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Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen x Jaar 2018 x Rubriek Discussion x
Essay

Kantelt de stad?

Alles verandert, maar … blijft toch niet alles hetzelfde?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2018
Auteurs Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    It may seem obvious to say that society changes and that this is happening at an increasing speed. But not everyone fully realizes that society as a whole is undergoing fundamental changes and that this will lead to a complete transformation and structural change of society over a longer period of time. Some think that tomorrow is a multitude of today, others think that the present is not really a good compass for what tomorrow and especially the day after tomorrow will be. In this respect, municipalities are faced with the considerable task of making a ‘future-proof’ diagnosis of ‘municipal reality’ and of forming a picture of what that future will be, or should be. Municipalities differ considerably in the way in which they deal with these aspects administratively: from ‘government as usual’ on the one hand to ‘complete tilt’ on the other side of the continuum. Much municipal policy is a slightly adapted version of what they have been doing for a long time. The real initiatives to ‘fundamentally tilt’ systems have yet to reach many municipalities. In other words: everything changes, but… have things not remained the same? In this essay the author discusses these issues in the context of his hometown Maastricht (in the south of the Netherlands) as an example.


Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Democracy means the voice of the people. Democratic renewal means that the voice of the people is not static. Look at ostracism among the Ancient Greeks: could one imagine that it would not exist forever? Still the voice of the people, men and women, would sound different and clearer than it would if it were based on ostracism. Over the centuries change always appears to be the constant, also in democracy, for example in the democratic renewal we have been calling ‘citizen participation’. Bottom-up citizen participation originated in the 1980s, mostly in urban renewal, and was legitimized top-down in 1993 in the Dutch parliament through the Willems motion. During the past decade increasingly more instruments for citizen participation have been developed from the bottom up. This development aims for self-management, with instruments like neighbourhood rights and the right to challenge. It goes down in history under the name of ‘localism’. In this essay the author is looking for localism on the special Scottish island Gigha, which is part of the Argyll and Bute Council.


Thea Messemaker
T.E.M. Messemaker deed een kopstudie Bedrijfskunde en Innovatiemanagement aan de Universiteit Twente en is innovatiedeskundige bewonersparticipatie.
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