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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.

    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.

    A polarizing society, ever-changing politics and an administrative field that is fragmented: that is the present world of Dutch mayors. These three processes have had a profound impact on local government and on the office of mayor. The position of the mayor has become vulnerable and his or her functioning is being put under a magnifying glass, sometimes leading to negative imaging and even a premature departure of mayors. More and sometimes conflicting demands are being imposed on mayors on the basis of their different tasks and responsibilities, as a result of which their positional authority has come under pressure, among other things. Based on discussions with 20 Dutch mayors, the authors of this essay present five central leadership dilemmas for mayors: (1) internal versus external connection; (2) authenticity versus adaptability; (3) involvement versus distance; (4) setting the course versus being of service; and (5) knowledge of content versus process monitoring. Coping with these leadership dilemmas also requires a different set of skills. First, the mayor must be pro-active and have a good antenna for new developments. Secondly, it is essential that he or she not only keeps in mind the short-term perspective, but also the middle-term and the long-term perspective. Thirdly, the mayor is expected to be able to combine hard and soft personality traits: just being nice is not enough.


Dr. Saniye Çelik
Dr. S. Çelik is lector Diversiteit aan de Hogeschool Leiden. Zij is gepromoveerd aan de Universiteit Leiden op het onderwerp ‘sturen op verbinden in publieke organisaties’ en is mederegisseur van het leiderschapsprogramma voor burgemeesters bij het Centre for Professional Learning van de Universiteit Leiden.

Drs. Nikol Hopman
Drs. N. Hopman is directeur van het Centre for Professional Learning van de Universiteit Leiden en verantwoordelijk voor het leiderschapsprogramma voor burgemeesters. Zij is programmadirecteur van het Certified Public Manager Program (CPM) in Europa, daarnaast betrokken bij de International Leadership Association en Guest Editor van het International Journal of Public Leadership.

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


Dr. Merijn Oudenampsen
Dr. Merijn Oudenampsen is socioloog en politicoloog. Hij doet als postdoc onderzoek bij de Universiteit van Amsterdam naar de politieke geschiedenis van het neoliberalisme in Nederland.
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.
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