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Artikel

Wie is hier onredelijk!?

Een analyse van de maatschappelijke dynamiek rondom de HPV-vaccinatiecampagne

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden scientific advice, vaccination, well-ordered science
Auteurs Albert Meijer, Paulus Lips en Huub Dijstelbloem
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article presents an analysis of the introduction of the HPV vaccine into the National Vaccination Program in the Netherlands. This introduction resulted in public debate and resistance and eventually a low turn-out (45% while 85% was expected). The question is what we can learn from this specific case about trust of citizens in scientific advice and political decision-making around medical issues. Our qualitative empirical research highlights that trust in scientific advice was undermined by a combination of criticism from peers, a critical approach in the mass media and a strong campaign through social media. Our analysis shows that these factors can be understood as partly resulting from a transition to a network society. We conclude that the network society demands a more open approach of scientific advice both in terms of who they discuss issues with and what kinds of arguments are permitted in the debate.


Albert Meijer
Dr. A.J. Meijer is universitair hoofddocent van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Paulus Lips
Drs. P. Lips is huisarts.

Huub Dijstelbloem
Prof. dr. H.O. Dijstelbloem is senior scientific staff member WRR.
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

De democratische waarde van burgerparticipatie: Interactief bestuur en deliberatieve fora1

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2011
Trefwoorden Citizen participation, democracy, democratic innovations, participatory governance, deliberative forums
Auteurs Ank Michels
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Whilst embedding democratic innovations that increase and deepen citizen participation in decision making now is a common policy of governments in many countries, and theorists in democratic theory also tend to emphasize how good citizen participation is to democracy, the empirical evaluation of democratic innovations is still a rather unexplored area of research.

    This article evaluates two types of democratic innovations, participatory governance and deliberative forums in the Netherlands and a large number of other Western countries. The findings show, for both types of innovation, that citizen participation contributes to the quality of democracy in several ways. The analysis also makes it clear that different designs produce different democratic effects, which also reflects tensions between democratic values; participatory governance projects are better at giving citizens influence, whereas deliberative forums appear to be better at promoting the exchange of arguments. Also, whereas cases of participatory governance are more open than deliberative forums, representation is higher for the deliberative type of cases. As a consequence politicians and policy makers can have a major impact on democracy; by choosing for a specific design of citizen participation they may encourage certain aspects of democracy more than others.


Ank Michels
Dr A.M.B. Michels is universitair docent bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht.
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