Journal o f HistoricalSociology Vol. 7 No.

3 September 1994 ISSN 09521909

Bureaucracy as a Vocation: Governmentality and administration in nineteenth-century Britain
THOMAS OSBORNE
AbstractThispaper focusesupon ethicalconductand liberalmentalltiesofgovernment in the context of the historical sociology of administrative expertise in nineteenth century Britain. After a brief consideration of theories of moral regulation, the paper pursues, by way of a discussion of the government of India and of the famous Northcote-Trevelyan Report on the Civil Service, the issue of the establishment of an appropriate bureaucratic persona in the nineteenth century.

Morals and Ethics of Rule
This article takes as its empirical focus the culture of nineteenth century governmental administration; its subject-matter, partly by way of a discussion of the government of India, is the well-trodden field of the formation of the British civil service. It is a consideration of the relation between ethics and bureaucracy; but it is not an exercise in history or historiography. Its purpose is rather to raise again, if only to displace towards its own objectives, the sociological question of the relation of morality, ideology and, above all, ethics to the establishment of ruling authority. Let us begin with the question of moral regulation. Various historical and sociologicalanalyses have centred around key agencies of moral transmission, be they the classroom, social class, or the state. Here interest has tended to centre on institutions rather than practices, the focus being upon the varied means by which members of a given population are made the objects or subjects of moral regulation. The work of Philip Comgan and his colleagues represents a justly celebrated example of this tradition, which is basically an extension and refinement of the problem of legitimation. Corrigan, for example, treats the state as a ‘theatreo f educative tendencies’ acting to encourage certain moral forms to the detriment of others: What the state regulates are thus moral features of the social environment, l lthe encouraged/discouraged forms of expression, depressing, above a repressing and suppressing alternative forms which display cf. Comgan 1990:264). contrasting moralities’ (Corrigan 1981:327; But there is also a parallel - perhaps more Weberian - concern to this question of moral regulation, and this relates to the question of the self-legitimation of rule, that is, with the ways in which rulers justifytheir own rule for themselves. This concern actually has two
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sides to it. When this question is raised it has most often been in the context of analyses of the moral justification or legitimation of authority. Again, the work of Corrigan and his colleagues can be instanced as confronting this question in an exemplary way. Indeed, for Comgan and Sayer, the ‘machineryof government‘in nineteenthcentury Britain itselfcameto functionasa kind of concrete embodiment of moral forms for those who ruled as much as for those who were subject to rule (Comgan and Sayer 1985: 10: cf. Corrigan 1990).One might also instance in this context the work of Michael Mann,and those broadly associated with his approach (Mann 1986: cf. Abercrombie, Hill and Turner 1980; also Mann 1973).According to this emphasis, one of the main functions of ideology is not so much to subdue the masses as to boost the confidence - the ‘internal morale’, as M a n n puts it - of elites themselves (Mann1986:24). Here indeed those who rule are themselves subject to a moral force: ideology as a condition of rule, a cohesive force tying together an otherwise culturally disparate group. However, the second side to this question of the self-legitimationof rule is less often considered. This is the question, not so much of the moral justification of rule or of its legitimation through ideology, but of the establishment - through a variety of practices - of the ethical competence to rule. It is not just that those who rule need moral justification for rule, but that in order to secure rule there has to be some codification of the ethical type that bears particular competence to rule. Let us refer to this as the ethical - as opposed to the moral constitution of authority (cf. Foucault, in Rabinow 1984: 352). This approach will concern itself with the diverse means and mentalities by which sources of authority construct themselves as, so to speak, authoritative subjects with the authorization to subject others to authority. To address this field is not to ask the question ’what does the ruling class do when it rules’?’, nor ’who rules?’, nor even ‘how is rule accomplished’?’but. rather, ’what do those who rule have to do to themselves in order to be able to rule’?’ This question of practices of rule, then, is not just a matter of moral legitimation or ideological justification; rather it concerns the ways in which moral - or better, ethical - techniques and practices are actually mobilized to fashion forms of ruling subjectivity. SpeciAc practices function as aids to the constitution of authority in that they guarantee the ethical competence of the ruling persona and seek to fabricate a ruling habitus. so to speak,on the part of those who rule. Nor is this question of ethical competence reducible to an analytic of class or gender, that is. one which derives ethical values from a source in the pre-given‘interests’ of those who rule. Not, of course, that these issues are unimportant in themselves. But if much historical sociology tends to be concerned -quite justifiably -with those forms of moral regulation

also . ‘fromwithin’. but will partly constitute or shape both the reality they confront and the moral identity of those who are subject to them. whilst also seeking to cultivate those cf. those who are constructed as the subjects of government. Foucault 1979. Donald 1988:121 6 ) . what might be called the 1 6 ) . Liberalism Let us. government is not just a question of shapingthe conduct of others. then. given the appropriate institutional conditions. This ‘performative’aspect of practices of rule will tend to be missed by a realist sociology that sets out in advance a repertoire of social interests for subjects to follow (cf. the moral ‘authority’ to rule (cf. with a l l its negative connotations . Government. Administration. as a result of their very 9 9 1 ) . pay attention to the ways in which the Aeld of government constructs authorities as particular ethical types (cf. For is not administrative rule. both so as to preserve and utilize the ‘freedom’of agents. ethical practices will not be secondary to interests but will be perhaps analagous to what Austin called ‘performativeutterances’.as subjectswith 1 2 0 ) .as regards those who are the agents of rule . This will entail following a ldnd of ‘principle of charity’ with regard to systems and practices of rule. To rule.of bringing about an ethical stylization of one’s own conduct. Hindess 1 9 8 6 ) . utterances that achieve their effects.cf. Burchell 1991 : 1 19To take administrativerule as our focus might seem perverse in this context. that is. The Aeld of government always and Miller 1992. moral forms will not be ‘transparent‘ entities. Bourdieu 1 ethical practices do not merely serve interests by way of legitimation or justification. Hence.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 291 that can be shown to serve particular pre-constituted ‘interests’. 2 ) . they are in part productive of interests.Such enunciation (Rose and Miller 1992: 177. but. an ethos that ethical subjectivity of power (Rajchman 1991: 1 functions not so much as an exterior agency of moral transmission but which grasps subjects. Pasquino 1986: 1 0 4 ) . presupposes a certain ethos of government.This ‘ethical‘component of government also embraces a certain attention to the ethical characteristics of those who govern. presupposes a certain reciprocity between the problematization of a domain to be governed and the ethical characteristics of those who are to be subjected to government (cf. the analysis of the problematisation of ethical competencies of rule might do better to concentrate upon the links between such ethical competencies and broader mentalities of government. Here. Rose agents in some or other way (Foucault 1982. so to speak. to govern in a particular way.What do we mean by government here? By Gordon 1991: 1 rationalities or mentalities of government we mean those broad networks or systems of thought and technique which seek to structure the Aeld of action or others.

