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Article

Getting Party Activists on Local Lists

How Dutch Local Party Branches Perform Their Recruitment Function

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden municipal politics, political parties, candidate lists, local party branches, recruitment
Auteurs Simon Otjes, Marcel Boogers en Gerrit Voerman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines what explains the performance of Dutch local party branches in the recruitment of candidates for municipal councils. Fielding a list of candidates is the most basic function of political parties. In the Netherlands, party branches are under pressure from the low number of party members. To analyse how branches fulfil their role in recruitment, we employ our own survey of the secretaries of party branches held in the run-up to the 2018 municipal election. We find that party membership drives the successful fulfilment of the recruitment function but that, more than the absolute number of members, the crucial factors are how these party members cooperate, the number of active members and the development of this number.


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 articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science and in the European Journal of Political Research, among others.

Marcel Boogers
Marcel Boogers is Professor of Innovation and Regional governance at Twente University. His research focuses on the structure of and dynamics within networks of local and regional governments. Boogers combines his position at Twente University with a position as senior advisor at consultancy firm BMC.

Gerrit Voerman
Gerrit Voerman is Professor of the Development and Function of the Dutch and European Party System at Groningen University and Director of its Centre Dutch Political Parties. His research focuses on political parties, their history and their organisation. He is editor of a long-running series of books on Dutch political parties.
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

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Linkage Between Local Branches and Their National Party Headquarters in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local branches, national party headquarters, linkage, integration, multilevel parties
Auteurs Kristof Steyvers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article scrutinises local-national linkage in Belgium to better understand territorial power relations in multilevel parties. Drawing on a survey of local chairs of national parties, it adopts an innovative, informal and bottom-up approach. The descriptive analysis reveals two central axes in the morphology of linkage: scope (downward support and upward influence) and surplus (benefits versus costs). However, (the valuation of) this interdependence appears as a matter of degree. The explanatory analysis therefore probes into the effect of macro- (between environments), meso- (between parties) and micro- (within parties) level factors. It demonstrates that variance is explained by different parameters. For scope, differences between parties trump those within them. For surplus, specific differences between parties as well as within them matter. The answer to our guiding question is therefore variegated: it depends on for what and for whom.


Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of Ghent University (Belgium). His research is conducted in the Centre for Local Politics, where he focuses on topics such as local political leadership, parties and elections at the local level, local government in multilevel governance and local government reforms (often from a comparative perspective).
Artikel

Access_open Ethics work for good participatory action research

Engaging in a commitment to epistemic justice

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, september 2020
Auteurs Tineke Abma
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Participatory and responsive approaches to research strive to be democratic, inclusive and impactful. Participatory researchers share a commitment to epistemic justice and actively engage citizens and users as well as other stakeholders in the co-creation of knowledge for social change. While more and more researchers and policymakers feel attracted to these approaches in practice, the normative ideals of social inclusion and justice are sometimes hard to realize, because of established interests, power relations and system requirements. In this article I argue that participatory researchers and evaluators have a moral responsibility to do ‘ethics work’. This is more than just following ethical principles and codes of conduct. ‘Ethics work’ entails the labour and effort one puts into recognizing ethically salient aspects of situations, developing oneself as a reflexive practitioner, paying attention to emotions and relationships, collaboratively working out the right course of action and reflecting in the company of critical friends. In this article I present the theory and ethics of participatory approaches, illustrate ethical issues and ethics work related to collaboration, politics and power, and share lessons based on ten years of practice in the field of health and social well-being.


Tineke Abma
Tineke A. Abma is Professor Participation & Diversity Amsterdam University Medical Centres, Amsterdam, and Executive Director of Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Leiden.
Artikel

De energietransitie: wie kunnen, willen en mogen er meedoen?

