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Tegendraads betrokken

De bijdrage van de complexiteitstheorie aan bestuur en bestuurskunde

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden complexity theory, machine, simplification, complex systems, critical public administration
Auteurs Hans Joosse MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Complexity theory dares to adopt a critical-constructive attitude to the practice and science of public administration. From the worldview of complex systems, it raises questions about the machine thinking that has influenced public administration strongly and persistently. Many contemporary attempts by governments to simplify societal issues to knowable, solvable and controllable problems – for example the approach to transforming Utrecht Central Station and dealing with multi-dimensional problems in families – can be traced back to machine thinking. Complexity theory points to the ineffectiveness and undesirability of simplifications and considers the complexity of government and society a quality that should be increased rather than reduced. Complexity theory not only keeps the administrative mind sharp on simplification reflexes, but also offers the option to make policy by increasing, rather than reducing complexity.


Hans Joosse MSc
J.A. Joosse, MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Department of Public Administration and Sociology.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Kritische bestuurskunde

Naar een reflexief perspectief op bestuur en beleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Critical Public Administration, Reflexive knowledge, Instrumental knowledge, Public Values
Auteurs Robert van Putten MSc MA, Lars Dorren MA MSc en Prof. dr. Willem Trommel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the past four decades of its existence, Dutch public administration has developed into a science which mainly produces knowledge that either caters to a very specific scientific niche or aims to optimize policy processes in an instrumental fashion. This type of knowledge is not well equipped to provide answers or improve understanding of the challenges of our time. We argue that public administration needs to shift its focus more towards producing reflexive knowledge in the form of what we would call critical public administration. Based on the contributions in this special issue, this article outlines what the contribution of such a critical public administration could be. The article shows that, even though it is theory driven, critical public administration is close to policy practice and can fuel a productive public debate by imagining alternative futures.


Robert van Putten MSc MA
R.J. van Putten MSc MA is promovendus aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschappen en Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Lars Dorren MA MSc
L. Dorren MA MSc is promovendus aan de onderzoeksgroep Politics & Public Governance, Universiteit Antwerpen.

Prof. dr. Willem Trommel
Prof. dr. W.A. Trommel is hoogleraar Bestuur en beleid aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschappen en Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Deliberation Out of the Laboratory into Democracy

Quasi-Experimental Research on Deliberative Opinions in Antwerp’s Participatory Budgeting

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Deliberative democracy, mini-publics, participatory budget, social learning, deliberative opinions
Auteurs Thibaut Renson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The theoretical assumptions of deliberative democracy are increasingly embraced by policymakers investing in local practices, while the empirical verifications are often not on an equal footing. One such assertion concerns the stimulus of social learning among participants of civic democratic deliberation. Through the use of pre-test/post-test panel data, it is tested whether participation in mini-publics stimulates the cognitive and attitudinal indicators of social learning. The main contribution of this work lies in the choice of matching this quasi-experimental set-up with a natural design. This study explores social learning across deliberation through which local policymakers invite their citizens to participate in actual policymaking. This analysis on the District of Antwerp’s participatory budgeting demonstrates stronger social learning in real-world policymaking. These results inform a richer theory on the impacts of deliberation, as well as better use of limited resources for local (participatory) policymaking.


Thibaut Renson
Thibaut Renson is, inspired by the 2008 Obama campaign, educated as a Political Scientist (Ma EU Studies, Ghent University) and Political Philosopher (Ma Global Ethics and Human Values, King’s College London). Landed back at the Ghentian Centre for Local Politics to do empirical research. Driven by the moral importance of social learning (vs. political consumerism) in democracy, exploring the empirical instrumentality of deliberation.
Thema-artikel

Niet meer dan een speldenprik

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Positive Public Administration, positivism, research agenda, societal impact
Auteurs Prof. dr. Willem Trommel
Samenvatting

    Willem Trommel reflects on the ambitions of Positive Public Administration. He observes that Positive Public Administration is at heart the product of a longing for positivist science and ‘real facts’ in public debate, arguing instead that a more radical overhaul of the discipline is required towards Provocative Public Administration.


