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    The increased complexity of multilevel democracies makes the evaluation of the performances of the government an increasingly difficult task for citizens. Multilevel governance involves information costs, which makes it more difficult for citizens to give clear responsibility for government tasks to the correct level of government. This article contains the first study that is focussing on the responsibility perceptions in the Netherlands. The authors do not just look at who citizens hold responsible for certain government tasks, but they also look at the consequences of these perceptions for the mechanism of accountability. The satisfaction of citizens are with the policy in a particular area should only influence the political support for the level of government they hold responsible. Results of the research are that in line with this perspective a strong correlation exists between satisfaction with the pursued policy and trust of the citizens in this government, in proportion as they hold a level of government more responsible. On the other hand there are large differences between citizens, that correlate with their level of education. So there are also large groups of citizens for whom it is not possible to keep governments responsible for the policy pursued, because they simply do not know which government is responsible.


Lisanne de Blok MSc
E.A. de Blok MSc is promovendus aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hiervoor deed ze een research master sociale wetenschappen aan dezelfde universiteit en liep ze stage bij de Raad voor het openbaar bestuur (Rob).

Prof. dr. Wouter van der Brug
Prof. dr. W. van der Brug is hoogleraar Politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Prof. dr. Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, senior adviseur Openbaar Bestuur bij BMC en tevens redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Tom van der Meer (University of Amsterdam) and Henk van der Kolk (University of Twente) are the guest editors of this special issue on local electoral research in the Netherlands. In the introduction Henk van der Kolk describes the background of the first Local Electoral Research (LKO) performed in the Netherlands in 2016. Weighted data were used from the representative LISS-panel existing of 5000 households from all over the Netherlands. The LKO could become an instrument to obtain an integral view of the state of the local democracy from the perspective of the citizen. The articles in this special issue show on the basis of the LKO data to what extent the two divergent views of local democracy correspond with the facts. The first view is that of a local democracy standing close to its citizens, the other view is that of a local government as a derivative of national government.


Dr. Henk van der Kolk
Dr. H. van der Kolk is universitair hoofddocent politicologie en onderzoeksmethoden bij de vakgroep OMD aan de Universiteit Twente en bestuurslid van het Nationaal Kiezersonderzoek.
Artikel

Uitdagingen voor bestuur en politiek op gemeenteniveau: het burgerperspectief

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Dr. Jeroen van der Waal, Babs Broekema MSc en Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    For the legitimacy and ability of governments it is crucial to have insight in the worries of citizens about society and politics. In the Netherlands these worries are at the national level systematically mapped by the Dutch Social and Cultural Planning Agency (SCP) through their Continuous Research Citizen Perspectives (COB) for almost ten years now. At the local level there is a lack of information about what worries citizens. Insight in locally experienced problems will probably become even more important in the coming years because of the recent decentralizations of national governmental tasks to the municipalities. This article investigates which problems citizens perceive in their municipalities based on an analysis of data from the Local Electoral Research (LKO). The authors find a number of striking differences with the problems that are perceived at the national level in the same period. The municipal issues citizens mention offer opportunities, but they also point to the limited impact force of the municipal level of government. All in all the research findings are indicative of a substantial added value of the LKO with respect to the already longer running COB.


Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
Dr. J. van der Waal is universitair hoofddocent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Babs Broekema MSc
B. Broekema MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Aan dezelfde universiteit deed ze een master Bestuurskunde, Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden
Dr. E.H. Steenvoorden is universitair docent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    Reading the most recent and most revealing book of Rinus van Schendelen leads to the conclusion that lobbying is not the strongest side of the Netherlands, which is rather strange for a small country with an external orientation that goes back for centuries. As one of the (six) founding fathers of European cooperation the Netherlands could not hold this special position in the EU. The money-driven attitude of the Netherlands may be profitable short-term, but is harmful for the position of the country and for its decentralized authorities (municipalities and provinces). The Dutch political scientist Rinus van Schendelen is well known for his long years of investigation into ‘lobbying’, but what in fact can be called public affairs (PA). In his older work Van Schendelen discusses PA mainly as a managerial, instrumental, Machiavellian means for steering private and public interests. In his new book he further develops this approach by investigating processes which can contribute to the use of PA instruments for sustainable effects. The new book clearly shows that nowadays the intelligent use of social media is a necessary supplement to the intelligent use of traditional PA instruments. Because of the influence of social media an adequate training of PA professionals is urgently needed in social psychology and other relevant disciplines to prevent floor tourists and other adventurers entering the PA scene.


Dr. Ed Figee
Dr. E.L. Figee is van huis uit journalist en promoveerde in 2017 aan de Universiteit Twente. Hij werkte van 1979 tot 2011 nagenoeg onafgebroken in de Haagse politieke arena, aanvankelijk als regionaal parlementair redacteur en vanaf 1995 als Haags (en Brussels) adviseur voor Oost-Nederland. Daarnaast participeerde hij wereldwijd in missies van VNG International voor het revitaliseren van lokale democratieën (veelal in post war countries).

