Saturday, October 17, 2009


Haroon A. Khan
Comparative public administration can scarcely be studied in a meaningful
way without taking politics into account. The field of comparative public
administration has suffered due to the legacy of the dichotomy of adminis-
tratoin and politics.1 It has also suffered from other problems.
The Problem of Comparison
The inadequacies of the comparative public administration field lie with the
problem of comparison itself. The purpose of comparison is to give an
explanatory frame of reference, in terms of which we can account for
differences and similarities. Yet, there is not enough research in genuinely
comparative public administration. The basic reason for this gap between
conceptualization and research is that it is not possible to move easily from
theory to a level of actual empirical research.
One of the major problems in comparative research is how one can do
systematic comparisons across nations involving simplification, and abstrac-
tion from the specific setting of any particular nation while doing justice to
the special contextual factors of each nation. The problem of establishing
functional equivalence in variables across nations also hinders systematic
Haroon A. Khan is Assistant Professor in Social Sciences at the Henderson State University,

Political Culture and Implementation
The Lack of Application
Comparative public administration's lack of development as an applied
science, for facilitating administrative change, or development is even more
notable. It suffers from the problem of framing theory in testable terms.
Research in comparative public administration is further complicated by
such problems as inadequate statistics, access, language barriers, and ex-
pense. As a consequence, comparative public administration has not devel-
oped a viable applied approach. Comparative analysis in public administra-
tion is limited by the lack of cross national information. Although the field
of comparative public administration has advanced well in recent years, it has
not yet provided a thoroughness, breadth, or coverage for international
The Lack of Conceptual and Methodological Basis
Comparative public administration lacks conceputal and methodological
bases from which a theoretical proposition can be established. One attempt
to provide such a basis found its expression in development administration.3
The level of development was the only focus with which the scholars of
comparative public administration were concerned. But development is a
complicated concept. It is not a tangible commodity. It refers to an aggregate
of social, economic, and political variables, each of which exists on a
continuum, ranging from less to more development. Development can never
be absolute achievement. As with every historical enterprise, development
is to be used in common terms, a more or less reasonable or justifiable
As a result, it cannot serve as a social basis for further
research. As a scientific concept, development betrays its legitimacy at every
Fred Riggs developed three models: prismatic, fused, and diffracted
types to study the administrative system in broader perspectives.' Prismatic',
'fused', and 'diffracted' are used for transitional, traditional, and modern
societies, respectively. Riggs established the 'Sala Model' to study prismatic

