What are the ideas and motivations of bureaucrats within a religiously contested society?

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Abstract

This article reports research on bureaucrat behaviour. Where discretion exists, doprimary associations such as religious, gender or racial identity guide behaviour orare these associations superseded by secondary learned professional or technocraticattachments? Using the theoretical lens of representative bureaucracy and Q methodologyto investigate bureaucrat role perceptions, two distinct bureaucrat typologies areidentified in Belfast. The evidence demonstrates that an elite-level bureaucrat mayactively represent his or her own professional interests or, alternatively, may seekout and actively represent the interests of the political elite as a collective. The findingshave implications for representative bureaucracy research as it is demonstrated that anelite-level bureaucrat may actively represent something other than a primary identity.This contribution also provides a useful insight into everyday life within a bureau of asuccessful power-sharing system of governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Volume83
Issue number1
Early online date16 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017

Keywords

  • Belfast
  • conflict management
  • elite-level bureaucrat
  • public administration
  • representative
  • bureaucracy

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