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Essay

Access_open In de ban van stadsgoeroes?

Herijking van inspiratiebronnen voor stadsbestuurders

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen en Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The urbanisation of society is a well-known fact. It is perhaps less well known that this process is accompanied by the emergence of ‘city gurus’. By this, the authors mean advisers, scientists and other authors who have an international influence on the thinking and actions of city administrators and other urban policymakers. City administrators nowadays often find their intellectual inspiration from ‘contemporary city gurus’. They are usually not public administration experts; instead they come from the fields of urban geography, urban economics, or urban sociology. Their ideas do however resonate in administrative practice. The questions that the popularity of contemporary city gurus raise are: is this a hype or is it really about thoughts that have a lasting impact on ‘urban development’ and city management? Which city gurus are we actually talking about? There are several of them, but in this essay the authors highlight a few that can be counted among the favourite speakers among the ‘science and advisor conference goers’ in recent years: Richard Florida, Bruce Katz, Richard Sennett, Benjamin Barber and Jeb Brugmann. The city gurus ask us to have an eye for the city. But the authors of this essay believe that that also means that we must be aware of differences, because every city and every city dweller is different, and that requires an interpretation of the ‘city of difference’. The popularity of the city leads to an increase in those differences and they present us with various considerations and management issues.


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. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is onderzoeker, adviseur en universitair docent aan de Technische Universiteit Delft bij de faculteit Bouwkunde. Hij houdt zich bezig met urban governance & leadership, grote iconische stadsprojecten, stedelijke gebiedstransformaties, place branding en place making.

    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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