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Governing SystemsModernity and the Making of Public Health in England, 1830-1910$
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Tom Crook

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780520290341

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520290341.001.0001

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The Art and Practice of Sanitary Inspection

(p.106) Chapter 4 Officialism
Governing Systems

Tom Crook

University of California Press

This chapter examines one facet of an increasingly dense field of public health bureaucracy: local sanitary inspection. It seeks to recover how inspection was performed in practice as a peculiar instance of modern bureaucracy. This entailed mobilizing a medley ofmicrotechnologies; deploying discretionary reasoning that encompassed considerations of health, civility, and property; and forging constructive public relations with a number of agents much beyond the official core of local sanitary efforts. These agents included members of Parliament, councillors, judges, and civic activists, as well as members of the public. The chapter argues for the composite, multifaceted nature of sanitary inspection and for its performance as a system of governance that was at once technical and ethical, bureaucratic and political.

Keywords:   bureaucracy, inspection, officials, public relations, sanitary inspection

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