Zoekresultaat: 42 artikelen

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Article

Access_open The Feminisation of Belgian Local Party Politics

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local politics, local party branches, local elections, gender quotas, Belgium
Auteurs Robin Devroe, Silvia Erzeel en Petra Meier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates the feminisation of local politics. Starting from the observation that the representation of women in local electoral politics lags behind the regional and federal level, and taking into account the relevance of local party branches in the recruitment and selection of candidates for elections, we examine the extent to which there is an ‘internal’ feminisation of local party branches and how this links to the ‘external’ feminisation of local electoral politics. Based on surveys among local party chairs, the article maps patterns of feminisation over time and across parties, investigates problems local branches encounter in the recruitment of candidates for local elections, and analyses the (attitudes towards the) measures taken to further the integration of women in local electoral politics. We conclude that internal and external feminisation do not always go hand in hand and that local politics continues to be a male-dominated political biotope.


Robin Devroe
Robin Devroe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University and member of the research group GASPAR. Her main research interest is the study of the political representation of diverse social groups and voting behaviour, with a specific focus on the descriptive representation of women, and she has a fascination for experimental methods. Her doctoral work (2019, Ghent University) focused on the prevalence of political gender stereotypes among Flemish voters. In the past, Robin was a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University (2018, US). Since 2020, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Group on Gender and Politics.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research interests include party politics, political representation, gender and intersectionality, and comparative politics. Her current research focuses on three main areas: the integration of gender equality in political parties, intersectionality and political representation in Europe, and the consequences of economic and social inequality for representative democracy. Since 2018, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Standing Group on Gender and Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier is Professor of Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp. Her research focuses on the (re)presentation of gender+ in politics and policies. Late work focused on the conceptualisation of symbolic representation, how it operates and the issues at stake from an inclusive perspective. Recently, she turned to study democratic deficits in federal systems, especially Belgium, and processes of de-democratisation in general. She is particularly interested in understanding how such processes affect the demos, more particularly from a gender, an LGBTQI or an ethnic perspective, and what dynamics of marginalisation and exclusion they generate.
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.
Article

Interest Representation in Belgium

Mapping the Size and Diversity of an Interest Group Population in a Multi-layered Neo-corporatist Polity

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering Online First 2020
Trefwoorden interest groups, advocacy, access, advisory councils, media attention
Auteurs Evelien Willems, Jan Beyers en Frederik Heylen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article assesses the size and diversity of Belgium’s interest group population by triangulating four data sources. Combining various sources allows us to describe which societal interests get mobilised, which interest organisations become politically active and who gains access to the policy process and obtains news media attention. Unique about the project is the systematic data collection, enabling us to compare interest representation at the national, Flemish and Francophone-Walloon government levels. We find that: (1) the national government level remains an important venue for interest groups, despite the continuous transfer of competences to the subnational and European levels, (2) neo-corporatist mobilisation patterns are a persistent feature of interest representation, despite substantial interest group diversity and (3) interest mobilisation substantially varies across government levels and political-administrative arenas.


Evelien Willems
Evelien Willems, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Jan Beyers
Jan Beyers, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Frederik Heylen
Frederik Heylen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

    In this editorial the former chief-editor Bas Denters and the new chief-editor Marcel Boogers of this magazine ‘Bestuurswetenschappen’ (the Dutch word for Administrative Sciences) are interviewed on the occasion of changing the guard. This change is a good opportunity to highlight the views of both prominent figures on developments in public administration, in local and regional government, as well as on the role and significance of our magazine. With its new chief-editor, it is entering a new period. The third decade of the new millennium will prove to be just as unsettled, and possibly even more turbulent, as the previous period. Social developments are unfolding rapidly. Public Administration must provide answers to these developments, but also act as a guide. Not from an inapproachable seat, but from a position that puts local and regional government in the midst of citizens and private initiatives.


Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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.
PhD Review

‘The Internal Legitimacy of European Interest Groups. Analyses of National Intrest Groups Perspectives’

PhD by Samuel Defacqz (Université catholique de Louvain), supervisors: Virginie Van Ingelgom, Benoît Rihoux & Theodoros Koutroubas.

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Stéphanie Yates Ph.D.
Auteursinformatie

Stéphanie Yates Ph.D.
Ph.D., Université du Québec à Montréal.
Article

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Auteurs Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.


Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
Article

Transformative Welfare Reform in Consensus Democracies

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, welfare state, social investment, transformative reform, Belgium and the Netherlands
Auteurs Anton Hemerijck en Kees van Kersbergen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article takes up Lijphart’s claim that consensus democracy is a ‘kinder, gentler’ form of democracy than majoritarian democracy. We zoom in on contemporary welfare state change, particularly the shift towards social investment, and argue that the kinder, gentler hypothesis remains relevant. Consensus democracies stand out in regard to the extent to which their political institutions help to overcome the politically delicate intricacies of governing for the long term. We theorize the features that can help to solve the problem of temporal commitment in democracy through processual mechanisms and illustrate these with short case studies of the contrasting welfare state reform experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Anton Hemerijck
Anton Hemerijck is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Kees van Kersbergen
Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University, Denmark.
Essay

Kantelt de stad?

