Welfare Fraud Inspectors Between Standardization and Discretion

  • Vincent DuboisEmail author


This chapter focuses on welfare fraud investigators, who check the compliance of recipients to the bureaucratic rules regulating the payment of welfare benefits. Its aim is twofold. First, it sheds light on an under-researched bureaucratic investigation function, which is key to anti-welfare fraud policies, themselves at the core of recent changes in the social state. Second, it draws on this case to address the question of contradictory trends between a high level of discretion, often enjoyed by inspectors, and a tendency toward the standardization of inspection practices. It shows how the combination of these two apparently mutually exclusive tendencies reinforces inspection work, surveillance, and sanctions over welfare recipients. It is based on a long-term fieldwork in French welfare organizations.


Welfare fraud Discretion Standardization France 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Strasbourg, SAGE (UMR 7363)StrasbourgFrance

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