Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy


Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy

The Ground Floor of Government in Context

9781786437624 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Peter Hupe, Visiting Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute, Belgium
Publication Date: 2019 ISBN: 978 1 78643 762 4 Extent: 544 pp
When the objectives of public policy programmes have been formulated and decided upon, implementation seems just a matter of following instructions. However, it is underway to the realization of those objectives that public policies get their final substance and form. Crucial is what happens in and around the encounter between public officials and individual citizens at the street level of government bureaucracy. This Research Handbook addresses the state of the art while providing a systematic exploration of the theoretical and methodological issues apparent in the study of street-level bureaucracy and how to deal with them.

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Critical Acclaim
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Street-level bureaucracy concerns a vital part of the ways in which public policy programmes are implemented, particularly through the relationship between public officials and individual citizens. Addressing the state of the art and providing a systematic exploration of the theoretical and methodological issues at stake, this Research Handbook is a crucial contribution to the analysis of public policy from the perspective of the ground floor of government.

The Research Handbook covers theoretical themes in current research such as institutional theory, social inequality, national culture, discrimination and representation, digitalization, and accountability. Analysing the role of teachers, police officers and other street-level bureaucrats, chapters explore how these individuals implement policies through their daily contact with citizens. Further sections investigate the methodological tools for research, as well as the future challenges facing the area. Peter Hupe concludes with lessons for the study of street-level bureaucracy and a significant research agenda for the topic.

Essential reading for researchers and students of politics, government, public administration, public management, public policy and social policy, the Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy is the defining reference for understanding public policy in action in everyday life.  
Critical Acclaim
‘Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy provides an impressively complete and thorough overview and review of a wide array of the key themes and conceptual tools equipping a scholar to engage in advancing research on the topic of “street-level bureaucracy”.’
– Edoardo Ongaro, International Review of Public Administration

‘The essays are all of a high standard and collectively they cover all bases. This book will certainly have the desired impact of taking the field forward by putting in a single high-quality volume a wide range of issues, techniques, findings and problems in the study of Street-Level Bureaucracy. Researchers already in the field and those new to it will find this book valuable and it is hard to think of a course on public policy and administration at under- or postgraduate level that could not assign chapters as essential reading.’
– Edward C. Page, dms – der moderne staat

‘Street-level bureaucracy is an established concept in the social sciences, and it might be thought difficult to find anything new and important to say about the concept. This Research Handbook demonstrates that this assumption is most definitely untrue. By emphasizing street-level bureaucracy as the “ground floor” of government, Peter Hupe and his collaborators have provided a number of new insights into the behaviour and importance of those public servants who are in day-to-day contact with citizens. Anyone who wants to understand the impact of government on those citizens must read the chapters in this volume.’
– B. Guy Peters, University of Pittsburgh, US

‘This Research Handbook maps the now-sprawling and diverse scholarly world of research on frontline work and the encounters between governing authority and the publics served, surveilled and disenfranchised. The Research Handbook is a Who’s Who of international scholars exploring this territory and covers the full range of current topics, from theory to methods and emerging questions. It begins and ends with insightful introductory and concluding chapters by Peter Hupe, the editor. Hupe frames the diverse contributions of the Research Handbook authors while providing guideposts for future research. For students and scholars, this Research Handbook is essential reading, a touchstone.’
– Steven Maynard-Moody, University of Kansas, US
Contributors: V. Byers, N. Cohen, T. Evans, D. Gassner, A. Gofen, S. Groeneveld, M. Hill, M. Høybye-Mortensen, P. Hupe, L.R. Keiser, A. Kekez, T. Klenk, S. Kuhlmann, E. Lieberherr, G. Lotta, K. Loyens, M. Østergaard Møller, H. Olofsdotter Stensöta, R. Pires, N. Raaphorst, D. Rice, C. Schott, S. Sella, G. Sommer Harrits, E. Thomann, N. van Engen, D. van Kleef, L. Van Parys, B. Zacka


Part I Street-level bureaucracy as a scholarly theme
1. Contextualizing government-in-action
Peter Hupe

2. Positioning street-level bureaucracy research
Peter Hupe and Michael Hill

3. Conceptualizing street-level bureaucracy in context
Peter Hupe

Part II Theoretical issues in street-level bureaucracy research
4. Specifying the dependent variable in street-level bureaucracy research
Liesbeth Van Parys

5. Adopting an institutional view in street-level bureaucracy research
Deborah Rice

6. Street-level bureaucracy research and social inequality
Gabriela Lotta and Roberto Pires

7. Street-level bureaucracy research and the specification of national culture
Marie Østergaard Møller

8. Discrimination and representation in street-level bureaucracies
Nadine Raaphorst and Sandra Groeneveld

9. Using drama to understand street-level practice
Tony Evans

10. Dealing with hybridization in street-level bureaucracy research
Tanja Klenk and Nissim Cohen

11. Street-level bureaucracy research and the impact of digital office technologies
Matilde Høybye-Mortensen

12. Street-level bureaucracy research and first-line supervision
Peter Hupe and Lael R. Keiser

13. Street-level bureaucracy research and professionalism
Gitte Sommer Harrits

14. Policy re-design from the street level
Nissim Cohen and Tanja Klenk

15. Street-level bureaucracy research and accountability beyond hierarchy
Eva Lieberherr and Eva Thomann

16. Dealing with cross-countries variation in the comparative study of public administration and street-level bureaucracy
Sabine Kuhlmann

17. Explaining public task performance
Peter Hupe

Part III Methodological issues in street-level bureaucracy research
18. Comparing public task performance
Michael Hill and Peter Hupe

19. Mixed-methods designs in street-level bureaucracy research
Carina Schott and Daphne van Kleef

20. Quantitative street-level bureaucracy research
Nadine van Engen

21. Qualitative data analysis in implementation and street-level bureaucracy research
Anka Kekez

22. Levels of analysis in street-level bureaucracy research
Anat Gofen, Shelly Sella and Drorit Gassner

23. Networks as unit of analysis in street-level bureaucracy research
Kim Loyens

24. Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) as a tool for street-level bureaucracy research
Eva Thomann

25. Using vignettes in street-level bureaucracy research
Gitte Sommer Harrits

Part IV New dimensions of studying street-level bureaucracy
26. Street-level bureaucracy research across the borders of scholarly communities
Vivienne Byers

27. Street-level bureaucracy research and the assessment of ethical conduct
Helena Olofsdotter Stensöta

28. Street-level bureaucracy and democratic theory
Bernardo Zacka

Part V Conclusion
29. Lessons for doing street-level bureaucracy research
Peter Hupe

30. The ground floor of government in context: An agenda for street-level bureaucracy research.
Peter Hupe

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