Alles verandert, maar … blijft toch niet alles hetzelfde?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2018
Auteurs Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    It may seem obvious to say that society changes and that this is happening at an increasing speed. But not everyone fully realizes that society as a whole is undergoing fundamental changes and that this will lead to a complete transformation and structural change of society over a longer period of time. Some think that tomorrow is a multitude of today, others think that the present is not really a good compass for what tomorrow and especially the day after tomorrow will be. In this respect, municipalities are faced with the considerable task of making a ‘future-proof’ diagnosis of ‘municipal reality’ and of forming a picture of what that future will be, or should be. Municipalities differ considerably in the way in which they deal with these aspects administratively: from ‘government as usual’ on the one hand to ‘complete tilt’ on the other side of the continuum. Much municipal policy is a slightly adapted version of what they have been doing for a long time. The real initiatives to ‘fundamentally tilt’ systems have yet to reach many municipalities. In other words: everything changes, but… have things not remained the same? In this essay the author discusses these issues in the context of his hometown Maastricht (in the south of the Netherlands) as an example.


Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Artikel

Platformsturing van zelforganisatie tijdens rampen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden crisis governance, self-organizing, online platforms, adaptive capacity
Auteurs Kees Boersma PhD, Julie Ferguson PhD, Peter Groenewegen PhD e.a.
Samenvatting

    During a disaster or crisis, the response capacity of the government is put under extreme pressure. At the same time, citizens are often resilient in times of crisis and are increasingly capable of organizing themselves. Social media and online platforms have increased the possibilities for self-organization through improved connectivity. In practice, we see that governments struggle to deal with this form of self-organization, while it also offers a unique opportunity to increase the response capacity. The smart use of citizens’ initiatives offers opportunities and can increase the effectiveness of the government’s action. This article focuses on the following question: what role do online platforms play in smartly guiding the self-organization of citizens during crises and disasters? We answer the question on the basis of two examples: the role of online platforms in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Nepal in 2015, and the coordination of the reception of refugees during the crisis in the Netherlands in the winter of 2015-2016.


Kees Boersma PhD

Julie Ferguson PhD

Peter Groenewegen PhD

Femke Mulder MSc

Arjen Schmidt MSc

Jeroen Wolbers PhD
Artikel

Crowd-based innovaties: verschuivende verantwoordelijkheden in een institutional void

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden responsible innovation, institutional void, crowd-based innovations, governance
Auteurs Thijs Slot MSc, Dr. ir. Eefje Cuppen, Prof. dr. mr. ir. Neelke Doorn e.a.
Samenvatting

    The crowd increasingly plays a key role in facilitating innovations in a variety of sectors, spurred on by IT-developments and the concomitant increase in connectivity. Initiatives in this direction, captured under the umbrella-term ‘crowd-based innovations’, offer novel opportunities in socio-technical systems by increasing the access, reach and speed of services. At the same time, they signify important challenges because these innovations occur in a context of traditional, well-established institutional and governance structures and practices. This dynamic is captured in the idea of the ‘institutional void’: the tension between traditional structures and (radically) new initiatives. Existing rules, standards and practices are challenged, which raises questions about the safeguarding of public values such as quality, legitimacy, efficiency and governance of crowd-based innovations. This article argues that understanding these tensions requires supplementing empirical research with an explicitly normative dimension to reach thorough and balanced conclusions to facilitate innovation while protecting the valuable elements in existing rules and regulations. Illustrated by a number of short examples, we propose a multidisciplinary research agenda towards formulating appropriate governance structures.


Thijs Slot MSc

Dr. ir. Eefje Cuppen

Prof. dr. mr. ir. Neelke Doorn

Maria Galeano Galvan MSc

Dr. ing. Bram Klievink
Artikel

Burgertoppen in opkomst

Zegen of zorg voor de gemeenteraad?

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Burgertoppen, G1000, Raadsleden, lokale democratie, Institutionalisering
Auteurs Dr. Harmen Binnema
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the last three years, various G1000s have been organized in Dutch municipalities. These citizen summits share a number of characteristics: random selection of participants, an open agenda, dialogue and inclusion of the entire ‘system’ (inhabitants, politicians, civil servants). The G1000s aim to renew local democracy and to change the relations between citizens and governments. Both of these objectives affect the role of local councilors and this paper discusses their opinions and attitude towards a G1000. It shows that councilors regard the G1000 as complementary to representative democracy and that they want be involved both in the organization of a G1000 in their municipality and the follow-up in local decision-making. On the one hand, this may lead to a better coupling between citizen initiatives and formal policy making. On the other hand, this entails the risk that a G1000 becomes institutionalized and loses its distinctive characteristics that make it a new form of democracy.


