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    Barack Obama’s autobiography ‘A Promised Land’, of which the Dutch translation was published in 2020, is a clearly and vividly written (political) life story devoted to the first term of his US presidency. Of course it also mentions the journey to the top and the efforts he had to make to achieve it. Not an easy task for a young, inexperienced newcomer, who is also African-American. The book is a candid account of what happened during the primaries and his first term in office. It gives the impression that it is based on diary notes, which he later processed, and then turned into a successful story by the editors of the publishing house. The book is also pedantic to a certain extent: it points out what is worth pursuing, how to approach things, and what you can learn from your experiences (and mistakes). By extension, it contains numerous (intended) messages and (life) lessons. Above all, it provides a fascinating insight into the immense struggle that Obama had to fight to be able and allowed to hold the highest office in his country as a black man. Nico Nelissen also discusses the question of what local politicians and local administrators can gain from this autobiography.


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

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


Robert van Putten
Dr. Robert van Putten promoveerde in 2020 (cum laude) aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam op het proefschrift De ban van beheersing. Momenteel werkt hij als onderzoeker aan de Christelijke Hogeschool Ede en aan het Wetenschappelijk Instituut van de ChristenUnie. Daar werkt hij aan een project over deugdethiek in politiek en bestuur.

    From 1964 (until around 1990), political science became the dominant approach within (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This position was taken over from the legal approach. In this period, the concepts of politics, policy and decision-making were central to research and theory. In the period up to 1990, we still see a predominantly administration-centric or government-centric perspective among these political scientists, although we already see incentives from different authors for a broader perspective (the politics, policy and decision-making concepts remain relevant however) that will continue in the period thereafter. This broader perspective (on institutions, management and governance) took shape in the period after 1990, in which Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent (inter)discipline. This essay tells the story of the (local) administrative sciences in this period as envisaged by twelve high-profile professors. The story starts in 1990 in Leiden with the (gradual) transition from classical to institutional Public administration, as is revealed in the inaugural lecture by Theo Toonen. This is followed by eleven other administrative scientists, who are divided into four ‘generations’ of three professors for convenience. In conclusion, the author of this essay argues that there is mainly a need for what he calls a (self-)critical Public Administration.


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

    Adriaan Koelma fits in with the list of legal scholars who helped to shape the early history of the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands, which was dominated by a legal approach to local administration. In that respect, he was not only a follower of the first Dutch public administration scholar, Gerrit van Poelje, but also his successor. He held the chair in Public Administration in Rotterdam, which Van Poelje vacated in 1933, first as a lecturer and later as a professor (from 1946 onwards). Nowadays, Koelma is mainly remembered for the state commission named after him: he (in vain) advocated the introduction of districts (next to municipalities). He was chairman of this state commission that was installed by Minister Beel on 19 December 1946. He fulfilled his scientific activities in addition to a career in the Dutch civil service. Koelma was a typical ‘self-made man’ who worked his way up from junior employee at the municipal clerk’s office of Dordrecht to municipal clerk and, if only briefly, mayor of Alkmaar. His experiences in the Second World War had a great influence on his later life. Due to a war-related illness, he had to give up the chairmanship of the Koelma Commission in 1947 and in 1948 his professorship and role as mayor of Alkmaar. This war also gave him insight into the pernicious influence of Nazi ideology on governance theory and governance practice. He could not have suspected how hard the German occupier would put the Dutch administration and its servants to the test during his public lesson of 1934, because at that time the Nazi regime in Germany had not yet shown its true nature at the local level of government.


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.
Essay

Access_open In de ban van stadsgoeroes?

