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Artikel

Access_open Voorbij de controverse: het Nederlandse neoliberalisme als onderwerp van onderzoek

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden Neoliberalism, The Netherlands, Intellectual history, Political history, Essentially contested concepts
Auteurs Dr. Merijn Oudenampsen en Dr. Bram Mellink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The word neoliberalism has often been the object of fierce controversy in the Dutch public debate. Prominent intellectuals have equated neoliberalism with extremism and fundamentalism, with some going as far as calling it a ‘totalitarian faith’. The opposite camp in the debate has argued that neoliberalism is largely a self-invented bogeyman of the left, a swearword used by critics to engage in an intellectual witch-hunt. Of course, neoliberalism is not the only social science term suffering from a polemical status. Common concepts such as populism, socialism, nationalism or conservatism have given rise to similar lasting disagreements and comparable accusations of their derogatory use. What does appear to be exceptional about neoliberalism in the Dutch debate, is that very few conceptual and historical studies have been published on the subject. While the word neoliberalism is commonly employed in Dutch mainstream social science, many scholars seem to use the term without much further qualification. This paper explores the controversy and looks for ways to proceed beyond it. Drawing on a recent wave of international scholarship, it outlines an ideational approach to neoliberalism. After tracing the origins of the term neoliberalism, it closes with a preliminary example of an ideational analysis of Dutch neoliberalism.


Dr. Merijn Oudenampsen
Dr. Merijn Oudenampsen is Postdoc onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, Programmagroep: Geographies of Globalizations.

Dr. Bram Mellink
Dr. Bram Mellink is postdoc onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Capaciteitsgroep Geschiedenis.
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Globalisering, consensusbestuur en de regio: naar een nieuwe maatschappelijke en bestuurlijke ordening?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden globalisation, consensus governance, regionalism, representation, decision-making
Auteurs Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg
Samenvatting

    In his inaugural lecture entitled ‘From Pillars to Bubbles: The future of consensus governance in a globalized society’, Caspar van den Berg examines the consequences of economic and cultural globalization for the model of consensus governance that defined Dutch public administration for most of the 20th century. In doing so he presents an expansion and refinement of the Lijphartian model of consociationalism, and indicates which four factors supported consensus governance in the pillarized period, and how each of them has suffered erosion as globalization proceeded. It has become increasingly visible that globalization has differentiated effects for different groups in society, but also for different types of regions: booming regions benefit greatly from globalization, shrinking regions face major challenges. By combining recent insights from public administration, sociology, political science, economics and social geography, a new social order emerges, consisting of bubbles that are distinguished along socio-economic and territorial lines. These developments cause friction with regard to representation and decision-making at national, regional and local level. These are the themes on which the research within the Chair of Global and Local Governance will focus in the coming years.


Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg

    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.
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
Thema-artikel

Voortvarend in verbouwen

Hoe Denemarken efficiënt drastische beleidswijzigingen realiseert (maar niet per se heel effectief blijkt)

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Comparative public administration, Public reform, Reform implementation, Decentralisation, Civil service
Auteurs Eline van Schaik MSc
Samenvatting

    In international comparative research, a dominant image often emerges of Denmark as a frontrunner in innovative governance, gaining top results in international rankings.
    Based on four recent examples of national public reforms, this article studies the dynamics of reform implementation in Denmark, which can be characterised as expeditious and efficient. Three explanatory factors are discussed: a political, systemic and managerial factor. What is Denmark, a country in many ways similar to the Netherlands, doing differently? The article concludes that, for the Netherlands, the guiding element of Danish public reforms can be found not in the results of these reforms, but in the efficiency with which they are implemented.


