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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.

    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.
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