Herijking van inspiratiebronnen voor stadsbestuurders

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen en Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The urbanisation of society is a well-known fact. It is perhaps less well known that this process is accompanied by the emergence of ‘city gurus’. By this, the authors mean advisers, scientists and other authors who have an international influence on the thinking and actions of city administrators and other urban policymakers. City administrators nowadays often find their intellectual inspiration from ‘contemporary city gurus’. They are usually not public administration experts; instead they come from the fields of urban geography, urban economics, or urban sociology. Their ideas do however resonate in administrative practice. The questions that the popularity of contemporary city gurus raise are: is this a hype or is it really about thoughts that have a lasting impact on ‘urban development’ and city management? Which city gurus are we actually talking about? There are several of them, but in this essay the authors highlight a few that can be counted among the favourite speakers among the ‘science and advisor conference goers’ in recent years: Richard Florida, Bruce Katz, Richard Sennett, Benjamin Barber and Jeb Brugmann. The city gurus ask us to have an eye for the city. But the authors of this essay believe that that also means that we must be aware of differences, because every city and every city dweller is different, and that requires an interpretation of the ‘city of difference’. The popularity of the city leads to an increase in those differences and they present us with various considerations and management issues.


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

Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is onderzoeker, adviseur en universitair docent aan de Technische Universiteit Delft bij de faculteit Bouwkunde. Hij houdt zich bezig met urban governance & leadership, grote iconische stadsprojecten, stedelijke gebiedstransformaties, place branding en place making.

    From 1964 until roughly 1990, political science would become the dominant approach within the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This central position was taken over from the legal approach. Important impulses from political science for Public Administration came only from the second-generation political scientists: Gijs Kuypers at the Free University Amsterdam, Hans Daudt at the University of Amsterdam and Hans Daalder at the University of Leiden. In their footsteps, a political scientist emerged who, through his contribution to several universities (the Free University, the University of Nijmegen and the University of Twente), had a great deal of influence on the further development of Dutch Public Administration: Andries Hoogerwerf. Two other approaches emerged from political science that were important for the development of modern public administration in the Netherlands, namely policy science and the new political economy (public choice). In this essay the author outlines the input of the main figures from political science, policy science and public choice until 1990 in various stages that are most relevant to Public Administration. These stages take us to various cities and universities in the Netherlands. In addition, we see important cross-fertilization between the institutions through the transfer of people from one university to another. After 1990 however, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent inter-discipline.


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 1 April 2019 in the town hall of the Dutch municipality Zwolle the second Van Poelje lecture (named after the founder of Dutch Public Administration, Gerrit van Poelje) was held. The lecture is organized by the Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, in close cooperation with BMC advice, the municipality of Zwolle and the province of Overijssel (of which Zwolle is the capital). The subject of this second lecture was ‘Regional development: task-oriented operating and cooperating ’. The keynote speech of the lecture was delivered by the minister of Home Affairs Kajsa Ollongren. The coreferents were Andries Heidema (the King’s Commissioner in the province of Overijssel) and Bas Denters (professor of Public Administration at the University of Twente). Marcel Boogers (the new chief editor of this magazine, Bestuurswetenschappen) acted as chair of the day and as moderator of the discussion between the attendees and the speakers. In his opinion a clearly different wind is blowing from the Home Office, with more attention for regional differences, which demands more tailor-made work from municipalities and provinces. The minister’s main message was that, because not all provinces have the same position and the problems also differ per province, the tasks must be the guiding principle and the scale must be adjusted accordingly. Therefore, administrative culture and style must be central in the present discussion in her opinion, and not so much the administrative structure.


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.
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.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open Van wreed naar werkbaar optimisme: bestuurskunde in transitie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Public administration, (Young) scholars, Performance pressures, Managers, executives, Agency
Auteurs Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf
Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf is hoogleraar publiek management, departement Bestuurs- & Organisatiewetenschap (USBO), vicedecaan maatschappelijke impact, faculteit Recht, Economie en Bestuur & Organisatie (REBO), Universiteit Utrecht, en voorzitter van de Vereniging voor Bestuurskunde (VB).

    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.

