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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

What the frack?

Politiserende deliberatie in de besluitvorming over schaliegas

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden wicked problems, shale gas, hydraulic fracturing, deliberation
Auteurs Tamara Metze
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Within the past two years, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas became a highly contested technology in the Netherlands. Possible negative environmental impacts are at strained terms with possible economic, energy and geo-political benefits. In addition, there are many scientific uncertainties about, for example water contamination, methane emissions, the amounts of gas to extract and the risk of earth quakes. Societal conflict and scientific uncertainties make fracking for shale gas a wicked problem for decision makers. This article demonstrates that the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has implemented several instruments for deliberation, such as a consultation round with stakeholders and a sound board for an independent research. These failed to lead to the desired support for fracking. In this contribution, I demonstrate that these instruments led to reason giving but not to structuring of the problem. They were used by governmental actors and protest groups as a political platform that was fuel for the political conflict.


Tamara Metze
Dr. T. Metze is verbonden aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Wie is hier onredelijk!?

Een analyse van de maatschappelijke dynamiek rondom de HPV-vaccinatiecampagne

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden scientific advice, vaccination, well-ordered science
Auteurs Albert Meijer, Paulus Lips en Huub Dijstelbloem
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article presents an analysis of the introduction of the HPV vaccine into the National Vaccination Program in the Netherlands. This introduction resulted in public debate and resistance and eventually a low turn-out (45% while 85% was expected). The question is what we can learn from this specific case about trust of citizens in scientific advice and political decision-making around medical issues. Our qualitative empirical research highlights that trust in scientific advice was undermined by a combination of criticism from peers, a critical approach in the mass media and a strong campaign through social media. Our analysis shows that these factors can be understood as partly resulting from a transition to a network society. We conclude that the network society demands a more open approach of scientific advice both in terms of who they discuss issues with and what kinds of arguments are permitted in the debate.


Albert Meijer
Dr. A.J. Meijer is universitair hoofddocent van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Paulus Lips
Drs. P. Lips is huisarts.

Huub Dijstelbloem
Prof. dr. H.O. Dijstelbloem is senior scientific staff member WRR.
Artikel

Politiek, participatie en experts in de besluitvorming over super wicked problems

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden wicked problems, scientific knowledge, social engineering, deliberative democracy
Auteurs Tamara Metze en Esther Turnhout
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This special issue focusses on deliberative elements in deciding over wicked problems. We present four case studies in which some form of deliberation was organized: the placement of mobile phone masts, hydraulic fracturing for shale gas, the failed HPV vaccination campaign and climate dialogues organized to enhance deliberative knowledge production over climate change. The case studies demonstrate how each of the deliberative processes has become politicized and that deliberative governance runs the risk of turning into a technocratic policy approach.


Tamara Metze
Dr. T.A.P. Metze is verbonden aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Esther Turnhout
Dr. E. Turnhout is verbonden aan de Universiteit van Wageningen.
Artikel

Het ongrijpbare onbehagen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2014
Trefwoorden Discontent, Public opinion, (Social) media, Democracy, Civil society
Auteurs Dr. Dieneke de Ruiter en Jasper Zuure MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since Pim Fortuyn, discontent has become a central issue in public and political debates in the Netherlands. The government tries to ban out all risks and polarisation between citizens, because it fears this will have a destabilising impact on society. However, these measures do not seem to decrease discontent. In this article, we analyse why discontent so persistently keeps dominating debates. We argue that it is prominently and continuously expressed due to the position of opinion polls and the interaction between politicians, journalists and citizens and due to the platform that social media offer. But meanwhile, means to convert discontent into constructive, collective action are diminishing. As a result we continuously gather superficial information about people’s discontent. In order not to hinder constructive debates with this kind of information, as happens in current political discussions, different and more detailed information about the public opinion is needed. Politicians and researchers should make a more clear distinction between discontent itself and the incapacity of citizens to deal with it. Moreover, a revitalisation of the role of civil organisations is important to channel discontent.


Dr. Dieneke de Ruiter
Dr. Dieneke de Ruiter is senior adviseur bij de Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (RMO). E-mail: d.de.ruiter@adviesorgaan-rmo.nl.

