‘This collection of essays by a number of scholars from India and Europe addresses economic, political and social issues of great contemporary significance. The most attractive feature of the volume is the comparative and inter-disciplinary approach which gives it its distinctive orientation. Munshi and Abraham have held diverse but important themes together in an exemplary manner’
- Andre Beteille, Chairman, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Kolkata
‘This is an outstanding book on an issue easier talked about than acted upon. The editors have brought together in this rich volume a wide variety of essays which focus on India and Europe and clarify that it is necessary to contextualise good governance. The comparative perspective has the additional advantage of extending the analysis beyond the realm of the nation-state’
- Jan Breman, Emeritus Professor of Comparative Sociology, University of Amsterdam
‘In the immense literature on governance this scholarly and reader-friendly work takes an exceptional place. It has a sharp focus on “good” governance based on democratic values, drawing mainly from two major democratic regions in the world, India and the European Union. It offers rich analyses and much needed conceptual clarifications and explicitly addresses the normative-ethical dimension of “good” governance’.
- Georges Enderle, O’Neil Professor of International Business Ethics, University of Notre Dame; President, International Society of Business, Economics and Ethics (ISBEE)
‘This book makes a distinct and very valuable contribution to the international debate on good governance and globalisation. The book's particular strength is that it combines perspectives on good governance from both the public and the corporate sectors, thereby highlighting the extent to which similar ideas have come to influence decision-makers in government and business’
- Klaus H Goetz, Senior Lecturer, Department of Government, London School of Economics and Political Science; Editor, West European Politics
‘This is a remarkable book in an area of common concern which will be read with profit by academics, policy makers as well as social activists. It highlights the diversity of development experiences and suggests that there cannot be a single path to progress in spite of globalisation’
- Shantha Sinha, Professor of Political Science, University of Hyderabad; Winner of the 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community Leadership
This book discusses good governance in democratic societies in the context of globalisation from a cross-cultural perspective. India and the European Union - democratic unions representing old histories, rich cultures and new aspirations - are viewed comparatively in order to assess what they can learn from each other.
Moving beyond disciplinary demarcations, this volume considers the issues involved from a broader perspective. The 18 original essays, supplemented by a detailed introduction, are presented in three parts: the societal context of governance, administrative reforms, and corporate governance. These three parts have an important bearing on each other since administrative reforms provide a mechanism for good governance at the macro level which is in turn related to good governance at the corporate level.
Dealing with a theme of considerable importance from a unique perspective, this volume will be of interest to a wide readership: social scientists, administrators, business executives, management students, NGOs, as well as international organisations like the World Bank. It will also serve as a text for courses on governance in general, public administration and corporate governance.
Chapter 12: Governance Reforms in India: Responsible Civil Servants’ View from the inside
Governance Reforms in India: Responsible Civil Servants’ View from the inside
The Historical Context
Indian administration is a mix of diverse practices that have been assimilated over centuries. The classical tradition of statecraft is well documented in Kautilya's Arthashastra, which was written sometime between 321 and 300 BC. Proceeding from the premise that the state was an institutional necessity for human advancement, the book outlines how the state should be managed for the maximum happiness of its citizens. Perhaps this treatise should be regarded as a responsible civil servants’ manual for those times, balancing the needs of daily operations and policy advisory functions of the civil services, with a rather high-minded view of kingship.