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Debate | StepTalks

The moral life of street-level bureaucrats

  • Bernardo Zacka
Date
20 February 2018
Time
Series
StepTalks
Address
Wijnhaven Building
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag
Room
Spanish Steps

Topic

When citizens interact with the state, they encounter street-level bureaucrats—the welfare workers, police officers, counselors and educators responsible for implementing public policy and enforcing the law. By combining political theory with ethnographic fieldwork, I aim to show that street-level bureaucrats are caught in a troubling predicament. The proper implementation of public policy depends on their capacity to act as sensible moral agents, yet they must operate in a bureaucratic environment that tends to truncate that very moral agency.

Short Bio

Bernardo Zacka is a junior research fellow in political theory at Christ’s College, Cambridge, and will start as an assistant professor of political science at MIT in fall 2018. 

The Public Ethics Talks

The Public Ethics Talks series that will present cutting-edge work in ethics, moral philosophy, political theory and the normative theory of law, as applied to the morality of national and international public policy, government and governance matters, and public organizations and management practice. The talks are open to students, academics, government professionals, civil servants, and interested members of the public.

StepTalks

All faculties and institutes based at the Campus The Hague can take the initiative to organise a  StepTalk that appeals to students and staff from the entire range of studies at the Campus The Hague. Speakers can be internal as well as external. The StepTalks will be inspiring, varied and relevant and will take place on a regular basis.