    This article investigates the state of affairs of local participation and participation wishes, and its backgrounds. The central question is if those who participate a lot are also those who wish to have more participation or not. It is not possible to simply summarize the developments in time in terms of ‘less and less’ participation and ‘more and more’ wishes. Since the seventies the turnout in municipal elections has fallen (against fluctuations without trend at the national elections) and collective actions for local goals have remained at the same level (against a fall in collective actions for supralocal goals). In 2016 also less people have appeared to participate non-electorally (19% local activists) than electorally (54% turnout in 2014). In addition the support for new opportunities for participation is larger than the actual use of existing opportunities. Political participants are almost as often as non-participants in favour of new opportunities for participation. In line with previous research the authors find several social and political attitudes in support of promoting more opportunities for participation. For participants as well as non-participants it applies that support for more opportunities is promoted by ‘positive’ characteristics (like interest in local politics, worries about the environment) as well as ‘negative’ ones (dissatisfaction with local democracy, disbelief in the responsiveness of councillors).


Prof. dr. Paul Dekker
Prof. dr. P. Dekker is hoofd van de onderzoekssector Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving van het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau en hoogleraar Civil Society aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Josje den Ridder
Dr. J.M. den Ridder is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.
Praktijk

Stadshuis van Utrecht

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Auteursinformatie

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. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Artikel

Lokale verkiezingen: een lokaal of nationaal feest der democratie?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden, Babs Broekema MSc en Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The term ‘second-order election’ indicates some elections are less important for citizens than national elections. This article investigates to what extent that applies for the Dutch elections of the municipal council. The research builds on literature about the second-order nature of the local elections in the Netherlands. The authors focus on the question to what extent the Dutch elections of the municipal council are second-order elections, by comparing voting at local and national elections in different ways. They compare four aspects of local and national voting: the turnout, the underlying factors that explain the turnout, the factors that explain voting for local parties, and the national or local character of the voting motives at the municipal elections in 2014. The results do not give a clear answer to the question to which extent municipal elections are locally oriented. The four different angles all deliver ambiguous patterns. So municipal elections indeed partly have a second-order nature as previously argued and shown. Nevertheless, we must not underestimate local affinity and political involvement. The fact that some of the citizens are interested in local politics, local parties and in local election electoral programmes is pointing out a local political dynamics.


Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden
Dr. E.H. Steenvoorden is universitair docent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Babs Broekema MSc
B. Broekema MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Aan dezelfde universiteit deed ze een master Bestuurskunde, Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
Dr. J. van der Waal is universitair hoofddocent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    In a final view the other guest editor draws conclusions on local democracy based on the analyses of the Local Election Research presented in this special issue. The good news is that the basic attitude of the Dutch people about their local democracy, their local institutions and their local government is quite positive. A picture of trust and satisfaction arises from the data that are available. However, the picture is much less positive if we look at the local democracy from the perspective of the monitoring citizen. The outcomes of municipal elections are largely dictated by national party preferences, which is both harmful for the process of representation before and the control and accountability after the election of the municipal council. In addition, the level of political participation at the local level is rather low and the participants are not a balanced reflection of the population, even in new forms of participation that are especially designed to break the dominance of the permanent participation elite.


Prof. dr. Tom van der Meer
Prof. dr. T.W.G. van der Meer is hoogleraar Politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam en sinds 2015 codirecteur van het Nationaal Kiezersonderzoek.

Prof. dr. Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    Municipal amalgamations form a red thread through the history of local government in the Netherlands. With varying intensity, this country was continuously confronted with adjustments of the municipal scale. Where once the focus was rather one-sided on the minimum number of inhabitants of a municipality, we see that since the nineties questions were asked about the amalgamation policy. From now on a lack of administrative power had to be demonstrated before an amalgamation would be carried through. These critical remarks however didn’t lead to a downfall in the number of municipal amalgamations. Amalgamation and merger will always continue in the Netherlands. The Flemish policy on amalgamation appears to be quite different. Since the large-scale merger operation in 1976 Flanders was no more confronted with municipal amalgamations. The former Flemish government however, announced at its appointment in 2009 that it would encourage voluntary mergers of municipalities with financial and administrative incentives. The present Flemish government treads the same path. The incentives put in place by the former Flemish legislature are even increased. They even appear to bear fruit. In the provinces Limburg and East-Flanders several municipalities have indicated to investigate a merger. Some of them even have taken the principal decision to merger in the municipal councils involved. This article describes and compares the municipal amalgamation policies of the Netherlands and Flanders. The authors also investigate what both can learn from each other.


Prof. dr. Koenraad De Ceuninck
Prof. dr. K. De Ceuninck is politicoloog en hoogleraar bij het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent.

Dr. Klaas Abma
Dr. K. Abma is programmamanager bij de gemeente Súdwest-Fryslân (Zuidwest-Friesland). In 2012 promoveerde hij aan de Open Universiteit bij Arno Korsten op een onderzoek naar het beoordelen van gemeenten.

