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Discussie

Gewelddadig protest loont!?

Over het effect van geweld, bedreiging en intimidatie rondom azc’s op de lokale democratische besluitvorming

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2018
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten en Jurre van der Velden MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a well-functioning democratic state under the rule of law, people’s representatives are not inappropriately forced to vote for or against a certain policy intention. Violent protest against a decision or proposal, like establishing an asylum center, however, can put a lot of pressure on politicians’ independent judgment. However, research into the effects of violence, threats and intimidation on democratic decision-making is scarce. Therefore the authors of this essay investigated the effects of violent protest against the establishment of asylum centers in three small municipalities in the Netherlands: Bernheze, Geldermalsen and Steenbergen. They conclude that the direct influence on democratic decision-making, however serious it is in itself, seems limited. But they do observe that violent protest damages the information exchange between citizens and politicians, and also disrupts the debate. Therefore, in policy and research, not only is attention needed for the resilience of individual politicians against violent protest, but also for the perverting effects of aggression and violence on the broader democratic decision-making process.


Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Jurre van der Velden MSc
J. van der Velden MSc is interim professional burgerzaken bij BMC Implementatie. Hij heeft in 2016 een master Bestuur en Politiek afgerond aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    In this essay, the author is looking for pioneering local administrators in the Netherlands who dared to push existing boundaries. However, the story starts in Great Britain where progressive liberals under the label ‘municipal socialism’ proceeded to provide public utilities through municipal governments rather than private enterprises. Their example was adopted by the so-called ‘radicals’ in Amsterdam led by Wim Treub. ‘Aldermen socialism’ with Floor Wibaut in Amsterdam as its most important representative, took it a step further. Their aim for a welfare municipality anticipated the later welfare state. After the Second World War we also saw some strong local administrators who in their own way strived for changes in their municipalities. After 1970 the phenomenon of ‘urban renewal’ led to a new flourishing of ‘aldermen socialism’ in the Netherlands with Jan Schaefer (in Amsterdam) as its most appealing figurehead. Since 2000, we have been in a new era of dualism, citizen participation and devolution that has produced new 'boundary pushers', which generated interest abroad (see the book on mayors by Benjamin Barber). At the end of the article, the author takes a look into the future. Current global problems also confront municipalities and they require local administrators with a good mix of political leadership, new civic leadership, inspiring commissioning and good stewardship. This essay is written for the ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference of the VNG (the Association of Netherlands Municipalities founded in 1912) held in Maastricht (in the far south of the Netherlands) in 2018.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Discussie

Voorstellen De Graaf voor bestuurlijke vernieuwing

Noodzakelijk onderhoud aan de democratie of denkbeeldige oplossingen voor denkbeeldige problemen?

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2004
Auteurs Monika Sie Dhian Ho

Monika Sie Dhian Ho
Discussie

Vergeet niet hoe activistisch bestuur met identiteit omgaat bij bestuurlijke herindeling

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2011
Trefwoorden discussion, administrative rearrangement processes
Auteurs Imrat Verhoeven
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Regional or local identities are an important factor to take into account in administrative rearrangement processes, as Evert Meijers rightly argues. But if one does so, it’s very important to analyse how public authorities deal with such identities and identifications. In The Netherlands many instances can be found were at least one public authority becomes activistic and tries to mobilize the public against rearrangement plans. This very often happens throughout processes of municipal amalgamation. Activistic public authorities can bring historically formed and often still cultivated local identities into play as being threatened by the plans. By doing so, citizens can identify with the ‘we’ of the local community against ‘them’ of another community. Another antithesis can develop in how the plans are being framed: ‘we’ who will suffer because of ‘their’ bad plans. Finally, the political performance of proponents may be critiqued, thus evoking identifications with ‘we’ who are treated undemocratically against ‘them’ who are unreliable. This appeal to identities and identifications by activistic public authorities provides powerful impediments for successful administrative rearrangement. Prevention of such activism thus seems to be a very important requirement.


Imrat Verhoeven
Imrat Verhoeven is als postdoc onderzoeker verbonden aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij is tevens redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij. Correspondentiegegevens: dr. I. Verhoeven, Universiteit van Amsterdam, faculteit der Maatschappij- en Gedragswetenschappen, afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, i.verhoeven@uva.nl.
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