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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

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

Verandermanagement en beleid: waarom vertonen professionals weerstand tegen nieuw beleid?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2014
Trefwoorden public policy,, change management, policy implementation, public management, resistance to change
Auteurs Lars Tummers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Professionals often have problems with governmental policies they have to implement. This can lead to diminished legitimacy and lower policy performance. The goal of this article is to identify the main reasons why professionals resist implementing new policies. An interdisciplinary approach is taken. From public administration literature, I use the policy alienation model, which consists of five dimensions: strategic, tactical and operational powerlessness, societal meaninglessness and client meaninglessness. These are possible reasons why professionals resist public policies (‘resistance to change’, a concept drawn from change management literature). I test these assumptions using a survey among 1,317 healthcare professionals. The results show that when professionals experience that a policy is meaningless for society or for their own clients, they show strong resistance. A lack of perceived influence is much less important in explaining resistance, although this is partly dependent on the particular profession someone belong to. The policy alienation model can help policy makers and managers to develop policies which are accepted by professionals. The article ends with practical recommendations for policy makers, managers and professionals.


Lars Tummers
Dr. L.G. Tummers is verbonden aan de opleiding bestuurskunde van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en het Center for the Study of Law & Society van de University of California, Berkeley.
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

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

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

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.
Artikel

De kanteling van de Wmo: Transformatie van de verzorgingsstaat in de stad?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2012
Trefwoorden welfare state, reform, big society, local level, participation
Auteurs Jeroen Hoenderkamp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates whether the local practices growing under the Wet Maatschappelijke Ondersteuning (Wmo; Law for social participation) can be viewed as examples of ‘transformation of the welfare state’-in-action. The article argues that indeed, a number of Dutch cities is trying to create a shift in the balance of responsibilities of citizens, social networks, civil society and government that can be judged an operationalization of the more abstract recommendations of many ‘welfare state reformers’. It remains to be seen however, whether these attempts will actually result in change. There are both practical problems and fundamental questions to be tackled. The question whether the transformation wished for by many from a political perspective, is actually feasible (given the political and societal constraints) should be addressed firmly by both local and national actors.As it goes, the opposite is the case: the question of the feasibility of the Wmo seems to have vanished in the void between parliament and municipalities.


Jeroen Hoenderkamp
Dr J. Hoenderkamp was de afgelopen vijftien jaar in dienst van verschillende adviesbureaus in het sociale domein. Recent is hij in dienst getreden van de gemeente Maastricht, waar hij de in dit artikel beschreven transformatie van verzorgingsstaat naar participatiestad mee helpt vormgeven.

    The problems discussed in the articles of this special issue are not merely wicked in the sense of involving normative dissensus and factual uncertainty. They also are systemic: they reflect institutional inertia, discursive inertia and the disruptive impact of sociological trends (individualization, Europeanization etc.) on incumbent practices and institutions. This systemic character tends to makes them persistent: while fundamental change is unavoidable, such change is likely to be bothered by the very institutional and discursive inertia it seeks to address. Reflecting, from a public policy studies point of view, on previous articles we deduce four principles from urban practices to deal with these challenges: 1) reduce dissent and uncertainty where possible; 2) acknowledge normative diversity by promoting context-specific solutions; 3) organize policies around societal/market initiatives that have emerged in a context and 4) define institutional changes that may further promote and simplify such policies and seize opportunities for structural change.


John Grin
Prof. dr J. Grin is hoogleraar Beleidswetenschap, in het bijzonder systeeminnovaties, aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Jos Koffijberg
Dr J.J. Koffijberg en prof. dr W.A. Hafkamp zijn als respectievelijk hoofd onderzoek en wetenschappelijk directeur verbonden aan Nicis Institute.

Wim Hafkamp
Dr J.J. Koffijberg en prof. dr W.A. Hafkamp zijn als respectievelijk hoofd onderzoek en wetenschappelijk directeur verbonden aan Nicis Institute.

