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    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.

    From 1964 until roughly 1990, political science would become the dominant approach within the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This central position was taken over from the legal approach. Important impulses from political science for Public Administration came only from the second-generation political scientists: Gijs Kuypers at the Free University Amsterdam, Hans Daudt at the University of Amsterdam and Hans Daalder at the University of Leiden. In their footsteps, a political scientist emerged who, through his contribution to several universities (the Free University, the University of Nijmegen and the University of Twente), had a great deal of influence on the further development of Dutch Public Administration: Andries Hoogerwerf. Two other approaches emerged from political science that were important for the development of modern public administration in the Netherlands, namely policy science and the new political economy (public choice). In this essay the author outlines the input of the main figures from political science, policy science and public choice until 1990 in various stages that are most relevant to Public Administration. These stages take us to various cities and universities in the Netherlands. In addition, we see important cross-fertilization between the institutions through the transfer of people from one university to another. After 1990 however, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent inter-discipline.


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.
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