of course. no doubt. This emphasis would consist in showing how particular rationalities of government sought to call upon. resulting in an emphasis upon the cultivation of self as a component in the art of governing (Foucault 1990: 89). Weber’s own account of ascetic Protestantism could. Liberalism entails neither a substantive social form nor even a coherent political ideology (for example. In Foucault%account. it is to Max Weber himself that we might draw inspiration for an insistence precisely on the ethical character of bureaucracy. in fact.by a specific ethical life-orientation that was itself an historical achievement .the ‘ethos of office’ (Weber 1978: 1404. for example. as well as a certain perspective on what constitutes a liberal problematic of government. a study of how particular administrators or bureaucrats actually embodied or cultivated particular ethical forms. Gordon 1987: 294). he writes of an historical situation in which the structures of authority had become distanced and diffuse.albeit not in itself a novel one for politicalphilosophy-thattheremay typicallybean interconnectedness between practices of the government of others and ethical practices of the self (cf. For example. I t would not entail. I t would not be a study of ‘techniques of the self in Foucault‘s sense. we can draw from Foucault some insights into the linkages between ethics and the ‘political game’.a sphere characterized -whatever its corrosive consequences for the ethics embodied in the field of politics . Such an ethical codification within the arts of government may be expected to form a key component within arts of government that deem themselves to be of a ‘liberal‘nature (Foucault 1989: 109-120). but would focus on how mentalities and techniques of government have sought to structure the possible action of others. a n ideology .the archetype of a non-ethical form of power? Does not the very invocation of administrative or bureaucratic rule automatically imply a version of authority that is. Bruchell 1993). and look at the fabrication of the ethos of administration in relation to particular mutations in governmental reason. in his discussion of the ‘politicalgame’ in the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. enroll or mobilize particular ethical stylizations on the part of administrative authorities. Foucault takes up the theme . However. Weber treated the bureau as a distinctive ethical Lebensordnung.has. by definition. and to programme particular ethical types into the field of power. as I a n Hunter has argued. But one might also narrow the canvas. Hunter 1993: 11.292 Thomas osbome of ‘bureaucracy’. is not bureaucracy that form of rule which is exercised precisely without ‘regard for persons’? Yet. be a key component in any of these. the liberal domain is not that of liberalpolitical philosophy as such. cf. devoid of an ethical language of persons? In fact.if we can call it that . This historical achievement . many possible genealogies.

historians have been justified in seeing Northcote-Trevelyan as a key point in the establishment of 0 Basil Blackwell ud 1994. less a political ideology than a form of ‘critical reflection on government’ (Foucault 1990: 1 16). the administrator had to be constructed on a particular model. Whereas police emphasized sovereignty over a territory.by the suspicion that in the very act of governing one runs the risk of governing overmuch: that is.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 293 stressing the autonomy of principles derived from the market). liberalism emphasized the substitution of continuous (Gordon 1991 : 19-21). To fidfll such a role.the abolition of patronage and the establishment of open.the fabrication of the civil servant as a permanent administrative official. liberal government also pursues. separated from the vagaries of politics (Parris 1969: 39) .could be said to have owed something to this liberal problematic of security. liberalism emphasized the regulation of a population: whereas police emphasized an authority that could be arbitrary over a totality of subjects.Liberal mentalities of government in Foucault’s account are characterized.P. competitiveexamination for civil service entry -were not properly addressed until Gladstone’s reforms of the 1870s (and even then not properly realized). that i s to say. comments that: if liberalism halts the cameralfst tendency towards the etatlzat[on o f discipline. A further aspect of Foucault‘s account of the specifcity of liberal mentalities is the heuristic contrast he invokes with earlier techniques of ‘police’: although it is not a question of the historical supercession of one ‘mode of government’ by another. Of some special import here is the identiflcation of a realm of freedom that is in fact impervious to government (civil society. Colin Gordon. as Foucault argues.. . the market and so forth). above a l l . The key monument to this question of the identity of the bureaucrat in Britain in the nineteenth century was the Northcote-Trevelyan Report (Parliamentary Papers [P. this entailing the injunction that those who govern must take care that acts of government preserve the autonomy of such realms. Rather.] 1854). Although the detailed recommendations of the report . apparatuses of security over coups d’mtbrit& Administrative Ethics: the Indian Laboratory N o doubt the establishment in the nineteenth century of public administrative service as a particular ‘vocation’. liberalism entails generically a kind of permanent critique of governmental reason itself.a policywhichFoucaultmlls the ‘disdpllnarizatlonofthe state’.a focussing of the state‘s immediate interest In disdpllnary technique largely on the organization of its own statfs and apparatuses (Gordon 1991: 2 7 ) . that the very act of government can interfere with the felicitous execution of government itself. it is. emphasizing the disciplinary element of this process..

once one had passed the exam one was qualitled to become a public servant. One clear precursor. Moreover. The key to this was an emphasis on general rather than functional or specialized management. t h e who a r e from time to time set over them (P. that is.Kitson Clark 1959: 20-3.if3cult to be improved (P. 1854: 3 ) .the reason for this lies in the fact that that country posed for its British rulers. Gowan 1987. character and ability to be able to advise. If India attained the status of a surface of 0 Basil Blackwell ud 1994 . The civil service examination would not be restricted to particular types of candidate.with reference to the government of India in the Arst half of the nineteenth century. Northcote-Trevelyan discretionaryautonomy (Kitson-Clark 1959: stressed that permanent ofRcials needed to possess the ethical characteristics required in those who were to be relatively autonomous: possessing sufadent independence. If the question of India was aspirations (Ryan 1972:39 Stokes 1 to take on such an importance for the more general question of styles of administrativerule in the Nineteenth Century (indeed. nor would it relate to any particular position or department.the term ‘civil servant‘ originated in the context of Indian government). assist and to some actem. but would be a general qualification for entry into the service. specialized expertise. was the reform of the Indian civil servicejust before Northcote-Trevelyan itself.MacDonagh 1958: 64-5). What is signitlcant about the report in these terms is the fact that it sought to fabricate administration asan autonomousethos or art. influence. Goveming India inevitably entailed a certain handling of the cultural distance between those who governed and those who were governed: ‘a Government of foreigners over people most difficult to be understood. putting matters starkly . what might be described as the central problem of liberal government. 1857-8: relief the question of government as the government of others.the question of how one is to govern at a distance (Rose and Miller 1992: 180). It is not novel to claim that India represented a kind of laboratory of liberal (and other) 9 5 9 ) . but the remnants of a past civilization that had to be nurtured back to maturity.P.P.a blank space reduced to passive non-agency.the ‘bureaucrat’of modem parlance -but was to enjoy a certain 22-3). Historians have argued over the motives behind the report. Indiathrewinto and still more d. we can conduct a kind of ‘micro-archaeology’ of some of the principles behind the nineteenth century administrativereforms . 5-6.294 Thomas Osbome modem mentalities of administrative rule ( H a r t1972.at least prior to the interventions of the Utilitarians. notably James Mill India was held not to be totally ‘other’. 3 5 ) .separatedboth from the pull of political patronage and from narrow. the administrator was not simply to be a faceless offlcial. however.and throw some light upon the ethical assumptions behind the latter .here the relation between rulers and ruled was posed precisely in so far as . in an exemplary way. Indeed.