Asian Journal of Public Administration
society. The characteristics of the 'Sala Model' are formalism, overlapping
structures, and nepotism.6 The characteristics of the 'Sala Model' are too
broad and too general to allow for any systematic comparison. Another
pioneer, Samuel Katz advocated a system approach to public administration.7
The concept of 'system' includes too many variables, making it difficult for
any systematic comparison across nations.
Ferrel Heady by emphasizing bureaucracy tried to focus on important
differences across nations. He assumes that there are important differences
across systems, and these can be conceptualized and related to each other.8
However, research done on public bureaucracies of Asia, Africa, and Latin
America has not been directed towards that end, it has consisted of analyses
of institutional structures, and their relevance for the needs and goals of the
specific society.9
Research has emphasized the historical evolution of
bureaucratic roles and the problem of bureaucracies in adjusting to the new
requirements of greater responsiveness. Studies have paid little attention to
culturally determined characteristics which influence the structures.
In spite of all the failures to provide wider validity and acceptability of
public administration, it is necessary that studies in public administration be
based on cross national comparison. A study, in order to be scientific, must
be based on comparison.10
As Gabriel Almond has stated, "comparison whether it be in the
experiment, in the analysis of the results of quantitative surveys, or in the
observation of process and behavior is the very essence of the scientific
method".11 Comparative study can help in the formation of concepts that
would facilitate systematic comparison across cultures, and permit more
abstract analysis not only across but within given cultures.12
The purpose of this article is to suggest a framework for comparative
public administration in which the relationship between politics and admini-
stration can be more rigorously established. The framework I will propose
is the policy approach to comparative public administration. In order to be
comparative, the policy must have cross cultural implications. Population
policy offers an important opportunity for a cross national comparison since
it is politically important and has reached the political agenda at approxi-
mately the same time in many countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Political Culture and Implementation
The Scope of Population Policy
Population policy has been used for a variety of concepts relating to
population: family planning services to reduce the growth rate, resettlement
programmes and health care programmes. This study defines population
policies as the governmental actions directed at affecting population growth
through the manipulation of national fertility rates. Family planning pro-
grammes limiting family size are examples of such population policies.
One of the key problems in the implementation of policies is people's
resistance to policies. An understanding of such resistance needs an under-
standing of a people's political culture. As an attempt to establish a linkage
between politics and administration, this study seeks to relate problem of
implementation of population policies with political culture. Political
culture includes the orientation towards the government, its policies and
administration. In the Civic Culture, Almond and Verba defined political
culture in terms of political orientation and attitudes held by individuals in
relation to their political system. They emphasized "psychological orienta-
tions" and the "cognitions, feelings and evaluations" of people in relation to
thier political system, its operations and leaders.13 Stephen White defined
political culture as the attitudinal and behavioural matrix within which a
political system is located. It is concerned with fundamental beliefs and
values, especially as these relate to the government and its role.14 According
to Frank Fischer, political culture refers to politically relevant ideas and
social practices, habits of action, norms of conduct, even the basic notions of
God and man.13 Political culture is one of the most popular concepts in
political science. It is also the most controversial and confused. Several
characteristics of political culture pose special problems for measurement
and description. First, it is often hard to separate structural from psychologi-
cal variables. S econd, it is an abstract concept and not a concrete thing. Third,
culture is unconscious, inexplicit and it is difficult to ask people about culture
directly.16 Finally, while individuals participate in a culture as a collective
attribute of society, it is not possible to describe culture by simply aggregat-
ing all individuals.

Asian Journal of Public Administration
Political culture is a second order explanation, approximately applied
only after institutional and structural explanations have been ruled out.
Culture as an explanation seldom operates alone. Rather, it is generally
passive and almost acts in conjunction with other variables. Moreover, there
is the failure to specify clearly and precisely the dependent variable. Political
culture as a dependent variable lacks adequate explanation.
In order to deal with these problems, this study uses political culture as
an independent variable influencing the implementation of policies (depend-
ent variable). I approach political culture from the point of people's values
(whether traditional or modern). In this study, this assumes the form of an
index of traditional and modern values with specified indicators. These
indicators are operationally measured through a questionnaire (see Appen-
dix). This will be helpful in minimizing the problem of abstraction and
ambiguity in the concept of political culture. However, the study of
sociocultural and institutional factors are not amenable to cross sectional
survey research because of country-specific characteristics. In this article I
will limit the study to India and Bangladesh. Despite religious differences,
these two countries share a common history, culture and family values.
Among the middle South Asian countries (India, Pakistan, Bangla-
desh, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka), India with its present
population of 816.8 million, and Bangladesh with 109.5 million people,
portend the largest increase in population. The population of India will rise
to 1,013.3 million, and that of Bangladesh to 145.8 million by the year 2000.17
Research on the causes of population growth can be broadly divided
into two categories: macro-level research and micro-level research. Macro-
level research focuses on the growth of population as a function of such
indicators as the degree of a nation's development, the literacy rate, the
proportion of labour in agriculture, per capita income, gross national product
and the expectation of life at birth. Micro-level research focuses on
population growth as a function of individual decision.
Macro-level Theories
Macro-level research can be divided into (1) the theory of demographic

