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    Nowadays municipalities in the Netherlands work together more intensively with other municipalities in the region. Also cooperation with companies, institutions and societal organizations is more often looked for at the regional level. In practice this brings along many problems and difficulties. For several reasons it appears not to be easy to combine the implementation strengths of municipalities and societal partners. This article presents a new approach (based on the theory of ‘new regionalism’) to regional implementation strength. This approach is not only about designing regional administrations, but is mainly about the factors that induce administrations as well as companies and institutions to commit themselves jointly for the region. To increase the regional implementation strength more is needed than the formation of a regional administrative structure in which municipalities do not cooperate in a non-committal manner. To induce municipalities and societal partners to commit themselves jointly to handling new tasks or new challenges it is also necessary to have a clear strategic vision on these issues that binds parties and makes them enthusiastic and that regional cooperation is rooted in a societal breeding ground. It also asks for an administrative structure that does justice to the contribution every municipality and societal partner makes to the realization of the strategy and for a democratic involvement of municipal councils and sector-based interest groups.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur bij de vakgroep Bestuurskunde van de faculteit Management en Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente en senior adviseur Openbaar Bestuur bij BMC.
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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