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Essay

De vroege geschiedenis van de (lokale) bestuurswetenschappen

Joris in ’t Veld en de nieuwe vormen van decentralisatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Dr. Rik Reussing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay is about the Dutch PhD-thesis New forms of decentralization by Joris in ’t Veld from 1929. He was not only a competent and efficient social-democratic administrator, but he was also an early administrative scientist. Like the other early (local) administrative scientists, he mainly worked from the legal discipline. During this period however, we also see an increasing input from other disciplines, such as urban planning, economic geography, business administration and statistics. The subject of his dissertation does not come out of the blue. Like many, In ’t Veld felt strongly attracted to the problems of urban and regional development, but the various problems were not yet ripe for a final solution. An important part of his book is therefore devoted to the various solutions that have been found abroad for similar problems. In his thesis, In ’t Veld discusses various forms of governance. First of all, he looks at the way in which the arrangement of cooperation between municipalities can be improved. Where this (voluntary and forced) cooperation falls short of its nature, the institutes of the port authority and of the regional plan come into the picture. In both cases it concerns decentralization through target corporations. A solution is also conceivable through further territorial decentralization: the insertion of a new regional corporation between the province and the municipality in the form of the region (the urban region or the rural region). The urban region needs a necessary supplement in the form of a system of tax equalization to adequately do justice to the interests of the whole and of the parts. An alternative to the urban region is the unity municipality with local decentralization. His integral vision on the organization of domestic government in 1929 is also instructive for the present time.


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.

    On January 9 2015, Job Cohen held his inaugural speech at the University of Leiden as extraordinary professor at the prestigious Thorbecke chair. His study field was the theory of the municipality as an administrative, political and legal system. The title of his inaugural speech was ‘The fourth D’, in which the first three Ds stand for three different decentralizations of tasks to Dutch municipalities and the fourth D for democracy. In his speech Job Cohen advocated a deliberative form of democracy, because it doesn’t emphasize differences and the exaggeration of differences, but emphasizes what the members of a community have in common. This essay contains the farewell lecture that he held on November 30 2018. In it Cohen says that we are still in the transition of a gigantic operation, the three decentralizations of youth care, social services and labor participation. In many areas, therefore, cooperation at a higher level than the original municipalities is necessary and indeed established. Due to the increased regional cooperation, the House of Thorbecke no longer has such a strong foundation, which has long been the case. It is therefore inevitable, according to Cohen, that the House of Thorbecke receives more than just a new coat of paint. In his farewell lecture he furthermore discusses two kinds of citizen participation. The first kind concerns policy-influencing participation, the second involves self-reliant participation, or do-democracy or civil administration, in which the Right to Challenge is currently in the center of attention. This requires a delicate coordination between those who have and exercise government powers and citizens who want to exert influence on it.


Prof. mr. dr. Job Cohen
Prof. mr. dr. M.J. Cohen was tot 1 december 2018 als bijzonder hoogleraar decentrale overheden (Thorbecke-leerstoel) verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Since 2018, the Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, in close cooperation with the municipality Zwolle, the Province of Overijssel and BMC advice, have been organizing the yearly Van Poelje lecture (named after administrative scientist and founder of Dutch Public Administration Gerrit van Poelje). The first lecture took place on 29 January 2018 in the ‘Grote Kerk’ in Zwolle. The subject of the lecture was the secret of successful regions: which policy works? Otto Raspe of the Dutch Planning Agency for the Environment delivered the keynote speech. Presentations from the administrative field were given by Henk Jan Meijer (mayor of the municipality Zwolle) and Staf Depla (alderman of the municipality Eindhoven) who respectively addressed the cooperation in the regions Zwolle and South-East Brabant. Bert van Delden responded from the point of view of the Home Office (he deputized for his minister, Kajsa Ollongren). After a short debate, the afternoon was closed by Marcel Boogers (senior advisor at BMC and professor at the University of Twente) with a scientific reflection on the subject of the lecture. The main message of the keynote speaker Otto Raspe was that an urban region is successful if it is able to use its agglomeration advantages. This is possible by seeking connections between clusters and the knowledge infrastructure, and between human capital and a pleasant living and social climate.


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.