This kind of analysis appeals to the motivated interests of those concerned. P. the Board of Control and the East India Company. W e have murdered. n Bengal in which three millions perished usurped. for a very different. The whole question of India inherently pinpointed the fact that to governwas necessarily also to delegate (Cohn 1987:512). when at the end of the Eighteenth Century it was widely agreed by those that took the trouble to consider the question.clearly enough. India was a byword for corruption and the abuse of privilege through patronage. in so far as it was governed at all. although the secret mover of India &airs was a third party. however diabolical their zeal. HoraceWalpole. of course. especially for liberal forms of government. Cf. Bearce 1961: 40. This entailed a policy of hiding behind this smokescreen of the East India Company’s commercial control. that India was governed.a most important consideration. if naturally biased. For Ministerial Q Basil Blackwell Ltd 1994. commenthg on the proflt-makingactivities of East India Company servants from rice speculations during the 1769-70 famine. spoke of a ‘double government‘ during the Nineteenth Century in India. . Marx quotes Mill: ‘it was necessary that the principal part of the power should appear to remain in the hand of the Directors.possessing Indian stock (Marx 1853b). India raised the question of the scope for autonomy that one is to give to those who govern. India was throughout the century. How is one to govern those who are distant? How much should the centre delegate to those who govern some distance away. and how to monitor that delegation? These questions of government were highlighted.India also revolutionary to be initiated at home’ Roach 1971: 2 raised. it was because it became a kind of experimental domain for practical innovations in styles of government. ‘alaboratorywhere the English tried out ideas which were too 3 ) . deposed.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 295 emergence for later civil-service reform in Britain.nay what thinkyou of the famine i being caused by a monopoly of the servantsof the East India Company? (quotedin Kopf 1969: 13-14. but as a bid for a stake in the economic rape of India. The establishment of the Board of Control in 1784 to oversee. 1852-3). They were at least butchers on a religious principle. as Roach argues.P. for example. An analysis by way of the ‘interests’ of those who governed would certainly not be out of place here. plundered. the question of geographical distance within the class of those who govern. again. with a particular degree of incompetence (cf.hardly to be superceded today . Marx. provides a vivid instance of prevalent attitudes: We have outdone the Spaniards in Peru.‘elderly ladies and valetudinarian gentlemen’ . view of Company rule halfa century later. the shareholders . Cohn 1987 506).not of an attempt by the British authorities to regulate the coups d’authorite of company rule. moderate and regulate the activities of the East India Company was viewed by Marx in terms .

it was those who governed that were. At the turn of the Eighteenth Century there seems to have been a resistance to the idea of an overt moral transformation of the Indian populace.What. Rather. Marx concluded in 1853 that 'the British government has been fighting under the Company's name for two centuries. 1962: 187-95). therefore. Anxious about the possibility of French incursion into India. For what precisely was the scope of the Company's rule to be? Its primary remit was in theory that of commerce. comparing them as systems of moral authority: Orientalism. until at last the natural limits of India were reached (ibid: 152). The Company was not to be a force of cultural change in India. this should not be allowed to obscure the status of the Indian question as a laboratory for thinking through questions of government. Wellesley argued that: To dispensejustice to millions of people of various languages. but should entail a form of 'statesmanship'. regulation was not to take the form of a moral proselytization of the general populace in India: whether secular or religious . 1967 187: and Cohn 1987: 521). From this perspective. then. and Utilitarianism (cf. and yet it found itself after the Seven Years War turned effectively into a military and temtorial power (Coen 1971:9). Anglicisation. That is to say. manners. Cohn 1987: 521-46). if the analytic cynicism of a sociology of interests has an explanatory place here. usages and religions: to administeravast and complicated system of revenue throughoutdistricts equal in extent to some of the most considerablekingdoms in Europe: to maintaincivil order in one of the most populous and litigious regions of the world: these are now the duties of the larger proportion of the civil servants of the company (quoted i n Embree.indeed missionary activities were not permitted during thisperiod. which necessarily entails a certain break from the paradigm of viewing ruling ideologies as merely obfuscatoryof interests. consider three predominant ways of considering this question of how to go about the government of India. 0 B a d Blackwell Lid 1994 . The real interest in the government of India lay in terms of those concerned with lining the pockets of the British government. This problem became particularly pertinent in relation to the role of the Company itself and the scope of its proper activities in India. themselves to be morally regulated so as to attain the requisite social pacification of India on the basis of a kind of cultural hegemony. were to be the nature. Let us briefly.296 Thomas osbome advantage. the rule of the East India company posed the problem of the proper limits of government. so to speak.the proper styhation and the extent of its rule? Authorities on these matters (and others) in the Arst half of the nineteenth century answered this question in various ways. Wellesley argued that the role of officialswould have to relate to more than just the management of commerce. A key Ague here was the reforming Governor-general Richard Wellesley (Embree. Yet. it was necessary that it should in reality be taken away' (Marx 1853a: 150).