    ‘The Netherlands is a country of commissions. Some are useful: they draw up an analysis that clarifies, declares success or denounces failure’, as the author wrote in his PhD-thesis ‘Looking with strange eyes’ in 2014. This essay also deals with commissions. In the three decentralization operations in the Netherlands, a so-called social affairs advisory council has made its appearance in the Dutch municipalities. Advisory committees or councils play an important role in our political system. For a long time discussions have been held about the position of these advisory bodies and their added value for policy and stakeholders. This fits in with municipalities that are in full development with concepts such as self-management, co-creation and vital communities. Advisory councils want to know if their work matters. There may be growing disappointment about the effects of their advice. That feeling of disappointment is understandable. In 1979 Carol Weiss was rather negative at the time about the degree of utilization of research. In 1983 Arno Korsten put this into perspective: ‘The view that there is underutilization on a large scale requires revision. An important reason is the fact that applying research results is often not immediately and easily visible, neither for researchers involved nor for policy makers.’ Research is something other than advice, but the insights are a source of inspiration for the use of advice. An advisory council wants to increase the effectiveness of its advice. For that reason, in this essay an approach is developed that provides insight into the factors that determine the way in which and the extent to which the advice is used in political decision-making. With this insight, an advisory council for the social domain can strengthen the influence of its advice, as is expected.


Dr. Jean Schutgens
Dr. J.M.L.R. Schutgens is bestuurskundige en bestuurlijk vrijwilliger van het provinciaal Huis voor de Zorg in Limburg. Hij was gemeentesecretaris van Landgraaf in de periode 1992-2008.

    A large number of people, institutions, journals and approaches have contributed to the history of (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. Initially (around 1914) the legal approach was dominant; from 1964 onwards, political science would become the dominant approach; and from 1990 onwards, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent discipline. This essay concentrates on the influence on this development of sociology and its, typically Dutch, predecessor sociography. The starting point here is the promotion tree of the founder of the Dutch sociology Sebald Steinmetz. Through him various lines (via his doctorates Nicolaas ter Veen and Jakob Kruijt) go to modern Public Administration. This essay tells the story of the influence of sociography and sociology on the development of the administrative sciences and modern Public Administration in six acts, in which two persons from the promotion tree are discussed (via Sjoerd Groenman, who is promoted by Nicolaas ter Veen there are two different lines again). The line via Jakob Kruijt contains Aris van Braam (he wrote in 1957 what is considered the first Dutch empirical study in Public Administration) and Jos Raadschelders. The first line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Henk Brasz (the first full-time professor in Public Administration in the Netherlands), Fred Fleurke and Ko de Ridder. The second line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Joop Ellemers, Geert Braam (professor at the first regular Dutch Public Administration programme in Twente) and Wim Derksen. These acts are framed with short intermezzos about the other sociological key figures who played an important role in the story of sociography, sociology and Public Administration. In conclusion, the author of this essay discusses the continuing relevance of sociology for modern Public Administration.


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.

    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.

    Debates about the quality of local democracy are not new. This was also the case 100 years ago. In 1918 the ground-breaking dissertation of Adriaan Buriks on democratic municipal government was published in the Netherlands. In his dissertation Buriks proposed a radical democratic reform of Dutch municipal government by adopting the new system of ‘commission government’ from the US. That is a system of city government in which (almost) all city authority functions are concentrated in a small commission. The commission is organized in such a way that each member of the commission is the head of a city government department, every member is chosen by the population of the whole city and the exercise of authority is controlled by the whole population. The essay describes the remarkable life of this social revolutionary and municipal law expert. It goes on to discusses the dissertation through an introduction on the central issue of democratic municipal government, a description of the government systems of the US before and after the American Revolution of 1787, a description of the new system of ‘commission government’ and his proposal to adopt the new system in the Netherlands. The essay is closed by the author’s reflection on how the dissertation was received and its impact.


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

De vroege geschiedenis van de (lokale) bestuurswetenschappen

Jos van der Grinten als bondgenoot van Gerrit van Poelje

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2018
Auteurs Rik Reussing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Exactly a hundred years ago Jos van der Grinten wrote an article in De Beiaard (a catholic magazine) with which he established his name as early administrative scientist. In this respect he is an important ally of Gerrit van Poelje, who is generally recognized to be the founder of the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This essay discusses the most important themes in the work of Van der Grinten against the background of the early debate about the quality of local administration in the Netherlands. The essay also looks into his place in the history of (local) administrative sciences, not only nationally in relation to Gerrit van Poelje, but also internationally in relation to the American writer Frank Goodnow. In 1923 Van der Grinten (until his early death in 1932) was the first professor of State and Administrative Law at the new Catholic University of Nijmegen. As the city secretary of Nijmegen he played an important role at the arrival of this university to Nijmegen, but in this period he also contributed to the (local) administrative sciences. In this sense he is the forerunner of Public Administration, first at the Legal Department and later at the Social Department of the Radboud University in Nijmegen.