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2020
Trefwoorden renewable energy policies, energy poverty, environmental justice, social resilience
Auteurs Dr. Sylvia Breukers, Dr. Susanne Agterbosch en Dr. Ruth Mourik
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we discuss the role and position of different types of low income households in Dutch renewable energy transition processes using the concept of energy poverty. We explore which benefits and/or (dis)advantages (unintentionally) result from energy policies and regulations. And to what extent the distribution of these (dis)advantages benefit the position of different types of households. To this end we present an analytical perspective that enables us to evaluate renewable energy transition policies and governance on procedural and distributional aspects: paying attention to issues of recognition, equity and justice. The perspective draws on ideas in environmental justice literature and on ideas in social resilience literature. Combining these ideas in a new analytical framework proved to be useful in articulating some major policy challenges in relation to energy poverty in the Netherlands today.


Dr. Sylvia Breukers
Dr. Sylvia Breukers is onderzoeker en partner bij Duneworks. www.duneworks.nl/team-nl/dr-sylvia-breukers/

Dr. Susanne Agterbosch
Dr. Susanne Agterbosch is plaatsvervangend directeur van het PON/Telos. https://hetpon.nl/wie-we-zijn/dr-susanne-agterbosch-2/

Dr. Ruth Mourik
Dr. Ruth Mourik is onderzoeker en partner bij Duneworks. www.duneworks.nl/team-nl/dr-ruth-mourik/
Artikel

Moreel persoon of moreel manager?

Een kwantitatieve analyse van de aan burgemeesters gestelde integriteitseisen, 2008-2019

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2020
Trefwoorden ethical leadership, moral management, Integrity, Mayors, The Netherlands
Auteurs Simon Jacobs BSc en Dr. Niels Karsten
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dutch mayors are expected to act both as moral person and as moral managers. However, the extent to which council members express such requirements when selecting candidates remains underexplored. To identify possible changes in these expectations following the implementation of a 2016 integrity law, which made the mayor responsible for ‘advancing the administrative integrity of the municipality’, the current article quantitatively analyses 349 vacancy texts for Dutch mayoralty for the time period 2008-2019. Unexpectedly, the authors find that moral person requirements still feature prominently in job advertisements, but that attention is declining. In addition, they find a significant shift from moral-person requirements to moral-management requirements, which indicates that vacancy texts mirror the increasing importance of moral leadership requirements for Dutch mayors. Further, whereas the complex integrity concept requires tailoring to the unique circumstances in municipalities, the authors find that councilors make little effort to provide their own definition of integrity in vacancy texts, which leaves ample room for local customization.


Simon Jacobs BSc
Simon Jacobs, BSc, is masterstudent public governance aan het Tilburg Institute of Governance, Tilburg University.

Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. Niels Karsten is universitair docent aan het Tilburg Institute of Governance, Tilburg University.
Artikel

Een ontspannen perspectief op residentiële segregatie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2020
Trefwoorden residential segregation, Framing, welfare regimes, structural factors, individual preferences
Auteurs Prof. dr. Sako Musterd
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands and surrounding countries, there is reason to ask the question whether levels of segregation according to country of origin (mainly non-western) and in terms of socioeconomic position (mainly social arrears) are sufficiently high to legitimate anti-segregation policy. When will segregation become problematic? If segregation is regarded a problem, what, then, would be the best remedy? Spatial intervention? Or broader societal intervention? In this article developments and mechanisms will be discussed that lead to segregation; also political views on segregation and the framing of segregation will be scrutinized. A confrontation of knowledge, insights, visions, and framings offers material for new perspectives on residential segregation and is reason to argue for a more relaxed attitude towards segregation. We should acknowledge that the process of matching households to residential environments results in some – generally unproblematic – segregation. Only if segregation causes problems that pass certain intensity and/or a certain spatial range, non-spatial or spatial interventions are becoming a necessity. Levels of segregation are relatively moderate still. We ought to be more aware of the fact that strong negative framing actually stimulates segregation, social exclusion, division, discrimination, marginalisation, stigmatisation, fear, estrangement, and the development of first- and second-rate citizens.