Bureaucracy as a Vacation 297 His plan for a training college for Company officials.the great symbol of the moment of Orientalism being the work of William Jones in the ‘discovery’of a common Indo-European linguistic heritage (Schwab 1984:35-6.or more specifically. a ‘characterological‘. government can not simply be a question of proselytization . In so far as the ‘intellectualist‘ideal of Orientalism impacted upon the ends of government this lay in the aspiration to bring to the attention of the Indians their previous. This matter might fruitfully be approached through the question of language. one might say. But the import of languages here was not just a question of enabling communication between rulers and ruled: languages were not viewed as being merely facilitative of the instrumental ends of government. Rather. A fantasy of government. at the heart of Orientalism was the positing of a kind of archaic yet fundamental l i n k between Hindu civilization and that of Europe (Kopf 1969:3 8 ) . an ‘Oxford of the East’. cf. Here. now disintegrated.a question of transforming that which is straightforwardly ‘other’. Hence. a factor central to the Orientalist ideal . plus modem European languages. that officials should cultivate a formidable linguistic proficiency. For the Orientalists. Persian. for Orientalism languages are an ethical. reflected the aspiration to found a cultural hegemony in India. to work upon language was to shape oneself ethically in terms of those traits embodied in the language. one might say. Matters are more complicated precisely because the agencies of rule are not dealfng straightforwardly with ‘bfeiiors’or ‘barbarians’but with the heirs to a great civilization that is both heterogeneous yet phylogenetically continuous with the culture of the ruling powers. in effect. Kopf 1969:31-42: Said 1985:7 7 9 ) . at Fort William. a morally sound ruling order. especially in the languages of India. above all. Much has been written about this phenomenon. we have an implicit ‘fantasy’ of government combined with a speciflc ethic of rule. amounting. maturity. based on the principles of Orientalism. the more subtle analyses in Said 1985: Inden 1 9 9 0 ) .languageswere the concrete embodiments of charactertraits. At Fort William. to a system of moral regulation that could seek specifically to involve Hindu principles rather than resort to crude As an ethic of rule. in particular its racist implications (Bernal 1987: chapter 5. and Greek and Latin. linguistic research was viewed as the optimum means for investigating those speciflc characteristics that functioned as the inherent character 0 Basil BlaclweU Lid 1994.affair. given thiscommon Indo-European heritage. Sanskrit and six Indian vernaculars being on the curriculum). Orientalism dictated. measures of Anglicization (Kopf 1969:97-9). The course at Fort William emphasized the ‘Oriental‘ corpus as a priority (Arabic. . More rarely have the implications of Orientalism as a mentality of government been spelled out.

Hence. Here. this lack of a directly proselytizing moral impulse was precisely what worried those who governed from Britain. As an ideal of government. Orientalism entails a particular stylization of rule . the Court of Directors sought to reverse Wellesley’s foundation of the college at Fort William. contained karious races and faiths’and ’we have made only a beginning In understanding their languages’ (ibid: 101). If there is to be moral hadcatbrz. and. T o combat the danger of British administrators becoming agents in the ‘perpetuation of Hinduism’ (Kopf 1969: 134: cf. on the one hand.To him the French language w a s filled with terms of‘politeness and suavity. to language leaming .298 Thomas Osbome traits of cultures and people. one might say. then. 129). Fearing that the Orientalist ethic of administration could lead to an over-accommodation on the part of Company ofRcials to Hindu culture. There was to be a division of labour between pacification and administration: India would be pacified . thiswould pertain to a kind of “trickledown’effectwhereby the disseminationof good practices of government leads to a raising of the moral level of the inhabitants. it is the rulerswho are to be morally cultivated.India.. Metcalfe thought. good government would require a certain emphatic understanding on the part of those who governed in relation to those who were governed: the very possibility of which would be guided by language-acquisition. ultimately forming the context of what became known as the OrientalistAnglican controversy. above all. In fact.related. Metcalfe. educating officials outside India itself. Kopf writes of Charles T. a more direct form of moral intervention on the part of the governing powers in India. Orientalism could perhaps be described in terms of its potential alignment with a Zibed form of moral regulation in so far as its logic resists any impulse to inculcate moral forms in a direct manner: the ideal of government here is in principle a minimal one whereby the autonomy of the realm to be governed is preserved on the basis of the reflexive vigilance of those who govern. The problem here w a s precisely that of the distance between those who govern: the fear that the agents of the ruling powers might come to detach themselves from their alignment with those who governed in short that the Company’s government at a distance could be replaced by outright colonization (Embree 1962: 190). Charles Grant advocated.[that]bespeak ofdisposition and eloquence of manners’.that makes the practice of rule possible. on the other.Behind the ideal of Orientalism as an ethic of administrative government is the behalf that one can only govern on the basis of an almost intuitive linguistic sympathy with those who are the objects of government. for example (a future Governor-general of India) that: H e believed that the language of the British people was marked by its ‘openness and boldness ofexpression’..

was to be a concern for religion and morality. Woodruff 1953: Monier Williams 1894: 1-25.the young civil servants would not be able to fuW their trust either to Great Britain or to the people of India’ (Embree 1962: 135And this religious dimension had an importance in terms of the 6 ) . as an ideal of rule.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 299 through CMstian values: hence a key aspect of Grant’s opposition to Wellesley’s policies was an alternative emphasis on freedom of entry and movement for missionaries in India. Millions will watch your conduct and take their ideas of Christianity from your actions and words (Monier-Willlams 1894: 38).. was to be split . In short.between religious proselytization and the technocracy of administration. Stokes 1959:3 1 ) .only by now a far more instrumental motivation seems to have been behind this than had been the case within Orientalism per se. not through the lights of patronage. was somewhat different. moral governance of the inhabitants... founded on the virtues of reason. 279-286. but by technical expertise. to mathematics for its power of ‘strengtheningand improving the reasoning faculty’ (Report of Committee of Haileybuly College: quoted in Embree 1962:197). But India would be governed. the . as usual. that when you reach India you will probably be sent to some remote province where you will be like a light set on a hill. however. as the necessary basis for ‘a superstructure of that liberal knowledge which is required of 196). namely the practical need to carry on diplomacy in native courts without reliance upon interpreters (Embree 1962: 1 9 7 ) . also to English men invested with public trust‘(Embree 1962: literature and composition as aids to the clear and forcible expression of ideas. attention was paid to command of the classics. Haileybury College in Britain. Alongside the emphasis upon Oriental languages that had characaterized the college at Fort William. Monier-Williams 1 8 9 4 ) . Such devotion to a higher moral substance was to be only the complement. Government. for without a f u l lattachment to the principles and tenets of the Christian faith . ‘Overarchingthe whole curriculum . a condition of such expertise was the sure foundation of religion..and to natural and experimental philosophy. in effect. where future officials were to receive their training prior to their immersion in Indian culture (Cohn 1987: 526-46.. The emphasis at Haileybury was to be upon the means of strengthening the reasoning faculties of officials to fit them for the technical tasks of government (the reality.. of a more ‘technical‘ form of administrative expertise.To be sure. The training of the latter was to be far from the corrupting site of administration itself but at Grant‘s own foundation. Monier-Williams reports a Haileybuly professor telling his students: Remember . A l l training was to be directed towards this end. Oriental languages were also prominent .

