Administrative Discretion in Participatory Processes

  • Roberto Falanga
Living reference work entry



Administrative discretion in participatory processes refers to the degrees of power exerted by public officials at the margins of formal roles. As participatory processes in policymaking require public officials to intermediate between political representatives and social agents, administrative discretion is a key feature for the (re)configuration of public officials’ roles in public administration.


Weber’s theoretical model of bureaucracy provided an ideal type of organization for the management of democratic governance in the nineteenth century. The author identifies formal rules and procedures and argues the adoption of impersonal behavior by public officials in order to ensure a clear-cut separation between personal and organizational interests. The autonomy of bureaucracies...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology, Instituto de Ciências SociaisUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal