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Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde x Jaar 2019 x Rubriek Article x
Thema-artikel

Access_open Positieve bestuurskunde

Naar een robuust positief perspectief op de overheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Positive Public Administration, successful public governance, research agenda, societal relevance
Auteurs Scott Douglas DPhil, Prof. dr. Trui Steen en Prof. dr. Zeger van der Wal
Samenvatting

    Citizens and scholars excel in identifying and analysing government failure. It is important indeed to understand public sector, but while governments in the Low Countries are doing well on average and very well from an internationally perspective, most attention is focused on the errors and mishaps. This article argues for a robust positive perspective on the public sector as a complement to existing research. From a scientific perspective, public administration must set itself the ambition to connect and aggregate existing positive insights even better. From a social perspective, the discipline must prevent the gap from being filled by a wholesale rejection of democratic government or the use of unproven miracle cures. This article elaborates the starting points for Positive Public Administration, arguing that this perspective should be comprehensive, context related, inter-subjective, learning-oriented, and robustly scientific in nature. The article also introduces the other contributions in this special issue, which together give an initial interpretation of positive public administration.


Scott Douglas DPhil

Prof. dr. Trui Steen

Prof. dr. Zeger van der Wal
Thema-artikel

‘Macho-meritocratie’ Singapore

Vijf lessen uit het genadeloze streven naar ambtelijke excellentie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Singapore, public service excellence, Performance, comparative public administration
Auteurs Prof. dr. Zeger van der Wal
Samenvatting

    Singapore and the Netherlands are small, export- and trade-dependent countries that perform excellently in many areas, such as good governance and integrity, policy effectiveness, liveability, innovation, and e-government. At the same time there are clear differences in political culture and history: Singapore has a more authoritarian governance style including limitations in press freedom, freedom of speech, and political activism. Within these contrasting contexts, both countries have introduced and implemented similar public management reforms since the 1990s. The aim of these reforms is to maintain public service excellence in a dynamic environment but the countries make contrasting choices in achieving this aim. This article describes how administrative excellence is organised and pursued in Singapore and identifies five lessons for the Netherlands: (1) Use positive narratives about government often; (2) be nuanced about capping top-level remuneration; (3) enhance the attractiveness of government as an employer; (4) invest in life-long learning; (5) be an authoritative expert amidst horizontalisation hypes.


Prof. dr. Zeger van der Wal
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