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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.

    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.

    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.

    Since 2001, the Dutch province of Overijssel has had its own knowledge centre focusing on urban society, called the ‘KennisInstituut Stedelijke Samenleving’ (KISS), alongside national knowledge centres. This essay gives an overview of some relevant KISS meetings devoted to a many kinds of citizen participation. The overview is based on reports made by the author himself. Examples of citizen participation are: the new styles of neighbourhood governance, citizen participation through neighbourhood budgets, the strength of the city and location-based leadership, innovative urban renewal and the promotion of citizen initiatives in the province of Overijssel. Examples are not only from the province of Overijssel (situated in the east of the Netherlands), but also from other parts of the Netherlands and other countries (Flanders, United Kingdom, United States and all over the world). The subject of citizen participation (in connection with urban renewal and administrative leadership) enjoys an ever-increasing popularity as is shown by the number of KISS meetings devoted to this subject.


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

    In this contribution to the special issue on his own book ‘If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities’ Benjamin Barber first explains the background of his proposal to establish a global parliament of mayors: the failure of nation-states in solving the problems of the 21st century. The hope for a democratic solution lies especially in the rise of the cities and their mayors. A crucial role in this solution should be played by a global parliament of mayors. According to Barber the key issues for such a global parliament of mayors are climate change, immigration, policing and violence and urban autonomy. The biggest practical problem of this project is how thousands of representatives could meet on a regular basis. The digital technology of the information age offers the solution for this practical problem through a virtual platform for meetings of the global parliament of mayors. The global parliament of mayors is a unique form of intercity association that establishes a new form of political authority rooted in universal-rights claims: the rights of the city and citizens.


Prof. dr. Benjamin Barber
Prof. dr. B.R. Barber is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York.

    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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