The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the street level bureaucracy pdf. You may improve this article, discuss the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate. Police officers stop a motorist and check the motorist’s documents at a random checkpoint. An elementary school teacher instructing her students.
A social worker in India teaches her clients how to use a laptop. As an exercise, she is showing them how to edit the Wikipedia online encyclopedia. Street-level bureaucracy is the subset of a public agency or government institution where the civil servants work who have direct contact with members of the general public. A few examples include police officers, border guards, social workers and public school teachers.
These civil servants have direct contact with members of the general public, in contrast with civil servants who do policy analysis or economic analysis, who do not meet the public. Street-level bureaucrats often have some degree of discretion on how they enforce the rules, laws and policies which they are assigned to uphold. Even though front-line bureaucrats have this degree of discretion, they typically must operate within the rule of law, the system of government regulations, laws and administrative procedural rules.
These regulations, laws and rules help to ensure that the street-level bureaucracy operates fairly and ethically, and that each citizen is treated fairly. However, the process of street-level bureaucracy has been around for a much longer period. Some of the first street-level bureaucrats in the US were post office officials and administrators.
The presidency of Woodrow Wilson helped to spur a large growth in public administration and government policy-making, which in turn led to larger-sized and better-funded street-level bureaucracies. However it was not until the 1950s with the baby boom that street level bureaucracy became as strong as a presence in society as it is in the 2000s. Lipsky describes street level bureaucrats as the “human face” of policy, since these individuals interact directly with citizens.
Due to street-level bureaucrats’ close interactions with citizens, day-to-day application of discretion in their assessment of people’s cases and issues, and their role as policy interpreters, Lipsky claims that “in a sense the street-level bureaucrats implicitly mediate aspects of the constitutional relationship of citizens to the state. In short, they hold the keys to a dimension of citizenship. The interpretation of the duties, scope, and responsibilities of street-level bureaucrats are still debated in the 2000s, with ongoing discussion on the roles of discretion, accountability, lack of resources, and technology and concerns raised about the risks of corruption.
Where there is population growth, there is usually growth in demand for these occupations, because there are more citizens who need public services. In the United States’ education sector there is a strong demand for teachers in numerous regions across the country.