Prof. dr. Willem Trommel

    Governance is a human activity and is therefore unquestionably about relationships. Relationships between public and private parties. Relationships in existing steering-oriented structures (the political administrator as guardian, magistrate) and also relationships in new forms of cooperation that are often focused on good relationships (government participation). Public-private partnerships are inevitably accompanied by conflicting interests that place different demands on interactions. One-size-fits-all does not fit there, but customization is required, with constant alignment with what is – and what is not (yet). And so the ability to make contact requires much more attention, and from there to explore and grasp perspectives. How do you work on the tensions that you find on your way? It is there that the method of communication influences how the process of cooperation and steering proceeds. This is not a matter of whether-or, but and-and. Both perspectives are characterized by a different relationship with those involved and a different way of contact and interaction. This article focuses on contact from a collaborative perspective. The classical administrative side already has a rich history, while the cooperation side is often still an unknown and unexplored territory. The central question is: how can you, as a director and public professional, deliver tailor-made solutions and therefore adapt to complex tasks? The authors look at complex situations from a communicative perspective and they introduce ‘appreciative communication’ as the art of aligning with what really moves people, as a frame of view of the inconvenience caused by the differences present. They highlight a number of generic tensions that can arise in cooperation situations. A case study into the approach to regional innovation in the field of mobility serves as an illustration.


Dr. Els van der Pool
Dr. E.M.C. van der Pool is lector Human Communication Development bij de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN).

Dr. Guido Rijnja
Dr. G.W. Rijnja is adviseur communicatiebeleid bij de Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, Ministerie van Algemene Zaken.
Artikel

De interactielogica van verzet: een dramaturgische analyse van escalatie tijdens een informatieavond

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Protest, Governance, Participation, Dramaturgy, Interaction logic
Auteurs Sander van Haperen MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Theory about participation has long moved beyond merely informing citizens, arguing for more influential and effective instruments. Nevertheless, ‘inspraak’ remains widely implemented in Dutch practice, with mixed results. This article argues that the deliberative quality of the instrument is closely related to the performance of power. Dramaturgical concepts are employed to analyze resistance against the siting of a homeless facility in an Amsterdam neighborhood. One particular evening sets the stage for escalation, which ultimately frustrates the policy process. The analysis shows how the performance of the meeting invokes specific kinds of resistance. A different performance of ‘informing’ could potentially improve the quality of the public sphere.


Sander van Haperen MSc
Sander van Haperen MSc is promovendus Political sociology aan the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Artikel

Herstel en vertrouwen: professionals, ervaringswerkers en de herstelvisie in de Nederlandse geestelijke gezondheidszorg

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Trust, Recovery, Professionals, Peer specialists, Habermas
Auteurs Marijn Kester MSc en Mr. dr. Olivier Lingbeek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This text wants to draw attention to the question: How do peer specialists build a bridge between the modus operandi of health care professionals and the lifeworld problems of clients receiving mental health care? The Dutch mental healthcare system has recently been host to a range of new developments. Two new trends can be distinguished, going by the name of ‘Recovery-oriented healthcare’ and the introduction of ‘Peer Specialists’. These coincide with changes in budget and organization of treatment. There is an increased awareness of the need for efficiency and cost reduction in the organization of care. The meaning and use of recovery-centered approaches and working with peer specialists remain fairly marginal enterprises due to ever increasing pressure emanating from execution of regulations and administrative procedures, and an accompanying decrease of professional autonomy. In the light of Habermas’ theoretical framework, it is an emphasis on a system-oriented organization of care that cause new approaches to barely be able to find a considerable place in the contemporary practice of mental healthcare in the Netherlands. Trust is identified as an essential foundation on the basis of which future principles of organization should be developed.


Marijn Kester MSc
Marijn Kester MSc is medisch socioloog.

Mr. dr. Olivier Lingbeek
Mr. dr. Olivier Lingbeek heeft een eigen adviesbureau op het gebied van bestuurlijke vraagstukken met betrekking tot planologie en sociologie.
Artikel

Informatieveiligheid: van Bentham naar Habermas

Een column van Digicommissaris Bas Eenhoorn

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2017
Auteurs Drs. Bas Eenhoorn

Drs. Bas Eenhoorn
Article

Het geslacht van de kandidaat als heuristisch stemmotief

Een onderzoek naar het effect van politieke sofisticatie en electorale context op gender-based stemgedrag

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2017
Auteurs Sjifra de Leeuw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper, I study gender-based voting behavior in the Belgian proportional electoral system. In particular, I investigate two possible causes for why voters experience the need to simplify their voting decision by using a gender-cue. First, in line with the findings of previous studies, I find that voters with lower levels of political sophistication who are less able to collect and process political information, are consequently more likely to use the sex of a candidate as a shortcut. However, the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting behavior is limited. Second, based on the literature, I expect that the low information context of the second-order European elections would cause both high and low information voters to become more reliant on gendercues to simplify their voting decision and by extent would cause the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting to diminish. Against theoretical expectations, I find that the effect of the electoral context is negligible.