Jasper Zuure MSc
Jasper Zuure MSc is adviseur bij de Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (RMO). E-mail: j.zuure@adviesorgaan-rmo.nl, www.adviesorgaan-rmo.nl.
Artikel

Intergemeentelijk samenwerken: het kan ook licht

Een verkenning van lichte vormen van intergemeentelijke samenwerking

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2014
Trefwoorden inter-municipal cooperation, light forms of cooperation, modes of cooperation
Auteurs Leon van den Dool en Linze Schaap
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Many tasks will be decentralized to municipalities in the Netherlands in the coming years. To deal with these challenges, central government encourages municipal mergers, while municipalities often prefer a light form of cooperation. Since municipal boarders are converging less and less with the boarders inhabitants experience in their daily lives, municipalities feel free to cooperate in a variety of ways with other partners. This poses new challenges to democratic legitimacy, effectiveness and the role local authorities play. Local governments therefore do not need new regulations or legal forms of co-operations, but rather a repertoire fitting their role. We argue that local governments need to analyse their tasks, choose the form of cooperation that fits best and develop a repertoire for their cooperation. Light forms of cooperation are very important for developing a variety of cooperative forms and roles local governments need to play.


Leon van den Dool
Dr. L.T. van den Dool is senior onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur (Universiteit van Tilburg) en daarnaast senior manager in de adviespraktijk voor binnenlands bestuur bij PwC. Hij richt zich op de lokale overheid en met name op stedelijke ontwikkeling, leerprocessen, goed bestuur, onafhankelijk onderzoek, bestuurskracht en samenwerkingsvraagstukken.

Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap is universitair hoofddocent bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur (Universiteit van Tilburg). Hij richt zich op democratisch besturen op lokaal, intergemeentelijk en regionaal niveau, schaalvraagstukken en bestuurskracht. Veel van zijn onderzoek heeft een internationaal vergelijkend karakter.
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.
Artikel

Klein maar fijn?

De effecten van kleinschaligheid op het karakter van politiek en democratie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden State Size, Dutch Caribbean Islands, Democracy, Good Governance, Personalistic Politics
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Whereas the six Dutch islands in the Caribbean all have a (very) limited population size, analyses of political problems on the islands rarely seem to take the variable of state size into account. The available academic literature demonstrates that the population size of states has a strong influence on the quality of democratic governance, although scholars disagree on the question whether smallness is an asset or an obstacle to democratic development. After a discussion of this theoretical literature, the present article proceeds with a presentation of field research in three small island states (St. Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Palau) in which the political consequences of a limited population size are analyzed. This analysis reveals that a number of size-related effects can be observed in all three examined island states, among which a tendency to personalistic competition, strong polarization between parties and politicians, particularistic relationships between voters and their representatives, and a dominant position of the political executive vis-à-vis other institutions. A subsequent analysis of the contemporary political situation on the Dutch Caribbean islands shows that the observed problems also play a role on these islands, which indicates that smallness is perhaps of greater significance than is now often supposed.


Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Wouter Veenendaal is docent bij het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. In de afgelopen drie jaar is hij als promovendus werkzaam geweest bij hetzelfde instituut. Zijn promotieonderzoek heeft betrekking op de invloed van bevolkingsgrootte op de ontwikkeling en consolidatie van democratie, met daarin een specifieke focus op politiek en democratie in microstaten. E-mail: veenendaalwp@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.
Artikel

Veranderend lokaal gezag

De gezagsbronnen van burgemeesters en wethouders verkend

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden authority, political leadership, mayors, aldermen
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten MSc MA en Drs. Thijs Jansen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The traditional authority of mayors and aldermen is readily challenged. Formal positions do no longer constitute authority. For that reason, new political repertoires are being sought after and are being developed by local political-executive leaders. This article analyses and compares the sources of authority for mayors and aldermen: how can they develop, maintain, and strengthen their authority? It develops an innovative typology of sources of authority. A distinction is made between institutional, positional, and personal sources of authority. The model is applied to the mayors and aldermen in relation to relevant socio-political developments that affect the two offices. It is found that the authority of mayors rests on institutional sources of authority more so than that of aldermen. For the latter, positional and personal sources of authority are more important. At the same time, personal sources of authority have become very important for mayors as well as aldermen. The results call upon mayors and aldermen’s skills and competences to develop personal authority through persuasion.


Dr. Niels Karsten MSc MA
Niels Karsten is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van Tilburg University, e-mail: n.karsten@uvt.nl.