Dr. Harmen Binnema
Dr. Harmen Binnema is universitair docent/programmacoördinator bestuur en beleid bij de Universiteit Utrecht, faculteit Recht, Economie, Bestuur en Organisatie.
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

Deliberatieve democratie: ervaringen met diversiteit in burgertop Amsterdam

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden Democracy, Summit, Dialogue, Diversity, Homogeneity
Auteurs Dr. Peer Smets en Marloes Vlind MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper will show how citizens’ summits in the Netherlands cope with diversity of participants and the impact of this on those initiatives. This provides insight in why diversity is hard to reach and what can be done to improve it. Presently, dissatisfaction about the Dutch democratic system is widespread. Solutions are being sought to strengthen Dutch participatory democracy. For this objective, citizens’ summits develop different kind of initiatives. However, citizens participating in these summits are a homogeneous group, namely mainly white, middle aged and highly educated. Mechanisms of exclusion, selection of candidates, homogeneous composition of the organization, and a dominating intellectual/rational way of debating are playing a role here. Citizens with different backgrounds need to be included in these initiatives to obtain a better representation of society’s voices. This notion has been strengthened by theory, which shows that diversity enables more creativity and innovation.


Dr. Peer Smets
Dr. Peer Smets is universitair docent aan de Vrije Universiteit.

Marloes Vlind MSc
Marloes Vlind MSc is docent en onderzoeker aan de Vrije Universiteit.

    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.

    Since 2001, the Dutch province of Overijssel has had its own knowledge centre focusing on urban society, called the ‘KennisInstituut Stedelijke Samenleving’ (KISS), alongside national knowledge centres. This essay gives an overview of some relevant KISS meetings devoted to a many kinds of citizen participation. The overview is based on reports made by the author himself. Examples of citizen participation are: the new styles of neighbourhood governance, citizen participation through neighbourhood budgets, the strength of the city and location-based leadership, innovative urban renewal and the promotion of citizen initiatives in the province of Overijssel. Examples are not only from the province of Overijssel (situated in the east of the Netherlands), but also from other parts of the Netherlands and other countries (Flanders, United Kingdom, United States and all over the world). The subject of citizen participation (in connection with urban renewal and administrative leadership) enjoys an ever-increasing popularity as is shown by the number of KISS meetings devoted to this subject.


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

De duurzaamheid van burgerinitiatieven

Een empirische verkenning

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Malika Igalla BSc en Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Citizens’ initiatives are the focus of public attention as part of the popular ‘do-democracy’ (associative democracy). However, it is not clear to what extent citizens are able to shape self-organization in a sustainable manner, what the important factors in this respect are and if citizens’ initiatives are the sole preserve of a better educated group of citizens. Through a secondary quantitative analysis of 56 citizens’ initiatives, this article offers an empirical contribution to answering these questions. The authors explore the effects of three possible factors on the sustainability of citizens’ initiatives: the network structure of the citizens’ initiative, the organizational design of the initiative and the revenue model. They show significant relationships between the organizational design of citizens’ initiatives and their sustainability. They also show a relationship between the network structure of these initiatives and their sustainability: initiatives that develop into a fully connected network or a polycentric network are more sustainable than initiatives with a star network. The personal characteristics of the initiators show a dispersal in age, descent, gender and retirement. Relatively speaking, many initiators have a high level of education: 80% has a higher professional or university education. But there are no significant relations between these personal characteristics and the sustainability of citizens’ initiatives.


Malika Igalla BSc
M. Igalla BSc rondde in 2014 cum laude de bacheloropleiding bestuurskunde af aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Ze is nu bezig aan haar masteropleiding Bestuurskunde: Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk
Dr. I.F. van Meerkerk is postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurskunde van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en doet onderzoek naar institutionele verankering en management van burgerinitiatieven op het terrein van stedelijke gebiedsontwikkeling.

    The first contribution to this special issue on local democracy in the Netherlands is the inaugural speech of Job Cohen (the former mayor of Amsterdam) held on January 9th 2015 at the University of Leiden as extraordinary professor at the prestigious Thorbecke-chair. His field is the theory of the municipality as an administrative, political and legal system. The title of his inaugural speech was ‘The fourth D’, in which the first three D’s stand for three different decentralizations of tasks to the Dutch municipalities and the fourth D for democracy. In his speech Cohen advocates a deliberative form of democracy, because it doesn’t emphasize differences and the exaggeration of differences, but emphasizes what the members of a community have in common. Deliberative democracy wants to create space for this common interest through the establishment of an arena for dialogue. Job Cohen is particularly taken by the ideas of the Belgian writer David Van Reybrouck about lottery selection and citizen participation and corresponding initiatives like G1000: a civic-summit, a form of deliberative democracy that generates new ideas, opens new perspectives and increases trust in the democratic process. The element of lottery selection (that was previously put on the agenda by the American professor James Fishkin) is essential for these results, because it creates a maximum of diversity and real involvement of all layers of the population: full citizen participation.


Prof. mr. dr. Job Cohen
Prof. mr. dr. M.J. Cohen is bijzonder hoogleraar decentrale overheden (Thorbecke-leerstoel) aan de Universiteit Leiden en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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