Social workers as street-level policy entrepreneurs

Inbal Aviv, John Gal*, Idit Weiss-Gal

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Knowledge on street-level bureaucrats as policy entrepreneurs is in its infancy. This article contributes to this emerging field by examining three cases of successful efforts by social workers employed by local social services in Israel to introduce local policy change. These processes varied in the issues that they addressed and the length of time that the policy process took. In each case, a small number of low- and meso-street level community social workers were identified as policy entrepreneurs. Despite their limited resources, formal authority and political capital, the social workers invested efforts over long periods of time into furthering policies they believed would help the communities they worked with. The strategies adopted included seeking legitimacy; creating and disseminating knowledge; participating in policy arenas; and generally eschewing subversive tactics. The interplay between professional affiliation and institutional context informed their motivation to address specific social problems and the strategies they adopted.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)454-468
Number of pages15
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


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