Research Handbook on Street-Level Bureaucracy
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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.
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Chapter 22: Levels of analysis in street-level bureaucracy research

Anat Gofen, Shelly Sella and Drorit Gassner

Abstract

Which levels of analysis have been employed to explore the influences on, and the implications of, street-level implementation? This chapter suggests that micro, meso and macro levels of analysis are relevant to street-level bureaucracy research because street-level implementation is exercised by individuals, during interactions with clients, in different organizational settings, for the implementation of multiple policies of different professions, in different geographical areas. This review identifies the dominance of micro-level analysis, predominantly using the interaction with client and the individual worker as the unit of analysis. In contrast, meso-level analysis that might use the organization, the implemented policy or the profession as the unit of analysis, as well as macro-level analysis that might refer to the state or country as the unit of analysis are understudied. Consequently, current research rather overlooks street-level implementation variance across organizations, across professions and across states or countries as well as the interrelations between influences of different levels.

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