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Artikel

Governance by numbers: risico’s verbonden aan de internationale benchmarking en ranking van pensioensystemen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden Governance by numbers, Commensuratie, comparatief onderzoek, doelmatigheid van pensioenen, standaardisatie
Auteurs Drs. Hans Peeters en Dr. Gert Verschraegen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article points out some of the pitfalls and ambiguities involved in quantified cross-national policy comparisons by looking at the construction and use of standardized indicators in the field of pension policy. The empirical analysis looks at three cases where the OESO and EU use standardized pension indicators to score and rank the performance of national pension systems. The cases illustrate some of the problems associated with scoring and ranking the outcomes of unique and complex pension systems by means of internationally standardized indicators. Our results show that internationally standardised indicators for pension systems are not neutral in the sense that they favor countries with certain institutional pension policy mixes over others. When particular institutional characteristics are treated differently under the same metric, systematically distorted conclusions about the performance of national pension systems may, and likely do, result. Consequently, these observed biases hinder reliable cross-national comparison that is based on these indicators. The article concludes with some recommendations on the construction and use of international indicators in the field of pension policy. It also discusses where research on the process of commensuration – transforming qualities into quantities − in a comparative context should go from here.


Drs. Hans Peeters
Hans Peeters is wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het Centrum voor Sociologisch Onderzoek van de KU Leuven, België, hans.peeters@soc.kuleuven.be.

Dr. Gert Verschraegen
Gert Verschraegen is docent sociologie aan de Universiteit Antwerpen, België, Gert.Verschraegen@ua.ac.be.
Artikel

Morele verantwoordelijkheid te midden van meervoudigheid

De toegevoegde waarde van het kritische individu in complexe omgevingen met meervoudige belangen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden financial markets, financial regulation, lobbying, financial crisis, policy paradigms
Auteurs Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens en Lotte van Vliet MA
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The lessons learned from the financial crisis are not necessarily limited to the financial sector. Both the financial sector and the public sector have to deal with perverse effects. The effects can be related to a reduction of complexity and plurality through introducing (oversimplified and one dimensional) models and financial incentives. However, in doing this, complexity and plurality are often lost: the neglect of multiple interests, goal replacement and too much focus on short term results. As a consequence perverse effects arise.
    Public sectors and organizations face internal and external pressure to act as they do. At the level of organizations or groups this may involve groupthink; at institutional level uniformity is promoted by the dynamics of isomorphism. This article is a critique on simplification and a plea for the (re)introduction of plurality. More specifically, we stress the importance of individual moral responsibility as a resource for and a way to preserve plurality. Not because that is the only option, but because it is an option that we believe deserves more attention. Other options such as changing regulations and changing the structure of supervision are already broadly discussed. We want to draw attention to the individual as parts of multiple organizations and systems. Individuals are therefore a natural carrier of multiplicity and plurality. Taking moral responsibility serious is not an easy task, but a meaningful step towards awareness of perverse effects due to reduction of complexity and plurality.


Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens
Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens is als universitair docent verbonden aan de Erasmus School of Economics. Eerder verschenen van haar De overspelige bankier (2004) en Op naar de volgende crisis (2009). In 2010 promoveerde zij op het proefschrift Contested Communication. A Critical Analysis of Central Bank Speech. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens is een van de auteurs van het RMO-advies Tegenkracht organiseren. Lessen uit de kredietcrisis. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Erasmus School of Economics, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3000 DR Rotterdam, noordegraaf@ese.eur.nl.

Lotte van Vliet MA
Lotte van Vliet MA werkt als senior adviseur bij de Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (RMO). Zij is een van de auteurs van het RMO-advies Tegenkracht organiseren. Lessen uit de kredietcrisis. Correspondentiegegevens: l.vliet@adviesorgaan-rmo.nl.
Artikel

Ontbrekende alternatieven en gevestigde belangen

Een studie naar de posities van overheden in hervormingsdebatten tijdens de financiële crisis

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Auteurs Daniel Mügge PhD en Bart Stellinga MA MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The credit crisis that began in the summer of 2007 has fundamentally challenged much financial regulation and the political institutions that produced it. Measured against the criticisms that have been brought forth against previous financial governance, the extent of governments’ overall reform ambitions has been disappointing. Starting from this observation, this article asks: what explains governments’ reform choices, and thus also their limited ambitions? To explore this question, this article focuses on the positions that four governments central to global financial regulation (the USA, the UK, Germany and France) have taken in advance of the G20 meetings in 2009 across four key issue areas: accounting standards, derivatives trading, credit ratings agencies and banking rules. It evaluates both the overlap between positions across domains and governments as well as the differences between them. Such variation, we argue, provides key clues to the overall drivers behind reforms – as well as their limits. The overall picture that emerges can be summarized as follows: governments have been staunch defenders of their national firms’ competitive interests in regulatory reforms. That has not necessarily meant that they followed industry preferences across the board. It has been the relative impact, compared to foreign competitors, that counted in reform positions, not the absolute impact. These differences of opinion have played out within the context and the limits of the overall debates about thinkable policy alternatives. In spite of fundamental criticisms of pre-crisis regulatory orthodoxy, convincing and coherent alternatives have been forthcoming slowly at best. This has made reform proposals less radical than criticisms, seen on their own, might suggest.


