When politicians do not care for the policy: Street-level compliance in cross-agency contexts

Mavrot, Céline; Hadorn, Susanne (2021). When politicians do not care for the policy: Street-level compliance in cross-agency contexts. Public Policy & Administration, 095207672199651. 10.1177/0952076721996516

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The non-implementation of political decisions is a major challenge of contemporary political life. Policy analysis has devoted careful attention to implementation gaps resulting from administrative non-compliance with political orders. However, the fact that political authorities actually want to enforce all policies should not be taken as granted. This article proposes a conceptual model that systematically accounts for cross-agency divergence and convergence processes both at the political and at the street levels. We find that in inter-sectoral policies, dissent between different heads of agencies (political level) or between groups of implementing bureaucrats (street level) rather than dissent between the political and the street-level can be a major cause of non-compliance. Based on a comparative dataset on the implementation of the smoking ban in 12 Swiss states, the article analyzes cross-agency fragmentation processes. It advocates a stronger dialogue between street-level bureaucracy and policy coordination literatures, and nuances the conceptualization of (non-)compliance in a cross-agency context.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


11 Centers of Competence > KPM Center for Public Management

UniBE Contributor:

Mavrot, Céline and Hadorn, Susanne


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 320 Political science
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 350 Public administration & military science




Céline Mavrot

Date Deposited:

29 Mar 2021 10:22

Last Modified:

29 Mar 2021 10:22

Publisher DOI:






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