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Dissertatie

Rules for Watt?

Designing appropriate governance arrangements for the introduction of smart grids

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Auteurs Imke Lammers

Imke Lammers

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.


Albert Jan Kruiter
Albert Jan Kruiter is redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.

Kristel Lammers
Kristel Lammers is Programmamanager Invoering Omgevingswet Gemeenten bij de VNG.

    Energy planning and the realization of a new energetic infrastructure has become an issue for many actors. The local setting has become polycentric. Against this background the authors have tried to answer the question of the possible consequences of a polycentric local decision-making arena for the realization of sustainable energy transition, especially the implementation of smart grids. Polycentrism is characterised by configurations of units that are multi-level, multi-purpose, multi-sectoral and multi-functional. The impact of these configurations can be assessed using four criteria: control, efficiency, political representation and local self-determination. The authors used these criteria to analyse two cases. Both cases show that the consequences of polycentrism are variable and differ on the four criteria. The analysis shows tensions in polycentric configurations between control and efficiency on the one hand and local self-determination and political representation on the other. This outcome was a reason for the authors to argue for a better institutional design for the local polycentric arena with the help of the seven ‘rules-in-use’ of Elinor Ostrom. Her design is universal but requires specific local application. In this way more justice can be done to the local circumstances in order to be able to achieve effective results.


Imke Lammers MSc
I. Lammers MSc is als promovenda verbonden aan het Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM) van de Universiteit Twente.

Dr. Maarten Arentsen
Dr. M.J. Arentsen is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan het Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM) van de Universiteit Twente.
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