Translating politics into policy implementation: welfare frontline workers in polarised Brazil

Flavio Eiro*

*Corresponding author for this work

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How is policy implementation affected by increased polarisation and extreme shifts in politics? In order to address this question, the paper focuses on frontline workers' (street-level bureaucrats') interpretations of political shifts and how these are then translated into practice. Building on ethnographic fieldwork conducted among social workers in Northeast Brazil, the paper proposes a theoretical framework for analysing the influence of political landscapes on policy implementation by foregrounding the political processes in which these agents play a critical role. Drawing on empirical data, the paper proposes ideal types of possible outcomes of translation practices - counterbalance, collaboration, resistance - that function as a guiding framework for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalInternational journal of law in context
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 11-Jul-2022


  • welfare law
  • anthropology
  • policy implementation
  • social work
  • polarisation

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