Street-level bureaucracy and public accountability
Hupe, Peter and Hill, Michael (2007) Street-level bureaucracy and public accountability Public Administration, 85 (2). pp. 279-299. ISSN 1467-9299
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1467-...
The concept of ‘ street-level bureaucracy ’ was coined by Michael Lipsky (1980) as the common denominator for what would become a scholarly theme. Since then his stress on the relative autonomy of professionals has been complemented by the insight that they are working in a micro-network of relations, in varying contexts. The conception of ‘ governance ’ adds a particular aspect to this: the multi-dimensional character of a policy system as a nested sequence of decisions. Combining these views casts a different perspective on the ways street-level bureaucrats are held accountable. In this article some axiomatic assumptions are drawn from the existing literature on the theme of street-level bureaucracy and on the conception of governance. Acknowledging variety, and arguing for contextualized research, this results in a rethinking of the issue of accountability at the street level.
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