Advertisement

Introduction: The Social Dynamics of Daily Inspection Work

  • Steven Van de WalleEmail author
  • Nadine Raaphorst
Chapter

Abstract

Inspectors traditionally represented the hard hand of the state. They represent a powerful central government that has the power to enforce rules and levy fines. The interaction between an inspector and an inspectee is one characterized by unequal power and large uncertainly. At the frontline of government, inspectors combine their role of enforcer with that of a social worker and an educator. They are street-level bureaucrats with a crucial role in enforcing rules and laws and in steering citizens, organizations and companies into a desired direction. In the interaction between inspectors and inspectees, and in each of the chapters of this book, one sees a vivid picture of all the difficulties of governing a society and of working as a bureaucrat.

Keywords

Street-level bureaucracy Inspection work Inspector Uncertainty 

References

  1. Apaza, C. R. (2010). Integrity and accountability in government: Homeland security and the inspector general. London: Routledge. Google Scholar
  2. Gogol, N. (1999). Three plays: The government inspector; marriage; the gamblers. Camden: Bloomsbury. Google Scholar
  3. Grek, S., & Lindgren, J. (Eds.). (2014). Governing by inspection. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  4. Kagan, R. A., & Bardach, E. (1982). Going by the book: The problem of regulatory unreasonableness. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Kaufman, H. (1960). The forest ranger: A study in administrative behavior. Baltimore: John Hopkins Press.Google Scholar
  6. Kelman, S. (1981). Regulating America, Regulating Sweden: A comparative study of occupational safety and health policy. Cambridge: MIT press.Google Scholar
  7. Light, P. C. (1993). Monitoring government: Inspectors general and the search for accountability. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press.Google Scholar
  8. Maynard-Moody, S., & Musheno, M. (2000). State agent or citizen agent: Two narratives of discretion. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10(2), 329–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Moore, M. H., & Gates, M. J. (1986). Inspectors-general: Junkyard dogs or man’s best friend? New York: Russell Sage Foundation.Google Scholar
  10. Newcomer, K. E. (1998). The changing nature of accountability: The role of the inspector general in federal agencies. Public Administration Review, 58(2), 129–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Newcomer, K., & Grob, G. (2004). Federal offices of the inspector general: Thriving on chaos? The American Review of Public Administration, 34(3), 235–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Raaphorst, N. (2018). How to prove, how to interpret and what to do? Uncertainty experiences of street-level tax officials. Public Management Review, 20(4), 485–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Raaphorst, N., & Loyens, K. (2018). From poker games to kitchen tables: How social dynamics affect frontline decision making. Administration & Society.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0095399718761651.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Public Governance InstituteKU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Institute of Public AdministrationLeiden UniversityThe HagueThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations