Currently, there is an intense debate on the pressures facing public professionals in service delivery. Several studies show increasing discontent among professionals toward policies they have to implement. In this article, we aim to contribute to this topic by analyzing this discontent of public professionals in terms of "policy alienation." The policy alienation concept is used to frame the experiences of professionals in a coherent theoretical framework. We have used a qualitative comparative case study of Dutch insurance physicians and secondary school teachers to study the factors that influence the degree of policy alienation across different domains. Our article shows that facets of New Public Management are important in explaining the pressures on public professionals implementing public policies. However, others factors are also prominent, and the degree of the implementers' professionalism seems especially important. These insights help in understanding why public professionals embrace or resist the implementation of public policies.

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International Journal of Public Administration
Department of Public Administration

Tummers, L.G, Bekkers, V.J.J.M, & Steijn, A.J. (2012). Policy Alienation of Public Professionals: A Comparative Case Study of Insurance Physicians and Secondary School Teachers. International Journal of Public Administration, 35(4), 259–271. doi:10.1080/01900692.2012.651413