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Marcia K. Meyers & Susan Vorsanger

In: Handbook of Public Administration

Chapter 19: Street-Level Bureaucrats and the Implementation of Public Policy

Edited by: B. Guy Peters & Jon Pierre

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781848608214.n20

Subject: Public Administration (general)

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Street-Level Bureaucrats and the Implementation of Public Policy
Street-level bureaucrats and the implementation of public policy

The democratic control of implementing agents is a perennial public administration concern. Generations of scholars and practitioners have debated the appropriate relationship between the politics of the legislative processes and the administration of the resulting laws. More recently, scholars working with rational choice models have joined the debate, with particular attention to the incentive and contractual structures that align the interests of implementing agents with policy making principals. Similar concerns have been prominent in the scholarly literature on policy implementation, whether framed as a ‘top-down’ issue of fidelity to policy makers' goals or a ‘bottom-up’ issue of policy adaptation during the implementation process.

The control of ‘street-level bureaucrats’ raises a particularly ...

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