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    The impact of audit office reports has received little attention in the scientific literature. In this article, various forms of impact have been distinguished with the help of Public Administration literature and factors that promote the use of evaluations have been distinguished. This theoretical framework was subsequently used for empirical research into the effect of audit office research. The extent to which the recommendations have had an impact was investigated in 20 Dutch municipalities with the aid of impact reports from audit institutions. Out of 176 publications, 94% of the 1216 recommendations were adopted by the city council. This means that the procedural impact is high. Of the 731 recommendations that could be checked at 17 municipalities, the local audit offices report that 58% had been fully implemented, 19% partially and 15% not or not tackled differently. The three categories of success factors from the scientific literature were visible in the practice of the audit offices. This applies most strongly to impact factors related to evaluation quality, in particular the factors related to communications standards, clear recommendations, timeliness and relevance to the decision maker. As far as research and decision-making factors are concerned, the commitment of the organization and the political climate are the most important factors for audit institutions. Finally, the involvement of stakeholders promotes the impact as a catalyst. The article concludes with practical lessons for promoting the processing of audit reports.


Sjoerd Keulen
Dr. S.J. Keulen is specialistisch adviseur bij de Algemene Rekenkamer. Daarnaast is hij extern lid van de Rekenkamer Utrecht.

    For administrative sciences in the Netherlands in general and for local administrative sciences in particular 2021 is a special year. It is the year in which our Dutch journal Administrative Sciences (the first issue was published in November 1946) celebrates its 75th anniversary, even though 1947 was the first full volume. But it is also the year in which it is 100 years ago since its predecessor, Municipal Administration, was founded; the first issue was published in January 1921. This means that we can speak of 100 years of having an (academic) journal for local government in the Netherlands. In 2016 we paid extensive attention in an editorial to the start of our Administrative Sciences journal and the men (and a woman) who have worked in it from the very beginning. In this editorial, we therefore draw attention to the men from the very beginning (this time there was no women involvement) of the Municipal Administration journal. It is the first academic journal in the field of local government in the Netherlands, first published every two weeks from January 1921 and on a monthly basis after 1922. The editorial board of the new journal was entrusted to a committee, of which, in addition to the board of the VNG (that is the Dutch association for municipalities) and its secretary, six people were members: Herman Nieboer (after his sudden death on 16 November 1920, he was replaced by Willem Drees in January 1921), Gerrit van Poelje, Willem van Sonsbeeck, Ate Roelof Veenstra, Bastiaan Verheij and Jacob de Wilde. Henri Vos, Pieter Bakker Schut and Jakob Herman van Zanten joined them in 1922.


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

    A large number of people, institutions, journals and approaches have contributed to the history of (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. Initially (around 1914) the legal approach was dominant; from 1964 onwards, political science would become the dominant approach; and from 1990 onwards, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent discipline. This essay concentrates on the influence on this development of sociology and its, typically Dutch, predecessor sociography. The starting point here is the promotion tree of the founder of the Dutch sociology Sebald Steinmetz. Through him various lines (via his doctorates Nicolaas ter Veen and Jakob Kruijt) go to modern Public Administration. This essay tells the story of the influence of sociography and sociology on the development of the administrative sciences and modern Public Administration in six acts, in which two persons from the promotion tree are discussed (via Sjoerd Groenman, who is promoted by Nicolaas ter Veen there are two different lines again). The line via Jakob Kruijt contains Aris van Braam (he wrote in 1957 what is considered the first Dutch empirical study in Public Administration) and Jos Raadschelders. The first line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Henk Brasz (the first full-time professor in Public Administration in the Netherlands), Fred Fleurke and Ko de Ridder. The second line via Sjoerd Groenman contains Joop Ellemers, Geert Braam (professor at the first regular Dutch Public Administration programme in Twente) and Wim Derksen. These acts are framed with short intermezzos about the other sociological key figures who played an important role in the story of sociography, sociology and Public Administration. In conclusion, the author of this essay discusses the continuing relevance of sociology for modern Public Administration.


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.

    Debates about the quality of local democracy are not new. This was also the case 100 years ago. In 1918 the ground-breaking dissertation of Adriaan Buriks on democratic municipal government was published in the Netherlands. In his dissertation Buriks proposed a radical democratic reform of Dutch municipal government by adopting the new system of ‘commission government’ from the US. That is a system of city government in which (almost) all city authority functions are concentrated in a small commission. The commission is organized in such a way that each member of the commission is the head of a city government department, every member is chosen by the population of the whole city and the exercise of authority is controlled by the whole population. The essay describes the remarkable life of this social revolutionary and municipal law expert. It goes on to discusses the dissertation through an introduction on the central issue of democratic municipal government, a description of the government systems of the US before and after the American Revolution of 1787, a description of the new system of ‘commission government’ and his proposal to adopt the new system in the Netherlands. The essay is closed by the author’s reflection on how the dissertation was received and its impact.