Political Culture and Implementation
transition; (2) theories of fertility decline; and (3) the theory of distributive
(1) The Theory of Demographic Transition
The theory of demographic transition dominates population theories. Like
the market and the laws of demand and supply of economics, this theory
assumes the reciprocal relationships between births and deaths. It also
assumes that there will be a long term balance between them.18 Sirajeldin,
Norris and Ahmed mentioned the reduction in infant mortality as an impor-
tant factor for the growth of population size in India.19 Borrowing from the
assumptions of the theory of demographic transition, Chandrasekkar listed
high birth rate, rapidly declining death rate, and the universality of marriage
as possible causes of higher fertility.20 However, the demographic transition
theory is not sufficient to explain the causes of a high growth rate.
(2) The Theory of Fertility Decline
The theory of fertility decline argues that by following the examples of
fertility decline in industrialized countries, the developing countries might
reduce fertility.21
The theory of fertility decline was very attractive to
researchers on population in India and Bangladesh. Borrowing from the
assumptions of the theory of fertility decline, much research has been done
on population in India and Bangladesh. These can be broadly divided into
three different categories: (a) prescriptive; (b) analytic-intuitive; and (c)
empirical studies.
(a) Prescriptive Studies: Prescriptive studies were basically concerned
with providing suggestions and prescriptions. Subjects of prescriptions
varied from self-regulation, and self-reliance, food and crop planning, family
planning, education, to socio-economic changes.
(b) Analytic-intuitive: Analytic intuitive studies tried to focus on the
possible causes of higher fertility. Stanford and King have emphasized
modernization as a possible way to reduce fertility.22 These studies were
based on the intuitive knowledge of the authors about the problem.

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(c) Quantitative Studies: Quantitative studies showed an array of different
variables relating to the population problem. One important variable in the
reduction of fertility was education.23
However, other authors found no
significant influence by education upon fertility behaviour.24
Many authors emphasized modernization as an effective variable for
reducing fertility. Moni Nag found a positive relationship between moderni-
zation and fertility.25 The empirical studies show no consistent relationship
between improvement in different economic variables and the reduction of
population growth.
(3) Distributive Justice Theories
The distributive justice theory is critical of theories of fertility decline. The
theories of fertility decline assume thatincreased savings and investment will
decrease population growth. On the contrary, the best way to bring about
lowered fertility and increased savings and investment is through increased
welfare, and through a more equitable distribution of goods, services, and
opportunities. The theory argues that when the range of interpersonal
comparisons and the opportunity for inequality are reduced, people begin to
question the necessity for large families; and this diminishes the role of a
large family.26
However, empirical studies do not give a picture of how much
distribution makes what difference in fertility. One does not know precisely
what is necessary for fertility decline. Marco-level research does not focus
on the individuals towards whom population policies are directed. Con-
versely, micro-level research does focus on individual behaviour as a
determinant of fertility behaviour.
Micro-Level Theories
The theory of differential fertility and the utility theory are the two important
theories within the domain of micro level research.

Political Culture and Implementation
(1) Differential Fertility
The theory of differential theory affirms that there is a linear relationship
between the amount of education of the mother and the number of live births.
Urban-born mothers have fewer children than rural-born mothers. The
higher the occupational status of the father, the lower is the fertility of the
wife. Working women have fewer children than those who do not work
outside the home.27 Richard Easterlin predicted that the lower the possibility
of advancement in work for the parents, the lower the motivation for child
In India, Holsinger and Kasarda found that people belonging to both
lower and higher social strata are more inclined to practise birth control
measures than those belonging to the middle class.29 John Stoeckel and
Moqbul A. Chowdhury, in their surveys in East Pakistan (that is, present
Bangladesh), found that although the higher occupational and educational
status groups have more knowledge of family planning, socio-economic
status in general showed no consistent relationship with practice.30
(2) Utility Theory
Utility theory affirms that with increasing income, the cost of a child
increases and the utility of the child as a source of security declines. Parents
with more income can provide for their own security. The child becomes less
valuable as a producer, as income increases.31
Another explanation of the utility theory is given by Philippe Aries.
According to him, fertility decline is due to the privileged position of the
child. The fertility decline was not due to the decline of solidarity of the
family. Rather, there was a great centering of affection on children, and a
desire that they assume their social future in a climate where uncertainty
prevails about their well-being. Thus, worries about children discourage
parents from having larger family.32
Borrowing from the assumptions of the utility theory, Poffenberger,
and Bulatao came to the conclusion that one of the causes of high birth rates
in India was the value given to children, and the emphasis on having sons.33

