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    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.

    Last year the first Dutch municipalities declared themselves TTIP-free and the list is growing. The count now stands at 27 Dutch municipalities, three Dutch provinces and two Dutch water boards. TTIP means that foreign companies can be confident that investments in a host country are secure and cannot simply be eliminated or nullified. But what if investments are at odds or will be become at odds with measures a government has taken or intends to take, for example to protect the environment? Does the government still have that freedom under TTIP? Or is it only if it is prepared to pay large amounts of money? Comparable practices show that it may involve significant amounts of money. What can we expect from TTIP in this respect? The question central in this essay is if and, if so to what extent, does the investment protection that TTIP offers, in combination with the arbitration that is foreseen in the treaty, impede local authorities in taking decisions in the general interest.


Prof. mr. dr. Helen Stout
Prof. mr. dr. H.D. Stout is hoogleraar Juridische aspecten van hybride organisaties aan de Erasmus School of Law van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    The Dutch minister of Home Affairs, Ronald Plasterk, has resolved to obligate municipalities to set up an independent audit office. Other variants of the audit office function, in which counselors themselves are members of local audit offices or commissions, will be forbidden. The minister’s assumption is that an independent audit office will control the municipal government more effectively. The disappearance of counselors as member of audit offices (or commissions) may have implications for the impact of local audit reports. The supposed effect of the membership of counselors is that there will be better coordination between the local audit office (or commission) and the need for control of the municipality. In addition one might suppose that the presence of counselors in the audit office guarantees that the audit reports will receive enough attention in the municipal council. Both effects concern the impact of local audit investigation. In this article, the authors study the extent to which membership of counselors really contributes to the impact of local audit investigation on the basis of quantitative (a survey amongst secretaries of local audit offices) and qualitative (an explorative case study in a number of Dutch municipalities) research. The results show that the membership of counselors as such does not lead to a greater impact, but that a proper consultation is required between the audit office and the municipal council.


Mr. Paul Koster
Mr. B.P. Koster is jurist bij de gemeente Delfzijl en raadslid in de gemeente Bedum.

Mr. dr. Albertjan Tollenaar
Mr. dr. A. Tollenaar is universitair docent bestuursrecht en bestuurskunde aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    The often gloomy analyses of democratic representation at the local level are frequently directed at the problems with parties and elections. Direct participation is not a good alternative because only certain people who are already politically active use it. However, with the help of the concept ‘representative claim’ and based on two qualitative case studies of decentralizations in the social domain, the authors show that there are other representative people besides elected politicians. These self-appointed, non-elected representatives may advocate on behalf of vulnerable groups who themselves do not have a strong voice in politics. In addition this study shows that elected representatives, like political parties and local counselors, can strengthen their representative role by: (1) cooperating better with the non-elected representatives, (2) highlighting their representational claims and the basis of these claims, and (3) strengthening their responsiveness towards their support base through authorization and other accountability structures other than elections. In this way the democratic representation in municipalities is reinforced and may be stronger than the often gloomy analyses suggest.


