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    The (changing) relations between citizens and administration are in the middle of attention and therefore the Dutch cabinet indicated in a white paper on ‘do-democracy’ (that is a literal translation of the Dutch word “Doe-democratie”) its willingness to contribute actively to the transition to more ‘do-democracy’ (a form of co-decision making of citizens by handling societal issues themselves). In a number of examples the cabinet showed which possibilities it sees to support civilian forces, but also mentioned several dilemmas, risks and objections it brings about. The white paper received praising as well as critical reactions. Especially from the critical reactions we can learn in which respects further action or reflection is necessary. To stimulate thinking and especially doing this article treats four criticisms not enough dealt with in the white paper itself: 1) ‘do-democracy’ is just a cover-up for expenditure cuts; 2) ‘do-democracy’ does a moral appeal on (affective) citizenship; 3) ‘do-democracy’ is reserved for the wealthy and the high-educated: a ‘do-aristocracy’; 4) it not a real form of democracy, because no control is handed over. To help our government every criticism is accompanied by a reply. In a short conclusion the author (himself secretary of the white paper) calls the government to make a start with the actual implementation of the ideas of the white paper.


Vincent van Stipdonk
Drs. V.P. van Stipdonk is redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen. Hij was als zelfstandig Raadgever & Redacteur penvoerder van de kabinetsnota ‘De doe-democratie’.

    Reflection and Debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Jonathan J.B. Mijs M.Sc.
Jonathan Mijs is promovendus aan Harvard University. Correspondentiegegevens: JJB Mijs M.Sc., Harvard University, Department of Sociology, 611 William James Hall, 33 Kirland Street, 02138 Cambridge, MA, Verenigde Staten, mijs@fas.harvard.edu.

    Reflection and Debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Drs. Fred Meerhof
Fred Meerhof is adviseur en ondernemer. Fredmeerhof@syrima.nl.

Bart Snels
Bart Snels is econoom en directeur van het Wetenschappelijk Bureau GroenLinks
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