Zoekresultaat: 32 artikelen

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Article

Introduction: Parties at the Grassroots

Local Party Branches in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Bram Wauters, Simon Otjes en Emilie van Haute
Auteursinformatie

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University, where he leads the research group GASPAR. His research interests include political representation, elections and political parties, with specific attention for diversity. He has recently published on these topics in journals such as Party Politics, Political Studies, Politics & Gender and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is Assistant Professor of Dutch Politics at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University. His research focuses on political parties, parliaments and public opinion. His research has appeared in various journals, including American Journal of Political Science and European Journal of Political Research.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies or European Political Science. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Article

Between Party Democracy and Citizen Democracy

Explaining Attitudes of Flemish Local Chairs Towards Democratic Innovations

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden democratic innovations, citizen participation, local politics, Flanders, Belgium
Auteurs Didier Caluwaerts, Anna Kern, Min Reuchamps e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    As a response to the perceived legitimacy crisis that threatens modern democracies, local government has increasingly become a laboratory for democratic renewal and citizen participation. This article studies whether and why local party chairs support democratic innovations fostering more citizen participation. More specifically, we analyse the relative weight of ideas, interests and institutions in explaining their support for citizen-centred democracy. Based on the Belgian Local Chairs Survey in 2018 (albeit restricting our analysis to Flanders), the central finding is that ideas matter more than interests and institutions. Ideology is alive and kicking with regard to democratic innovation, with socialist and ecologist parties and populist parties being most supportive of participatory arrangements. By contrast, interests and institutions play, at this stage, a minor role in explaining support for participatory innovations.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research and teaching deal with Belgian and comparative politics and democratic governance in deeply divided societies. His work has been published in various journals, including European Political Science Review, West European Politics, the Journal of Legislative Studies and Acta Politica.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is Assistant Professor at research group GASPAR at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University. Her main research interests include political participation, political equality and political legitimacy. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as West European Politics, Local Government Studies, Social Science Research and Political Behavior.

Min Reuchamps
Min Reuchamps is Professor of Political science at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). His teaching and research interests are federalism and multilevel governance, democracy and its different dimensions, relations between language(s) and politics and, in particular, the role of metaphors, as well as participatory and deliberative methods.

Tony Valcke
Tony Valcke is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University. He is a member of the Centre for Local Politics (CLP) and coordinator of the Teacher Training Department. His research, publications and educational activities focus on elections and democratic participation/innovation, citizenship (education), (the history of) political institutions and (local) government reform, political elites and leadership.
Artikel

Naoorlogs universalisme in het huidige socialezekerheidsdebat

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Social security system, welfare state, Universalism, public advisory agencies, working poor
Auteurs Dr. Barbara Brink en Prof. dr. Gijsbert Vonk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Western European social security systems are founded on the need to offer universal social protection, as was for example advocated in the Beveridge report of 1942. The universalistic endeavour has led to the development of the all-embracing welfare states of today, but already for many decades dissatisfaction with the direction of the welfare state has led to a diversion of the universalistic pretention. In the current debate, universalism seems to be on the rise again. The Dutch think tanks CPB, WRR and SCP increasingly pay attention to the divide that is becoming manifest between those with better chances in the society and who are left behind. The think tanks have all formulated policy options in order to address this divide by offering better social security protection for excluded groups. In this article we discuss whether the options presented fall back upon the post-war notion of universality.


Dr. Barbara Brink
Dr. Barbara Brink is postdoc onderzoeker socialezekerheidsbeleid bij de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

Prof. dr. Gijsbert Vonk
Prof. dr. Gijsbert Vonk is hoogleraar socialezekerheidsrecht aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Artikel

