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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.
Artikel

De opkomst van voedselbeleid: voorbij de tekentafel

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden Food policy, Food system, Agricultural policy, Policy integration, Policy instruments
Auteurs Dr. Jeroen Candel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To address a range of interconnected food-related challenges, Dutch policymakers have invested in the development of integrated food policy in recent years. This article discusses this development in two parts. The first part contains a detailed description of the main events and lines of thinking that characterized the food policy process. From this description it becomes clear that food policy has been gradually developing towards a separate institutionalized policy domain. In the second part, this development is analysed from a policy integration perspective. This analysis shows that although considerable steps towards strengthened policy integration have been made, the Dutch ‘Food agenda’ does not yet proceed beyond symbolic levels. This particularly shows in the absence of concrete policy goals and in a policy instrument mix that has not been adjusted to strengthen consistency and effectiveness. In addition, the involvement of relevant ministries gradually decreased after the initial stages. The article concludes that the food policy process has arrived at a critical juncture: the next steps of the new government will prove decisive for whether food policy integration intentions will advance beyond the drawing board. Political and administrative leadership are identified as key conditions for such further steps to occur.


Dr. Jeroen Candel
Dr. Jeroen Candel is universitair docent bij de Bestuurskundegroep van de Wageningen Universiteit.
Artikel

De digitale kooi: administratieve uitsluiting door informatiearchitectuur in de Basisregistratie Personen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Bureaucracy, Iron cage, Civil registry, ICT, Public services
Auteurs Dr. Rik Peeters en Dr. Arjan Widlak
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch Municipal Personal Records Database is an IT-innovation that enables the use of the civil registry by hundreds of (semi-)public organisations. Literature review and a case study show how this ‘basis registration’ creates a deep tension between system and lifeworld: citizens who do not fit the system’s criteria lose their access to the major part of public services. The instrumental rationality of the system simplifies the use of addresses for service delivery to one single definition, turns the consequences of address mutations into a black box, and reduces the discretionary space of street-level bureaucrats to handle with social complexities and unintended consequences of the system. This type of IT-innovations can, therefore, come to resemble a ‘digital cage’: a highly disciplining system that hinges on hardware and software design instead of Weberian rules and procedures.


Dr. Rik Peeters
Dr. Rik Peeters is professor en onderzoeker bij de afdeling bestuurskunde van CIDE in Mexico-Stad en directeur van de Brigada Kafka Foundation in Mexico.

Dr. Arjan Widlak
Arjan Widlak is directeur van de Stichting Kafkabrigade in Nederland.
Artikel

Slanker maar topzwaar, meer vrouwen maar vergrijsd: het veranderende gezicht van de rijksoverheid 2002-2015

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Cutbacks, Government spending, Civil servants, Public service, Open data
Auteurs Dr. Dimiter Toshkov, Eduard Schmidt MSc en Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the transformations of the Dutch civil service over the last 15 years, during which numerous cutbacks and reorganizations took place. While existing research predominantly focused on changes in the total number of civil servants, we examine how the distribution of civil servants changed in terms of rank, gender and age. We theorize four methods for shrinking the government apparatus, and for each method, we identify the possible consequences for the composition of the central civil service in terms of hierarchical make-up and of age. Our results indicate that the total number of civil servants only slightly decreased, but the decrease affected differentially the various ranks of the civil service. While at the lower ranks the number of civil servants decreased strongly, at the upper ranks the number actually increased slightly. The number of women in the civil service increased, also in the higher echelons. Regarding the age distribution, we found considerable changes, with the modal age shifting upwards with up to ten years. Altogether, the civil service has become slightly smaller, more gender-balanced, and significantly more senior (both in terms of ranks and age). The results of this study show that it is important for researchers and practitioners to look beyond the trends in the total number of civil servants and explore the deeper changes within the civil service.


Dr. Dimiter Toshkov
Dr. Dimiter Toshkov is werkzaam bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.

Eduard Schmidt MSc
Eduard Schmidt MSc is werkzaam bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg
Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg is werkzaam bij de Campus Fryslan, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Artikel

Welvaart gemeten, verdeeld en verduurzaamd

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden Welfare economics, Asymmetrical information, Situational contracting, Political theory, Behaviourism
Auteurs Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper shows how interactive governance can be helpful in dealing with information asymmetries in the design and administration of public policy. It describes the checks and balances of a properly incentivized mechanism design of contextual or situational contracting that reveals information on diversity in demand for public intervention, deals with complexity, creates commitment to the public cause and disciplines uncooperative behavior. The contractual mode, moreover, discloses the actual trade-offs between rivalling criteria of good governance such as individual freedom, efficiency, distributional concerns and sustainability, deepening our insight in who gets – or pays for – what, when, where, how and why, as the key issues of policy analysis. Evidence from early applications is combined with suggestions for rolling out this new mode of relinking public policy, implementation and external control.


Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson
Prof. dr. Dik Wolfson is emeritus hoogleraar economie, en geniet gastvrijheid bij de afdeling Bestuurskunde en sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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