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Article

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Auteurs Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.


Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
Article

Transformative Welfare Reform in Consensus Democracies

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, welfare state, social investment, transformative reform, Belgium and the Netherlands
Auteurs Anton Hemerijck en Kees van Kersbergen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article takes up Lijphart’s claim that consensus democracy is a ‘kinder, gentler’ form of democracy than majoritarian democracy. We zoom in on contemporary welfare state change, particularly the shift towards social investment, and argue that the kinder, gentler hypothesis remains relevant. Consensus democracies stand out in regard to the extent to which their political institutions help to overcome the politically delicate intricacies of governing for the long term. We theorize the features that can help to solve the problem of temporal commitment in democracy through processual mechanisms and illustrate these with short case studies of the contrasting welfare state reform experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Anton Hemerijck
Anton Hemerijck is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Kees van Kersbergen
Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University, Denmark.
Artikel

Slimme sturing van publiek-private samenwerking bij publieke infrastructuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden Public private partnership, DBFM(O)-contracts, Public infrastructure projects, Relational contracting
Auteurs Joop Koppenjan, Erik Hans Klijn, Rianne Warsen e.a.
Samenvatting

    In the Netherlands, the Dutch government public private partnerships (PPP) using DBFMO contracts has become the default option for realizing complex public infrastructures. DBFMO contracts imply the integrated outsourcing of the design (D), building (B), financing (F), the maintenance (M), and also often the exploitation (O) of projects to private actors. The general idea is that by bundling public and private resources, the increasing complexity of today’s public infrastructure projects can be tackled more easily. However, reality is contumacious. As a consequence of several problems related to DBFMO collaborations, the Dutch highway and water management agency Rijkswaterstaat and several private actors recently put forward a new market vision. This vision is a call to reinvent the dominant collaboration practice between public and private actors: relational aspects should be central. In managing projects, more attention should be given to the quality of relations, attitudes, openness and trust. Recent research confirms that the success of DBFMO projects is not only contingent on contractual aspects but also, and maybe even more importantly, on relational aspects. Smart governance involves a shift from the current dominant financial economic-oriented contractual approach to PPP towards a more sociologically inspired relational form of governance.


Joop Koppenjan

Erik Hans Klijn

Rianne Warsen

José Nederhand
Artikel

Van project naar opgave

Samenwerking als motor van de planning van infrastructuur en ruimte

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden planning, cooperation, challenge-oriented approach, infrastructure and spatial development
Auteurs Wim Leendertse, Jos Arts, Tim Busscher e.a.
Samenvatting

    Infrastructure and adjacent areas represent extensive social value. However, infrastructure and areas are still often developed sectoral and independent. In the Netherlands, national spatial policies strive for combining infrastructure and area as one integrated approach as this is expected to result in more spatial quality. Taking this perspective, this article discusses trendy concepts in current Dutch planning, such as: adaptive planning, public and private cooperation and challenge-oriented approaches (‘opgave-gericht werken’ which focuses less on realising a project but more on the current and future issues and challenges in an area). This article argues that these concepts are closely related. Adaptive planning defines the rules of the game and the playing field, within which cooperation may develop. Cooperation is a means for creating spatial quality in interaction within this playing field. After all, generated quality can be considered as a contribution to the specific objectives and interest of the various partners. A challenge-oriented approach is the process for generating spatial quality from synergies in combined infrastructure and spatial development. This article aims to explore the relationships between adaptive planning, public and private cooperation and challenge-oriented approaches and to provide starting points for further research and discussion.


Wim Leendertse

Jos Arts

Tim Busscher

Frits Verhees
Artikel

Probleemanalyse is het halve werk

Samenwerking en innovatie in de strijd tegen ondermijnende criminaliteit

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2016
Auteurs Maurits Waardenburg BSc, Bas Keijser BSc, Prof. dr. Martijn Groenleer e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Science and practice are largely agreed on the importance of interorganizational cooperation in the approach of tackling complex societal problems. Organization transcending innovation through this type of cooperation however appears to be complicated. Based on an analysis of the literature about partnerships, the authors distinguish three challenges: coping with the tension between old and new accountability structures, building good working relationships and developing capabilities for problem-oriented working. Starting from these insights they designed action research into problem-oriented partnerships in the safety domain (safety chain). Their main question was: what is the most important obstacle for innovation through problem-oriented interorganizational cooperation? Over a period of nine months, they watched eight teams of professionals from different organizations. Their task was to develop and implement innovative approaches to tackle persistent organized crime. Although all three challenges identified in the literature indeed played a prominent role, problem diagnosis and problem definition appeared to be the main obstacle for the teams. In this article the authors describe the action research and explore, on the basis of the results and the literature, how partnerships could cope in practice with the challenge of problem definition and problem analysis. They conclude the article with suggestions for the design of a follow-up round of the action research.


Maurits Waardenburg BSc
M. Waardenburg MPP is research fellow aan het Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation van de Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Bas Keijser BSc
B. Keijser BSc is bezig met de afronding van zijn master Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management aan de Faculteit Techniek, Bestuur & Management van de Technische Universiteit Delft.

Prof. dr. Martijn Groenleer
Prof. dr. M.L.P. Groenleer is hoogleraar Regional Law and Governance aan Tilburg University en tevens directeur van het Tilburg Center for Regional Law and Governance (TiREG).

Dr. Jorrit de Jong
Dr. J. de Jong is lecturer in Public Policy and Management aan de Harvard Kennedy School en wetenschappelijk directeur van het Government Program bij het Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation van de Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

    Representations of sub-national entities challenge since the mid-1980s the monopoly of the central states on EU representation. Through an analysis of their activities, this article verifies whether their presence may be interpreted as an expression of the hollowing out of the state. The research revealed that these representations have developed a national and an international strategy to fulfil their mission. The international strategy resembles that of interest groups in the European policy space, and it follows the neo-functionalist logic of other European interest groups. The national strategy is more policy-oriented. To influence the decision-making process, representations form networks between themselves and with their permanent representation. Rather than hollowing out the state, the activities of these representations reveal a growing interdependence between the central state and regional authorities resulting from European integration.


Michel Huysseune
Vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Theo Jans
Vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
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