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Essay

Populisme als reactie op een falende (lokale) democratie?

Pierre Rosanvallons Le siècle du populisme

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2021
Auteurs Nico Nelissen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    It had been on the wish list of the author of this essay (Nico Nelissen) for some time to devote an essay to the phenomenon of ‘populism’. The publication of Pierre Rosanvallon’s new book Le siècle du populisme (‘The Age of Populism’) was a good reason to act on this intention. The book is structured as follows. An introduction presents the broad outlines of what is discussed in the book. Then populism is discussed in three parts. The first part is mainly analytical in nature, in which the phenomenon of populism is analyzed from the perspective of unity and diversity. The second part of the book discusses the history of populism, not only now and in France, but also in the past and in other countries. In the third part of the book, a critical reflection on populism is given based on setting it against the background of the failures of modern democracy. Finally, there is an annex in which the history of the concept of populism is explained. Reflections on populism usually take place in the field of nation states and national democracies. But perhaps much more relevant is populism at the level of local democracy. It is often the ‘local annoyances’ that give rise to criticism of local government and local politics. It is to the credit of Rosanvallon who, on the whole, has nothing to do with populism, yet has the courage to deal with this protest against mainstream democracy with a little less bias.


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

    This essay discusses the book L’archipel français: naissance d’une nation multiple et divisée. In addition, the French author Jérôme Fourquet is discussed, what the central thesis of the book is, what research methods the author uses, how the book is structured and what conclusions he comes to. Subsequently, the second part of the essay raises the question of the extent to which (in the opinion of the author of the essay) there is also a metamorphosis of society in the Netherlands, as is seen in France. This enables him, among other things, to report on a longitudinal research project at Radboud University Nijmegen, which is known as ‘Socio-cultural Developments in the Netherlands’ (SOCON). The central proposition of the bestseller is that France was once a nation that could be seen as ‘one and indivisible’ (and was experienced as such), but that France has changed fundamentally over the past decades and is now a ‘multiform and divided’ country: an ‘archipelisation’ process has occurred. Fourquet derives the term ‘archipelago’ from geology and uses it as a metaphor for the sub-worlds that have emerged: largely autonomous ‘islands’ with a limited joint bond. The Dutch SOCON study and other evidence supports Fourquet’s notion that there is also a huge shift in society in the Netherlands and that here too (perhaps less than in France) there are indications for ‘archipelisation’.


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. Fabian Dekker
Dr. Fabian Dekker is lid van de redactie van Beleid en Maatschappij.

Dr. Tamara Metze
Dr. Tamara Metze is voorzitter van de redactie van Beleid en Maatschappij.

    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.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open Op naar de doe-mee-cratie!

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Democracy, Youth, Voting, Public participation, Civil society
Auteurs Gerben Huisman en Drs. Arno Brok
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

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


Gerben Huisman
Gerben Huisman is griffier van de Staten van Fryslân.

Drs. Arno Brok
Drs. Arno Brok is commissaris van de koning in de provincie Fryslân.
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.

    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.

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


Patrick van Schie
Patrick van Schie is directeur van de TeldersStichting en columnist voor www.Trouw.nl

    Politicians and scientists in the Netherlands often claim that only municipalities with over 100,000 inhabitants (so called ‘100,000+ municipalities’) have enough administrative power to be able to carry out their tasks in the future well. This is also the case for the responsibilities that recently have handed over to the Dutch municipalities as part of the three decentralizations. Against the background of this debate, the authors of this essay argue that the experiences of the four European microstates – Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino –may offer an interesting frame of reference where it concerns the delivery of public services. These four countries have all the responsibilities and tasks of a sovereign state, but at the same time three of the four countries have a population of fewer than 40,000 inhabitants. Also, the fourth country is smaller than a 100,000+ municipality. Despite the small size of these states, their public services are of an exceptionally high level. Therefore this essay tries to answer two questions: How is this possible? What can we learn from the experiences of these microstates about the debate on scale and administrative power in the Netherlands?


Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
Dr. ir. P. van Houwelingen is onderzoeker bij het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.

Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Dr. W.P. Veenendaal is onderzoeker bij het Koninklijk Instituut voor Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde.


Bas Eickhout
Bas Eickhout is namens GroenLinks lid van het Europees Parlement.

Jasper Blom
Jasper Blom is directeur van Bureau de Helling, het wetenschappelijk bureau van GroenLinks.


René Cuperus
René Cuperus is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wiardi Beckman Stichting, gastonderzoeker op het Duitsland Instituut van de Universiteit van Amsterdam, en columnist van de Volkskrant en van Social Europe Journal.


Dr. Caelesta Braun
Dr. Caelesta Braun is redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.
Discussie

Onvermijdelijke verdragswijziging vereist een ander EU-referendum

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2016
Auteurs Adriaan Schout, Jan-Marinus Wiersma en David Bokhorst PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie


Adriaan Schout
Europa Coördinator bij het Clingendael Instituut

Jan-Marinus Wiersma
Senior Visiting Fellow bij het Clingendael Instituut

David Bokhorst PhD
PhD Candidate - Universiteit van Amsterdam
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.

    At December 1st 2014 in the Dutch city of Nijmegen (known from the Treaty of Nijmegen, 1678) the yearly VanHeste-lecture took place. This year the mayors Hubert Bruls of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Louis Tobback of Leuven (Belgium) discussed the binding role of the modern mayor. Their starting point was the latest book of the American political scientist Benjamin Barber ‘If mayors ruled the world’. Michiel Herweijer, professor of Public Administration at Radboud University Nijmegen, is supposed to lead the discussion. To structure the discussion between the two mayors he formulates six questions, which contain six reservations about the gospel of Benjamin Barber. His conclusion is that Barber has written a fascinating book that has aroused much discussion worldwide. This debate is a good thing, because there are at least six good reasons (the six reservations mentioned by Herweijer himself in this contribution) to abandon the idea of a global parliament of mayors.


Prof. dr. Michiel Herweijer
Prof. dr. M. Herweijer is redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen, directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer en bijzonder hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
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