and hence be made subservient to. What was required therefore was an appropxiate framework of govemment to senre u n t i l such a time as Indian civil society might be brought to a state of maMty.could not be suitedto the normsof representative government enjoyed in the Mother country. to be admitted to the executive government of the East India Company) but also in that both were ultimately concerned with founding a system of regulation in India that would lead eventually to the assimilation of Hindu culture intohglicized forms of life (Stokes 1959:47-80). These were partly related to the individualsConcerned (Malthushad taught at Haileybury. as had James Mill whilst J.300 Thomas osbome purpose was to establish a common culture of officialdom. far-sighted experts with no vested interest in misrule could apply their knowledge to human affairs' ( C O Wand others 1983: 117). was to be strictly objectivizing in so far as government here requires the application of . 54. The very existence of the East India Company.as opposed to the moral-religious side of this educational confection was pushed to its extreme over India by the Utilitarian tendency.on the basis of strict principles of utility -the appropriate form ofgovemment for the territory. Judicious . Mill was. The neutral-administrative . It is striking that the most literally 'liberal' incursion into this area should represent a combination of secular proselytization.forms of taxation and an appropriate system of administration would be sufilcient to provide such a fkamework what was imperative was that the ruling powers should not be constructed so as to come into contradiction with this autonomous passage to maturity on the part of civil society. like his father. there was a certain continuity between the Anglicist and the Utilitarian stances on India. Mill's history was concerned to place India on a scale of peoples in order to deduce . Cohn 1987:539). the interests of the more advanced or ruling nation.S.lgniticance here. a homogeneous class of experts with a common ruling identity. esp. a landmarkin that rule h m James Mill'sH it was the most monumental work in a trend that was to make India a key target for elaborations of the ideal 'science of the legislator'. Fortunately India was not ruled directly. He concluded that the artsof government in India should have to take note of the fact that India. and ruthless dismissal of any merits for Indian civilization. Mill argued that 'the interests of the dependent or subject people might clash with. separated from those who were governed. as a kind of indirect institution of rule. Administrative expertise according to this view.cf. would be of some h c t i o n a l s.Ricardian . being at a low stage of civilization (idealizations of a Hindu 'golden age' being now forgotten). The East India Company provided the perfect instrument whereby impartial. One can date the onset of the U t i l i t a r i a n approach to administrative i s t o r y ofBritishlndia(1 817). However.

Language attainmentwas not to be a prominent part of the self-formation of expertise. emotionless terminology for politics that would replace the emotive vagaries of political language: ‘: the dismissal of eloquence was part of the self-conscious distancing process whereby the Utilitariansinvented anew terminology to discuss politics -one that a s more precise and less likely to contain vague they claimed w sentimentsandmnancesofmerefeeling‘(Colliniandothem 1983:124). this ethic may indeed have been tied to a seemingly mundane life. and how to govern (andenroll)the home population. At one level.At this point. are reported in writing .conduct of living was at stake. a way of Me. 1852-3:314. Mill’s antagonism towards William Jones and hiswork is sigruficantin this context.. however. But the ethical side of Indian administration was also ultimately to reach into a romance of Indian administration.the technology ofpublicity In spite of the starkness of the utilitarian position. The high Indian .S.witness Mill‘s mistrust of mere ‘eloquence’on the part of thosewho govern (Colliniand others 1983: 124). This appears to me a greater secmity for good government than exists in almost any other government in the world. because no other probably has a system of recommendations so complete (P. To be sent to India was necessarily of vocational consequence: a composite . then. The Utilitarians felt that they had found a more precise. that of the writer or clerk whose written depositions. and the moral vocation of government is replaced by a technocratic one: in a sense. The spirit of the present age has an evident tendency to confront the flgures of speech with the figures of arithmetic’ (quoted in McGregor 1951: 155). as J.P. and a l l of the acts of the executiveofficers. objective.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 301 neutral technical principles. The example of India represented a situation where administrative government was necessarily posed in terms of an ethic.Ryan 1972:40). The Making ofHome Administration.so that there is no single act done in India. Bentham also expressed this Utilitarian hostility to the effervescence of language with his advocacy of the use of ‘political arithmetic’ as an objectivist technical instrument for combatting social pathologies. As he famously expressed the matter in the Journal o f the S t a t i s t i c a l Society. Benthamism embodied the least ‘liberal‘ consideration of the government of India. political language is purged of its moral force. . the question of India remains interesting from the perspective of the government of administration in that it fed into conceptions of what a liberal problematic should be at home: and no doubt because there was something of an alignment between the question of how to govern an indigenous people. Mill argued.‘expatriate’. the whole of the reasons for which are not placed on record. constituted the essence of security: All the orders given.

This sentimental view of the official's calling . as a condition of possibility for the transformation of officialdom into a composite ethical calling. Here.provides us with a kind of apotheosis of the romance of Indian bureaucracy. 1854-5b: 8-14). the Northcote-Trevelyan Report was set up by Gladstone as a follow-on to the reforms in the Indian service P. Hughes 1949). not just as the selfevident consequence of the hubris engendered by imperialist rule.. George Trevelyan. 1853-4: Shannon 1982: 279-285. aware that his advancement does not hang upon the will and pleasure of this or the other great man.302 Thomas osbome official came by mid-century to embody. effectively disqualifying Haileybury College from any role in civil service training. and convinced that success will depend upon his own effort . Hart 1960. On the other hand. Conacher 1968: 312-332: on the closure of Haileybuxy. in the 1860s. and he never allows himself to be in a true position unless he is proud of his occupation. Moore 1964: cf.. but also as something of an 'achievement'. Escott 1879: xxi). the example of India is of import in more concrete terms in that it represented the immediate prototype of an administrative system based on the principle of open. at least for some and irrespective of the reality of the situation.cf.Macaulay. the administrator governed by a calling.even though in the exceptional context of Indian administration with all its vast opportunities (Escott 1879:148)-has to be seen. and esp. with the examination to be tied more or less to the final examinations at Oxbridge. The centrepiece of their recommendations had been the opening up of the service to open competition: and. and owing nothing to the false vagaries of patronage. In November 1854. in each case what was at stake was to be neither a direct form of social control through a moral-religious form of proselytization nor a neutral-technical edifice of administration. India ceased at this point to be a mere laboratory of liberalism as the destiny of the two services began to coincide. but rather the installation of an administrative class that was to be also an ethical class: one that embodied and exemplifled a model of . the epitome of the publicminded. competitive examination. He is the member of an official aristocracy. he is well . bound to no man: fearing no man .P.P. the Indian life is ethical in a deeper sense. advanced on the basis of merit. Jowett and others had reported to Gladstone at theTreasury on possibilitiesfor reform of the Indian civil service (P. in so far as it seems to express the essence of Enghsh 'character': An Englishman cannot be comfortable if he is in a false position.The respective reports posited similar solutions to the question of how to govern.. self-disciplined public servant. but i sregulatedby the opinion entertained of his ability and character by the service in general (Trevelyan 1864: 143-4. the result of an historical negotiation between the mundanity of the administrativelife and its ethical romanticization: and indeed. owning no social superior.

