Journal Article

The Importance of State Faith-Based Liaisons*

Rebecca Sager

in Sociology of Religion

Published on behalf of Association for the Sociology of Religion

Volume 68, issue 1, pages 97-109
Published in print January 2007 | ISSN: 1069-4404
Published online January 2007 | e-ISSN: 1759-8818 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/socrel/68.1.97
The Importance of State Faith-Based Liaisons*

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While much attention has been paid to the federal government's implementation of the Faith-Based Initiative, less has been paid to how and why states are implementing the initiative. States are not required to implement the initiative beyond guaranteeing that religious organizations are not discriminated against in funding. Nevertheless, many states have gone beyond this requirement, often by appointing “faith-based liaisons” (FBLs). As “street-level” bureaucrats, FBLs rely on personal networks to link religious groups and state agencies. FBLs increase religious groups' involvement in providing social services by bridging the gap between state governments and faith-based organizations. Understanding state level implementation of the initiative thus requires answering two questions: (1) What actions do FBLs take to implement the initiative? (2) Who are these liaisons? The unstructured nature of the position itself, as well as the backgrounds, identities, and commitments of those filling these positions, combine to have an important impact on which organizations have access to information about government funding opportunities and are granted connections to other state agencies.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion

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