Over zelfredzame burgers gesproken

Hoe ambtenaren een buigzaam burgerschapsideaal vormgeven

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Interactional framing, Self reliance, Silent ideologies, Micro frames, Self referentiality
Auteurs Drs. Harrie van Rooij, Dr. Margit van Wessel en Prof. dr. Noelle Aarts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The concept of self-reliant citizens reflects an ideology of citizenship that is multiple and flexible. It could be regarded as a ‘plastic’ word, malleable and adjustable according to convictions, needs and purposes. This study shows the importance of considering the way in which ideological views on citizenship are transferred, adjusted and enacted in an organizational context. On the basis of a case study at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (DTCA), we contribute to knowledge on the way processes of framing interrelate on micro, meso and macro levels. We found that frames on self-reliance are enacted in a way that tensions and dilemmas are neutralized or reduced. In a dynamic context of conflicting goals and limited resources, DTCA-employees create meanings of self-reliance which legitimate practices and policies. By doing this they reproduce both organizational and social perspectives. Accounts of citizenship play an important role in this process. Self-reliant citizens are presented as active and responsible. The need of help is imagined as a normal and yet an atypical situation. This study promotes attention to the possibility that organizational systems reproduce perspectives in a way that alternative views remain unnoticed, whereas organizational choices are silently accepted as natural facts.


Drs. Harrie van Rooij
Drs. Harrie van Rooij is PhD-kandidaat (buitenpromovendus) bij het Institute for Science in Society (ISiS), Radboud University, en coördinerend adviseur corporate communicatie bij het ministerie van Financiën.

Dr. Margit van Wessel
Dr. Margit van Wessel is universitair docent, leerstoel Strategische Communicatie aan de Wageningen University & Research.

Prof. dr. Noelle Aarts
Prof. dr. Aarts is professor Socio-Ecological Interactions aan het Institute for Science in Society (ISiS), Radboud University.
Artikel

Het asielzoekerscentrum als buurthuis? Over vrijwilligerswerk in asielzoekerscentra in Amsterdam en Brussel

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Asylum centres, Community centres, Refugees, Civic engagement, Interpretive policy analyses
Auteurs Rosaly Studulski en Nanke Verloo
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Citizens are being activated to organize activities in asylum centres in both the Netherlands and Belgium. That way, asylum centres are expected to become better integrated in the local context of a municipality or neighbourhood. This ideal of citizenship does not stand on its own. The policy object to integrate asylum centres in the local context has parallels with broader societal and academic discussions about citizen participation and active citizenship. The object, however, is now the asylum seeker. In this article we research how voluntary work in two asylum centres takes shape and how policy could support voluntary activities better. A comparative interpretive policy analysis of two asylum centres in Amsterdam and Brussel shows how voluntary work is stimulated by policy, how these policies are implemented locally, and how they are experienced in daily practices of volunteers and professionals. The cases reveal stark differences, but exactly those contrasts lead to important lessons. We show that because of this policy, the asylum centre is often functioning as a community centre, that integration can be strengthened by volunteers, but we are also critical when voluntary activities are driven by an ideal picture of the ‘good asylum seeker’. There is a risk that the societal responsibility for integrating and engaging asylum seekers in the local context is pushed on the shoulders of unpaid volunteers and that activities are exclusively for one group. That is why we conclude that professional support and financial resources are crucial to implement the policy ideal of active citizenship in asylum centers.


Rosaly Studulski
Rosaly Studulski, MSc. is onlangs afgestudeerd in de Research Master Urban Studies aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en sindsdien werkzaam bij het Projectmanagementbureau van de Gemeente Amsterdam.

Nanke Verloo
Dr. Nanke Verloo is werkzaam als Universitair Docent in Stedelijke Planologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en redacteur bij Beleid en Maatschappij.

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.
Artikel

Non-participatie in de doe-democratie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2017
Auteurs Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB en Dr. Ank Michels
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research into citizens’ initiatives usually focuses on those who already participate. In this article the central question is how those who do not participate yet can be motivated to take part in citizens’ initiatives. To investigate this the authors used vignettes in which four key motives for participation in citizens’ initiatives are linked to three types of citizens’ initiatives. The results of this research show that people are more likely to take part in an initiative if a call is made to altruism. Usually it is also in general easier for small-scale, more applied citizens’ initiatives to motivate people. Non-participants will be more inclined, certainly in the presence of a specific local problem and if they are asked, to respond in a positive manner to an invitation to take part. For more abstract citizens’ initiatives, like a citizens summit in which not one single specific problem is addressed, it is much more difficult to motivate people to take part. Participation in citizens’ initiatives indeed increases the quality of local democracy, but only if the (local) government doesn’t take over these initiatives. Also those who do not yet take part in citizens’ initiatives have a positive and constructive attitude towards them.


Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB
G.R. Broekhuizen MSc LLB deed een onderzoeksmaster bestuurskunde en organisatiewetenschap aan de Universiteit Utrecht en een bachelor bestuurskunde en recht aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij schreef zijn scriptie over non-participatie in de doe-democratie.

Dr. Ank Michels
Dr. A.M.B. Michels is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO).
Artikel

De responsabilisering van burgers van verzorgingsstaat tot participatiesamenleving

Discoursanalyse van troonredes en regeringsverklaringen sinds de jaren zestig

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Participation society, Withdrawing government, Making-responsible citizens, Dutch speeches from the throne, Dutch government statements
Auteurs Ermy Brok MA
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Central concern of this article is tracing back how the making-responsible of citizens takes shape within Dutch speeches from the throne, government statements and reports of the Dutch Social and Cultural Research Institute (SCP) ever since the 1960s. The Dutch participation society, a term much discussed ever since mentioned in the 2013 speech of the throne, is often associated with a withdrawing government and a coming to end of the welfare state. At the same time, according to several authors, the notion of a withdrawing government that operates within a network of multiple equal actors has brought along the need for a widening of the government’s repertoire of action. This has been characterized as making-responsible citizens on conditions of the state. It has raised doubts about true government-withdrawal and authors have related it to the dominance of neo-liberal thinking ever since the 1990s. Applying an analysis framework derived from discourse analysis, it is made tangible in this article how within political discourse beginnings of the making-responsible of citizens can be traced to the 1960s, more than thirty years earlier than expected. It is argued that this longer history makes a plea for encouraging the political dimension of citizenship all the more important.


Ermy Brok MA
Ermy Brok MA is beleidsadviseur op het sociale domein bij de gemeente Tilburg en extern promovenda aan de Tilburg Law School/Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur.

    Local authorities know for some time from experience with partnerships with local communities in the area of sustainable development that the urgency of climate change increases and that citizens develop into an equal partner. The convergence of these two motivations asks for an innovative way of acting, in which the performance of local authorities is a crucial factor for the ultimate success of local sustainable energy projects in which citizens are actively involved or will be involved. This article exposes the ways in which local authorities innovate with policy for the support of active citizenship in the production of locally generated sustainable energy. The article also explores the barriers that arise. The authors analyse two cases on different levels of government; ‘The Energy-workplace’ (in the Dutch province Fryslân) and ‘The Armhoede sustainable energy landscape’ (in the Dutch municipality Lochem). The cases show that policy innovations crystallize as well at ‘arm’s length’ distance as in the direct sphere of influence of the (local) authority. However, innovation takes place by the grace of the space in the existing institutional framework and the political (and administrative) system. Formal guidelines (like policy or regulation), persons, and informal practices of the traditional policy implementation may hinder a productive interaction between (active) citizens and government.


Beau Warbroek MSc
W.D.B. Warbroek MSc is promovendus aan het Department of Governance and Technology for Sustainability (CSTM) van de Universiteit Twente en de stichting University Campus Fryslân (UCF).

Dr. Thomas Hoppe
Dr. T. Hoppe is als universitair hoofddocent verbonden aan de Multi-Actor Systems-vakgroep (MAS-POLG) van de Technische Universiteit Delft.
Artikel

Gezocht: Burgerparticipatie (voor vaste relatie)

Een vergelijkende gevalsstudie naar 26 lokale netwerken in het sociale domein in de regio Arnhem

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden citizen participation, co-production, local networks, decentralization, collaboration
Auteurs Rigtje Passchier MSc en Dr. Jelmer Schalk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2015, Dutch local governments have become responsible for youth care, social welfare, employment and income assistance programs, as a result of decentralization. Many municipalities have set up service delivery networks and community teams, in which they collaborate with healthcare providers and civic organizations to build integrated care services. It is assumed that these networks will improve outcomes in terms of enhanced people’s self-reliance and healthcare cost control; by operating close to citizens they are in a position to know the client, activate a client’s social network and mobilize specialized professional expertise if necessary. However, a comparative case study of 26 emerging local networks in the Arnhem area indicates that healthcare providers use the networks mainly for presentation purposes in an effort to secure business continuity, that the role of local governments is fuzzy, and that citizen participation only thrives when actively encouraged in a climate of trust.


Rigtje Passchier MSc
R. Passchier MSc is interim manager voor de publieke zaak en promovenda aan de Universiteit Leiden.

