Street-Level Bureaucracy and E-Government

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Abstract

With the intensive use of information and communication technologies, governments are transforming into e-governments. While public management research has given increased attention to this subject lately, this article reviews the limited literature that deals with the impacts of e-government technologies on street-level bureaucracies. A twofold argument is being developed. First, what can be called the 'curtailment thesis', stressing the reduction or disappearance of frontline policy discretion, is addressed. Second, the 'enablement thesis' gets attention, highlighting how technologies provide frontline workers and citizens with additional action resources. The article concludes with propositions for a future research agenda on the topic.

Author-supplied keywords

  • E-government
  • accountability
  • discretion
  • street-level bureaucracy

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Authors

  • Aurélien Buffat

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