Formal Bureaucracy and the Emergent Forms of the Informal Economy
The following essay has three parts. The first is a story about fluctuations in the balance of the relationship between impersonal and personal principles of social organization. This draws heavily on Max Weber’s interpretation of western history. The second part reviews the concept of an ‘informal economy/sector’ from its origin in discussions of the Third World urban poor to its present status as a universal feature of economy. The third part asks how we might conceive of combining the formal/informal pair with a view to promoting development. In conclusion I suggest how partnerships between bureaucracy and the people might be made more equal.