Dr. Hester van de Bovenkamp
Dr. H.M. van de Bovenkamp is universitair hoofddocent aan het instituut Beleid & Management Gezondheidszorg (iBMG) aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. J.P. Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. Bas Denters
Prof. dr. S.A.H. Denters is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente, wetenschappelijk directeur van de Nederlandse Onderzoeksschool Bestuurskunde (NOB) en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    The anniversary issue of this magazine (Reussing, 2016/4: 71-101) contained an essay with a short history of the (municipal) administrative sciences. This postscript contains a number of corrections, clarifications and additions to this essay, in chronological order. Examples are the inherently Fabian vision on socialism by one of the pioneers alderman Floor Wibaut, the importance of Jos (not Joop) van der Grinten in the early period (next to the founder of public administration in the Netherlands, Gerrit van Poelje) and the later prime minister Willem Drees as the successor of Herman Nieboer as member of the editorial board in 1921 of the first magazine in the field of ‘Municipal Administration’.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    From 2001 (until February 2017), the Dutch province of Overijssel had its own knowledge center, in the area of urban society alongside the national knowledge centers, that was called KISS. In a first essay, an overview of KISS meetings dedicated to citizen participation was given with examples from all over the world. A second essay zoomed in on the Dutch municipality Deventer, a frontrunner in the area of innovative community and area development. This essay focuses on Enschede, a municipality with nearly 160,000 inhabitants in the east of the Netherlands near the German border, as pioneer with the method of the social general practitioners (‘wijkcoaches’) in the Netherlands. Two KISS meetings were devoted to this innovative instrument: the first on its design and on the preliminary results of the project, the second on the final results and on the future of the project. An important role in pioneering was played by the political executives in the municipality and the community of Enschede that showed New Civic Leadership (a concept from Robin Hambleton) by their commitment to the common good and the values of the welfare state. This type of leadership is especially important in a turbulent policy environment like that of social work with decentralizations, financial cuts and shifting policy goals.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    For aldermen in Dutch municipalities, ‘integrity’ increasingly seems to be an important factor causing their downfall. A lot of aldermen have resigned in the recent years because of ‘integrity’ and invariably local and national media were actively involved in this process. This article deals with the question of the role of the media in integrity affairs involving aldermen that have to resign. To answer this question, the authors analysed ten affairs that occurred in 2014 in which an alderman had to resigned (forced or voluntarily) because of integrity issues. The analysis shows that local media, regardless of how small they may be and how limited their means, often report extensively about integrity issues. In some cases, local media even act as accountability forums that call these aldermen to account. In other cases, the coverage in local media leads to further questions and calls for political accountability in the municipal council. Sometimes the media ‘merely’ report on the debates between the municipal council and the municipal board, but by doing so magnify the impact of an affair in the local community. In this way, the media fulfil their democratic role as watchdogs of local democracy, a role in which they bark loudly, often persistently and sometimes venomously about (alleged) integrity affairs.


Peter Schokker LLM MA
P. Schokker LLM MA is onderzoeker en adviseur bij het Bureau Integriteit BING.

Dr. Thomas Schillemans
Dr. T. Schillemans is universitair hoofddocent aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap (USBO).

    This essay contains a short history of the municipal and other administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This history is divided into seven lives. Each life has its own specific characteristics and approaches. The story starts in 1914 with the dissertation of Gerrit van Poelje and the aldermanship of Floor Wibaut (for the Dutch Labour Party) in Amsterdam. Nevertheless, the authors make a plea to view 1921 as the actual starting point, because it is the year of the introduction to municipal administration written by Van Poelje and the first Dutch academic magazine on municipal administration (‘Gemeentebestuur’). This means that we can prepare for the celebration of 100 years of (municipal) administrative sciences in 2021. A great challenge for all universities, but certainly for the Public Administration programme of the University of Twente, which is now celebrating its 40th anniversary. The challenge is to work on current topics such as the relationship between public administration and technology in smart, sustainable and resilient cities.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

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

    This year we are celebrating volume 70 of the Dutch magazine ‘Bestuurswetenschappen’ (Administrative Sciences in English). The first complete volume was published in 1947, but the first issue had already appeared in November 1946, so last month our magazine had its 70th anniversary. It is an appropriate age to reflect for a moment on the launch of our magazine in this anniversary issue, because 70 is rapidly becoming the new 65. It is also an opportunity for us to pay respect in this editorial to those people who were involved at the launch of the magazine which happened under difficult circumstances (because of the consequences of the Second World War and the huge task of rebuilding the Netherlands). At the same time this homage is an impressive ‘who’s who’ of Dutch (and also partly the international) administrative sciences at that time, with many remarkable and influential characters playing a role. Apart from all the male authors and editors, one woman (Hermine Revers) was the editorial secretary of the magazine. Chief editor was Gerrit van Poelje, who is considered by many to be the founder of Public Administration in the Netherlands.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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