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Paulien de Winter

Paulien de Winter

Instituut Gak fellow

Project title

Exploring the Influence of Group Dynamics on Street-Level Bureaucrats' Enforcement Styles

Research question

What is the influence of group dynamics on the enforcement styles of street-level bureaucrats, and how can these group processes contribute to achieving a human-centered approach to enforcement?

Project description

Paulien de Winter looks at how group dynamics influences street-level bureaucrats and how those group dynamics can help achieve a human-centred approach to enforcement.

A human-centred approach to social security sanctions necessitates active engagement of those responsible for enforcement. How officials enforce rules depends on how they apply them, whether they use persuasion or punishment, and how they respond to different situations. However, it’s important to remember that these choices aren’t made in isolation. Bureaucrats are affected by social structures when they enforce rules.

The decisions made by street-level bureaucrats are influenced by workplace culture and informal norms, so it is important to investigate how group dynamics affect street-level bureaucrats and their role in achieving human-centred enforcement.

Selected publications

  • de Winter, P. (2024). The Paradoxical Reality of Welfare Professionals. In S. Piilgaard Porner Nielsen, & O. Hammerslev (Eds.), Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies (pp. 103-123). (Palgrave Socio-Legal Studies; Vol. Part F2018). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-46637-3_6
  • de Winter, P., & Hertogh, M. (2020). Public Servants at the Regulatory Front Lines. In H. Sullivan, H. Dickinson, & H. Henderson (Eds.), Street-Level Enforcement in Theory and Practice (pp. 781-800). Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03008-7_4-1
  • de Winter, P. (2019). Tussen de regels: een rechtssociologische studie naar handhaving in de sociale zekerheid. https://doi.org/10.33612/diss.86537528