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Demokratins väktare?: En kvalitativ studie av hur personliga handläggare på Försäkringskassan upplever och hanterar målkonflikter
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Social Sciences.
2011 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this essay is to examine how administrative officers at the Swedish social insurance agency experience and deal with the goal conflicts they may experience. Furthermore, the purpose is to gain a greater understanding on how they perceive their role in the implementation process, and their position as the link between the citizens and the state. Two potential conflicts are examined; between quantitative goals and performance measures and those more qualitative and hard to measure; between economic values such as cost efficiency and productivity and democratic values such as the rule of law. The other conflict examined is that between implementing and following the laws set forth, take into account the individual needs and interests of the citizen. The theoretical framework consists of Lundquist’s theory on public officers as the guardians of democracy, which means that they should not only implement laws and rules according to political intentions, but also make sure that the democratic values and principles are followed in the relationship between state and citizen. Michael Lipsky’s theory on street-level bureaucrats is also used in the analysis.  


The study concludes that in the first conflict, they exercise some amount of discretion in prioritizing between the quantitative and qualitative goals, and see a synthesis between quality and quantity. In the other conflict, their discretion is significantly smaller, which makes it difficult to at the same time implement laws and take into account the sometimes unique and complex individual needs they encounter. Thus, their function in this respect is mainly to implement, as the role of the guardian in this conflict is hampered, while it is more applicable in the first one.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 40 p.
Keyword [sv]
demokrati, offentligt anställd, försäkringskassan, Lundquist
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-12249OAI: diva2:421519
Subject / course
Political Science
Educational program
International Politics Studies, specialization Political Analysis, 180 credits
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-06-10 Created: 2011-06-08 Last updated: 2011-06-10Bibliographically approved

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Bertilsson, Olle
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