a cultural and administrative intelligentsia . Quite r i g h t l yeschewingthe explanation of nineteenthcentury administrative reform that resorts to the interests of a rationallzing and reforming middle-class who wishes the administrative system to be open to merit. and even Gladstone himselfcapitalism must not be permitted to become the ethical basis of the social order that it had engendered. Gowan 1987:25-6).entrusted with a particular vocation in terms of moral regulation.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 303 ethical conduct based on the spirit of public service. the substance .though not. According to Gowan. In any case. according to the Coleridgean view: . and nor was capitalism the key variable that Gowan’s Marxist analysis automatically assumes.. for example. but it did not breed consent within the national community.probably over-interprets the Coleridgean influence. to be sure. Capitalism was dynamic. culturedintellimbued with a pmfound sense of duty who would go forth into every comer of the nation to cement the classesinto a genuine nationalcommunity. Matthew 1988: 63-5 and Knights 1987: 67).spreading well beyond the intellectual influence of Coleridge .t h e p m ~ c k s s e s m u s t d e v o t e a p a r t d t h e i r and fmpxuvement of the people. Gowan contends that what was at stake here was a certain Coleridgean antipathy to the ‘spirit‘. But nor were religious ideals Qntheir own enough to supply the level of consent envisaged by Coleridge. Peter Gowan would seek to locate the basis of this public ethic in the context of a particular brand of Coleridgean conservativisrn (Gowan 1987. saw the establishment of a higher grade administrative class in the service as being the basis of a new secular clerisywhich would ‘strengthenand multiply the ties between the higher classes and the possession of administrative power’ (Matthew 1988:85.a kind of cultural revolution of the middle-class intelligentsia -would have to be implemented.. it was a common view . cf. in seeking to derive practices of government from a particularideology. rather a secular form of moral regulation . . Yet Gowan. There is no imperative that mentalities of government in any particular age should be ultimatelyattributableto thisor that politicalphilosophy. Shannon 1982:283. For Coleridge and his disciples .. Gladstone.Trevelyan was the construction of a new ‘clerisy’. In Coleridge’s u l i n g duties in this view the aristocracy did not live up to their r respect. tasks to be undertaken by forming a cadre of dedicated. what was at issue in Northcote.that there should be moral functions tied to a vocational civil service. .from Thomas Arnold to Benjamin Jowett. As Gowan glosses the matter.of capitalism. that the service should be more than just the establishment of a neutraltechnical administrative stratum but should embody a particular 0 BasU Blackatell Ltd 1994.this clerisy could be constructed through the reformed universities. a new breed of cM1 servantsand f@ms like himselfin public life (Gowan 198725-6 and 29).

Thus the civil service exam was effectively a re-run of the Oxbridge final year examinations. Public Examination Yet what was at stake was also more than this. 1854:24-31). On the simplest h i s was a matter of finding alternative vocations for Oxbridge level t students unwillingto enter either the Church or the bar. it is well known that one of the aims of the reforms was to tie the civil service more closely to the universities. laid particular emphasis upon the moral role of the lower class of civil employee: the great mass of those who worked for the Post Omce.304 m m a s osbonze ethic of public responsibility. This is not simply a question of the famous theme of the evolution of a ‘public sphere’ that is regarded as having reached culmination by this period (Habermas 1989:67).P. and guarantee the allegiance of.the lower class of officers are spread over the country and by their intelligence and respectability would exerciseabeneflcialinfluenceon the lower ranks of societyi n remote places (P.for there is a more ‘technical‘aspect to publicity than tends to be suggested by such evolutionary accounts.was one of the major influences on Northcoteb e l y a n . The reform of the administration in the 1850s was an attempt to inscribe the domain of the public into the acts of government in a particular way.tct. and as such it was simultaneously an attempt to cortsti-t. customs and excise officials and so on who exerted a moral innuence more mundane than that of the more exalted Oxbridge Coleridgean clerisy: The social influence of more than 5O. it would provide what we have always wanted. To begin with. Jowett. observed: ‘I cannot conceive a greater boon which can be conferred upon the University than a share in the Indian appointments. not known for his Coleridgean sympathies. . i. but rather what we might want to term a ‘technology of publicity‘. for those not intending to take orders’ (quoted in Moore 1964:253. the liberal education of Oxbridge was tied to the vocation of civil service-just ashad been decided in the caseof the Indianservice inthewakeofthe 1853IndiaBill.deserving of seriousconsideration.e. Roach 1971:28.in itself. of a body of men twice as numerousas the clergy i s . as G o m demonstrates.. who. cf. the social profile of this public was in effect a limited one. The inducement thus offered would open to us a new field of knowledge: it would give us another root striking into a new soil ov society. more than just a cynical job-hunt for those who traditionally inherited the . Yet what is at stake is not just the intended influence of moral proselytization wherein the populace is exposed to the cultural power of certain exemplary personae. Edwin Chadwick. a stimulusreaching beyond the Fellowships. 1854-5: 155). P. To be sure.Therationalebehindthisdevelopment was that of finding a new vocation for the universities.OOO ofllcers.P. for example. a particular kind of public.

Yet. those subjected to the Greek world were ‘more truly than others under the empire of facts.d 1855%).P. To what or whom was the administrator to be responsible? It is easy to dismiss the patronage system as a necessarily corrupt bypassing of any concept of public responsibility. of course.P. to this generality. As Northcote-Trevelyan argued. by gearing the civil service to the young (one effect of the examination system) ‘regular habits may be enforced (P. The views promoted by the liberal educators .the relay that linked them -was to be the examination. one might say that a s a . Once again.that is. on the one hand. at fabricating a public that were to be the subjects of this particular kind of administrative rule.The key to the system was its very generality. The reasons for this will be familiar: Greek was the language of Reason. and more independent of the language current among those with whom they live’ (quoted in J e w s 1980:65-6: cf. This relates to the content of the exam. But in a sense this was not simply a ‘linguistic’ matter. on the other. Victorian “new intelligentsia’ (Bernal 1987:322: Jenkyns 1 Above all. The key to both sides of this equation . For one of the mainstays of liberal education at these universities was.an ethos embraced by the entire mid9 8 0 ) . or of liberal toleration.d 1855:22-3). an attempt at fabricating an ethical persona for the administrator (onedifferent from that demanded by either patronage or ‘bureaucracy’)and. of ‘civilization’. especially Greek. the acquisition of classical languages. in Mathew Arnold’s words.from Thomas Arnold to Connop Thirlwall i l l i a m Whewell. Rothblatt 1976:1 4 7 ) . the issue of language was to be importantin the context of government.Bureaucracy as a Vocation 305 responsibilities of rule. Moreover exams were not to be held for speciAc posts but at regular periods: the exams were not to be for particular positions but to test the general vocation of the potential civil servant. The technology of publicity represented. for the consolidation of the Classics as the mainstay of Oxbridge education in the 1830sand 1840s (1822is the date of the Arst Cambridge Classics Tripos) was not just tied to a valorization of linguistic learningbut immersion in the entire cultural and institutional contexts of the classical world.combined in what Bernal has described as an and W ethos of Romantic-scepticism. The installation of a general hierarchy of merit and promotion would work against the departmental fragmentation of the n i t y into administration service. combined with a concern for the practicalities of facts over speculation.Greek imbued the scholar with what might be described as an ethic of distance.to introduce a sense of u ButtheOxbridgeethicalsocontributed asavocation (P. The liberal values of an Oxbridge education actually had a kind of technological import in so far as they fed into the aspiration to create a civil service ’vocation’. Publicity guaranteed an ethical concern on the part of the administrator. again.

