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Essay

De vroege geschiedenis van de (lokale) bestuurswetenschappen

Joris in ’t Veld en de nieuwe vormen van decentralisatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Dr. Rik Reussing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay is about the Dutch PhD-thesis New forms of decentralization by Joris in ’t Veld from 1929. He was not only a competent and efficient social-democratic administrator, but he was also an early administrative scientist. Like the other early (local) administrative scientists, he mainly worked from the legal discipline. During this period however, we also see an increasing input from other disciplines, such as urban planning, economic geography, business administration and statistics. The subject of his dissertation does not come out of the blue. Like many, In ’t Veld felt strongly attracted to the problems of urban and regional development, but the various problems were not yet ripe for a final solution. An important part of his book is therefore devoted to the various solutions that have been found abroad for similar problems. In his thesis, In ’t Veld discusses various forms of governance. First of all, he looks at the way in which the arrangement of cooperation between municipalities can be improved. Where this (voluntary and forced) cooperation falls short of its nature, the institutes of the port authority and of the regional plan come into the picture. In both cases it concerns decentralization through target corporations. A solution is also conceivable through further territorial decentralization: the insertion of a new regional corporation between the province and the municipality in the form of the region (the urban region or the rural region). The urban region needs a necessary supplement in the form of a system of tax equalization to adequately do justice to the interests of the whole and of the parts. An alternative to the urban region is the unity municipality with local decentralization. His integral vision on the organization of domestic government in 1929 is also instructive for the present time.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors discuss the relationship between decentralization, scaling-up and local democracy. Decentralizations and scaling-up operations have changed the face of local government in the Netherlands considerably in recent decades. What have the consequences for the functioning of local democracy been? Although decentralizations aim to increase democratic control of government tasks, decentralizations appear to have weakened local democracy in two ways. First of all, they have led to a substantial scaling-up of the local government, through municipal amalgamations and especially through the formation of regional partnerships. Regionalization in particular has had all kinds of negative consequences for the functioning of local democracy. Decentralization policy itself has also weakened the steering and controlling role of the city council – certainly in the short term – while decentralization presupposes that the city council has a strong role in coordinating decentralized policy with local wishes and circumstances. We can speak of a ‘double decentralization paradox’ that entails both bottlenecks and opportunities. From the legislator’s side, therefore, an integral vision for the organization of domestic governance is needed.


Prof. dr. Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, senior adviseur Openbaar Bestuur bij BMC en tevens redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    A large number of people, institutions, journals and approaches have contributed to the history of (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. Initially (around 1914) the legal approach was dominant; from 1964 onwards, political science would become the dominant approach; and from 1990 onwards, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent discipline. This essay concentrates on the influence on this development of sociology and its, typically Dutch, predecessor sociography. The starting point here is the promotion tree of the founder of the Dutch sociology Sebald Steinmetz. Through him various lines (via his doctorates Nicolaas ter Veen and Jakob Kruijt) go to modern Public Administration. This essay tells the story of the influence of sociography and sociology on the development of the administrative sciences and modern Public Administration in six acts, in which two persons from the promotion tree are discussed (via Sjoerd Groenman, who is promoted by Nicolaas ter Veen there are two different lines again). The line via Jakob Kruijt contains Aris van Braam (he wrote in 1957 what is considered the first Dutch empirical study in Public Administration) and Jos Raadschelders. The first line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Henk Brasz (the first full-time professor in Public Administration in the Netherlands), Fred Fleurke and Ko de Ridder. The second line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Joop Ellemers, Geert Braam (professor at the first regular Dutch Public Administration programme in Twente) and Wim Derksen. These acts are framed with short intermezzos about the other sociological key figures who played an important role in the story of sociography, sociology and Public Administration. In conclusion, the author of this essay discusses the continuing relevance of sociology for modern Public Administration.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Since 2018, the Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, in close cooperation with the municipality Zwolle, the Province of Overijssel and BMC advice, have been organizing the yearly Van Poelje lecture (named after administrative scientist and founder of Dutch Public Administration Gerrit van Poelje). The first lecture took place on 29 January 2018 in the ‘Grote Kerk’ in Zwolle. The subject of the lecture was the secret of successful regions: which policy works? Otto Raspe of the Dutch Planning Agency for the Environment delivered the keynote speech. Presentations from the administrative field were given by Henk Jan Meijer (mayor of the municipality Zwolle) and Staf Depla (alderman of the municipality Eindhoven) who respectively addressed the cooperation in the regions Zwolle and South-East Brabant. Bert van Delden responded from the point of view of the Home Office (he deputized for his minister, Kajsa Ollongren). After a short debate, the afternoon was closed by Marcel Boogers (senior advisor at BMC and professor at the University of Twente) with a scientific reflection on the subject of the lecture. The main message of the keynote speaker Otto Raspe was that an urban region is successful if it is able to use its agglomeration advantages. This is possible by seeking connections between clusters and the knowledge infrastructure, and between human capital and a pleasant living and social climate.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Debates about the quality of local democracy are not new. This was also the case 100 years ago. In 1918 the ground-breaking dissertation of Adriaan Buriks on democratic municipal government was published in the Netherlands. In his dissertation Buriks proposed a radical democratic reform of Dutch municipal government by adopting the new system of ‘commission government’ from the US. That is a system of city government in which (almost) all city authority functions are concentrated in a small commission. The commission is organized in such a way that each member of the commission is the head of a city government department, every member is chosen by the population of the whole city and the exercise of authority is controlled by the whole population. The essay describes the remarkable life of this social revolutionary and municipal law expert. It goes on to discusses the dissertation through an introduction on the central issue of democratic municipal government, a description of the government systems of the US before and after the American Revolution of 1787, a description of the new system of ‘commission government’ and his proposal to adopt the new system in the Netherlands. The essay is closed by the author’s reflection on how the dissertation was received and its impact.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    In this essay, the author is looking for pioneering local administrators in the Netherlands who dared to push existing boundaries. However, the story starts in Great Britain where progressive liberals under the label ‘municipal socialism’ proceeded to provide public utilities through municipal governments rather than private enterprises. Their example was adopted by the so-called ‘radicals’ in Amsterdam led by Wim Treub. ‘Aldermen socialism’ with Floor Wibaut in Amsterdam as its most important representative, took it a step further. Their aim for a welfare municipality anticipated the later welfare state. After the Second World War we also saw some strong local administrators who in their own way strived for changes in their municipalities. After 1970 the phenomenon of ‘urban renewal’ led to a new flourishing of ‘aldermen socialism’ in the Netherlands with Jan Schaefer (in Amsterdam) as its most appealing figurehead. Since 2000, we have been in a new era of dualism, citizen participation and devolution that has produced new 'boundary pushers', which generated interest abroad (see the book on mayors by Benjamin Barber). At the end of the article, the author takes a look into the future. Current global problems also confront municipalities and they require local administrators with a good mix of political leadership, new civic leadership, inspiring commissioning and good stewardship. This essay is written for the ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference of the VNG (the Association of Netherlands Municipalities founded in 1912) held in Maastricht (in the far south of the Netherlands) in 2018.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Discussie

