Zoekresultaat: 3 artikelen

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Artikel

Iedereen kent iedereen

De invloed van kleinschaligheid en informele politiek op bestuur in Caribisch Nederland

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Dutch Caribbean, informal politics, Smallness, Governance, non-sovereignty
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2010, the three Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (the BES islands) were constitutionally integrated into the Netherlands, and were administratively reorganized on the basis of the Dutch municipal model. While this reform was anticipated to mitigate some of the governance problems of these islands, so far this expectation has remained unmet. Using the literature on the effects of smallness on the relation between formal and informal politics as a baseline, this article investigates why the new institutional structure has so far not resulted in improved governance in the Caribbean Netherlands. On the basis of three stages of field research resulting in over forty semi-structured interviews with political elites on the three islands, the analysis highlights the influence of two contextual factors – the small scale and the political culture of the postcolonial Caribbean – that have a powerful, and in many ways negative, impact on governance performance. Subsequently, the article highlights the inapplicability of the Dutch municipal model to the Dutch Caribbean islands, and also pays attention to a number of differences between the three islands, which are explained on the basis of their divergent historical and demographic trajectories, as well as differences in individual leadership.


Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Dr. Wouter Veenendaal is werkzaam als universitair docent bij het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

    Politicians and scientists in the Netherlands often claim that only municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants (so called ‘100,000+ municipalities’) have enough administrative power to be able to carry out their tasks in the future well. This is also the case for the responsibilities that recently have handed over to the Dutch municipalities as part of the three decentralizations. Against the background of this debate, the authors of this essay argue that the experiences of the four European microstates – Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino –may offer an interesting frame of reference where it concerns the delivery of public services. These four countries have all the responsibilities and tasks of a sovereign state, but at the same time three of the four countries have a population of fewer than 40,000 inhabitants. Also, the fourth country is smaller than a 100,000+ municipality. Despite the small size of these states, their public services are of an exceptionally high level. Therefore this essay tries to answer two questions: How is this possible? What can we learn from the experiences of these microstates about the debate on scale and administrative power in the Netherlands?


Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
Dr. ir. P. van Houwelingen is onderzoeker bij het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.

Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Dr. W.P. Veenendaal is onderzoeker bij het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde.
Artikel

Klein maar fijn?

De effecten van kleinschaligheid op het karakter van politiek en democratie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden State Size, Dutch Caribbean Islands, Democracy, Good Governance, Personalistic Politics
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Whereas the six Dutch islands in the Caribbean all have a (very) limited population size, analyses of political problems on the islands rarely seem to take the variable of state size into account. The available academic literature demonstrates that the population size of states has a strong influence on the quality of democratic governance, although scholars disagree on the question whether smallness is an asset or an obstacle to democratic development. After a discussion of this theoretical literature, the present article proceeds with a presentation of field research in three small island states (St. Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Palau) in which the political consequences of a limited population size are analyzed. This analysis reveals that a number of size-related effects can be observed in all three examined island states, among which a tendency to personalistic competition, strong polarization between parties and politicians, particularistic relationships between voters and their representatives, and a dominant position of the political executive vis-à-vis other institutions. A subsequent analysis of the contemporary political situation on the Dutch Caribbean islands shows that the observed problems also play a role on these islands, which indicates that smallness is perhaps of greater significance than is now often supposed.


Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Wouter Veenendaal is docent bij het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. In de afgelopen drie jaar is hij als promovendus werkzaam geweest bij hetzelfde instituut. Zijn promotieonderzoek heeft betrekking op de invloed van bevolkingsgrootte op de ontwikkeling en consolidatie van democratie, met daarin een specifieke focus op politiek en democratie in microstaten. E-mail: veenendaalwp@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
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