was notjust a ‘technical‘ matter. there was a momlbasis to the competitive principle of examination. there was to be a direct tie * ation and the cultivation of virtue.examinations are a test of common-senseand of character as well as of book-keeping. 1854:3). perhaps the clearest avowal of the rationale at stake. was to be the public examination itself (MacLeod 1982. sterner stuff. rather.it is Chadwick who provides. For Chadwick. 0 Basil Blackwell Lid 1994. its technological aspect. Finer 1952:477-83).deeper. duty etc as a condition of 3 ) . P. it was conceived by its advocates . but to motivate officials for public service. Roach observes: For the individual. and which impelled in the official no responsibility towards the public that it served.P.precisely needless to say. Again.To do well in them demands perseverance and self-denialwhich strengthenthe character.For the nation. cf. The aim was not. that proliferated according to its own logic. transparent technique for testing the presence of such virtues in the candidate. in the negative sense. the exam was not to muscular liberalism (cf.although hardly. The key to this principle of publicity.to make them vocationally responsible to the public (P.306 Thomas Osbome principle of government patronage merely represented an alternative conceptualization of responsibility itself. . albeit from an extreme position. . an administrative apparatus that merely served the interests of its incumbents.prototyped in the Indian civil service. stretching matters moral authority (Collini 1991: 1 1 somewhat. Lord Ashley had written of the coming generation in 1844 that: we must have nobler. Stefan Collini has recently written of the political aesthetic of ‘muscular liberalism’: a body of thought that sought to invoke specific moral qualities of character. Rather. the examination can be conceived as a technology of In any case. In a sense the opposition to the system of patronage was conceived by way of an alternative patronage system. In his account of this kind of demand in its relation to Victorian governing values. be some kind of neutral. Perhaps. 1854-5: 187-8. Those benefitting from patronage would be responsible to their patron. to create a bureaucracy.P. acompetittvesystemwould be based on high moral principle and would reduce corruption and place-seeking (Roach 1971:30). 1971:22-34). it was precisely patronage that lead to bureaucracy in the derogatory sense. as an attempt to substitute the patronage of the many (public opinion) for that of the few. so to Roach speak. The broad base between the examm of the proposed civil service examinations.less of refinement and more of truth:more of the inward and less of the outward gentleman:a rigid sense of duty and not a delicate sense of honour (quoted i n Thane 1990: 28). hence it would be in the utmost interests of the patron to be assured of the good character of the appointed official. In the 1850s when the general vogue for examination first took off. by its opponents (Shannon 1982:283-5) as a means for the generation of ‘character’.

indeed. the comments of J. one subject to public control yet outside the coups 0 Basil Blackwell U d 1994. Roach quotes a pamphlet on h e R e o r g c u z i z a t i o n public examination by Richard Dawes-Remarks on t o f the Civil Service and its Bearing on EducationalProgress ( 1854). 1854-5: the very existence of a reformed civil service would be a brake upon. 1854-5:25). Mill. hence it ties them to the system. property’) because their existence encouraged the inculcation of good habits (‘steadinessof conduct’. not moral regulation: but the indirect mobilization of allegiance. 1854: 30). The existence of the civil service creates a neutral space of government.P. the examination system is notjust a passive legitimation device. 1854:24). without steady application a long course of study cannot be mastered: and nothing is more certain than that habitual diligence brings other virtues in its train.cf. Even those who fail will have had the benefit of the character-building aspects of the exam system as a whole (P. that officialdomwill be an expressionofpublic allegiance. .S. and a principle of limitation of. the exam system represents an apparatus for the formation of public allegiance. 95). administrative tasks (P. than that the public will And itself allied in its aspirations to the ideal of officialdom. rather it gives something for the lower orders to grasp as an aspiration. Not directrule. it also checks the tendency of government to proliferate by introducing greater accountability. In addition to acting to discipline the virtues.P. 1844-5:28. For l l the existence of open competition will spur on the middle above a and lower middle classes to better themselves (Jowett in P. in P.P. in a wider sense. and the creation of a public sphere oriented in aspiration to state service. It is less that the official will be accountable to the public. But the exam is also a liberal technique in that in so f a r as it acts. For Chadwick. the increased accountability of the administration would mean an economizing of 2 0 8 ) .P. One respondent to the Civil Service Commission commented approvingly that exams were anti-democratic (in the sense of democratic as the exercise of ‘mere numbers over virtue.P. as a brake upon the arbitrary excesses of government. But also. ‘self-denyingdiligence’). the excessive proliferation of government.to the effect that the existence of public examination would act as an incentive for people to educate their children better: that no reform ’would do more to attach the lower and middle classes of society to theinstitutionsoftheircountry‘(Roach1971:29). for instance temperance and self-control. by promoting merit.Bureaucracy as a V o c a t i o n 307 Jowett claimed that the exam measures character in so f a r as ‘the perseverance and self-discipline necessary for the acquirement of any considerable amount of knowledge are a great security that a young man has not led a dissolutelife’(P. to say nothing of punctuality and accuracy: yet even these latter have a real connection with truth and honesty [Charles Graves. intelligence.

