http://dx.doi.org/10.7577/pp.438

Discretion in the “Backyard of Law”: Case Handling of Debt Relief in Sweden

Bengt Larsson, Bengt Jacobsson

Abstract

This article explores discretion in welfare professional work. The aim is to analyse what room for discretionary decision-making that exist in case handling of debt relief at the Swedish Enforcement Authority (SEA). The analysis is guided by a conceptual distinction between structural and epistemic aspects of discretion, as well as between substantive and procedural aspects. The data comprises official and internal SEA documents, interviews with management and staff and field notes from observations. The analysis points to a change in the balance between standards and discretion in relation to the on-going formalization of case handling at the SEA, though not in the simplistic sense that discretion is diminished through formalization. When taking into account the different analytical aspects of discretion, it is concluded that discretion is narrowed only in some respects. There is still space for case officers in selecting and interpreting information and assess-ing the conditions regarding subject matter.

Full Text:

PDF

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Copyright (c) 2013 Bengt Larsson, Bengt Jacobsson

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.