Almost 40 years after the seminal work by Lipsky (1980), a milestone in the study of street-level bureaucracy, his perspective continues to produce interesting output in the study of implementation processes in several policy areas. Lipsky assigns a key role to professionals who interact directly with citizens for welfare benefits and sanctions and exercising their discretionary power. The street-level bureaucracy perspective has been used to study and assess welfare organizations and measures via different methodological tools (Kelly 1994; Maynard-Moody, Mucheno 2003; Brodkin 2008) and to enrich its background theory with new concepts and clarifications (e.g., the better definition of different forms of discretion in Ham, Hill 1986, Evans, Harris 2004, Kazepov, Barberis 2012). The importance of street-level bureaucrats and their room for agency is still at the center of a relevant theoretical and empirical debate in welfare policy studies. There is a wide array of conferences and publications on this issue as a number of studies use this theoretical approach within several disciplinar fields.
- street-level bureaucracy
- welfare state