Sjifra de Leeuw
Sjifra de Leeuw is masterstudente Politieke Wetenschappen, Statistiek en Sociologie aan de KU Leuven. Vanaf september 2017 is zij doctoraatsstudent politieke communicatie aan de Amsterdam School of Communication Research (Universiteit van Amsterdam).
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.
Artikel

Ambtenaren en levensbeschouwelijke tekens – een pleidooi voor inclusieve neutraliteit

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden Inclusieve neutraliteit, hoofddoekendebat, ambtenarij, multiculturele samenleving, levensbeschouwelijke diversiteit
Auteurs dr. François Levrau
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Every now and then the question whether or not civil servants are allowed to wear religious and ideological signs divides the minds of the people, and leads to societal and political controversy. In this article we examine this controversy by contrasting two different conceptions of neutrality, an inclusive and an exclusive account. We illustrate why the former is to be preferred and hence that a neutral government should not necessarily ask its servants to abstract from religious and cultural expressions. This however does not imply that all kinds of expressions should be allowed. In order to prevent a slippery slope, we formulate a number of formal criteria that can help to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff: (1) the interpretation of neutrality in relation to a minimum and objective review; (2) the proportionality criterion; (3) the functionality criterion; and (4) the criterion of contact with the public.


dr. François Levrau
Dr. François Levrau is algemeen coördinator van het Steunpunt Inburgering & Integratie (Universiteit Antwerpen) en als postdoctoraal onderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor Migratie & Interculturele Studies (Universiteit Antwerpen).
Article

Impact en haalbaarheid in politieke theorieën

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden feasibility, impact, theory parts, practical application of theory
Auteurs Stijn Koenraads
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Feasibility considerations are important for political theories. An infeasible theory may contain valuable ideals, but is not suited to reality. Utilizing a precise and complete conceptualization of feasibility is essential to considering the feasibility of theories. An existing definition of feasibility is presented here. It is argued that this conception of feasibility is incomplete. The impact of parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the parts of a theory themselves should be considered as well – something that has not been addressed in the literature thus far. A new feasibility framework is developed, in which the impact of parts of a theory, the feasibility of the parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the preferred outcome of a theory have a place. Thus, the notion of feasibility is conceptualized in a more complete way.


Stijn Koenraads
Stijn Koenraads heeft aan de Radboud Universiteit een BSc in de Politicologie en een MSc in Political Science/Political Theory behaald. Zijn onderzoeksinteressen zijn politieke haalbaarheid en milieuethiek.
Artikel

Vroeger voor vandaag

Heden-verledenvergelijkingen voor praktisch gebruik

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden Past-present comparisons, methodology, Valorisation, History, Policy
Auteurs Dr. Anita Boele, Prof. dr. Arjan van Dixhoorn en Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we explore how and under what circumstances present-past comparisons can be used to find solutions to current social issues. We argue that meaningful comparisons can not only be made between countries or groups within countries, rather, comparisons between current and past societies too can enrich our thinking about pressing social problems. We search for the conditions under which such comparisons are possible without undermining the professional skills, epistemological and methodological insights of the various disciplines. Learning from the past calls for an in-depth study of present problems and the historical (role) model alike, with historians and social and political scientists cooperating in teams. We propose a five-step-method: (1) diagnosing the social issue, (2) tracing comparable historical practices that might offer solutions, (3) distilling these practices from their historical contexts, (4) massaging the ‘historical’ practices into the diagnosed present-day context through an imaginative exercise, and (5) implementing these solutions into everyday life through forms of experiment.


Dr. Anita Boele
Dr. Anita Boele is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Utrecht, departement Geschiedenis en Kunstgeschiedenis.

Prof. dr. Arjan van Dixhoorn
Prof. dr. Arjan van Dixhoorn is als bijzonder hoogleraar ‘Geschiedenis van Zeeland in de Wereld’ (Hurgronje-leerstoel) van de Universiteit Utrecht verbonden aan het Arts & Humanities Department van University College Roosevelt (Middelburg).

Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen is onderzoeker bij het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau
Artikel

Gedrag als succesformule voor beleid

Leidt inzicht in menselijk gedrag tot beter beleid?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2015
Trefwoorden behavioral sciences, public policymaking, policy effectiveness
Auteurs Dr. Meyken Houppermans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The economic crisis is forcing Dutch government to deliberate decisions that lead to effective public policy.
    There seems to be a trend for the involvement of behavioral insights in the policymaking process, in order to achieve more effective public policy. The Government Strategy Board organized several conferences on this topic and the Scientific Council for Government policy researches this subject.
    To what extent can behavioral insights be considered a success formula for policy? This article offers a critical consideration from the findings of the thesis ’Two sides of the coin’, that deals with the relationship between the policymaking process and the effectiveness of public policy and makes it clear that behavioral insights are an important condition for successful policy. However, success demands an update of the current dominant scientific perspective on public policy as well as a realistic judgement of the high requirements on policy makers to involve behavioral insights in the policymaking process.