Henk Wesseling
Drs H.W.M. Wesseling is verbonden aan Berenschot en leidt daar het Expertisecentrum Arrangementbouw.
Artikel

Vluchten in bureaucratie

Bureaucratische gehechtheid onder professionals in de jeugdhulpverlening

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2012
Trefwoorden professionalism, youth care, accountability, bureaucracy, marketization
Auteurs Drs. Daniel van Hassel, Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens en Drs. Marc Hoijtink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent decades, professionals in the public sector have been faced with increasingly detailed demands concerning accountability and performance. It is often argued that this increased accountability and its bureaucratic pressures limit professionals’ discretionary space and autonomy. However, this critique is hardly based on empirical research on the experiences and perceptions of professionals themselves. In this article we present an investigation into these perceptions and experiences with accountability in one particular brand of the public sector, namely youth care.
    Our research indicates that professionals in youth care are hardly interested in greater autonomy or discretion. They rather want clarity, security and options for learning. Moreover, we found ‘bureaucratic attachment’: attachment to bureaucratic procedures particularly as a reaction to increased fears to be sued when something goes wrong with clients. In the recurrent arguments for reduction of bureaucracy, this other face of bureaucracy is often disregarded.
    Regarding working conditions however, the professionals we interviewed do want more discretion. Especially concerning occupation of beds, as the requirement for permanent occupation is viewed to augment risk. We therefore argue for better backing of professionals in youth, for a more precise battle against unnecessary bureaucracy, and for professionalization in order to handle more discretion.


Drs. Daniel van Hassel
Daniel van Hassel is socioloog en als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Nederlands instituut voor onderzoek van de gezondheidszorg (NIVEL), waar hij zich bezighoudt met het thema beroepen in de gezondheidszorg, d.hassel@nivel.nl.

Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
Evelien Tonkens is bijzonder hoogleraar actief burgerschap bij de afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam en toezichthouder van Meander Medisch Centrum te Amersfoort, e.h.tonkens@uva.nl.

Drs. Marc Hoijtink
Marc Hoijtink is socioloog en onderzoeker aan Kenniscentrum Maatschappij en Recht van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam, waar hij zich bezighoudt met de thema’s sociaal beleid en professionaliseringsvraagstukken, m.a.hoijtink@uva.nl.
Artikel

Ambtenaren en sociale media

Kansen, risico's en dilemma's

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden social media, relationship politics-administration, primacy of politics
Auteurs Dennis de Kool
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Not only companies and citizens, but also governmental agencies are exploring the possibilities of new technologies to communicate with citizens. This article analyzes the challenges, risks and dilemmas of social media for Dutch civil servants. The theoretical framework that is used consists of a classical and a modern approach to public administration. In the classical ‘Weberian’ model, politicians are responsible for policy-making (and communication about it) and civil servants have to implement policies (‘the primacy of politics’). This principal approach implies a limited role of civil servants in social media. However, the modern approach to civil servants highlights their expertise and distinctive responsibilities. The pragmatical approach leaves more space for active participation of civil servants on the internet. Nevertheless, a fundamental reflection about the primacy of politics, the role of governmental communication and culture in the social media landscape remains necessary.


Dennis de Kool
Dr D. de Kool is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Center for Public Innovation van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

De nieuwe burgerlijkheid: participatie als conformerende zelfredzaamheid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden Participatie, Zelfredzaamheid, legitimatie, Burgerschap, Responsabilisering
Auteurs Dr. Gerard Drosterij en Rik Peeters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For many years now, citizenship has been a hot topic in Dutch politics. The activation and participation of citizens has been part and parcel of many policy initiatives. In this fashion, the current cabinet of Prime Minister Rutte has stressed the virtues of a ‘big society’ and a ‘small government’. We call this the new civility: a citizenship philosophy in which an ethico-economic claim of self-sufficiency is accompanied by a strong anticipation of policy conformity. Notably, the democratic legitimation of the new civility has been reversed. Now it is government which demands civic accountability, not the other way around. Responsible citizenship, not responsible government is at its heart. Furthermore, the new civility is based on a reversal of the Mandevillean idea of private vices and public benefits. We illustrate its ambiguous strands by a case study of a citizen’s initiative project in the city of Dordrecht. We conclude by showing how the tension between the values of civil self-sufficiency and policy conformity ironically can turn out in a-political conception of citizenship.