Prof. dr. Sako Musterd
Prof. dr. Sako Musterd is hoogleraar stadsgeografie aan het Centre for Urban Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam. www.uva.nl/profiel/s.musterd
Artikel

Access_open ‘Garbage in, garbage out’

Over predictive policing en vuile data

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden dirty data, predictive policing, CAS, discrimination, ethnic profiling
Auteurs Mr. Abhijit Das en Mr. dr. Marc Schuilenburg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Predictive tools as instruments for understanding and responding to risky behaviour as early as possible are increasingly becoming a normal feature in local and state agencies. A risk that arises from the implementation of these predictive tools is the problem of dirty data. The input of incorrect or illegally obtained information (‘dirty data’) can influence the quality of the predictions used by local and state agencies, such as the police. The article focuses on the risks of dirty data in predictive policing by the Dutch Police. It describes the possibilities to prevent dirty data from being used in predictive policing tools, such as the Criminality Anticipation System (CAS). It concludes by emphasizing the importance of transparency for any serious solution looking to eliminate the use of dirty data in predictive policing.


Mr. Abhijit Das
Mr. Abhijit Das is docent/onderzoeker straf(proces)recht aan de afdeling Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Mr. dr. Marc Schuilenburg
Mr. dr. Marc Schuilenburg is universitair docent criminologie aan de afdeling Strafrecht en Criminologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Artikel

De Algemene wet gelijke behandeling als mijlpaal in de geschiedenis van de Nederlandse homo-emancipatie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden equal treatment legislation, gay and lesbian history, homosexual teachers, religious schools, sexual orientation discrimination
Auteurs Drs. Joke Swiebel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The General Equal Treatment Law – adopted in 1994 – is a landmark in the history of homosexual emancipation in the Netherlands. It took two decades before the first proposals for a legal ban of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation would be transformed into law. Background of this controversy is the clash between the equalityprinciple and the freedom of education. The compromise reached – the so-called single fact-construction – however sent a double message: being gay was not a justified reason for unequal treatment, but some forms of behaviour were incorporated as a legal exception. It took another twenty years before this flaw in the law would be changed.
    This article analyses the political debates behind these legal developments. What was the problem that the various drafts for this new legislation were supposed to solve? Which definitions of discrimination on the basis of homosexuality were used and how did they change over time? The adoption of the law and its ‘reparation’ twenty years later are mainly a question of symbolic politics. They reflect the development of the growing acceptance of homosexuality in Dutch society and have stimulated its further growth. Their actual legal effects seem far less important.


Drs. Joke Swiebel
Drs. Joke Swiebel studeerde politicologie. Zij werkte negen jaar aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en 22 jaar als beleidsambtenaar voor de Rijksoverheid. Daarna (1999-2004) was zij lid van het Europees Parlement voor de PvdA. Een uitgebreidere versie van dit artikel is te vinden op https://jokeswiebel.nl/
Artikel

Het prestatievoordeel van publiek-private samenwerking

Een analyse van transportinfrastructuurprojecten in Nederland

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), Cost Performance, Time Performance, Netherlands, Principal-Agent Relationships
Auteurs Dr. Stefan Verweij, Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk en Prof. dr. ir. Wim Leendertse
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Compared to regular contracts, infrastructure development and management through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) is expected to lead to better cost and time performance. However, the evidence for this performance advantage of PPPs is lacking. This article analyzes the performance differences of projects with a Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) contract (a type of PPP) and a Design-and-Construct (D&C) contract. Project performance data were collected (N = 65) from the Project Database of Rijkswaterstaat and analyzed using non-parametric tests. Rijkswaterstaat is the executive agency of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. The results show that DBFM-projects have a significantly higher cost performance than D&C-projects. In particular, DBFM-projects have less additional costs related to technical necessities in the implementation phase. Regarding time performance, DBFM-projects seem to perform better although the difference with D&C-projects is not statistically significant. The article discusses explanations for the performance advantage of PPPs, rooted in principal-agent theory. From this discussion, an agenda is presented for further research into the performance advantage of Public-Private Partnerships.