Dr. Meyken Houppermans
Dr. M.K. Houppermans is bestuurskundig socioloog en werkzaam als onderzoeker/adviseur, gepromoveerd op het proefschrift ’Twee kanten van de medaille. Een onderzoek naar de kwaliteit van de beleidsvoorbereiding’.
Article

Politieke theorie en de Europese Unie: het braakliggend terrein van het normatief programma

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2014
Trefwoorden European Union, political theory, integration theory, European Studies, ideal theory
Auteurs Erik De Bom
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article it will be argued that the contribution of political theory to European studies is rather one-sided and could be enriched by broadening the spectrum. To make this clear, the first part of this article will offer an overview of the contribution of political theory to European integration studies up to the present day. In the second part, avenues for further research will be presented with special attention to the importance of theories of justice for the EU. In close connection to this program, the value of ideal theory will be highlighted as a means to think about the further development of the EU and to critically assess the present functioning of the EU.


Erik De Bom
Erik De Bom verricht postdoctoraal onderzoek aan het Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte van de KU Leuven en is als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan het Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op het vroegmoderne politieke denken (16de-17de eeuw) en contemporaine politieke filosofie met bijzondere aandacht voor de Europese Unie.

    While the belief in a socially engineered society has been renounced to a large extent, in cities actors continue to struggle with the question how their plans can be steered on goal achievement. This article addresses a steering philosophy that is based on an emergent adaptive urban development process. This means that urban strategies adapt during the process by connecting to initiatives from the market and civil society. The central question of this article is how specific projects are ‘made’ in accordance with the intentions of the actors involved and how these projects are connected to larger policy stories for the city. In this article perspectives are explored that have replaced the old thinking in terms of ‘social engineering’. On the basis of two case studies in the Netherlands (Brainport Eindhoven and Mainport Rotterdam) an emergent adaptive strategy is explored as a perspective for action. This perspective is not only about ‘social engineering’, but also about ‘social connecting’. An emergent adaptive strategy is not designed on the drawing table, but it emerges during the practice of project development out of an attitude that is conscious of the environment, connective and reflective.


Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul is verbonden aan de Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculty of Architecture & Built Environment, sectie Urban Development Management.

Dr. ir. Tom Daamen
Dr. ir. Tom Daamen is verbonden aan de Technische Universiteit Delft, Faculty of Architecture & Built Environment, sectie Urban Development Management.
Article

Access_open Beleidsonderzoek benutten

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, april 2014
Auteurs Prof. dr. A.F.A. Korsten en drs. Anne Douwe van der Meer AC
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Achter opdrachtresearch gaat de veronderstelling schuil dat de tussen- en eindresultaten van beleidsonderzoek vroeg of laat ook benut worden en onderdeel worden van een proces van bezinning op beleid. Dit artikel handelt hierover. Diverse aspecten van benutting van onderzoek komen aan bod, zoals de definitie en vormen van benutting. Er worden vier richtingen onderscheiden om de omvang en vorm van benutting of onderbenutting op te sporen. Het artikel geeft voorts verklaringen voor achterblijvende benutting en bevat adviezen om te komen tot meer benutting. Voor ambtenaren, bestuurders en partners in beleidsnetwerken biedt deze beschouwing aanknopingspunten om researchresultaten desgewenst beter te benutten. En voor onderzoekers bevat dit artikel tal van aanzetten tot hypothesevorming voor verder onderzoek.


Prof. dr. A.F.A. Korsten
Prof. dr. A.F.A. Korsten is honorair hoogleraar Bestuurskunde van de lagere overheden aan de Universiteit Maastricht en emeritus hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Open Universiteit.

drs. Anne Douwe van der Meer AC
Drs. Anne Douwe van der Meer AC is bedrijfseconoom en controller. Hij was werkzaam bij onder andere de Arbeidsvoorziening, het ministerie van Defensie, de gemeentelijke overheid en Deloitte.
Article

Leidt meer kennis over de Europese Unie tot een sterkere Europese identiteit?

