Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
Show Less

Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy

The Ground Floor of Government in Context

Edited by Peter Hupe

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.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 13: Street-level bureaucracy research and professionalism

Gitte Sommer Harrits


To fully understand the work of street-level bureaucrats we must pay attention not only to the political and bureaucratic context but also the cultural and social context of citizen encounters, as well as the context of professional groups and professionalism. Therefore, the chapter presents and discusses insights from the literature on professionalism that can be helpful for street-level bureaucracy research. Three traditions from the literature on professionalism are highlighted: (a) a tradition focusing on the normative function of professionalism; (b) a tradition focusing on professional knowledge; and (c) a tradition focusing on professionalism as the institutionalization of power. Also, some integrated perspectives on professionalism are presented. Examples from research using the notion of professionalism are discussed to shed light on what goes on at the street level.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.