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Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij x Jaar 2017 x
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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.
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

Campagneactiviteiten en -financiering van lokale partijen in Nederland

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden electoral campaigns, campaign financing, independent local lists, party subsidies, local elections
Auteurs Justin Bergwerff MSc en Dr. Hans Vollaard
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Electoral campaigning and its financing at the local level have been hardly studied in spite of the growing political significance of municipalities in the Netherlands. Local parties have been barely studied either, even though they gained more than 30 percent of the seats in the local elections of 2014. They have done so without any public subsidy, whereas subsidized national parties can and do support their local branches. This article examines which campaign activities local parties used to attract voters, how these activities were funded, and whether local parties perceived subsidies necessary and desirable. A survey among local parties held just after the local elections of 2014, indicates that their campaigns are by and large a traditional, low-cost affair. They are often not labor-intensive nor technology-intensive, despite the electoral effectiveness of micro-targeting and canvassing. Contributions from local councilors constitute the main source of finance. The survey also shows that transparency of campaign financing can count on widespread support among local parties. They also prefer a level playing field between local parties and local branches of national parties by providing both public subsidies or none, which is an important contribution to the discussion on the current legislative proposals on party financing at the local level.


Justin Bergwerff MSc
Justin Bergwerff MSc is financieel beleidsmedewerker aan het ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. Hans Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap, Universiteit Utrecht.

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Professor Dr. Tom van der Meer
Professor Dr. Tom van der Meer is Professor of Political Science and Co-Director of the Dutch Parliamentary Election Survey at the University of Amsterdam

    In this feature authors review recently published books on subjects of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.


Dr. Caelesta Braun
Caelesta Braun is redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij en associate professor van het Institute of Public Administration van de Universiteit Leiden.
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.

    In recent decades, the Dutch labour market has become more flexible. Flexible labour contracts enable firms to adjust employment to a changing market environment and to competitive pressures. Almost without exception, academic studies on the drivers behind the use of flexible labour contracts at the company level, are motivated by competitive pressures. However, companies may be susceptible to institutional pressures as well. Based on a survey among more than 650 managers in the Netherlands, we conclude that firms are vulnerable to institutional (mimetic) forces. This finding has several implications for policy-making and labour flexibility research.


Fabian Dekker

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Dr. Joost Berkhout
Dr. Joost Berkhout is universitair docent politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    ‘Fact free politics’ and ‘post-truth politics’ are considered to pose a severe threat to democracies as they seem to ruin shared perceptions of reality and render it impossible to distinguish opinion from fact. However, it is questionable whether fueling public and political debates with scientific facts offers a counterweight. First, scientific facts are not free from interpretation and can be regarded as ‘theory-laden’. Second, scientific research may determine facts but it may not claim the monopoly to determine the public meaning attached to these facts. Third, facts not only function to explain or to describe reality, they also affect reality. Given these considerations, the ‘science versus fact free politics’ debate could profit from a more realistic view on the status of facts.


Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem
Prof. dr. Huub Dijstelbloem is werkzaam bij de faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, capaciteitsgroep Philosophical Tradition in Context, Filosofie van Wetenschap en Politiek.

Dr. Alexandre Afonso
Dr. Alexandre Afonso is assistant professor aan de Universiteit van Leiden.
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