Een vergelijkend onderzoek bij adolescenten in 21 lidstaten

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden European identity, European Union, ICCS 2009, political knowledge
Auteurs Soetkin Verhaegen, Marc Hooghe en Yves Dejaeghere
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Strengthening European citizenship is often considered as a ‘cure’ for the democratic deficit and the lack of legitimacy of the European Union. The present article focuses on the identity component of European citizenship, which is a core component of European citizenship. We distinguish two possible ways to strengthen European identity: a cognitive one (more knowledge about the EU leads to a stronger identity) and a utilitarian one (living in a member state that benefits more from its EU-membership leads to a stronger European identity). We test both explanatory models using a multilevel analysis on the data of the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study. 70,502 adolescents from 21 European member states were questioned in this study. Results indicate that knowledge about the EU only has a limited effect on European identity. The degree in which a member state contributes to the European budget does not seem to have an effect on the strength of European identity at all.


Soetkin Verhaegen
Soetkin Verhaegen is onderzoeker aan het Center for Citizenship and Democracy van de KULeuven. Zij is verbonden aan de Parent Child Socialization Study en bereidt een doctoraat voor over de ontwikkeling van Europese identiteit.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar aan de KULeuven en visiting professor aan de Université Lille-II en de Universität Mannheim. Hij bekleedt dit jaar de Francqui-leerstoel aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Yves Dejaeghere
Yves Dejaeghere is doctor in de politieke wetenschappen, verbonden aan het Center for Citizenship and Democracy van de KULeuven. Hij was medeverantwoordelijk voor de Belgian Political Panel Study (BPPS, 2006-2011).
Article

Een kosmopolitische wereldorde als realistische utopie?

Recente Angelsaksische politieke filosofie in het licht van de natiestaat

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2011
Trefwoorden political philosophy, global justice, cosmopolitanism, sovereignty, transnational democracy
Auteurs Ronald Tinnevelt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Although hotly debated, the idea of global justice is a relatively new topic within Anglo-Saxon and Continental political philosophy and theory. This paper discusses when and why Anglo-Saxon political theorists became interested in this field of research. The emergence of cosmopolitan norms of justice after the Second World War is one of these reasons. Subsequently, the paper explains some of the basic concepts that are being used within the field and explains why a political philosophical analysis of the ethical significance of boundaries has an added value for political scientists. The paper concludes by elaborating three different themes within the broad debate on global justice: humanitarian aid, global distributive justice, and democratic representation.


Ronald Tinnevelt
Ronald Tinnevelt (1971) is als universitair hoofddocent rechtsfilosofie verbonden aan de Faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Zijn voornaamste onderzoeksinteresses zijn: democratie, mensenrechten, kosmopolitisme en mondiale rechtvaardigheid. Hij is de co-redacteur van Global Democracy and Exclusion (Blackwell 2010) en Nationalism and Global Justice (Routledge 2010).
Article

De grenzen van de gemeenschap

Over immigratie en de hedendaagse democratie

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2011
Trefwoorden community, sovereignty, identity, hospitality, immigration, Nancy, Agamben
Auteurs Ignaas Devisch en Nanda Oudejans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Not a few continental philosophers are engaged with the debate on democracy, community and tolerance but also globalization, migration and human rights. They do not demand interpretation to get stopped in order to make action possible, as Marx demanded; every political action should start from a critical interpretation of what political acting demands. The work of philosophers such as Agamben, Benhabib, Honig or Nancy is deeply characterized by the challenge of the numerous difficulties and dilemmas our thinking of the other is confronted with, since the stranger or the other discloses limits by contesting who or what we are. He questions and deconstructs the identity of a given, particular community. The limits of community, that’s what it’s all about.


Ignaas Devisch
Ignaas Devisch (1970) is als filosoof verbonden aan de Arteveldehogeschool en de Universiteit Gent. Hij doceert er medische filosofie en ethiek, bio-ethiek en sociale filosofie. Hij studeerde aan de universiteiten van Gent en Brussel en promoveerde in 2002. Hij publiceert regelmatig in binnen- en buitenland over medische filosofie, sociale en politieke filosofie, sportfilosofie en cultuurfilosofie. Hij is tevens voorzitter van vzw De Maakbare Mens.

Nanda Oudejans
Nanda Oudejans (1978) bereidt een wijsgerig proefschrift voor over het vluchtelingenvraagstuk aan de Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Universiteit van Tilburg. Haar onderzoeksinteresses zijn asiel, immigratie, mensenrechten, democratie, collectieve identiteit, soevereiniteit en de verhouding tussen (internationaal) recht en politiek.
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