Drs. Thijs Jansen
Thijs Janssen is onderzoeker aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van Tilburg University, e-mail: thijs.jansen@uvt.nl.
Artikel

Waarom burgers coproducent willen zijn

Een theoretisch model om de motivaties van coproducerende burgers te verklaren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden Co-production, citizens, motivation
Auteurs Carola van Eijk en Trui Steen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In co-production processes, citizens and professionals both contribute to the provision of public services and try to enhance the quality of the services they produce. Although government offers several opportunities for co-production, not all citizens decide to actually take part. Current insights in citizens’ individual motivations offered by the co-production literature are limited. In this article, we integrate insights from different streams of literature to build a theoretical model that explains citizens’ motivations to co-produce. We test the model using empirical data of Dutch neighborhood watches.


Carola van Eijk
C.J.A. van Eijk MSc. (research) werkt als promovenda bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Trui Steen
Dr. T.P.S. Steen is universitair hoofddocent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden en bij KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid.
Artikel

Twee perspectieven op de eerste overheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden local government, new localism, modernization model, political community model
Auteurs Marcel Boogers en Bas Denters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dutch local government is more and more regarded as a ‘first government’. Vision documents of the association of municipalities and national policy plans stress the importance of local government for improving public governance. This ‘new localism’ builds upon two conflicting perspectives to local government: the modernization model and the political community model. As a result, local governments are becoming overloaded by many new and conflicting demands. A debate about how both perspectives to the ‘first government’ can be balanced, is therefore needed.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M. Boogers is bijzonder hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente en senior adviseur bij BMC.

Bas Denters
Prof. dr. B. Denters is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente en wetenschappelijk directeur van het Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG).
Artikel

De stille ideologie in het techniekdebat

Hoe de informatierevolutie in de politieke luwte ons mens-zijn verandert

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden information revolution, NBIC-convergence, biopolitics, belief in technological progress, silent ideology
Auteurs Rinie van Est
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The information revolution, and in particular the convergence of nanotechnology, biotechnology, information technology and cognitive technology, creates a new societal arena: biopolitics. This so-called NBIC-convergence strengthens the promise that live, including our bodies (e.g. genes), brains (e.g. attention) and social environment (e.g. social contacts and consumer behaviour), can be brought into the domain of technological manipulability. NBIC-convergence, therefore, raises many social and ethical issues. The dominant naïve belief in progress through technology often stands in the way of a timely and adequate governance of these issues. The current situation in which the information revolution is mainly developing on the political sidelines, can lead to thorny societal and political problems in the mid and long-term.


Rinie van Est
Dr. ir. R. van Est is onderzoekcoördinator en trendcatcher bij de afdeling Technology Assessment van het Rathenau Instituut. Hij is natuurkundige en politicoloog en houdt zich bezig met de politiek van opkomende technologieën zoals nanotechnologie, robotica, synthetische biologie en persuasieve technologie.
Artikel

Meedoen met de overheid?

Over de stille beleidspraktijk van de doe-democratie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2013
Trefwoorden silent ideology, democracy of action, citizen initiatives, big society
Auteurs Mirjan Oude Vrielink, Imrat Verhoeven en Ted van de Wijdeven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the past decade, policy attention for ‘active citizenship’ and ‘bottom up’ citizen initiatives has strongly increased. Nowadays, governments tend to approach citizens more and more as practical ‘doers’: as active citizens that can initiate projects in the public domain – for instance to increase the livability of their neighborhood. The dominant policy perspective on what is called the ‘democracy of action’ is one of a small government (to make room for a ‘big society’) that is not directive but supportive to active citizens.
    In this article, we first argue that in practice we observe two ‘silent ideologies’ that suppress this policy perspective of the democracy of action. We call these the silent ideologies of ‘professional centralism’ and of ‘instrumental support’; we claim that in practice these ideologies enable the dominance of professionals over citizen initiatives (and nót that of the citizens). Second we state that the policy perspective of the democracy of action itself contains a silent ideology: it assumes a highly depoliticized form of citizenship. In the short term, this may be convenient for administrators and policy makers but in the long run this can lead to a less democracy because the voices of critical citizens are not heard.


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

Imrat Verhoeven
Dr. I. Verhoeven is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Ted van de Wijdeven
Dr. T.M.F. van de Wijdeven is bestuurskundig onderzoeker en docent aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Het maatschappelijk middenveld in beweging

Een internationale vergelijking van dynamiek in herkomst, perspectief en invulling van vermaatschappelijking

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, international comparison, public reform, third sector
Auteurs Sabine van Zuydam, Bob van de Velde en Marlot Kuiper
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we aim to provide an insight in one of the specifics of the dynamic relationship between government and society; the delegation of public tasks to (civil) society. The concept ‘Big Society’ in the United Kingdom generated immense expectations in this respect. By making use of an explorative case study, we examine the origins, visions and best practices in successively the UK, Australia and Scandinavia in order to generate a better understanding of this dynamical relationship. The major insights following from this analysis relate to the economic and cultural background, the political reality and rhetoric, as well as to concrete practices to understand what civil society has to offer in the delegation of public tasks. Finally, as a first step towards theory development, we formulate five concrete lessons for the delegation of public tasks to the civil society.


