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The Absurdity of BureaucracyHow Implementation Works$
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Nina Holm Vohnsen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526101341

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526101341.001.0001

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(p.80) 3 Multiplications
The Absurdity of Bureaucracy

Nina Holm Vohnsen

Manchester University Press

Chapter 3 explores how the temporarily united interests and viewpoints that had found a common ground in the proposal for the trial continued to live on and produce new versions of Active – Back Sooner. It portrays Active – Back Sooner as its methodological requirements puts it on collision course with national employment policy, legal principles, and local organisational attempts to ensure the quality of the general casework. Through attempts to rectify counterproductive or inexpedient practice the trial’s purpose begin to multiply. The chapter shows that the continuous planning Active – Back Sooner was subjected to was not restricted to the municipal Jobcenter, but rather that the trial continued to be designed and planned centrally in the Ministry too. The chapter documents that all these diversions from the initial plans were generated by highly sensible decisions and attempts to make the interventions meaningful, and further, that these attempts were what in turn tore Active – Back Sooner utterly apart or inflated it beyond recognition. It concludes that the recognition of the absurdity of the labour market effort, rather than being a mode of ridicule, in fact offers a holistic analytical position from which to appreciate the sum total of the labour market effort.

Keywords:   Implementation, Decision-making, Local concerns, Vectors of concern, Street-level bureaucrats, Adaptation, Multiplication

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