Dr. Stefan Verweij
Dr. Stefan Verweij is universitair docent infrastructuurplanning, governance en methodologie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, basiseenheid Planologie.

Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk
Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, School of Social and Behavioural Sciences, afdeling Bestuurskunde.

Prof. dr. ir. Wim Leendertse
Prof. dr. ir. Wim Leendertse is bijzonder hoogleraar management in infrastructuurontwikkeling aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, basiseenheid Planologie. Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat, Rijkswaterstaat, Grote Projecten en Onderhoud.
Vrij artikel

Autonomie ontrafeld. De casus van de Nederlandse Kinderombudsman

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden autonomy, ombudsperson, children’s ombudsman, national ombudsman, Paris Principles
Auteurs Marjolein Bouterse MSc en Dr. Valérie Pattyn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A key factor to a well-functioning ombudsman’s office is autonomy, which can also be derived from the public turmoil surrounding the appointment of Dutch Children’s ombudsman in 2016. Organization-wise, the Dutch Children’s ombudsman is embedded within an existing autonomous institution: the National ombudsman. This triggers the question to what extent such nested constructions can guarantee sufficient autonomy. Viewing the statutory and de facto autonomy of the Children’s ombudsman, we find that the autonomy of the Children’s ombudsman depends to a large extent on the position of the National ombudsman and on the relationship between the National ombudsman and the Children’s ombudsman. Our findings point out that it is necessary to determine and codify the degree of autonomy at the start of an ombudsman’s office.


Marjolein Bouterse MSc
M. Bouterse, MSc werkte na haar studie Bestuurskunde bij de Universiteit Leiden mee aan de Wetsevaluatie Kinderombudsman. Momenteel werkt zij als beleidsonderzoeker bij Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek, waar zij zich focust op arbeidsre-integratie en schuldhulpverlening.

Dr. Valérie Pattyn
Dr. V.E. Pattyn is universitair docent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde van Universiteit Leiden, en is deeltijds verbonden aan KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid. Ze specialiseert zich in thema’s als het gebruik van kennis door overheden, beleidsevaluatie, beleidswerk, beleidsadvisering en beleidscapaciteit.
Vrij artikel

Evalueren en leren van ICT-projecten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden evaluation, evaluation methods, IT-projects, learning, content analysis
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Bronsgeest en Prof. dr. ir. Rex Arendsen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Governmental IT-projects regularly make the news due to issues about the quality of end results, planning or costs. The Elias report, which is based upon a Parliamentary Inquiry, recommends to evaluate more and learn from the outcomes of these evaluations. However, the report does not give guidance on how to evaluate. The question thus remains: what constitutes a good evaluation of governmental ICT-projects, and what characteristics should be addresses in evaluation research. After careful study of various scientific disciplines, the researchers developed an extensive reference model, including additional suggestions for defining methods, the evaluation process, and criteria on how to evaluate an evaluation. After using this reference model in a content-analytical document analysis, it became clear that many evaluation reports are not being shared with other professionals or practitioners, that reports often lack a specifically formulated research question, and that conclusions and additional reflections are limited. There is room for considerable improvement in the evaluation of ICT-projects.


Dr. Wouter Bronsgeest
Dr. W.L. Bronsgeest is verbonden aan het Center for eGovernment Studies (CFES) van de Universiteit Twente, en duovoorzitter van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging van ICT- en Informatieprofessionals (KNVI). Hij is tevens werkzaam als lid van het managementteam van de Directie IV van de Belastingdienst.

