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Bureaucracy as a social phenomenon

Research Article

Anatoli V. Rubanov Doctor of Sociology, Professor,
Belarusian State University, Minsk, Republic of Belarus
rubanov.bsu@ gmail.com
ORCID ID=0000-0002-4821-1937
Bureaucracy as a social phenomenon.
Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 3. P. 108-121

Дата поступления статьи: 17.05.2022
Topic: Modern Belarusian sociology

For citation:
Rubanov A. V. Bureaucracy as a social phenomenon. Vestnik instituta sotziologii. 2022. Vol. 13. No. 3. P. 108-121
DOI: https://doi.org/10.19181/vis.2022.13.3.833. EDN: COFWKD


The object of scientific analysis in the article is the dual nature of the phenomenon of bureaucracy. On the one hand, it is regarded as the most rational form of organisation and management in the tradition of M. Weber. On the other hand, there are shown the main manifestations of the pathology of bureaucracy and their causes. The ambiguity of bureaucracy assessments is revealed on the ideas of S. N. Parkinson, R. Merton, A. Gouldner, A. Toffler, M. Crozier. Assessments of the nature and evolution of bureaucracy in modern society are analysed. The article reveals the positive potential of the bureaucratic form of management as well as the main negative manifestations and social consequences of bureaucracy. The implementation of the concept of "transparent" or "responsive" bureaucracy in the course of administrative reforms is shown. The article reveals the essence of the process of de-bureaucratisation as well as the content of the main system-wide and special administrative and technological measures that it includes. It is noted that system-wide measures are associated with the optimisation of the powers and activities of the bureaucracy, the prevention of its influence as an independent socio-political force, the control of civil society. Management and technological measures imply a departure from authoritarianism and the use of new approaches to management, improvement of the internal organisation and style of work of the apparatus, motivation for creative activity and people's initiatives. It is emphasised in particular that in the process of de-bureaucratisationon it is important to establish a dialogue and feedback with the population, improve the culture of management activities and communication of officials with people, create an electronic government and institutionalise the “one stop shop” service, that becomes part of this government. It is noted that sociological studies of the problems of de-bureaucratisation and improvement of the work of state authorities in Belarus allow us to say that when trying to improve the work of the apparatus, positive results are achieved faster in the field of culture of communication with the population. A positive effect is produced by the work on the creation of e-government and the institutionalisation of the "one-stop shop" service, that becomes part of this government. They simplify management procedures, optimize the forms of interaction between the authorities and the majority of the population, and are positively evaluated by people.


power, control, bureaucracy, bureaucracy, pathology of bureaucracy, bureaucracy dysfunction, de-bureaucratisation, management culture, e-government, “one-stop shop” service



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