For thought is itself an agent in the history of arts and practices of government: it is a point of reference. our consideration of Northcote-Trevelyanalso servesusefully to displace these seemingly fast sociological categories. There is a theoretical point to be made here that relates in general to the question of rule. a kind of diagram that outlines a rationale for acting upon others in a particular. a relay for a diverse assemblage of schemes. that the business of the public should be done in the best and most economical manner’ (P. above all. then Northcote-Trevelyanwas indeed a failure. But as an historical example. several conclusions can be drawn. Northcote-Trevelyan is. one of the lynchpins of the reform proposals was that they should result in overall Treasury control of the home service. discussion this monument to a reform programme that was. after a a failure in immediate terms? Restricting ourselves to the establishment of the home administration. bureaucratic arm as an adjunct to the political and military functions of the state. For was evident from Gladstone’s Minute of 1853 (Wright 1969:x Gladstone. aspirations and techniques.The function of the Treasury was to be central here: so much i i i ) .308 Thomas osborne d’authorite characteristic of politics (‘government does everything badly’). Hence the fabrication of the civil service was precisely directed at a de-politicization of state tasks: an attempt. Concluding Remarks Northcote-Trevelyan has long been a magnet to historians of administration: much of our discussion has merely followed some already well-trodden pathways. of course. The constitution of a permanent home service clearly represents an attempt at the establishment of a civil. in crystallized form.P. But if one’s interest is in the history of thought itself then a reform project like that of the 1850s takes on a kind of density of its own. 1853-4b: 373). one might almost say. Northcote-Trevelyan also. On the subject of failure itself. Why again have we resurrected for l l . Northcote-Trevelyan has justifiably been of interest to historians precisely because it is itself part of the historicity of the Nineteenth Century. The principle of publicity should itselfensure this: for the system of public examination should produce. This disturbance comes by way of the question of ethics. an imperative of efficiency in the service: ‘the object is. that is. at the de-politicization of government. liberalway. not . if one’s criterion is that of the realization of thought. partakes of the historicity of bureaucracy and of the modem state. We have sought to contend that rule is not simply a question of the realization of the interests of those who happen to rule: that one must pay attention to the relations that those who rule bring about with regard to themselves.

then. one that would be dependent for its functioning upon the moral effects of the ‘public’ (‘Publicity is a check. is partly a matter of the ethical preconditions of rule: and power. or even aristocratic. Perhaps. an historical turn can serve to show that conceptions of the radically non-ethicalcharacter of bureaucracy. ethic (or Coleridgean or whatever) seems to have been involved in this construction. then. Hennis 1988: 101). rule. nor even merely an educational one.as opposed to a neutraltechnical .Bureaucracy as a Vocation 309 just the ideologies or moraljustifications of rule. One might conclude that it is not the neutrality of bureaucrats that makes them ethical: it is their ethical fomation that allows for a particular conception of what it is to be “neutral”. maintained and regulated. or delegate. as opposed to a more or less blind obedience to rules and orders: the very rationalization of tasks. are surelymisleading (bothwith regard to bureacracy and with regard to Weber). In any case. 0 BasU BhckweU Lid 1994. Rather. the very condition of experiencing authority as deriving from abstract rules. that are to hand.bureaucracy. Bureaucracy could be said to differ from discipline in so far as it presupposes an ethical formation on the part of the bureaucrat. as Gladstone put it.If what was at stake was. so often derived from Max Weber. this should not lead us automatically to conclude that such an ethical concern formed rather. as such. the point about this concern with ethics is to highlight the ways in which those who rule or govern seek to constitute themselves in a space where rule is rational. For Weber. but the ethics of rule. in so far as ‘public character is so valuable to a public man’: Parris 1969:78). predictable and justifiable: and the means by which the requisite capacities for rule are to be installed. a bureaucratic vocation. What lay behind Northcote-Trevelyan was not a disciplinary impulse. said James Graham. but an attempt to inscribe into government a particular ethics of rule that would be appropriate to a discretionary .And if an apparantlynonbourgeois. even bureaucratic rule. Marsh 1979). even state power. . the bureaucratic principle famously leads to the rule of ‘formalisticpersonality’. a bid for ‘a more strenuous ethic in public life’. reasonable. has to pass by way of ethics (cf. But to use Weber to argue that bureaucracy brings about an eclipse of ethics is to run together his thinking on discipline with his thinking on bureaucracy. one deploys the ethical tools part of a British ‘exceptionalism’. Nor does this relate just to how those who rule justify and seek to legitimate. rule conducted sine ira et studio (cf. Rule. the machinery of rule cannot be conceived simply as a pure instrument of class or state. This attention to the question of ethics does not signify a concern with the internally generated ‘conscience’of those entrusted with rule: rather ethics are themselvesprogrammed ‘fromwithout‘via mentalities of government. it was also a bid to construct an ethic ofpublic life.

(1991)‘PeculiarInterests:civilsocietyandgoverning‘the system of natural liberty‘. separated from . P. ‘bureaucratic’.D. And this is where bureaucracy is. G .that the bureaucrat has to be a certain vocational ‘type’. M.and possibly corrosive upon . Brighton: Harvester/Wheatsheaf. Burchell. that side of its concerns that implied. (1961)B r i t i s h Attitudes Towards Zndia 1784-1858. What is ‘liberal‘ about Northcote-Trevelyan is precisely this ethical consideration . (1991)Language and Symbolic Power. upon a typically ‘liberal‘view of education . as Weber insisted.as being guided ethically by a sense o f responsibility to a wider public: hence the very ethical formation of the administrator would lead to the delimitation of wasteful. Volume One.one based.N. not persons . in fact. and others). tendencies.in its implicit codification of elements of rational discretion . other mentalities of government. other ruling authorities. Perhaps the moment for such a n alignment of governmental and ethical concerns wasvery soon passed: and. trans-historical model: the bureaucratic impulse should invoke in the minds of its analysts the form of a plurality rather than the inevitability of a monolith. But. C : P o l i t y Burchell. would seek to codify the bureaucrat in different ways.N. here at the apparent dawn of the modem bureaucratic spirit. L: Free Associations. Hill. Strong 1992: 15). then.politics.310 Thomas osbome roles. ’he Foucault Eflect. indeed. the administrative agent of ‘police’ or the recipient of patronage. . part of this liberal concern related precisely to a ‘de-governmentalization’. a liberal ethical consideration on the part of government that . The condition of possibility for this was an understanding of the character of the administrator . Turner (1980)TheI)ominantIdeology%s&. (1987)Black Athena.L OUP.a subtraction of administration from the complexities of patronage and politics.this presupposes an ethical formation on the part of the bureaucrat (cf. L Macmillan Bearce. there is no reason why bureaucracy should follow some hard and fast. a 0 Basfl Blackwell Ltd 1994. G. Bibliography Abercrombie.So what is interesting about Northcote-Trevelyan. Bernal.was not previously accorded. was a realization that bureaucracy cannot be considered as other than ethical by government. G. Bourdieu. and B. the very least of any ‘regard for persons’. is that. As has been argued. Hence. no doubt. Northcote-Trevelyan programmed the ethical side of its concerns in a certain alignment with those that related to efficiency and economy. . perhaps what has drawn the historians to this moment. Note Many thanksto Ian Hunterand two anonymousrefereesfor their invaluable comments on an earlier drafi. Studies in govenunentaUty (ed.. for example.

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