De vroege geschiedenis van de (lokale) bestuurswetenschappen

Jos van der Grinten als bondgenoot van Gerrit van Poelje

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2018
Auteurs Rik Reussing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Exactly a hundred years ago Jos van der Grinten wrote an article in De Beiaard (a catholic magazine) with which he established his name as early administrative scientist. In this respect he is an important ally of Gerrit van Poelje, who is generally recognized to be the founder of the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This essay discusses the most important themes in the work of Van der Grinten against the background of the early debate about the quality of local administration in the Netherlands. The essay also looks into his place in the history of (local) administrative sciences, not only nationally in relation to Gerrit van Poelje, but also internationally in relation to the American writer Frank Goodnow. In 1923 Van der Grinten (until his early death in 1932) was the first professor of State and Administrative Law at the new Catholic University of Nijmegen. As the city secretary of Nijmegen he played an important role at the arrival of this university to Nijmegen, but in this period he also contributed to the (local) administrative sciences. In this sense he is the forerunner of Public Administration, first at the Legal Department and later at the Social Department of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.


Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    From 1974 until 1994 John Wevers was alderman in Maastricht (an old city in the deep south of the Netherlands) in the area of urban development. Before (from 1967 until 1974) Wevers was already a political activist in this domain. In 2016 he published his autobiography, which is very interesting for several reasons. The autobiography not only gives insight in the policy and the organization in the area of urban renewal in that period, but also in the functioning of local politics in general. At his farewell as an alderman in 1994 Wevers was the last remnant of a generation of Dutch Labour politicians (the other three were Adri Duivesteijn in The Hague, Ypke Gietema in Groningen and Fons Asselbergs in Amersfoort) who made architecture a public matter during the eighties. During the seventies Wevers also belonged to the generation of Dutch Labour politicians (amongst Jan van der Ploeg in Rotterdam, Max van den Berg in Groningen and Jan Schaefer in Amsterdam) who propagated the human scale and living in the inner city for ordinary people. In this respect they could rightfully call themselves the heirs of the legendary Labour alderman Floor Wibaut (alderman in Amsterdam from 1914 until 1931).


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

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

    The anniversary issue of this magazine (Reussing, 2016/4: 71-101) contained an essay with a short history of the (municipal) administrative sciences. This postscript contains a number of corrections, clarifications and additions to this essay, in chronological order. Examples are the inherently Fabian vision on socialism by one of the pioneers alderman Floor Wibaut, the importance of Jos (not Joop) van der Grinten in the early period (next to the founder of public administration in the Netherlands, Gerrit van Poelje) and the later prime minister Willem Drees as the successor of Herman Nieboer as member of the editorial board in 1921 of the first magazine in the field of ‘Municipal Administration’.


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