Workaround: In current version of Panels 3.8, it seems this body field needs to be populated in order for title above to appear. This note is hidden by custom CSS style. Jack Latimer.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - 11:00 - 13:00CRESC Manchester, 178 Waterloo Place, Oxford Road
The CRESC organises regular seminars held by their researchers. It is open to interested staff from the University of Manchester, and on request to interested members of the public. The seminar is followed by a pot luck lunch which gives opportunity to network.
The next seminar will feature Gemma John discussing
The Flexible Person: Transparency and the Making and Unmaking of Bureaucracy
In an era in which bureaucracy is becoming more ‘open’ as a result of measures such as access to information legislation, this paper suggests it is no longer sufficient to describe bureaucracy as a disenchanted iron cage (Weber 1948) that specialises in secrecy and power (Handelman 2004), evil and indifference (Herzfeld 1991). Drawing on in-depth long-term fieldwork amongst public servants and users of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, providing people with access to information held by various levels of government, this paper puts forward an account of bureaucracy that starts with the actions and decisions of people and how they are interpreted and not officers and offices. It argues that a call for transparency in the name of the ‘new public good’ has come about at a time when the bureaucracy is simultaneously reshaping itself (du Gay 2000) such that ‘transparency’ and the boundaries of the bureaucracy are revealed in particular (and sometimes unexpected) ways. I argue that government ‘transparency’ is not the outcome of the straightforward disclosure of information, as law-makers would expect, but the outcome of the way in which public servants behave. I argue that the behaviour of public servants – and more specifically the form that they take as ‘anyone’ when disclosing information – is a way in which they render their organization ‘transparent’ and also demarcate its boundaries. Government is made manifest in public servants’ ability to manipulate their appearance to become particular a kind of person to generate particular social and political effects.