Eline van Schaik MSc
Vrij artikel

Transparantie in de EU-Raad

Onvermijdelijk en onmisbaar? Onverzadelijk en onuitvoerbaar?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden transparency, Council of the EU, access to documents, democratic legitimacy
Auteurs Dr. Maarten Hillebrandt
Samenvatting

    The democratic deficit is generally observed to be one of the largest challenges facing the European Union. This is in spite of the fact that the member states introduced transparency in 1992 to address this legitimacy problem. This article asks why, after several decades, the transparency policy has still not delivered on its promise. In doing so, it bases itself on new empirical data that was collected in the context of a recently presented dissertation (Hillebrandt, 2017), while drawing a strict distinction between the empirical policy change question and the normative desirability question. From a longitudinal comparative analysis, a differentiated empirical image arises. On the one hand, a clear enhancement of legislative transparency can be discerned; on the other hand, a plurality of transparency-evasive practices has emerged in the area of non-legislative decision-making. This equivocal image supports contrasting normative responses, according to which transparency is respectively cast as an indispensable ideal, a fiction, or a solution in search of a problem.


Dr. Maarten Hillebrandt
Thema-artikel

Access_open De blik naar buiten: bestuurlijke verbouwingen in het buitenland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden bestuurlijke hervormingen, bestuurlijke ontwikkeling, internationale vergelijking, New Public Management, New Public Governance
Auteurs Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan en Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Samenvatting

    In this special issue, recent public sector reforms in South Africa, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico, Singapore and Denmark are analysed. Reforms in the public sector are by and large explained as a chronological development from traditional bureaucracy, via New Public Management to New Public Governance. This is also the way the many administrative reforms in the Dutch public sector are often explained.
    The articles give insight in the administrative developments in these countries and their background. They also offer the opportunity to make comparisons with administrative developments in the Netherlands, and to draw lessons. The analyses show that the dominant explanation of reforms in the public sector (from traditional bureaucracy, to New Public Management to New Public Governance) is helpful in making sense of administrative developments, but they put this explanation into perspective too.
    For the Dutch situation yet another insight came to light. We often complain that the Dutch processes are cumbersome, take long and involve many -if not all- stakeholders. A close reading of the contributions from abroad must inevitably change this pejorative view on our national sport: the cumbersome process provides valuable checks and balances, that will help to fight the drawbacks and risks that we have seen in the international cases.


Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan

Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Artikel

Het asielzoekerscentrum als buurthuis? Over vrijwilligerswerk in asielzoekerscentra in Amsterdam en Brussel

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Asylum centres, Community centres, Refugees, Civic engagement, Interpretive policy analyses
Auteurs Rosaly Studulski en Nanke Verloo
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Citizens are being activated to organize activities in asylum centres in both the Netherlands and Belgium. That way, asylum centres are expected to become better integrated in the local context of a municipality or neighbourhood. This ideal of citizenship does not stand on its own. The policy object to integrate asylum centres in the local context has parallels with broader societal and academic discussions about citizen participation and active citizenship. The object, however, is now the asylum seeker. In this article we research how voluntary work in two asylum centres takes shape and how policy could support voluntary activities better. A comparative interpretive policy analysis of two asylum centres in Amsterdam and Brussel shows how voluntary work is stimulated by policy, how these policies are implemented locally, and how they are experienced in daily practices of volunteers and professionals. The cases reveal stark differences, but exactly those contrasts lead to important lessons. We show that because of this policy, the asylum centre is often functioning as a community centre, that integration can be strengthened by volunteers, but we are also critical when voluntary activities are driven by an ideal picture of the ‘good asylum seeker’. There is a risk that the societal responsibility for integrating and engaging asylum seekers in the local context is pushed on the shoulders of unpaid volunteers and that activities are exclusively for one group. That is why we conclude that professional support and financial resources are crucial to implement the policy ideal of active citizenship in asylum centers.


Rosaly Studulski
Rosaly Studulski, MSc. is onlangs afgestudeerd in de Research Master Urban Studies aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en sindsdien werkzaam bij het Projectmanagementbureau van de Gemeente Amsterdam.

Nanke Verloo
Dr. Nanke Verloo is werkzaam als Universitair Docent in Stedelijke Planologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en redacteur bij Beleid en Maatschappij.
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