Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 24 May 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines Street-Level Bureaucracy: Dilemmas of the Individual in Public Services, a classic work by Michael Lipsky that describes what the street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) in charge of delivering public services actually do in terms of policy implementation and how their actions differ from the policy pronouncements of central-level planners. Lipsky identifies the limits of central control over SLBs’ behavior and proposes alternative strategies for holding them accountable for their actions. Before illuminating the analytic and practice relevance of street-level bureaucracy, the chapter outlines the core features of the theory of SLBs and considers its key contributions to the field of public policy analysis. In particular, it discusses how Lipsky’s book linked public administration work to public policy and political science. Finally, the chapter analyzes the nature of administrative discretion and its political consequences, as well as how SLBs can be better supported to offer public value.

Keywords: Street-Level Bureaucracy, Michael Lipsky, public services, public policy, public administration, political science, administrative discretion

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.