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

    Despite the praise for Richard Florida’s new book The new urban crisis, it remarkably can be seen as an ‘urban confession’ or even as a ‘public penance’ for everything he wrote before in his glorious publication The rise of the creative class. That book offered the opportunity to look at the city in a different way and to formulate approaches for new urban politics. As a child, Florida and his family fled the city with its crime and other problems and moved to a suburb. As a young intellectual, Florida returned to the city, where he became interested in the role of the creative class in the process of re-urbanization. During his academic research, he discovered the ‘magic formula’ that cities could flourish by stimulating this creative class. However, his belief in this magic formula has eroded and now, about fifteen years after his publication, he admits he was mistaken. What seemed a solution appeared to be the cause of ‘the new urban crisis’. In his new book, the ‘urban optimist’ is replaced by the ‘urban pessimist’. New policies are needed that replace the concept of ‘the-winner-takes-all’ by ‘urbanism-for-all’ to stop the so-called ‘patchwork metropolis’ of segregated neighborhoods.


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

    The anniversary issue of this magazine (Reussing, 2016/4: 71-101) contained an essay with a short history of the (municipal) administrative sciences. This postscript contains a number of corrections, clarifications and additions to this essay, in chronological order. Examples are the inherently Fabian vision on socialism by one of the pioneers alderman Floor Wibaut, the importance of Jos (not Joop) van der Grinten in the early period (next to the founder of public administration in the Netherlands, Gerrit van Poelje) and the later prime minister Willem Drees as the successor of Herman Nieboer as member of the editorial board in 1921 of the first magazine in the field of ‘Municipal Administration’.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    This essay contains a short history of the municipal and other administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This history is divided into seven lives. Each life has its own specific characteristics and approaches. The story starts in 1914 with the dissertation of Gerrit van Poelje and the aldermanship of Floor Wibaut (for the Dutch Labour Party) in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, the authors make a plea to view 1921 as the actual starting point, because it is the year of the introduction to municipal administration written by Van Poelje and the first Dutch academic magazine on municipal administration (‘Gemeentebestuur’). This means that we can prepare for the celebration of 100 years of (municipal) administrative sciences in 2021. A great challenge for all universities, but certainly for the Public Administration programme of the University of Twente, which is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. The challenge is to work on current topics such as the relationship between public administration and technology in smart, sustainable and resilient cities.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    For the Dutch Association of Municipal Councillors (Raadslid.Nu) Bas Denters, professor of Public Administration at the University of Twente, wrote an essay on control and accountability in local government and the role of the municipality in this process. At close examination the relations in this area are less clear than they look on paper. The reason is what Mark Bovens and others have called the ‘displacement of politics’ in all its appearances: regionalization, privatization and socialization (i.e. tasks carried out by the society instead of the government). That process requires reflection on the question how democratic control and accountability at the local level can be reshaped. It is important to experiment with new ways in which municipal councils redefine the local processes of control and accountability. One can think of: (a) broadening the scope of the section in Dutch Municipal Law on affiliated parties (‘Verbonden Partijen’); (b) formulating Governance Charters and process framework notes; and (c) organizing the ‘democratic encirclement’ of the local administration, e.g. by other parties. In various places interesting initiatives have already been taken and hopefully this essay and the attention from Raadslid.Nu will contribute to more municipalities daring to blaze new paths.


Prof. dr. Bas Denters
Prof. dr. S.A.H. Denters is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente, wetenschappelijk directeur van de Nederlandse Onderzoeksschool Bestuurskunde (NOB), wetenschappelijk adviseur van KISS en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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