SHARE

The absurdity of bureaucracy

How implementation works

By Nina Holm Vohnsen

The absurdity of bureaucracy

ALSO AVAILABLE IN OTHER FORMATS:

  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0134-1
  • Pages: 208
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £70.00
  • Published Date: May 2017
  • BIC Category: Social Policy, Social welfare & social services, Social & cultural anthropology, Civil service & public sector, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Social Services & Welfare, Welfare & Benefit Systems, Society & social sciences / Social welfare & social services, Civil Service & Public Sector, Society & social sciences / Social & cultural anthropology, ethnography
  • Series: Political and Administrative Ethnography

Description

The absurdity of bureaucracy offers a humorous ethnographic account of policy implementation set in contemporary Danish bureaucracy. Taking the reader deep into the hallways of governmental administration and municipal caseworkers' offices, the book sets out to explore what characterizes policy implementation as a mode of human agency. Using the notions of absurdity and sense-making as lenses through which to explore the dynamic relationship between a policy and its effects, the book reclaims 'implementation studies' for the qualitative sciences and emphasizes the existential dilemma that any policymaker and implementer must confront. Following step-by-step the planning and implementation of the randomized controlled trial, Active - Back Sooner, the book sets out to show that 'going wrong' is not a question of implementation failure but is in fact the only way in which implementation may happen.

Author

Nina Holm Vohnsen is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Aarhus University

Contents

Reading guide
Prologue: Labour days
Introduction: The absurdity of bureaucracy
Central people, documents, and organisations
Chapter I: Anticipations
Portrait 1: 'Making a difference'
Portrait 2: The prefect plan
Analysis: A container of discrete agendas
Chapter II: Mutations
Portrait 3: The trial mutates
Portrait 4: Satisfying needs
Analysis: Vectors of concern
Chapter III: Multiplications
Portrait 5: The purpose multiplies
Portrait 6: The productivity of controversy
Analysis: Absurdity is a perspective that appreciates the sum-total
Chapter IV: The quest for meaning
Portrait 7: 'Bending' the rules and agreements
Portrait 8: The end of meaning
Analysis: They rebel, they do not resist
Chapter V: How implementation works
Epilogue: Bureaucracy
Acknowledgements
Appendix: Data, position, method
Bibliography

Sign up to our newsletter
and receive 10% off all future book orders