Citizen/Authority Contacts in Eastern and Western Germany -
A comparative analysis of conflict and satisfaction
The aim of this project was to identify the factors and modalities that determine whether citizens are satisfied or dissatisfied with individual administrative institutions. The analysis concentrated on recording the occasion, type, course, and outcome of conflicts between citizen and administration.
The empirical basis of the project is a survey of two samples of about 1,000 citizens, one in a western and one in an eastern German city, supplemented by qualitative case studies based on problem-centered interviews with staff and clients and workers. The analysis focused on:
- the connection between generalized assessments of the work of the authorities and concrete experience in the scope of citizen/authority interactions;
- identifying factors and modalities for especially positive or negative experiences of citizens;
- the type and extent of prestructuring of citizen/authority interactions by legal regulations and administrative arrangements; and
- The courses and outcomes of citizen/authority interactions and the variables that influence them (personality variables and social status of clients , manner of presentation of claims and demands, subjective importance of claims and demands, willingness to resort to legal measures, etc.).