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    With the term ‘system responsibility’ the authors (both working for the Dutch Scientific Council for Governmental Policy) mean the responsibility for the functioning of complex ‘administrative systems’. In these complex administrative systems supervision can have different roles: to assess the functioning one-sided from the perspective of the government, but also to put on reflective glasses (‘from afar glasses’) that aim at the bigger picture of divergent rationalities of the actors involved. In the second case, there is ‘system responsible supervision’. This essay explores the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of the desirability of system responsible supervision in a society with complex, compound administrative systems. Such supervision can contribute to a somewhat better understanding of these systems and a somewhat better ability to adjust these complex systems. These supervisors can be seen as a necessary complement of the withdrawal of the government and the rise of ‘horizontal administration’, in which the hierarchical decision-power of the central government has gradually shifted to other actors. As unelected and as relatively independent actors they occupy a new, hybrid place in the ‘trias politica’, because on the one hand they have taken over functions of elected politicians and administrators and on the other hand they function in many respects as a quasi-judicial power.


Dr. Peter de Goede
Dr. P.J.M. de Goede is senior wetenschappelijk medewerker van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid. Hij is voormalig redactiesecretaris en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Prof. dr. André Knottnerus
Prof. dr. J.A. Knottnerus is voorzitter van de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    This article is about local referenda in the Netherlands. Based on extensive empirical research the authors make clear how the local referendum in the Dutch democracy has developed not only in time and practice, but also how we can interpret the referendum theoretically. They show how in scientific literature, but also in practice, they are still looking for the meaning of the local referendum for Dutch local democracy. The authors also show that the practice of Dutch local referenda is searching, varied and in continuous development. Since 1906 193 local referenda are organized in the Netherlands. By far most referenda took place after the nineties of the last century. Local referenda are a local democratic ‘domain’, that will be explored in the Netherlands in the coming years. Last year a lot of attention has been given to the (local) referendum in the domain of legislation. The process of legislation has not been finished yet. The authors believe this offers an unique opportunity to share the available knowledge and experience about referenda and debate the adequate filling in and anchoring of the (local) referendum. This is a task for scientists, administrators and politicians alike.


Koen van der Krieken Msc
K.H.J. van der Krieken MSc MA is promovendus aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Laurens de Graaf
Dr. L.J. de Graaf is werkzaam als universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    This contribution gives an overview of the results of recent research into the role perception and the role behaviour of councillors. The research is the MAELG-survey (Municipal Assemblies in European Local Governance) carried out in 2007 and 2008 in 15 European countries and Israel. A special issue of Local Government Studies has been dedicated to this research. Three articles of this special issue are discussed intensively. These articles look at the role perception and the role behaviour of local councillors from the perspective of the tension between representative and participative democracy, the relation between participative democracy (also called citizen democracy) and the responsiveness of councillors and the influence of informal institutions on the representation style of local councils. Another recent article in Acta Politica looks specifically at the situation in Belgium. It is interesting that the authors do not apply the classic typology of representation styles (trustee and delegate), but an alternative typology (with delegation, responsiveness, authorization and accountability as four styles of representation) developed by the Dutch political scientists Andeweg and Thomassen.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen en onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente.
Artikel

De zoektocht naar goed bestuur

Een analyse van botsende waarden in de publieke sector

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2014
Auteurs Remco Smulders, Gjalt de Graaf en Leo Huberts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the public as well as the semi-public sector numerous codes of good governance have been written. Although theses codes clearly lay down which public values must be the foundation of our administration, our newspapers often show examples of bad governance. It is striking that these codes mostly just picture an ideal, but do not give insight in tough considerations. In this article the authors show that different public values mentioned in codes are all worth pursuing as such, but that they in practice collide with each other. The manner in which administrators, managers and executives cope with such dilemmas, determines public opinion on good governance. Two cases have been researched: a municipality and a hospital. Through a Q-research six value patterns are demonstrated to exist in these cases. In addition (through interviews) the authors have discovered which values exactly collide in the cases, and which strategies are used to cope with collisions of values.


Remco Smulders
R.G. Smulders MSc deed bij de Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam onderzoek naar publieke waarden in opdracht van het Ministerie van Binnenlandse zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties en is nu als junior onderzoeker/adviseur verbonden aan Partners +Pröpper.

Gjalt de Graaf
Dr. G. de Graaf is universiteit hoofddocent Bestuurskunde aan de Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Leo Huberts
Prof. dr. L.W.J.C. Huberts is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Vrije Universiteit te Amsterdam.

    In policy practice sometimes organizational arrangements appear that at first glance manifest itself as cooperative relations between private organizations, but about which on second thoughts the question can be asked if after all there is an active input from the side of the government. This is for instance the case in the construction of biogas infrastructures. In this article the authors discuss if we can talk about PPC after all. In the debate on governance this question is important because in the design of PPC the public interest involved must be sufficiently guaranteed in terms of control and accountability. On the basis of a confrontation between the results of a literature review and an empirical study of the case of a Green Gas pipeline in North-East Friesland (‘Biogasleiding Noordoost Fryslân’) in the Netherlands, the authors conclude that public steering in practice can take a form in disguise. Using ‘intermediate’ civil law legal persons, governmental influence indeed can be and is exercised during the cooperation. Especially law poses specific demands on control and accountability to take care of public interests, like the promotion of the use of renewable energy. Likewise in this kind of projects, especially in comparison with pure private-private cooperation, the public and if possible even the public law regulation must be safeguarded, for instance by transparency of form and content of steering. Of course this has to be done with preservation of the cooperative nature that is typical of PPC.


Maurits Sanders
Dr. M.P.T. Sanders is hoofddocent Bestuurskunde bij Saxion Hogescholen, zakelijk directeur van het Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG) en onlangs gepromoveerd aan de Faculteit Management en Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.

Michiel Heldeweg
Prof. mr. dr. M.A. Heldeweg is hoogleraar Public Governance Law aan de Faculteit Management en Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.
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