Prof. dr. ir. Rex Arendsen
Prof. dr. ir. R. Arendsen is als hoogleraar Maatschappelijke en historische context van belastingrecht verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij is tevens werkzaam als adviseur bij het Centre for Tax Policy and Administration bij de OESO in Parijs.
Thema-artikel

Open (de) deuren

Bestuurskundig onderzoek naar de succesfactoren van de werkrelatie burgemeester-gemeentesecretaris

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden political, administrative, collaborative, relationship, success factors
Auteurs Drs. Frans-Willem van Gils MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The collaborative relationship between the appointed mayor and the non-political highest administrative official is a crucial one in Dutch local government. It aligns two different domains or spheres: the political, decision making domain on one hand, and the administrative, executive domain on the other. Since research points out that 25% of these collaborative relations fail, the need for insight in the factors that shape the relations and the success of it emerges. Non-successful collaboration between public top-officials usually results in financial, societal or personal costs or damage. In this research, 17 factors were indicated that influence the (perceived) collaborative success, divided in three levels: external factors, functional factors and personal factors. Within the success factors, several ‘critical’ factors were determined, without which a successful collaborative relationship never is possible. On the functional level the critical factors are trust, role convergence and shared understanding, and on the personal level consistency and integrity. Best guaranty for a successful collaborative relationship is when both actors adapt their roles to each other’s liking, reciprocally building trust and shared understanding by using open communication, while being consistent and maintaining their integrity.
    Finally, officials are being called upon to open their doors, and share valuable experiences.


Drs. Frans-Willem van Gils MSc
Drs. F.W. van Gils behaalde in 2019 de graad van Master of Science in Public Administration aan de Erasmus University Rotterdam met een onderzoek naar de succesfactoren van de werkrelatie tussen burgemeester en gemeentesecretaris. Hij is oud-burgemeester en thans directeur van Archon Consultancy. Hij adviseert en coacht topwerkrelaties in het openbaar bestuur, doet onderzoek naar politiek-ambtelijke samenwerkingsrelaties, en draagt met trainingen, lezingen en onderwijs bij aan deskundigheidsbevordering.
Thema-artikel

Succesvol wethouderschap onder de loep

Bronnen van legitimiteit in de ogen van inwoners, raadsleden en wethouders

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Aldermen, Local government, Success, Politics, Legitimacy
Auteurs Drs. Peter Verheij
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research into successful alderman is scarce. Scientifically less is known about the perspective of residents and council members on (successful) aldermen. A recent study investigated the sources of legitimacy that successful aldermen draw on. In addition, the contribution of characteristics of local political leadership to successful alderman has been examined. Based on a survey of residents, councilors and aldermen, differences in opinions about aldermen, aspects and indicators of legitimacy and personal characteristics were uncovered. There are clear differences in judgment, indicators and personal characteristics that are considered important and another source on which the judgment is based. This provides interesting and new research material for public administration literature as well as for administrative practice. The view of residents learns us that the distance to aldermen must be reduced, more connection must be made, a more outside view must be taken and an addition to the management style of councilors with responsive qualities is required.


Drs. Peter Verheij
Drs. P.J. Verheij RA is wethouder in de gemeente Alblasserdam en lid van de Raad voor het Openbaar Bestuur. Hij rondde recent een executive Master Bestuur en Beleid af aan de Universiteit Utrecht (USBO) met een onderzoek over succesvol wethouderschap. Dit artikel is een samenvatting van het betreffende onderzoek.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Op zoek naar succesvol gezag in het lokaal bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden municipal secretary, aldermen, authority, local governance, sources of legitimacy
Auteurs Drs. Thijs Jansen en Corné van der Meulen MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    When we look at the number of people leaving local governance, we see a discouraging trend. According to an investigation of the magazine Binnenlands Bestuur, 126 of 1144 aldermen in the Netherlands were forced to step down in 2019. Making 2019 the year with the highest number since 2004. The same trend can be seen with municipal secretaries. A municipal secretary used to be a lifetime appointment, yet now they often stay at their position for no more than 5 years.
    This is why it is of the utmost importance to understand the different functions within local governance and how they can be best understood. This number of Bestuurskunde contains articles that offer more in depth analysis towards successful factors of aldermen and municipal secretaries.


Drs. Thijs Jansen
Drs. T. Jansen is directeur van Stichting Beroepseer en senior wetenschappelijk projectmedewerker bij Centrum Èthos (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam).