Asian Journal of Public Administration
Development Approaches
In virtually all developing countries facing the problem of excessive fertility,
economic development is advocated as a panacea to the problem. It is widely
held that economic development will bring down population growth. An
economic boom, and effective land reform, together with improvement in
rural financial institutions and rapid expansion of education, health and
family planning services have facilitated a decrease in birth rate in South
Korea and Taiwan. Though the appeal of a developmental policy is quite
attractive in the reduction of population growth, empirical studies do not
show any consistent results.34
It is also believed that low income and associated conditions tend to
perpetuate high fertility and rapid population growth. However, in spite of
low income, fertility is quite low in Cyprus, Fiji, Mauritius, and Sri Lanka.
On the other hand, there are many examples of fertility remaining high, where
high levels of income have been reached, for example, Israel, and a number
of oil exporting countries including Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, and
Another direction of population policy is towards family planning
programmes. One of the inherent weaknesses of the family planning
programme is the lack of consideration of welfare losses inflicted on parents.
These losses involve psychic and material satisfactions associated with
bearing and raising children.
From the review of literature, it is clear that the findings in empirical
studies offer no consistent results. Many anomolies exist that may be
clarified by further research. For example, most studies show that the
improvement in socio-economic conditions encourages the reduction of
population growth. On the contrary, in some countries, the population size
did not decrease with the improvement of socio-economic conditions, for
example, Saudi Arabia.36
Research on population tends to over-emphasize demographic and
economic factors. However, in a recent article, Rouyer emphasized the
importance of political capacity on the fertility behaviour. Political capacity

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has been defined as the ability of the government to penetrate society and
extract resources. With data from 15 Indian states, Rouyer found out that
crude birth rate, family planning programme effort, mean female age at birth,
physical quality of life index (infant mortality, life expectancy at age one,
literacy rate), income per capita and political capacity had a strong indirect
effect on fertility decline.37
But Rouyer left unanswered the question of how government acquires
political capacity. He cites the importance of popular involvement in the
political process. This study seeks to make a significant addition to Rouyer's
assumption by emphasizing the importance of political culture in political
involvement. The nature of political involvement depends on the nature of
political culture.
For the Indian and Bangladeshi contexts, one needs to understand the
political culture held by the people at large in order to understand the success,
or failure of the government to control the population. The motivation for
child bearing cannot be understood without reference to the social environ-
ment. The implementation of population policies in a particular country
cannot be understood without reference to socio-political environment of
that country.
It is also believed that education influences implementation of popu-
lation policies by modifying people's attitudes. The role of education in the
inculcation of modern values has been emphasized by many authors.38 Other
authors maintain that education serves the conservative function of preserv-
ing traditional values.39 In this paper, I am trying to discover whether
education is influential in the implementation of population policies. I also
seek to find out whether education modifies traditional values, and helps in
the implementation of population policies.
Empirical Research
From the above theoretical discussion, I can formulate the following hy-
potheses for the research purpose:

Asian Journal of Public Administration
HI: The more people are attached to traditional values, the more likely that
the birth control policies will face resistance. According to this hypothesis,
if people are skeptical towards change, more fatalistic, more dependent on
external power, or feel less efficacious, they will tend to resist birth control
policies. The logic of the hypothesis is that if people think they do not have
any control over the future, they cannot control the well-being of the children.
When people have deep faith in God (external power) as determining
everything, they do not want to accept birth control since they believe it is
God who will take care of the children;
H2: The more educated the people, the less likely that the birth control
policies will face resistance. According to this hypothesis, exposure to
education will create a more scientific outlook in people. Educated persons
will try to find a reason in every event. They tend to feel efficacious and
assume a positive and active attitude with regard to their future well-being.
Educated people tend to have more modern values and hence accept birth
control policies.
These two hypotheses are interrelated. There are close relationships
between modern values and education. Many authors have emphasized the
role of education in controlling the population size.40 However, there are
contradictory findings in the literature. This study seeks to separate these two
hypotheses in order to find out whether education does make a difference in
the acceptance of birth control policies.
(1) Dependent Variable
(a) Resistance to Family Planning: The resistance to family planning can
be conceptually defined as unwillingness, or refusal to accept birth control.
It can also be defined as opposition to the acceptance of any birth control
policy. The dependent variable, resistance to birth control, is operationally
measured by a questionnaire soliciting the attitudes towards family planning
(see Appendix).

