• Politicized bureaucrats in and beyond Europe. Conflicting loyalties,
    professionalism and the law in the making of public services

    « Looking at the way public services were delivered on a daily basis
    within street-level bureaucracies, social scientists have been
    increasingly focusing on the daily lives of civil servants, exploring
    their interaction with users, their discretion in implementing public
    policies, and the way they ultimately contributed to the making of
    statehood in different contexts. This panel focuses on civil servants
    protesting or acting ’against’ the state while working for, and within
    its institutions.

    Over the last couple of years, civil servants from various areas of
    the world have indeed been engaging in political protests against
    their government, or the specific policies that were imposed on them.
    Beninese magistrates fought for their independence, Belgian judges for more staff to be hired. This panel invites contributors to think about why and how bureaucrats participate to such protests, despite
    professional norms often prescribing restraint and withdrawal from
    political life. What kind of norms and discourses do they mobilize,
    and what kind of effects do such mobilizations produce? Papers can
    also reflect on more subtle ways of acting ’against the state’, such
    as disobeying administrative orders or resisting political pressure.

    Looking at how bureaucrats critically engage against their own
    administration will allow us to delve into conflicting loyalties,
    current understandings of professionalism, and engagement with law –
    all of which can contribute to new understandings of street-level
    bureaucracies, beyond Weber (1956) or Lipsky (1980). »

    More information about the conference on the following link:


    Paper proposals should be submitted before the 20/01/2020, via