    Reading the most recent and most revealing book of Rinus van Schendelen leads to the conclusion that lobbying is not the strongest side of the Netherlands, which is rather strange for a small country with an external orientation that goes back for centuries. As one of the (six) founding fathers of European cooperation the Netherlands could not hold this special position in the EU. The money-driven attitude of the Netherlands may be profitable short-term, but is harmful for the position of the country and for its decentralized authorities (municipalities and provinces). The Dutch political scientist Rinus van Schendelen is well known for his long years of investigation into ‘lobbying’, but what in fact can be called public affairs (PA). In his older work Van Schendelen discusses PA mainly as a managerial, instrumental, Machiavellian means for steering private and public interests. In his new book he further develops this approach by investigating processes which can contribute to the use of PA instruments for sustainable effects. The new book clearly shows that nowadays the intelligent use of social media is a necessary supplement to the intelligent use of traditional PA instruments. Because of the influence of social media an adequate training of PA professionals is urgently needed in social psychology and other relevant disciplines to prevent floor tourists and other adventurers entering the PA scene.


Dr. Ed Figee
Dr. E.L. Figee is van huis uit journalist en promoveerde in 2017 aan de Universiteit Twente. Hij werkte van 1979 tot 2011 nagenoeg onafgebroken in de Haagse politieke arena, aanvankelijk als regionaal parlementair redacteur en vanaf 1995 als Haags (en Brussels) adviseur voor Oost-Nederland. Daarnaast participeerde hij wereldwijd in missies van VNG International voor het revitaliseren van lokale democratieën (veelal in post war countries).

    Last year the first Dutch municipalities declared themselves TTIP-free and the list is growing. The count now stands at 27 Dutch municipalities, three Dutch provinces and two Dutch water boards. TTIP means that foreign companies can be confident that investments in a host country are secure and cannot simply be eliminated or nullified. But what if investments are at odds or will be become at odds with measures a government has taken or intends to take, for example to protect the environment? Does the government still have that freedom under TTIP? Or is it only if it is prepared to pay large amounts of money? Comparable practices show that it may involve significant amounts of money. What can we expect from TTIP in this respect? The question central in this essay is if and, if so to what extent, does the investment protection that TTIP offers, in combination with the arbitration that is foreseen in the treaty, impede local authorities in taking decisions in the general interest.


Prof. mr. dr. Helen Stout
Prof. mr. dr. H.D. Stout is hoogleraar Juridische aspecten van hybride organisaties aan de Erasmus School of Law van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    In the safety domain important developments are currently taking place concerning the way in which administrative and tactical operations are dealt with in crises. It is characteristic for the approach that cooperation in chains and networks is increasingly needed to arrive at a suitable approach. In this essay, the authors analyse two subdomains in two concrete cases on how cooperation between several parties takes shape and functions. For that purpose, they differentiate between acute and non-acute crises. In the subdomain ‘acute crises’, they have chosen the case of the Dutch town Moerdijk (the fire at the Chemie-Pack company in 2011). In the subdomain of non-acute crises, they focus on community safety partnerships (‘Veiligheidshuizen’), especially on the community safety partnership in the Dutch province of Friesland (‘Veiligheidshuis Friesland’). In both subdomains the establishment of a good basic cooperation and leadership structure appears to be of prime importance. From there it is necessary to respond in a flexible manner (to be able to execute custom-made work). Within that framework, the capacity may develop to arrange a well-structured and effective cooperation at the operational level (ad hoc in acute crises), to monitor progress properly and to carry out targeted interventions if the developments in the situation ask for these interventions. A good knowledge of each other’s frame of reference is necessary to make this work, so that a maximum level of integration in the approach is achieved.


Dr. Jelle Dijkstra
Dr. J.H. Dijkstra is lector Persoonlijk Leiderschap & Innovatiekracht aan het Instituut voor Economie & Management (ECMA) van de NHL Hogeschool te Leeuwarden.

Dr. Marc Jacobs
Dr. M.A. Jacobs is voormalig districtschef bij de politiekorpsen Utrecht en Leeuwarden, senior docent en onderzoeker Integrale Veiligheid aan de Thorbecke Academie te Leeuwarden.

    The central argument according to Eric Corijn in the book of Benjamin Barber is that a legitimate political authority should be created that can add some governance, some regulation to the world system. Within the world system a democratic deficit has emerged that is caused by the process of globalization, in which international political and economic decisions are taken without reference to a global constituency, civil society, citizenship or global public opinion. Eric Corijn sees four strong arguments for an increased political role of mayors through a Global Parliament of Mayors. He also discusses three structural global challenges that can better be dealt with by cities than by dysfunctional nations: a) our relationship with nature, b) the growing social inequality, c) superdiversity resulting from migration and socio-cultural diversification. In dealing with these issues (the political agenda) the Global Parliament of Mayors should act in a pragmatic way.


Prof. dr. Eric Corijn
Prof. dr. E. Corijn is cultuurfilosoof, sociaal wetenschapper en hoogleraar Stadsgeografie aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij is oprichter van Cosmopolis, Centre for Urban Research (http://www.cosmopolis.be).
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