Dr. Jelmer Schalk
Dr. J. Schalk is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

De multiculturele herverdelingsstaat

Over gelijkheid en solidariteit in de multiculturele samenleving

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden multiculturalism, socio-economic equality, social cohesion, solidarity, welfare state
Auteurs François Levrau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For many reasons multiculturalism has become a convenient punching bag. One of the criticisms is that multiculturalism undermines social cohesion and therefore erodes the basis for a redistribution policy. Closely related to this critique is that multiculturalism pushes immigrants into unemployment and makes them dependent on the welfare state. In this article, both criticisms are evaluated. We clarify why multiculturalism does not necessarily undermine the (support for) welfare state nor impede the socioeconomic equality of immigrants. What is needed and what remains necessary is the outline of a multicultural welfare state.


François Levrau
François Levrau is doctor in de Sociale Wetenschappen en als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor Migratie en Interculturele Studies van de Universiteit Antwerpen.

    Modern government has high expectations of active citizen participation. Sociologists however, expect that this emphasis on citizen participation leads to new inequalities between city neighbourhoods. In ‘better’ neighbourhoods relatively more inhabitants are higher educated and indigenous, categories that are traditionally more active in society. In vulnerable neighbourhoods on the other hand many of the inhabitants are non-indigenous, lower educated and unemployed, who – as is shown in research – participate less. Citizen initiatives therefore would prosper in neighbourhoods with resilient and competent citizens and a powerful social fabric, while inhabitants of the vulnerable neighbourhoods would participate less, although there is more need for active citizen participation, because of their problems. This study analyses active citizen participation in two neighbourhoods in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, ‘Schiemond’ and ‘Lloydkwartier’, a typical backward neighbourhood versus a typical neighbourhood for young urban professionals (‘yuppen’). In contrast with the expectations the inhabitants of Schiemond do not appear to participate less than the inhabitants of Lloydkwartier. Concerning matters of neighbourhood safety even more respondents participate in Schiemond than in Lloydkwartier. Possible reasons are: (a) that lower educated people do participate more often in informal neighbourhood initiatives; (b) that because of the average longer residency in Schiemond there is a greater amount of public familiarity in this neighbourhood; or (c) that because of the bigger problems in Schiemond there is a greater necessity for inhabitants to become active themselves.


Dr. Erik Snel
Dr. E. Snel is universitair docent bij de vakgroep sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Kim Hoogmoed MSc
K. Hoogmoed MSc is in 2013 afgestudeerd in de sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Ze is momenteel medewerker van het examenbureau van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Dr. Arend Odé
Dr. A. Odé is manager onderzoek en advies bij Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek in Amsterdam. Hij is in 1996 gepromoveerd aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam bij het Tinbergen Instituut.

    The (changing) relations between citizens and administration are in the middle of attention and therefore the Dutch cabinet indicated in a white paper on ‘do-democracy’ (that is a literal translation of the Dutch word “Doe-democratie”) its willingness to contribute actively to the transition to more ‘do-democracy’ (a form of co-decision making of citizens by handling societal issues themselves). In a number of examples the cabinet showed which possibilities it sees to support civilian forces, but also mentioned several dilemmas, risks and objections it brings about. The white paper received praising as well as critical reactions. Especially from the critical reactions we can learn in which respects further action or reflection is necessary. To stimulate thinking and especially doing this article treats four criticisms not enough dealt with in the white paper itself: 1) ‘do-democracy’ is just a cover-up for expenditure cuts; 2) ‘do-democracy’ does a moral appeal on (affective) citizenship; 3) ‘do-democracy’ is reserved for the wealthy and the high-educated: a ‘do-aristocracy’; 4) it not a real form of democracy, because no control is handed over. To help our government every criticism is accompanied by a reply. In a short conclusion the author (himself secretary of the white paper) calls the government to make a start with the actual implementation of the ideas of the white paper.


