Debate | StepTalks
The moral life of street-level bureaucrats
- Bernardo Zacka
- 20 February 2018
- Wijnhaven Building
2511 DP Den Haag
- Spanish Steps
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.
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.
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