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    In the Netherlands at January 1st 2015 municipalities will most likely receive administrative and financial responsibility for work, youth and societal support. Anticipating this change almost all large municipalities have introduced social neighbourhood teams, inspired by the successful model of the ‘Achter-de-Voordeur-aanpak’ (Dutch for ‘Behind the Front Door-approach’). In this article the authors reflect on this development, because of criticisms about the vagueness surrounding the social teams and with its further development in mind. In a historical analysis they look at this phenomenon in relation to its political and policy context. The central research question is the change in vision that has occurred since the first experiments with neighbourhood social teams and the implications for their design. The authors show how the focus in the policy discourse has gradually moved to arguments concerning the efficiency of the societal support, more self-responsibility and self-direction and more participation in the society and the labour process. This makes a different model for neighbourhood teams desirable, especially in terms of (1) the target group of the approach, (2) the depth of the support and (3) the role of the generalist and the room for manoeuvre or the powers this generalist receives. A lot of municipalities choose to discover gradually what works. Next to the time pressure this might explain the vagueness of the plans for the design and organization of neighbourhood teams.


Mirjan Oude Vrielink
Mevr. dr. M.J. Oude Vrielink is senior onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Twente.

Lydia Sterrenberg
Mevr. dr. ir. L. Sterrenberg was senior projectleider bij Platform 31, werkt nu als wetenschappelijk onderzoeker bij de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en als coördinator van het ‘Pioneers into Practice’ mentoring-programma, onderdeel van het Europese Climate-KIC-programmma.

Helga Koper
Mevr. H. Koper is programmamanager Sociaal Domein bij Platform 31.
Artikel

In dienst van beleid of in dienst van de democratie?

Een studie naar de waarden achter overheidscommunicatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2014
Auteurs Harrie van Rooij en Noelle Aarts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    More than twelve years after the appearance of the report of the Dutch Committee on the Future of Government Communication (‘Commissie Toekomst Overheidscommunicatie’) communication as the responsibility of the government is an important issue of debate and a discipline that is alive and kicking. We may even conclude that communication – in the terminology of this report – has conquered a place in the heart of policy. A lot is still unclear about the communicative function of government. On the normative question ‘why should the government communicate’ diverging answers are possible. However, the question is hardly discussed in practice and in science. For this reason the positioning of government communication as a separate discipline is also unclear. Reflection on the elementary values behind the discipline can reveal themes that have been invisible so far. The article investigates which values and motives are attached in theory and in practice to communication as a governmental function. For this reason a content analysis has been carried out of a number of volumes of five Dutch magazines (practical and scientific). The authors conclude that for professionals communication mainly is an instrument to support policy goals. The possibility to make a purposeful contribution with government communication to democratic values hardly is brought about, not so much in Communication Science as in Public Administration.


Harrie van Rooij
Drs. H.J.M. van Rooij is werkzaam bij het Ministerie van Financiën als beleidsadviseur op het gebied van strategische overheidscommunicatie.

Noelle Aarts
Prof. dr. M.N.C. Aarts is verbonden als bijzonder hoogleraar strategische communicatie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en als universitair hoofddocent aan de Universiteit Wageningen.
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