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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.

    A provincial government in the Netherlands (Limburg) wants to start a movement designed to encourage citizens to live longer and healthier, and to participate in society. The province mobilizes partners to achieve these goals, with important tasks for the municipal governments. This article addresses the question how to help municipal governments in this approach. To draft a guide, a literature search was carried out, interviews were held and the policy practice was explored. This approach resulted in several building blocks that promote a departure from the trend in the health and participation of the citizens in Limburg. These building blocks are set in municipal activities in a Participation Compass social domain. Applying them indicates whether a municipal government is doing the right things to actively engage citizens. It gives an overall picture of the functioning of administrators, networkers and service providers. The report mentions strong points as well as learning points. It is crucial that results are recognized and accepted. The report also suggests improvement points for municipal governments and their partners on their path to the participation society.


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

Heeft de omwenteling in het lokaal bestuur wel plaatsgevonden?

Twijfels over de voorspelde ‘shift’ van government naar governance

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2015
Auteurs Dr. mr. Jan Schrijver
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    On April 8th 2015, Jan Schrijver got his PhD at Maastricht University (Arno Korsten was his doctoral thesis supervisor) on research into 40 years of Dutch administrative policy (1969 to 2009). This period largely coincided with his career as a senior civil servant (1976 to 2003). The expectation often predicted in Public Administration was that a shift from government to governance (from cockpit thinking to a network society) would occur in the dominant administrative theory. However, this shift was not detected in the Departments of Home Affairs and Agriculture during the research period. In the literature on Dutch local administration, qualitative (and often ambivalent) information is generally to be found. On the one hand, this literature emphasizes the inevitability of this shift and offers a lot of case descriptions. On the other hand, Dutch handbooks on local administration devote little attention to this development and contain many views that point to stubborn administrative methods employed by old-style governors. The author concludes that Dutch national administration converges to one firm, while local administration diverges into a leading group of municipalities and a group of followers.


Dr. mr. Jan Schrijver
Dr. mr. J.F. Schrijver is oud-ambtenaar bij het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken. Na zijn pensioen schreef hij een proefschrift aan de Universiteit van Maastricht waarop hij 8 april 2015 promoveerde.

    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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