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Aflevering 4, 2006 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen

De diplomademocratie

Over de spanning tussen meritocratie en democratie

Auteurs Mark Bovens

    Contemporary western democracies, such the United States, Great Britain, and The Netherlands have become diploma democracies. They are ruled by the well educated, whereas the least educated, even though they still comprise about half of the population, have virtually vanished from most political arenas. Of course, the well educated have always been more politically active than the less educated, but in the past decades this gap has widened substantially. Well-educated citizens are more inclined to vote, to write letters to the editor, or to visit consultative or deliberative meetings than citizens with a low level of education; and most, if not all, members of parliament, all the political officials, and almost all of the political advocates and lobbyists, have college or graduate degrees. The paper substantiates the rise of diploma democracy in The Netherlands, discusses what is problematic about such an educational meritocracy in the context of democracy, and looks at what could be done to mitigate or remedy some of its negative effects.

Mark Bovens
Prof. dr. Mark Bovens is als hoogleraar Bestuurskunde verbonden aan de Utrechtse School voor Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht, Bijlhouwerstraat 6, 3511 ZC Utrecht. Zijn meest recente boek is De digitale republiek: Democratie en rechtsstaat in de informatiemaatschappij (AUP 2003). Correspondentiegegevens:

Life politics: van abstracte theorie naar een bruikbaar model

Bestrijding van overgewicht in Groot-Brittannië en Nederland

Auteurs Carien Scholtmeijer

    During the last decennium, social theory has provided us with path-breaking insights into the emergence of a new type of social risks (post-industrial, manufactured risks), and on policies which might deal with these risks (life politics; the social investment state). Especially the writings of Anthony Giddens are relevant in this respect. Unfortunately, these abstract ideas have thus far hardly been tested in empirical research. This article aims to fill this gap, by focussing on a telling example of a new, lifestyle related risk, which is the problem of overweight. How useful are Giddens' ideas on risk and social policy when applied in a concrete analysis of this particular problem and related policies? To answer this question, a comparative analysis has been carried out in two welfare states, the British and the Dutch. It will be argued that Giddens' abstract notions can indeed be applied effectively in a practical and fruitful framework for policy analysis. In this respect, the concepts of life politics and the social investment state seem promising, both for the practise and analysis of social policy development in European welfare states.

Carien Scholtmeijer
Drs. Carien Scholtmeijer studeerde bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente (2000-2005), afstudeerrichting bestuurlijke organisatie. Correspondentiegegevens:

Werk in een wantrouwende wereld

Omvang en oorzaken van een uitdijende controle-industrie

Auteurs Frans van Waarden

    Fraud seems to be on the rise. That feeds a demand for controls. This paper sketches the diversity of supply in reaction to this demand: public regulators of course, but also commercial information providers and benchmarkers, self-regulating associations, hallmark producers, certification and accreditation bodies, and internal business management control systems, whereby ever more levels of control are piled on top of each other. More than a million Dutchmen earn a living in this booming control-industry, or 14% of the working population. In addition to fraud, other causes of this trend are being discussed, among them, paradoxically, neo-liberalist deregulation policies. All these causes contribute to a sense of risk and uncertainty. Although this trend has a number of negative consequences, it has a major benefit: jobs! Economists may have long thought that transaction costs are there for the transactions. But it looks as if transactions exist to produce transaction costs.

Frans van Waarden
Frans van Waarden is hoogleraar Organisatie en Beleid aan de Universiteit Utrecht en fellow van het University College Utrecht. Hij studeerde sociologie in Toronto en Leiden, was voorheen werkzaam aan de Universiteiten van Leiden en Konstanz en visiting scholar in Wenen, Leipzig, Stanford, Berkeley, het European University Institute in Florence en het NIAS in Wassenaar. Hij publiceerde over arbeidsverhoudingen, techniekgeschiedenis, innovatie, katoenindustrie, belangengroepen en corporatisme, verzorgingsstaat, ondernemersorganisaties, de relatie overheid – bedrijfsleven, openbaar bestuur, stijlen van regelgeving en -handhaving en marktwerking en deregulering. Correspondentiegegevens: Prof. dr. Frans van Waarden, University College, Utrecht University, Postbus 80145, 3508 TC Utrecht Telefoon: +31-30-253-4820 e-mail:

    The recent introduction of leadership primaries within the Dutch political parties PvdA, VVD and D66 has attracted much attention, but the opinions about this form of party-reform are divided. This article discusses the reasons for the recent popularity of internal primaries for the selection of the heads of the list of candidates for the national elections and describes the procedures used by the various parties. The article concludes that leader-ship primaries are not always beneficial for parties and democracy. Only if the procedures for primaries are carefully designed and the candidates behave prudently and in an integer way, leadership primaries can have a positive effect on internal party democracy and on the political system as a whole.

Ruud Koole
Prof. dr. R.A. Koole is hoogleraar Nederlandse Politiek. Hij promoveerde op het proefschrift De opkomst van de moderne kaderpartij: veranderende partijorganisatie in Nederland 1960-1990 (Utrecht 1992, Spectrum). Hij publiceerde onder meer over Nederlandse politiek, partijorganisaties, parlementaire fracties, politieke financiën (bijv.: Ruud Koole and Knut Heidar, Parliamentary Party Groups in European Democracies: political parties behind closed doors. London, Routledge, 2000; Ruud Koole en Hans Daalder, 'The Consociational Democracy Model and the Netherlands: Ambivalent Allies?', in: Acta Politica, vol 37, Spring/Summer, 2002, pp. 23-43). Correspondentiegegevens: Departement Politieke Wetenschap, Universiteit Leiden, Postbus 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, 071 527 3936,

Reflectie & debat: Aan Ton Kreukels

Auteurs Hans Blokland

Hans Blokland
Hans Blokland studeerde politieke wetenschappen en promoveerde in de sociale en politieke filosofie. Hij was fellow van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen en onder meer verbonden aan Yale University, Department of Political Science. Tot zijn recente publicaties behoren Pluralisme, Democratie & Politieke Kennis (Van Gorcum 2005) en Modernization and its Political Consequences (Yale University Press 2006). Zie voor informatie over zijn werk:


Auteurs Henk A. Becker

Henk A. Becker
Universiteit Utrecht