Political Culture and Implementation
(2) Independent Variables
(a) Traditional Values: In order to have an understanding of the tradi-
tional values, I will analyse the values associated with traditional man as
contrasted to modern man. Robert Clark identified certain characteristics of
traditional and modern man.41 These characteristics are stated as follows:
(i) A traditional person is inclined to be sceptical towards change, prefers
the old and tested, and nourishes a suspicion towards the new and untested;
on the other hand, a modern person is open and receptive to change, and
prefers the new ways;
(ii) Another characteristic of the traditional person is an attitude of fatalism
indicative of the degree to which the traditional individual feels that life is
controlled by external forces beyond his control; a modern person, con-
versely, acts decisively to overcome nature and its obstacles;
(iii) Traditional people do not trust outsiders, that is, those who come from
outside their own circle of friends or relatives; a modern person has the ability
to trust others not belonging to his own circle of friends or relatives; and
(iv) The traditional person believes that whatever structure that may exist
is unknowable to ordinary mortals, and can only be reached through spiritual
appeals to some divine power. Efforts to apply rationality and science to real
problems are doomed to failure; a modern person, in contrast, believes in the
inherent rationality of the universe.
Corresponding to the characteristics of traditional man as analysed by
Clark, an index of traditional values has been developed. The index is based
on the following indicators: (1) scepticism towards change; (2) dependence
on nature; (3) no trust in outsiders, especially if the person/persons is/are
outside of one's own circle; and (4) no desire to control the future.
The above indicators are operationally measured through a question-
naire tapping the attitudes of the people (see Appendix).
(b) Education: Education is defined by the years a person spends in
schools or college. Education is measured by a questionnaire eliciting

Asian Journal of Public Administration
whether the individual has completed primary, secondary, college or gradu-
ate studies. The education systems in India and Bangladesh are divided into
primary and high schools, college and university. Primary education lasts
five years, high school five years, colleges two to four years, and university
two to five years. From the responses on the school the respondent finished
at, the author coded them into years for the convenience of data analysis. The
reason for doing this was because it was easier for the respondent to say which
school he or she completed his/her studies at rather than how many years.
Data Collection Method
Data were collected through personal interviews during 1986-1987. I
scheduled structured interviews in which the questions, their wording, and
their sequence were fixed, and identical for every respondent.
In order to do away with possible courtesy bias, and enlist more
responses, interviewers were selected from the local people; Hindus were
interviewed by Hindus, and Moslems interviewed by Moslems. In both India
and Bangladesh, females were interviewed by females and males by males.
Due to the political turmoil in Punjab, the Sikhs were not open with the Hindu
interviewers. Hence, the Sikhs were interviewed by Moslems. The Chris-
tians were open with both communities, and were interviewed by both
Moslem and Hindu interviewers. In order to maintain literal equivalence,42
a native Bangladeshi translated the questionnaire from English to Bengali,
and a native English speaking person then translated it back to English. Both
versions of the questionnaire were checked for internal consistency. In India,
a local person from Orissa translated it from English to Oria, and a second
native English speaking person translated it back to English. Both versions
of the questionnaire were checked for internal consistency.
The sampling design was based on stratified and cluster sampling.
Stratified sampling was used to represent different religious groups in the
sample. For example, in Bangladesh, about 84 per cent of the Moslems, 11
per cent Hindus, 3 per cent Buddhists, and 2 per cent Christians were chosen
to represent the actual mix of the total population.43 Similarly in India, 84 per
cent Hindus, 11 per cent Moslems, 3 per cent Christians, and 2 per cent Sikhs

