Lecture: Reflections on Street Level Bureaucracy

Date: June 8th
Time: 12:15 – 14:00
Place: Bjørn Christiansens hus, Auditorium 128 (Christies gate 12)

The Child Rights unit invites you and your networks to attend this guest lecture organized by the Centre for Research on Discretion and Paternalism.

Michael Lipsky is well known in the field of public administration for his classic book about street-level bureaucracy (1980). Here, he claim that state employees (such as police, social workers and legal-aid lawyers) should be seen as part of the policy-making community and as exercisers of political power, as they wield their considerable discretion in the day-to-day implementation of public programs.

Lipsky argues that these relatively low-level public service employees labor under huge caseloads, ambiguous agency goals, and inadequate resources. When combined with substantial discretionary authority and the requirement to interpret policy on a case-by-case basis, the difference between government policy in theory and policy in practice can be substantial and troubling.

In this lecture, Lipsky will draw on ideas and concerns he has with the way the field of  public administration is developing, and share some of his newer thoughts and reflections on dimensions of street level bureaucracy.

Michael Lipsky is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos, and a former professor of political science at MIT.

The lecture is open to the public. For questions about the event, contact daniel.nygard@uib.no.