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Discretion and the Quest for Controlled Freedom

Editors: Evans, Tony, Hupe, Peter (Eds.)

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  • Stimulates debate and enhances cross-disciplinary research collaboration on discretion
  • The first edited collection to provide insights on the topic from various theoretical angles
  • Explores a central topic in disciplines including law, the sociology of professionals and policy implementation
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eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19566-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19565-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

Looking at discretion broadly as the exercise of controlled freedom, this edited volume introduces insights from a range of social sciences perspectives. Traditionally, discussions of discretion have drawn on legal notions of the appropriate exercise of legitimate authority specified by legislators. However, empirical and theoretical studies in the social sciences have extended our understanding of discretion, moving us beyond a narrow legal view. Contributors from a range of disciplines explore the idea of discretion and related notions of freedom and control across social and political practices and in different contexts. As this complex and important topic is discussed and examined, both total control and unconstrained freedom appear to be illusions.

About the authors

Tony Evans is Professor of Social Work at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK. His research interests focus on professional practice and policy work in adult social care.

Peter Hupe is Visiting Professor at the Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven, Belgium. He is also Honorary Senior Research Fellow in the College of Social Sciences, University of Birmingham, UK. His research focuses on the theoretical-empirical study of public policy processes, particularly policy implementation and street-level bureaucracy.

Reviews

“This is an essential compendium for scholars and practitioners who seek to understand the role of discretion as a fundamental element of laws, rules, and social norms. Scholarly perspectives and practical insights are enriched through consideration of the exercise, limits, and abuse of discretion in governing, organizations, and professional practice. The distinguished set of authors makes this an impressive undertaking.” (Peter J. May, Donald R. Matthews Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Washington, USA)

“In ordered societies discretion is unavoidably omnipresent. It is usually conceived as the space that rules and authority leave for situated decision making by subordinates. Within this juridical perspective discretion is a leftover. This volume offers a broader, more empirical perspective on practices of discretion. It studies discretion from within different academic disciplines and in a variety of contexts. Instead of a restcategory, discretion hence emerges as a positive space that allows for creativity, judgement and trust. The importance of discretion for social order was brought home when Mario Draghi announced that the European Central Bank would do ‘whatever it takes’ to save the euro. This volume helps us understand, and better prepare for, such situations where freedom and control, discretion and rules have to be brought together.” (Herman van Gunsteren, author of The Quest for Control, Emeritus Professor of Political Theory, Leiden University, The Netherlands) 
“Discretion is an inevitable yet controversial feature in public policy and law, but it is several years since a comprehensive and coherent analysis appeared in the literature. This collection of original essays, written from different disciplinary perspectives, explores this protean and elusive phenomenon in a variety of ways. The papers have been well organised and closely edited and raise our understanding of the meaning and place of discretion to a new level.” (Keith Hawkins, Professor Emeritus of Law and Society, Oxford University, UK)

“This volume addresses some of the very important practice dilemmas for professionals in our time. It provides a road map for navigating the contours of working the spaces between the restrictions of rules and the responsiveness to people in shifting contexts. It gives us hope and ways to move forward. A must-read for every professional.” (Jan Fook, Professor and Chair, Department of Social Work, University of Vermont, USA)

Table of contents (26 chapters)

Table of contents (26 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $89.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19566-3
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $119.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-19565-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Discretion and the Quest for Controlled Freedom
Editors
  • Tony Evans
  • Peter Hupe
Copyright
2020
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-19566-3
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-19566-3
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-19565-6
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIX, 437
Number of Illustrations
4 b/w illustrations
Topics