Daniel Mügge PhD
Daniel Mügge is universitair docent politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Correspondentiegegevens: D. Mügge, PhD, afdeling Politicologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 237, 1012 DL Amsterdam, d.k.muegge@uva.nl.

Bart Stellinga MA MSc
Bart Stellinga is medior wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid. Correspondentiegegevens: B. Stellinga, MA MSc, Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid, Lange Vijverberg 4-5, 2500 EA Den Haag, stellinga@wrr.nl.
Artikel

Laveren tussen belanghebbenden

Reële autonomie en financieel toezicht

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden regulatory governance, de facto autonomy, financial supervision, bureaucracy, institutional reform
Auteurs Dr. Caelesta Braun
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    De facto autonomy, the actual potential of regulatory agencies to go about their daily work, is often conceived to be more important to explain regulatory capacity than its formal autonomy and responsibilities. In this article we investigate whether external context factors, such as the financial and economic crisis have an impact on de facto autonomy. More specifically, we investigate whether the de facto autonomy varies after the crisis and distinctively so for specific subsets of employees within regulatory agencies. According to literature, mid-level managers of agencies are key to de facto autonomy and building a secure reputation for the agency in question. We test these external and internal effects on de facto autonomy with a survey among employees of the Dutch Financial Market Authority (N = 248). The findings show that the perceived influence of stakeholders is relatively constant, but that it is more dynamic for European stakeholders. Both middle managers and employees working at strategic and policy departments of the agency conceive the impact of European stakeholders as increasing in nature. The findings have important implications for our studies of de facto autonomy of regulatory agencies as well as reform potential after major institutional crises.


Dr. Caelesta Braun
Caelesta Braun is universitair docent aan het Department of Governance Studies, Vu University en als gastonderzoeker verbonden aan Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics (ACIM), University of Antwerp. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. Caelesta Braun, afdeling Bestuurswetenschappen, faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, De Boelelaan 1081, 1081 HV Amsterdam, c.braun@vu.nl.
Artikel

Handelingsperspectieven in het politiek-financieel complex

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden financial crisis, action logics, decision-making theories, regulatory bodies, financial institutions
Auteurs Dr. Kutsal Yesilkagit
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The world-wide meltdown of financial markets is one of the largest human-made crises in modern times. The question that trembles on the lips of many researcher is why the main actors, all considered as rational, have displayed such self-destructing behaviour. Answers have been sought and partially found in theories as varied as ‘regulatory capture’, ‘failed regulation’, and inadequate crisis management. In this special issue, an alternative view is suggested. The financial sector, like any other complex sector, is made up of loosely coupled actors and actor settings (i.e. financial institutions, regulatory bodies, political actors), each driven by different action logics. The studies in this special issue each deeply examine the action logic of one actor group. The purpose of this issue is hence to parcel out the various action logics and suggest directions for further research to combine better the various actors and their differing action logics.


Dr. Kutsal Yesilkagit
Kutsal Yesilkagit is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Utrecht. Correspondentiegegevens: A.K.Yesilkagit@uu.nl.

    Climate change forces to a fundamental reconsideration of our strategic policy, and especially of the relationship between policy and law. With regard to political urgent topics, a tendency towards policy instrumentalism always lies in wait. In the current policy practice this problem manifests itself in the application of law (in many detailed norm prescriptions) and – curiously – also in its policy counterpart: the search towards informal but even goal specific policy processes.

    The authors plead for dealing with spatial climate challenges by creating room for a strategic policy perspective and a sustainable approach of the relation between law and policy. A qualitative approach of policy and law necessitates an innovative juridical transformation: the use of general normative rules which give direction to flexible policy processes in multiple, specific policy situations.


Marleen van Rijswick
Prof. mr. H.F.M.W. van Rijswick is hoogleraar Europees en nationaal waterrecht aan de Universiteit Utrecht en verbonden aan het Centrum voor Omgevingsrecht en beleid. Correspondentiegegevens: Prof. mr. H.F.M.W. van Rijswick Universiteit Utrecht Achter Sint Pieter 200 3512 HT Utrecht h.vanrijswick@uu.nl

Willem Salet
Prof. dr. W.G.M. Salet is algemeen hoogleraar planologie aan het Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
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