Vincent van Stipdonk
Drs. V.P. van Stipdonk is redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen. Hij was als zelfstandig Raadgever & Redacteur penvoerder van de kabinetsnota ‘De doe-democratie’.
Artikel

Waarom burgers coproducent willen zijn

Een theoretisch model om de motivaties van coproducerende burgers te verklaren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden Co-production, citizens, motivation
Auteurs Carola van Eijk en Trui Steen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In co-production processes, citizens and professionals both contribute to the provision of public services and try to enhance the quality of the services they produce. Although government offers several opportunities for co-production, not all citizens decide to actually take part. Current insights in citizens’ individual motivations offered by the co-production literature are limited. In this article, we integrate insights from different streams of literature to build a theoretical model that explains citizens’ motivations to co-produce. We test the model using empirical data of Dutch neighborhood watches.


Carola van Eijk
C.J.A. van Eijk MSc. (research) werkt als promovenda bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Trui Steen
Dr. T.P.S. Steen is universitair hoofddocent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden en bij KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid.
Artikel

Meedoen met de overheid?

Over de stille beleidspraktijk van de doe-democratie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden silent ideology, democracy of action, citizen initiatives, big society
Auteurs Mirjan Oude Vrielink, Imrat Verhoeven en Ted van de Wijdeven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the past decade, policy attention for ‘active citizenship’ and ‘bottom up’ citizen initiatives has strongly increased. Nowadays, governments tend to approach citizens more and more as practical ‘doers’: as active citizens that can initiate projects in the public domain – for instance to increase the livability of their neighborhood. The dominant policy perspective on what is called the ‘democracy of action’ is one of a small government (to make room for a ‘big society’) that is not directive but supportive to active citizens.
    In this article, we first argue that in practice we observe two ‘silent ideologies’ that suppress this policy perspective of the democracy of action. We call these the silent ideologies of ‘professional centralism’ and of ‘instrumental support’; we claim that in practice these ideologies enable the dominance of professionals over citizen initiatives (and nót that of the citizens). Second we state that the policy perspective of the democracy of action itself contains a silent ideology: it assumes a highly depoliticized form of citizenship. In the short term, this may be convenient for administrators and policy makers but in the long run this can lead to a less democracy because the voices of critical citizens are not heard.


Mirjan Oude Vrielink
Dr. M.J. Oude Vrielink is senior onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Twente.

Imrat Verhoeven
Dr. I. Verhoeven is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Ted van de Wijdeven
Dr. T.M.F. van de Wijdeven is bestuurskundig onderzoeker en docent aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Jurre van den Berg MSc
Jurre van den Berg is socioloog en was tot 1 januari 2013 verbonden aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Jurre.van.den.Berg@gmail.com.
Artikel

Het maatschappelijk middenveld in beweging

Een internationale vergelijking van dynamiek in herkomst, perspectief en invulling van vermaatschappelijking

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, international comparison, public reform, third sector
Auteurs Sabine van Zuydam, Bob van de Velde en Marlot Kuiper
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we aim to provide an insight in one of the specifics of the dynamic relationship between government and society; the delegation of public tasks to (civil) society. The concept ‘Big Society’ in the United Kingdom generated immense expectations in this respect. By making use of an explorative case study, we examine the origins, visions and best practices in successively the UK, Australia and Scandinavia in order to generate a better understanding of this dynamical relationship. The major insights following from this analysis relate to the economic and cultural background, the political reality and rhetoric, as well as to concrete practices to understand what civil society has to offer in the delegation of public tasks. Finally, as a first step towards theory development, we formulate five concrete lessons for the delegation of public tasks to the civil society.


Sabine van Zuydam
S. van Zuydam MSc is promovenda aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Bob van de Velde
R.N. van de Velde MSc is promovendus aan de VU Amsterdam.

Marlot Kuiper
M. Kuiper BA is student ‘Research in Public Administration and Organizational Science’.
Artikel

Zelforganisatie vanuit het perspectief van burgers

Inzichten uit onderzoek naar de pragmatiek van burgerparticipatie in drie Europese steden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden citizen participation, self-organisation, strategies
Auteurs Maurice Specht
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Based on the experience of citizens initiatives in Antwerpen (Belgium), Dortmund (Germany) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), this article explores the roles of citizens in these projects. The initiatives were not started by already active citizens, but by inactive citizens who were triggered to take action by an event in their direct surroundings. The cases studied show that many small, simple and everyday strategies, which are often overlooked by researchers, are meaningful for successful citizenship. The will to participate is not so much ideologically or democratically driven, but driven by a perceived practical need for action. Governments should aim to support and facilitate these initiatives without aiming to canalize these activities according to their own political or democratic rationality.


