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date: 21 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The theory of representative bureaucracy considers how the sharing of demographic characteristics between public administrators and service populations translates into improved service delivery and links to broader themes of democracy and equality. While much scholarship has addressed the theory and tested it in a variety of public settings, further study is necessary given the contextualization of bureaucratic identity, political applications of the theory to lawmakers, strategic choice in the assumption of bureaucratic role, and practice of the theory in comparative settings. This chapter explores the wealth of past research on representative bureaucracy and presents a framework that introduces opportunities for additional investigation.

Keywords: representative bureaucracy, policy responsiveness, structure, identity, bureaucratic discretion

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