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The Power of Citizens and Professionals in Welfare EncountersThe Influence of Bureaucracy, Market and Psychology$
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Nanna Mik-Meyer

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781526110282

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526110282.001.0001

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The bureaucratic context: administrator–client

The bureaucratic context: administrator–client

(p.57) 5 The bureaucratic context: administrator–client
The Power of Citizens and Professionals in Welfare Encounters

Nanna Mik-Meyer

Manchester University Press

This chapter addresses the first of the three contexts (bureaucracy, market and psychology) which the book explores with regards to its influence on present day welfare encounters. The chapter thus presents the bureaucratic contexts and the primary literature hereon; especially centering Weber’s definition of the ideal type bureaucracy as well as the work of Lipsky on street level bureaucratic welfare work. In doing so, the chapter pays particular attention to the discretionary practices of welfare staff in bureaucratic organisations when discussing how values, norm and principles from this context affects the encounter between welfare workers (administrators) and citizens (clients). Lastly the chapter expands upon the discussion on discretionary practices by exploring the role of agency, the concepts of ‘state agents’ and ‘citizen agents’ as well as the notion of welfare staff as holding two bodies.

Keywords:   bureaucracy, discretion, Weber, Lipsky, welfare encounters, agency, state agent, citizen agent

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