Maurice Specht
Dr. M. Specht is zelfstandig actie-onderzoeker bij Specht in de Stad.
Artikel

Burgers als trustees

Participatie, informele vertegenwoordiging en representativiteit

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2013
Auteurs Dr. Bas van Stokkom, Dr. Marcel Becker en Teun Eikenaar MA MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The involvement of citizens in discussions about policy arrangements has been growing in the past decades. These forums of decision-making often provoke criticism because of a so-called ‘lack of representativeness’. Often a small group of active citizens takes the lead and decides which problems have to be dealt with. Some active residents primarily focus on improving the neighbourhood, regardless of whether their activities have everyone’s consent. This raises many questions related their representativeness. Do these participants form an adequate cross-section of the population? Are they speaking on behalf of others? Maybe passive citizens feel fine with the opinions of active citizens and agree that a small group of citizens is taking the lead. In this paper these active citizens are viewed as ‘trustees’: informal representatives who take responsibility to look after the neighbourhood’s interests, expecting that passive residents would support their efforts. The paper has two central questions: First, which ideas do active participants have about representation and representativeness? Second, in what respects can active citizens be characterized as ‘trustees’? In the theoretical part we contend that the notion ‘trustee’ may function as a theoretical framework to understand present-day citizen participation. In local policy networks many informal representatives express views and interests that are recognizable for many citizens. They are trusted, as long as their activities can be checked. The second part of the paper focuses on three projects of citizen decision-making within local safety policies (The Dutch cities Amsterdam, Deventer and Rotterdam). Within these projects, participants prioritize what kinds of activities and interventions police officers and other frontline workers should carry out. A main finding is that many active citizens function as contact persons who are continuously available for other residents. They do not wish to speak ‘on behalf’ of others but they are bestowed – often reluctantly – with the role of representative, as they demonstratively express neighborhood interests (‘clean, intact and safe’). Their reputation seems to be decisive.


Dr. Bas van Stokkom
Dr. Bas van Stokkom is medewerker bestuurswetenschappen aan de faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, b.a.m.van.stokkom@vu.nl.

Dr. Marcel Becker
Dr. Marcel Becker is universitair docent ethiek aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, M.Becker@ftr.ru.nl.

Teun Eikenaar MA MSc
Teun Eikenaar MA MSc is onderzoeker aan het criminologisch instituut van de faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, t.eikenaar@jur.ru.nl.
Artikel

Verantwoordelijke vrijheid: responsabilisering van burgers op voorwaarden van de staat

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2011
Trefwoorden governance, responsibilisation, political discourse, politics, public administration
Auteurs Rik Peeters en Gerard Drosterij
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Behind many notions of ‘governance’, there lies the image of a ‘modest’ or ‘retreating’ state. The assumption is that local and national authorities can only perform effectively if in cooperation with other public and private actors. Generally, it is said, governments increasingly lack the legitimacy for top-down interventions and hence the need of including participative citizen involvement in policy making and implementation. In recent years this democratic image has been disputed in scientific debates because of its lack of attention for new forms of interventionism by the state in societal processes, e.g. crime, youth care, immigration and integration. In this article, we aim to contribute to this other understanding of modern governance by analysing Dutch political discourse between 2001 and 2010 on (implicit) notions of the role and responsibility of the state. We show how the idea of ‘responsibilisation’ of citizens is turned into an argument for more instead of less state involvement in societal processes and citizens’ lives. By emphasizing ‘shared responsibilities’ between government and society, a tricky picture of parity is sketched of this relation. Dutch government presents itself as ‘an ally’ of citizens in fighting pressing social problems, but in the meantime an ideal of ‘responsible behaviour’ is constructed, namely, citizen behaviour in concordance with government’s policy ambitions. Within this political discourse, the socio-liberal idea of ‘responsibility’ turns into ‘responsibilisation on government’s terms’ and ‘irresponsible’ behaviour becomes a legitimate focal point for deep state interventions through techniques of governance.


Rik Peeters
Rik Peeters is onderzoeker en promovendus bij de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur. Correspondentiegegevens: drs. R. Peeters, Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur, Lange Voorhout 17, 2514 EB Den Haag, peeters@nsob.nl.

Gerard Drosterij
Gerard Drosterij is onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur.
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