Sabine van Zuydam
S. van Zuydam MSc is promovenda aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Bob van de Velde
R.N. van de Velde MSc is promovendus aan de VU Amsterdam.

Marlot Kuiper
M. Kuiper BA is student ‘Research in Public Administration and Organizational Science’.
Artikel

The past, present and future of the Big Society

Een ideeëngeschiedenis met betekenis voor Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, political ideas, agenda-setting
Auteurs Peter Franklin en Peter Noordhoek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the intellectual, political and pragmatic origins of the concept Big Society. The authors argue that although the concept has become intertwined with the political ideas of UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron, the concept has also become firmly rooted in society and is thus likely to survive the political life of Cameron. Also outside the UK, the concept has acquired political attention. The authors explore the meaning of Big Society for the Netherlands. Thus far, the concept has reached the political agenda, but time will tell how the concept succeeds to sustain.


Peter Franklin
P. Franklin is a political researcher and speechwriter specialising in social and environmental issues. A former member of the Conservative Research Department and Policy Unit, he now works in the House of Commons. All views expressed in this article are his own.

Peter Noordhoek
P. Noordhoek is directeur van Northedge BV.
Artikel

Het eindeloze verhaal van de bestuurskunde: complexiteit, vernieuwing en de Big Society

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, public administration, complexity, innovation, administrative history
Auteurs Thomas Schillemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    ‘Big Society’ has been one of those inspirational concepts that have recently swept through the public administration literature. With their appeal for a ‘Big Society’, the British Tories contrasted their policy program with Labours’ traditional ‘Big Government’ program. Upon closer inspection, however, it is revealed that the underlying analysis is not new at all, but reflects a specific analysis that can be traced back to Wilson’s famous essay on the study of public administration in 1887. Stripped from its details, the never-ending story claims that public administration now struggles with overwhelming complexity, which makes traditional bureaucratic methods obsolete and calls for innovative, new approaches. The fact that this story has remained fairly constant for over 125 years is cause for some concern. The article traces the historical genesis of this never-ending story and lands on a plea for more sophisticated attention for administrative history, more critical scrutiny of new ideas and more serious study of the nature and effects of complexity.


Thomas Schillemans
Dr. Thomas Schillemans is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Utrechtse School voor Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap, Universiteit Utrecht.
Artikel

Zelforganisatie vanuit het perspectief van burgers

Inzichten uit onderzoek naar de pragmatiek van burgerparticipatie in drie Europese steden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden citizen participation, self-organisation, strategies
Auteurs Maurice Specht
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Based on the experience of citizens initiatives in Antwerpen (Belgium), Dortmund (Germany) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), this article explores the roles of citizens in these projects. The initiatives were not started by already active citizens, but by inactive citizens who were triggered to take action by an event in their direct surroundings. The cases studied show that many small, simple and everyday strategies, which are often overlooked by researchers, are meaningful for successful citizenship. The will to participate is not so much ideologically or democratically driven, but driven by a perceived practical need for action. Governments should aim to support and facilitate these initiatives without aiming to canalize these activities according to their own political or democratic rationality.


Maurice Specht
Dr. M. Specht is zelfstandig actie-onderzoeker bij Specht in de Stad.
Artikel

Watergovernance: het belang van ‘op tijd’ samenwerken

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden cooperation, time, water governance, management
Auteurs Dr. Jasper Eshuis en Dr. Arwin van Buuren
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The factor time is an often neglected issue in the literature on network governance. In this article we analyze the differences in perceptions on time between actors involved in water governance and describe the managerial interventions aimed at synchronizing time horizons, managing the available amount of time and the tempo of the governance process. Two case studies of governance processes in the district of Water Board Delfland are included to provide insight in the question how the factor time influences the governance processes and how aspects of time are managed. The case studies show that different perceptions of time may cause tensions in collaborative relationships, and even cause the end of collaborations. This underscores the importance of time-sensitive governance.


