The present and future study of street-level bureaucracy
What has been put on the table and how to go on from here? With this question leading, this chapter has two main sections. The first of the two concerns the specification of issues, questions and findings arising out of the chapters in this book, against the background of the street-level bureaucracy literature in general. It proposes a transversal view on the variety arising from the chapters, addressing convergent and divergent trends in terms of findings. The section will conclude by identifying substantive issues to be researched in a future research agenda. Then, building on the latter, section Three develops a more prospective view aiming at drafting how the study of street-level bureaucracy should look like in the future. Three issues will be explored. How can future studies deal with the issue of generalization? Then we suggest that this implies both better specification of the dimensions of variety and contextualized comparison. Finally we explore how the future study of street-level bureaucracy can be made properly comparative.
Keywords: Street level bureaucracy research, public tasks, public task fulfillment, public task environment, public service gaps, comparative research, synthesis of results, contextualization, generalization, comparison
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