Prof. mr. Hans Engels
Prof. mr. J.W.M. Engels is bijzonder hoogleraar recht decentrale overheden (Oppenheim-leerstoel) aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

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.
Artikel

Non-participatie in de doe-democratie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2017
Auteurs Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB en Dr. Ank Michels
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research into citizens’ initiatives usually focuses on those who already participate. In this article the central question is how those who do not participate yet can be motivated to take part in citizens’ initiatives. To investigate this the authors used vignettes in which four key motives for participation in citizens’ initiatives are linked to three types of citizens’ initiatives. The results of this research show that people are more likely to take part in an initiative if a call is made to altruism. Usually it is also in general easier for small-scale, more applied citizens’ initiatives to motivate people. Non-participants will be more inclined, certainly in the presence of a specific local problem and if they are asked, to respond in a positive manner to an invitation to take part. For more abstract citizens’ initiatives, like a citizens summit in which not one single specific problem is addressed, it is much more difficult to motivate people to take part. Participation in citizens’ initiatives indeed increases the quality of local democracy, but only if the (local) government doesn’t take over these initiatives. Also those who do not yet take part in citizens’ initiatives have a positive and constructive attitude towards them.


Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB
G.R. Broekhuizen MSc LLB deed een onderzoeksmaster bestuurskunde en organisatiewetenschap aan de Universiteit Utrecht en een bachelor bestuurskunde en recht aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij schreef zijn scriptie over non-participatie in de doe-democratie.

Dr. Ank Michels
Dr. A.M.B. Michels is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO).
Artikel

Belofte, pijn en medicijn: het verantwoorden van publieke waardecreatie aan de lokale politiek en maatschappelijke partners

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden public value creation, accountability, local government, performance management
Auteurs Mijke van de Noort MSc, Scott Douglas DPhil en Dr. Lieske van der Torre
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Public value management encourages public organizations to move beyond existing frameworks and create value in flexible collaboration with societal partners. However, this approach creates problems for the accountability processes, because reports to politicians are often still directed at quantitative goals and rigid frameworks. This creates uncertainty and disagreement around the definition of value, the legitimacy of the new governance styles and the complexity of the new collaborations. This article describes the experiences of a large Dutch municipality where we conducted an experiment with an innovative accountability process for public value creation in the public health domain. Political administrators, council members, civil servants and societal partners have jointly assessed, through an interactive Public Value Table meeting format, what value their combined efforts in complex societal challenges have created. This experiment gives insight in the growing pains of public value creation, but also shows some possible solutions to address these tensions.


Mijke van de Noort MSc
M. van de Noort MSc studeerde Publiek Management aan de Universiteit Utrecht en werkt momenteel als Young Professional beleid volksgezondheid bij de gemeente Utrecht.

Scott Douglas DPhil
S.C. Douglas DPhil is universitair docent op het gebied van publiek management aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO).

Dr. Lieske van der Torre
Dr. E.J. van der Torre is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO).

    From 1974 until 1994 John Wevers was alderman in Maastricht (an old city in the deep south of the Netherlands) in the area of urban development. Before (from 1967 until 1974) Wevers was already a political activist in this domain. In 2016 he published his autobiography, which is very interesting for several reasons. The autobiography not only gives insight in the policy and the organization in the area of urban renewal in that period, but also in the functioning of local politics in general. At his farewell as an alderman in 1994 Wevers was the last remnant of a generation of Dutch Labour politicians (the other three were Adri Duivesteijn in The Hague, Ypke Gietema in Groningen and Fons Asselbergs in Amersfoort) who made architecture a public matter during the eighties. During the seventies Wevers also belonged to the generation of Dutch Labour politicians (amongst Jan van der Ploeg in Rotterdam, Max van den Berg in Groningen and Jan Schaefer in Amsterdam) who propagated the human scale and living in the inner city for ordinary people. In this respect they could rightfully call themselves the heirs of the legendary Labour alderman Floor Wibaut (alderman in Amsterdam from 1914 until 1931).


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.
Artikel

Effectieve regionale netwerken

Een onderzoek naar top-down gestimuleerde netwerken op onderwijs- en arbeidsmarktgebied

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2017
Auteurs Dr. Esther Klaster
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Regional networks are often used by the central government in the Netherlands as a way of translating national purposes into regional action. At the same time regional networks increasingly arise from the bottom up. In short, it gets busy in the region. This article describes research on regional networks encouraged by the national government to handle complex issues in the domain of education and the labor market. The central question of this article is the way in which stimulating regional cooperation can be used effectively by the central government. Thirteen networks are studied with the help of interviews, questionnaires and data from social networks. The research findings show that in these networks that are encouraged from the top down, there is a tension between achieving short-term results and building cooperative relations, and that a sense of urgency in the region is an important prerequisite for success. This calls for more bottom-up co-determination of the policy agenda and the pace. In addition, there appeared to be a strong overlap between seemingly separate networks, thematically as well as in terms of staffing, which again offers opportunities for creating synergy. The findings call for using these ‘meta networks’ in the formation of networks. Both notions lead to some strategies for the effective use of regional networks.


Dr. Esther Klaster
Dr. E. Klaster is adviseur bij het adviesbureau Common Eye. Daarvoor werkte ze als onderzoeker en adviseur bij B&A. In 2015 promoveerde ze cum laude aan de Universiteit Twente.
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