of time and money to analyse the entire administrative structure. However, comparative public administrative systems exacerbated these issues.

Q8. Discuss the structural-functional approach. 6 marks

Ans) The structural-functional method is a 'grand' theory, just like the general systems approach.

A social structure is defined as "any pattern of behaviour that has become the normal feature of a social system" under this approach. Structures can be 'concrete,' such as government departments, businesses, and bureaucracies, or 'analytic,' such as structures of 'authority,' 'power,' 'control,' or 'accountability,' which are abstracted from concrete reality.' Analytic structures, in general, have some tangible referents or grounds. As a result, the term 'structure' in the structural-functional approach has a deeper meaning than only formal forms.

Q9. What do you mean by agraria and industria types of societies? 6 marks

Ans) Riggs classified societies as Agraria and Industria. The Models were created to examine political and administrative transformation. The Agraria and Industria Models are China and America.

Features of the Agraria Model are:

  1. Predominant ascriptive, particularistic and diffused patterns.

  2. Limited social and spatial mobility and stable local groups.

  3. Relatively simple and stable occupational differentiation.

  4. Existence of differential stratification system.

Features of a “modern industrial society” i.e.,Industria Model are:

  1. Predominantly universalistic, specific and achievement norms.

  2. Higher social and spatial mobility.

  3. Well-developed occupational system insulated from other social structures.

  4. “Egalitarian” class system based on generalised patterns of occupational achievement.

  5. Prevalence of “associations”, i.e., functionally specific, non-ascriptive structure.

Q10. Mention briefly about World Governance Indicators. 6 marks

Ans) Between 1996 to the present, the Worldwide Governance Indicators track six essential aspects of governance (Voice and Accountability, Political Stability and Lack of Violence, Government Effectiveness, Regulatory Quality, Rule of Law, and Corruption Control). They are updated annually since 2002 and measure the quality of governance in over 200 nations based on close to 40 data sets produced by over 30 organisations throughout the world.

The Worldwide Governance Indicators are a collection of responses from a wide range of people, gathered through a variety of surveys and other cross-country governance studies. Some of these tools capture the perspectives of businesses, individuals, and government officials in the countries being evaluated. Others are based on the judgments of commercial risk-rating firms, while others reflect the views of NGOs and assistance donors with extensive experience in the nations under consideration

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