Corné van der Meulen MSc
C. van der Meulen MSc is projectleider/onderzoeker (www.beroepseer.nl) bij Stichting Beroepseer en doet onder andere onderzoek naar gezag in het lokaal bestuur.
Thema-artikel

Het gezag van gemeentesecretarissen beschouwd

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden authority, municipal secretary, local governance, sources of authority, leadership
Auteurs Corné van der Meulen MSc, Drs. Thijs Jansen en Drs. Niels Karsten
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The authority of a municipal secretary has to be continuously earned. This is a complex task that demands highly developed personal qualities and attributes. According to an opinion poll, filled out by 120 active municipal secretaries, they believe that they meet these necessary standards. In this poll they were asked what they recognize as their most important sources of authority. The top three answers were, respectively; personal leadership, trust, embodied ethics. Other important factors were their roles as chief executive officer of local governance and/or first advisor. These roles are however no longer enough to establish authority within local governance. Authority and influence must be earned on a daily basis in vastly different spheres and among different social groups.


Corné van der Meulen MSc
C. van der Meulen MSc is projectleider/onderzoeker (www.beroepseer.nl) bij Stichting Beroepseer en doet onder andere onderzoek naar gezag in het lokaal bestuur.

Drs. Thijs Jansen
Drs. T. Jansen is directeur van Stichting Beroepseer en senior wetenschappelijk projectmedewerker bij Centrum Èthos (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam).

Drs. Niels Karsten
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan Tilburg University en adviseur bij Necker van Naem.
Thema-artikel

Gezag volgens een doorgewinterde tussenpaus

Interview met gemeentesecretaris Boudewijn Marinussen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden authority, municipal secretary, local governance, sources of authority, loss of
Auteurs Drs. Gerard van Nunen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Boudewijn Marinussen feels right at home working in local governance. He has a deep understanding of the balancing act required by the municipal secretary due to his rich experience in local governance. Marinussen’s work as an entrusted person at the Association of Municipal Secretaries entails being a voice for his colleagues’ opinions. In this interview he will ponder the following questions: which sources of authority are essential? What causes a loss in authority, and can this loss be recommended? On the basis of Marinussen’s direct personal experience in local governance and his experience as an entrusted person, he concludes that in cases where authority is coming under pressure, too little is done to ensuring a fast recovery of authority. His advice would be to start earlier with conversations that quicken the healing process.


Drs. Gerard van Nunen
Drs. G.P.M. van Nunen is bestuurskundige en werkt als projectleider en onderzoeker bij onderzoeks- en kennisinstituut Stichting Beroepseer. Hij werkt aan publicaties, onderzoeken en bijeenkomsten over professionaliteit en gezag in de (semi)publieke sector.

    Large government investments are regularly preceded by an ex-ante evaluation. This article examines the quality of two ex-ante studies and considers the use made by administrators and representatives of the people of these ex-ante studies. In both cases it concerned qualitatively sound ex-ante studies. In both cases, these studies also demonstrably affected the debate about these investment plans in the people’s representations. But there was no question of power-free decision making. In both cases, the representatives of the people were put under great pressure. Not only was there time pressure. The public debate came late. The use of sound ex-ante studies is not only an investment in rationality, but is also accompanied by political-strategic manoeuvring. The relevance of this article to practitioners is that it (a) contains four reasonable requirements that the representative may make of each ex-ante study offered by the executive board; (b) also shows that an ex-ante analysis on which important decisions are based should not be characterised by secret parts or by undefined assumptions and an ex-ante analysis must be transparent; and (c) demonstrates it is important as a representative to be tenacious, to keep a firm hand and not to decide before all questions have been answered and a full list of safeguards is on the table.


Prof. dr. Michiel Herweijer
Prof. dr. M. Herweijer is bijzonder hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen. Hij was tot 1 januari 2019 directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer. Sinds 1 november 2018 is hij docent publiek management aan de Universitaire Campus Fryslân te Leeuwarden (een nevenvestiging van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
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