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Civil Servants and Cold Warriors

Civil Servants and Cold Warriors

Technical Assistance in Public Administration

(p.57) 2 Civil Servants and Cold Warriors
Aid Under Fire
Jessica Elkind
University Press of Kentucky

This chapter focuses on efforts to shore up the South Vietnamese state by improving public administration in the country.It considers the important role played by scholars from Michigan State University MSU), in particular through their assistance to Saigon’s school for civil servants, the National Institute of Administration (NIA).Members of the MSU public administration team found a largely unreceptive audience for their suggestions as to how to improve the NIA. They also fell out of favor with South Vietnamese officials as a result of their increasingly routine criticism of the government’s policies and practices.Ultimately, the US Operations Mission (USOM) public administration division took over all the university group’s responsibilities.Despite their best efforts, however, USOM aid workers had no more success than the MSU team in stabilizing the South Vietnamese government or ensuring popular support for the regime in Saigon through better public administration.

Keywords:   Public administration, Michigan State University group, US Operations Mission (USOM), National Institute of Administration (NIA), Civil servants, Governance

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