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Thema-artikel

Onafhankelijk onderzoek in het publiek belang

Een essay over wat onafhankelijkheid in onderzoek behelst en vergt

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Independent research, Public interest, The Dutch Safety Board
Auteurs Prof. dr. ir. Marjolein van Asselt, Drs. Marjan Slob, ir. Marjolein Baart e.a.
Samenvatting

    The Dutch Safety Board is authorised to conduct safety investigations in nearly every area and sector. The Board is independent and aims to contribute to learning from incidents, accidents and disasters. In the essay, the authors reflect on what it means to conduct independent investigation in the public interest. They define independent investigation as a relational enterprise that requires reflexive investigators but also elementary and advanced safeguards in position, judgement and presentation.


Prof. dr. ir. Marjolein van Asselt

Drs. Marjan Slob

ir. Marjolein Baart

mr. drs. Dirk Ipenburg

Drs. Mirjam van het Loo

    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.

    Although long recognized as beneficial, a global language has not come to fruition despite considerable past efforts. A major reason is that many policy makers and citizens fear that such a universal language would undermine the particularistic, constituting primary languages of local and national communities. This dilemma can be greatly diminished by a two tier approach, in which efforts to protect the primary language will be intensified but all the nations involved would agree to use the same second language as the global one. Although theoretically the UN or some other such body could choose such a language, in effect English is increasingly occupying this position. However, policies that are in place slow down the development of a global language, often based on the mistaken assumption that people can readily gain fluency in several languages.


Amitai Etzioni
Amitai Etzioni is universiteitshoogleraar aan de George Washington University in Washington DC en directeur van het Insititute for Communitarian Policy Studies. Hij wordt beschouwd als een van de grondleggers van het communitarisme. Enkele van zijn meest bekende werken zijn The Active Society (1969), The Spirit of Community (1993) en The New Golden Rule (1996).
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