Dr. Jasper Eshuis
Dr. Jasper Eshuis is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, eshuis@fsw.eur.nl.

Dr. Arwin van Buuren
Dr. Arwin van Buuren is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Legitimiteit van sociaal beleid: maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen en bestuurlijke dilemma’s

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden responsiveness, legitimacy, social policy, policy systems, institutional change
Auteurs Dr. Martijn van der Steen, Dr. Menno Fenger, Lieske van der Torre MA MSc e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Social policy has to be legitimate. But what is legitimacy? And what makes policy legitimate? This article argues that in order to be legitimate policy needs to answer to three different logics: the logic of the policy system, of external conditions, and of societal preferences. However, these three logics are often not coherent and point in different directions. Also, signs are often not coherent and are ambiguous at best. Therefore, following the three logics is not merely a matter of reading the signs, but of interpreting and balancing them. This article shows how policy makers in the Netherlands are balancing for responsiveness in three cases of social policy: social assistance policy, sheltered work policy and labor migration policy. The cases learn that responsiveness does not come from large decisive reforms, but from a wide range of small and often hardly politicized steps. Also, we see that in balancing the various logics, policy makers have a strong bias towards the logic of the policy system and that of public preference, and pay far less attention to external conditions. However, on the longer term external conditions cannot be neglected and policy makers face tough decisions about short term responsiveness towards public preferences and more longer term actions that make for policies that are more balanced with external conditions and therefore sustainable on the longer term.


Dr. Martijn van der Steen
Dr. Martijn van der Steen is codecaan en adjunct-directeur van de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur (NSOB) en directeur van de NSOB Denktank, steen@nsob.nl.

Dr. Menno Fenger
Dr. Menno Fenger is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Fenger@fsw.eur.nl.

Lieske van der Torre MA MSc
Lieske van der Torre MA MSc is wetenschappelijk docent bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en bereidt een proefschrift voor over strategieën van sociale werkvoorzieningsbedrijven, Vandertorre@fsw.eur.nl.

Arno van Wijk BA
Arno van Wijk BA is junior onderzoeker bij de NSOB, vanwijk@nsob.nl.
Artikel

Burgers als trustees

Participatie, informele vertegenwoordiging en representativiteit

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2013
Auteurs Dr. Bas van Stokkom, Dr. Marcel Becker en Teun Eikenaar MA MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The involvement of citizens in discussions about policy arrangements has been growing in the past decades. These forums of decision-making often provoke criticism because of a so-called ‘lack of representativeness’. Often a small group of active citizens takes the lead and decides which problems have to be dealt with. Some active residents primarily focus on improving the neighbourhood, regardless of whether their activities have everyone’s consent. This raises many questions related their representativeness. Do these participants form an adequate cross-section of the population? Are they speaking on behalf of others? Maybe passive citizens feel fine with the opinions of active citizens and agree that a small group of citizens is taking the lead. In this paper these active citizens are viewed as ‘trustees’: informal representatives who take responsibility to look after the neighbourhood’s interests, expecting that passive residents would support their efforts. The paper has two central questions: First, which ideas do active participants have about representation and representativeness? Second, in what respects can active citizens be characterized as ‘trustees’? In the theoretical part we contend that the notion ‘trustee’ may function as a theoretical framework to understand present-day citizen participation. In local policy networks many informal representatives express views and interests that are recognizable for many citizens. They are trusted, as long as their activities can be checked. The second part of the paper focuses on three projects of citizen decision-making within local safety policies (The Dutch cities Amsterdam, Deventer and Rotterdam). Within these projects, participants prioritize what kinds of activities and interventions police officers and other frontline workers should carry out. A main finding is that many active citizens function as contact persons who are continuously available for other residents. They do not wish to speak ‘on behalf’ of others but they are bestowed – often reluctantly – with the role of representative, as they demonstratively express neighborhood interests (‘clean, intact and safe’). Their reputation seems to be decisive.


Dr. Bas van Stokkom
Dr. Bas van Stokkom is medewerker bestuurswetenschappen aan de faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, b.a.m.van.stokkom@vu.nl.

Dr. Marcel Becker
Dr. Marcel Becker is universitair docent ethiek aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, M.Becker@ftr.ru.nl.

Teun Eikenaar MA MSc
Teun Eikenaar MA MSc is onderzoeker aan het criminologisch instituut van de faculteit Rechtsgeleerdheid van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, t.eikenaar@jur.ru.nl.
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