Political Culture and Implementation
were chosen to represent the total population.44 These groups were chosen
randomly to represent different groups with different educational, and
occupational backgrounds. Stratified sampling was adopted in the selection
of individuals from both sexes. The sample was roughly divided into 50 per
cent males and 50 per cent females in both India and Bangladesh.
Cluster sampling enhanced both convenience and economy. Cluster
sampling was based on different steps clustering. For example, in India, the
first step clustering included a state, Orissa. The reason Orissa was chosen
was because it was a typical Indian state. It stood 9th among the 22 Indian
states in fertility decline and had a population growth rate of 2.8 per cent,
roughly equal to the national growth rate.45 The second step clustering
include a city. I chose Bhuvaneswer, the capital of Orissa. The third step
clustering included some villages. I chose Patiya, Vir Surendra Sai and
Chaksani. These villages were chosen for convenience and representation.
They are the surrounding villages of Bhuvaneswer and have different cross
sections of people representing different religious, occupational, and educa-
tional groups.
In Bangladesh, the first step clustering included a District (administra-
tive division), in this case, Chittagong. The reason for choosing Chittagong
was because the author was from Chittagong. It was convenient for
undertaking survey research because of the author's familiarity with the
population. Moreover, Chittagong is a typical district of Bangladesh.46 The
second step clustering included certain villages. I chose Jaldi, Puichari, and
Chambol. These are typical villages of the Chittagong area, representing
different cross sections of the population.
The sample size consisted of 5 50 married individuals, out of which 275
were from India, and 275 from Bangladesh. The sample was drawn on the
basis of stratification and randomization out of the voter registration. The
reason why only the married individuals were chosen was because in India
and Bangladesh, it was not socially acceptable to have children outside
Table 1 shows the results of the multiple regression. The regression

Asian Journal of Public Administration
coefficient B is the slope of the regression line for each of the independent
variables, controlling for others. Thus a B of .78 reflects the amount of
change in dependent variable (resistance) associated with a change in
independent variable, controlling for other variables.
Trad. Values
.01 NS
.01 NS
.24 NS
Source: Collected and compiled by the author.
Multiple R =.76
Adjusted R =.58
* Significant at .05 level
** Significant at .01 level
NS Not Significant at .05 level
From the results of Table 1, it is found that traditional values are the
most influential independent variable. SE B is the standard error around the
regression line (B). It is calculated to detect unexplained variation around the
regression line. The low level of standard error in Table 1 bolsters the
probability that the results are accurate. In Table 1, R2 is .58, large enough
to establish a meaningful prediction. The multiple R is .76. The relationship
of traditional values and resistance is significant at .01 level and the

Political Culture and Implementation
relationship between education and resistance is significant at .05 level. I am
using regression analysis even though some variables are represented by
ordinal level data (for example, resistance and traditional values). I am using
regression analysis by treating the ordinal scores as interval. The ordinal
scores that have been used can be isomorphic with arithmetic value. For
example, in measuring the traditional values and resistance, I used ordinal
scales varying from [1] strongly agree; [2] agree; [3] uncertain; [4] disagree;
to [5] strongly disagree (see Appendix).
The results in India and Bangladesh (Tables 2 and 3) show similar
results. Traditional values seem to be the most influential factor in explaining
resistance to birth control policies, even though the relationship is slightly
higher in the Indian case. In both India and Bangladesh, education has
negative influence on resistance, but the relationship is much weaker
(b = -.05 in India and b = -.04 in Bangladesh). The multiple R in both cases
is .76, while R2 is .57, meaning that the independent variables explain a
substantial portion of the variation in resistance to contraception. The
standard error in both tests is low.
Dependent: Resistance
Trad. Values
.02 NS
.02 NS
.05 NS
Source: Collected and compiled by the author.
Multiple R = .76
R1 = .57
Adjusted R2 = .57
* Significant at .05 level
** Significant at .01 level
NS Not Significant at .05 level

Asian Journal of Public Administration
Trad. Values
.04 NS
.02 NS
.07 NS
Source: Collected and compiled by the author.
Multiple R =.76
R2 = .57
Adjusted R* =.57
* Significant at .05 level
** Significant at .01 level
NS Not Significant at .05 level
Of course, it is entirely likely that the importance of education is
diluted by the citizens' income level. I do not have any interval level income
data. I can only differentiate between peasants and others. Table 4 shows
the results of multiple regression when this new dummy variable is added,
scored as 0 for farmer and 1 for others. The literature argues that farmers tend
to resist birth control policies more than the people of other occupations.47
But from the results in Table 4, occupation appears to have no significant
impact on resistance. The results again confirm traditional values as the most
influential variable. I must consider that peasants also have the lowest level
of education and therefore cannot argue that this is a definitive test.