Dr. Gerard Drosterij
dr. Gerard Drosterij is publicist en zelfstandig adviseur. Correspondentie gegevens: Dr. G. Drosterij, Graaf Florisstraat 63b, 3021 CC, Rotterdam, g.drosterij@uvt.nl.

Rik Peeters
drs. Rik Peeters is onderzoeker en promovendus bij de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur.
Artikel

Ondersteuning in vieren

Zichtlijnen in het faciliteren van burgerinitiatieven in de buurt

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden burgerinitiatief, ondersteuning, faciliteren, professionals, wijken
Auteurs Dr. Mirjan Oude Vrielink en Drs. Ted van de Wijdeven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands it is widely acknowledged that neighbourhood oriented citizen’s initiatives often require some professional support. Little is known, however, about the various types of support that professionals may provide. Moreover, Dutch policies usually tend to take an instrumental stance towards citizen initiatives, focussing on their possible contribution to governmental goals. In this contribution we make an effort to develop a typology of different types and roles of professional support. Four basic types of professional support are derived from two axis. The first axis distinguishes between an instrumental approach and a more personal approach, the second between professional support focussing on the initiative/the initiator or on the broader institutional and civil society context. From our empirical findings we conclude that a vital context for citizen initiatives may be produced through the combination of an instrumental and personal approach. The latter comprises efforts of empowerment attuned to both the specific personal needs and capacities of citizens and the typical neighbourhood context. A combined approach may reduce the risk of ‘crowding out citizenship’ that exists when citizen’s initiatives become an instrument in a government’s policy.


Dr. Mirjan Oude Vrielink
Mirjan Oude Vrielink is senior onderzoeker aan de faculteit Management en Bestuur, Universiteit Twente. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. M.J. Oude Vrielink, Universiteit Twente, faculteit Management en Bestuur/PolMT, Postbus 217, 7500 AE Enschede, m.j.oudevrielink@utwente.nl.

Drs. Ted van de Wijdeven
Ted van de Wijdeven is onderzoeker aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur, Universiteit van Tilburg. Correspondentiegegevens: Drs. T.M.F. van de Wijdeven, Universiteit van Tilburg, Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur, Postbus 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, wijdeven@uvt.nl.
Artikel

Bewonersinitiatieven: partnerschap tussen burgers en overheid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden citizen’s initiatives, activation policy, representativeness, partnership relation, competences
Auteurs Dr. Imrat Verhoeven en Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years the Dutch welfare state has invested substantial sums of money in activation of citizen’s initiatives in deprived neighbourhoods. As a policy concept citizen’s initiatives refers to enhancements by citizens to the quality of life in their neighbourhood. Is this activation policy productive or counterproductive for citizen participation? This question is answered by analyzing the representativeness of the activated citizens, the nature of their initiatives, the type of relations they develop with institutions, and whether they develop more competences due to their initiative(s). Our findings indicate that the activated citizens are more often female, below 50, lower educated, and 40 percent is migrant, which makes them more representative than the participation elite (male, 50+, white, and higher educated). They form a new vanguard that activates many participants through initiatives that focus on connecting people and on social problems such as anonymity, isolation and nuisance. Many contacts with professionals contribute for them to a partnership relation geared toward cooperation instead of consumerism or dissatisfaction. Also these citizens develop democratic, bureaucratic and social competences as well as social reflexivity and empathy for other citizens and institutions. We conclude that activation of citizen’s initiatives has positive effects on citizen participation.


Dr. Imrat Verhoeven
Imrat Verhoeven is postdoc onderzoeker aan de afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam/AISSR. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. I. Verhoeven, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, i.verhoeven@uva.nl.

Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
Evelien Tonkens is hoogleraar actief burgerschap aan de afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam/AISSR. Correspondentiegegevens: Prof. dr. E. Tonkens, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, e.h.tonkens@uva.nl.
Artikel

De diplomademocratie

Over de spanning tussen meritocratie en democratie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2006
Auteurs Mark Bovens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Contemporary western democracies, such the United States, Great Britain, and The Netherlands have become diploma democracies. They are ruled by the well educated, whereas the least educated, even though they still comprise about half of the population, have virtually vanished from most political arenas. Of course, the well educated have always been more politically active than the less educated, but in the past decades this gap has widened substantially. Well-educated citizens are more inclined to vote, to write letters to the editor, or to visit consultative or deliberative meetings than citizens with a low level of education; and most, if not all, members of parliament, all the political officials, and almost all of the political advocates and lobbyists, have college or graduate degrees. The paper substantiates the rise of diploma democracy in The Netherlands, discusses what is problematic about such an educational meritocracy in the context of democracy, and looks at what could be done to mitigate or remedy some of its negative effects.


Mark Bovens
Prof. dr. Mark Bovens is als hoogleraar Bestuurskunde verbonden aan de Utrechtse School voor Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht, Bijlhouwerstraat 6, 3511 ZC Utrecht. Zijn meest recente boek is De digitale republiek: Democratie en rechtsstaat in de informatiemaatschappij (AUP 2003). Correspondentiegegevens: m.a.p.bovens@uu.nl www.usg.uu.nl/research/m.bovens

    Demand-steering policies in healthcare are understandable but problematic answers to the desire for democratization that dates from the seventies of the former century. Prominent critics such as Achterhuis and Illich were very critical of the undemocratic character of health care. Yet their romantic idea of society excused them from the need to articulate democratic alternatives. The empty space that they left was filled by the concept of demand-steering. Demand-steering, however, rather than strengthening democratic practices, merely undermines them, by preferring exit above voice, by putting up new bureaucratic barriers between clients and professionals and by undermining the quality of the relationship between clients and professionals.

    Doing more justice to the democratic impulse is possible and desirable. A new step towards this aim is being taken by a fourth logic of steering, (next to the familiar logics of the market, bureaucracy and professionalism) that centers on improving the dialogue between clients and professionals. The one variant, democratic professionalism, starts from the position of the professional and aims at intensifying democratic control, while the other variant, collaboration, starts from the client and aims at providing him with more influence and responsibility for the health care process. This fourth logic however can only provide a new impulse to democratization when the vague notion of the dialogue is elaborated more thoroughly.


Evelien Tonkens
Evelien Tonkens is bijzonder hoogleraar actief burgerschap bij de afdeling sociologie en antropologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam en opleidingsdirecteur/docent van de masteropleiding social policy and social work in urban areas van de Uva. Correspondentieadres: UvA – afdeling sociologie en antropologie, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, e-mail: e.h.tonkens@uva.nl

    Recently in The Netherlands, as in other countries, many have called for administrative and democratic reform. The perspectives implicated in the arguments for change differ, however. Some argue for a strengthening of mechanisms of control and accountability. Others opt for more – and more direct – citizen participation in governance. In effect, these perspectives often contradict. In this article we will look into J.S. Mill's effort to combine such different perspectives. It is shown that in his considerations on good government a third principle is active: administrative competence or quality. Mill, thus, makes us aware of a deficiency in many contemporary evaluations of administrative and democratic renewal.


Berry Tholen
Dr. Berry Tholen is als bestuurskundige verbonden aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Zijn onderwijs omvat de cursussen 'Binnenlands Bestuur' en 'Bestuurlijke Ethiek'. In zijn onderzoek concentreert hij zich op vragen van rechtvaardigheid en legitimiteit in bestuur en beleid. Hij publiceerde recentelijk onder meer in International Review of Administrative Sciences en in European Journal of Migration and Law. Adres: Afd. Bestuurskunde, Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, Postbus 9108, 6500 HK Nijmegen, email: b.tholen@fm.ru.nl

Ringo Ossewaarde
Dr M.R.R. Ossewaarde is als universitair hoofddocent sociologie verbonden aan de Faculteit Management en Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.
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