Street-Level Welfare

Street-Level Welfare

Evelyn Brodkin in conversation with Mary Murphy & Joe Whelan

April 20th 2021 16:00 GMT

Street-level organizations (SLOs) – those organizations that directly bring policy to people – play an important and familiar role as the operational arm of the state.

However, they are more than mere policy implementers; they also should be understood as mediators of welfare state policies and politics.

Tasked with the responsibility for addressing social needs and problems, SLOs often occupy a deeply conflicted political space.

What happens in that space, why, and to what effect are key questions for street-level research and theory.

Drawing on my recent work, including studies of workfare and asylum, I will discuss why SLOs matter to welfare state politics and what a street-level approach can reveal about how welfare politics takes place in everyday organizational life.