Political Culture and Implementation
Trad. Values
.01 NS
.03 NS
.01 NS
.03 NS
.02 NS
.02 NS
Source: Collected and compiled by the author.
Multiple R =.76
R2 = .58
Adjusted R* =.58
* Significant at .05 level
** Significant at .01 level
NS Not Significant at .05 level
The multiple R in the above analysis is .76, while the R2is .58. Thus
the independent variables statistically explain a substantial portion of the
variation in resistance to birth control policies.
In order to estimate the reliability of the questionnaire, the split half
method was used. The correlation of the two halves was estimated with the
calculation of Cronback's Alpha which was = .854, signifying high correla-
tion. The use of construct validity and multi-method techniques enhance the
ability to conclude that deeply held cultural values are the greatest impedi-
ments to the success of birth control policies in India and Bangladesh.
The results of the data analysis show that if people are sceptical about the
future, have greater trust in their children for support during old age than the

Asian Journal of Public Administration
government, then they tend to resist birth control policies. The relevance of
the findings can be ascertained from the experiences of India and Bangladesh
in population control. Recently, both governments have taken certain
measures to satisfy people's concern during old age if they are willing to
undergo sterilization. However, the implementation of policies is being
undermined by people's desire for more sons because of their lack of trust in
the government's support during old age or in the case of any emergency
when they traditionally depend on sons. The desire for more children is
strengthened by high infant mortality in both countries. Parents want to make
sure they have one surviving son. From the historical analysis, it is found that
people undergo sterilization only after they already had a sufficient number
of children, especially sons. In India, enthusiasm for vigorous population
control suffered a setback after people's resistance to forced sterilization
during the 1970s.
The data analysis further suggests that if people have more confidence
in their government, feel more efficacious and optimistic about the future,
then they would be likely to accept birth control policies. How the govern-
ment can gain the confidence of the people is beyond the scope of this
research project. However, governments can take a positive (if very
expensive) role in providing social security to parents during old age or
emergencies. Though it is difficult to break the traditional dependence on
sons, the government might provide credible assurances of security to
parents during old age or emergencies. In the course of time, people would
feel more positive towards the government and hence, more accepting of its
policies. The government can take an active role in improving the health care
system and standard of living. If infant mortality is reduced, it would lessen
the desire for more sons because when the parents see their sons survive, they
would be less likely to have more children.48 Another way to build people's
confidence in the govememnt may be by greater participation of the people
in decision-making. When people have more say in the government, they
would feel more efficacious. When people feel more efficacious, they tend
to have more modern values. Consequently, as our data analysis suggest,
more modern values would lead to more acceptance of birth control policies.
One of the important findings in our research is that education is not an
automatic guarantee for birth control, even though many authors suggest

Political Culture and Implementation
education as an important variable for influencing acceptance of birth control
measures. It appears from the study that educated people have larger families
in part because of the endurance and importance of traditional values. If the
societal culture is opposed to a particular policy, there is little chance for its
success. In order to be successful, population policy must by necessity
consider the values held by the people while measures aimed at retirement
security and reduced infant mortality are broadened.
By focusing on the problem of population policies in India and Bangladesh
from the perspective of political culture, this study augments our knowledge
in a critical arena of comparative public administration. The focus on
population policies provides an important criterion for systematic compari-
son in public administration. Different societies can be compared according
to their formulation and implementation of population policies. This study,
with its emphasis on political culture, contributes to the understanding of the
political contexts in which policies are implemented, thereby leading to a
better understanding of the linkage between politics and administration.
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Page 22
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