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.

    A polarizing society, ever-changing politics and an administrative field that is fragmented: that is the present world of Dutch mayors. These three processes have had a profound impact on local government and on the office of mayor. The position of the mayor has become vulnerable and his or her functioning is being put under a magnifying glass, sometimes leading to negative imaging and even a premature departure of mayors. More and sometimes conflicting demands are being imposed on mayors on the basis of their different tasks and responsibilities, as a result of which their positional authority has come under pressure, among other things. Based on discussions with 20 Dutch mayors, the authors of this essay present five central leadership dilemmas for mayors: (1) internal versus external connection; (2) authenticity versus adaptability; (3) involvement versus distance; (4) setting the course versus being of service; and (5) knowledge of content versus process monitoring. Coping with these leadership dilemmas also requires a different set of skills. First, the mayor must be pro-active and have a good antenna for new developments. Secondly, it is essential that he or she not only keeps in mind the short-term perspective, but also the middle-term and the long-term perspective. Thirdly, the mayor is expected to be able to combine hard and soft personality traits: just being nice is not enough.


Dr. Saniye Çelik
Dr. S. Çelik is lector Diversiteit aan de Hogeschool Leiden. Zij is gepromoveerd aan de Universiteit Leiden op het onderwerp ‘sturen op verbinden in publieke organisaties’ en is mederegisseur van het leiderschapsprogramma voor burgemeesters bij het Centre for Professional Learning van de Universiteit Leiden.

Drs. Nikol Hopman
Drs. N. Hopman is directeur van het Centre for Professional Learning van de Universiteit Leiden en verantwoordelijk voor het leiderschapsprogramma voor burgemeesters. Zij is programmadirecteur van het Certified Public Manager Program (CPM) in Europa, daarnaast betrokken bij de International Leadership Association en Guest Editor van het International Journal of Public Leadership.
Discussie

Gewelddadig protest loont!?

Over het effect van geweld, bedreiging en intimidatie rondom azc’s op de lokale democratische besluitvorming

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2018
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten en Jurre van der Velden MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In a well-functioning democratic state under the rule of law, people’s representatives are not inappropriately forced to vote for or against a certain policy intention. Violent protest against a decision or proposal, like establishing an asylum center, however, can put a lot of pressure on politicians’ independent judgment. However, research into the effects of violence, threats and intimidation on democratic decision-making is scarce. Therefore the authors of this essay investigated the effects of violent protest against the establishment of asylum centers in three small municipalities in the Netherlands: Bernheze, Geldermalsen and Steenbergen. They conclude that the direct influence on democratic decision-making, however serious it is in itself, seems limited. But they do observe that violent protest damages the information exchange between citizens and politicians, and also disrupts the debate. Therefore, in policy and research, not only is attention needed for the resilience of individual politicians against violent protest, but also for the perverting effects of aggression and violence on the broader democratic decision-making process.


Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Jurre van der Velden MSc
J. van der Velden MSc is interim professional burgerzaken bij BMC Implementatie. Hij heeft in 2016 een master Bestuur en Politiek afgerond aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

    Despite the praise for Richard Florida’s new book The new urban crisis, it remarkably can be seen as an ‘urban confession’ or even as a ‘public penance’ for everything he wrote before in his glorious publication The rise of the creative class. That book offered the opportunity to look at the city in a different way and to formulate approaches for new urban politics. As a child, Florida and his family fled the city with its crime and other problems and moved to a suburb. As a young intellectual, Florida returned to the city, where he became interested in the role of the creative class in the process of re-urbanization. During his academic research, he discovered the ‘magic formula’ that cities could flourish by stimulating this creative class. However, his belief in this magic formula has eroded and now, about fifteen years after his publication, he admits he was mistaken. What seemed a solution appeared to be the cause of ‘the new urban crisis’. In his new book, the ‘urban optimist’ is replaced by the ‘urban pessimist’. New policies are needed that replace the concept of ‘the-winner-takes-all’ by ‘urbanism-for-all’ to stop the so-called ‘patchwork metropolis’ of segregated neighborhoods.


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

Het succes van de business case(s)?

Een casestudy naar de totstandkoming van Wildlands Adventure Zoo

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2017
Auteurs Drs. Maarten Hoekstra
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2012, the municipal council of Emmen (a municipality of 107,000 inhabitants in the northeast of the Netherlands) took the final decision for the transformation and rehousing of the Wildlands Adventure Zoo on the basis of a so-called business case. Business cases are also being increasingly used in other organizations and sectors. However, not much is known yet about the qualities of the instrument. This article shows that the use of the business case in a specific case had value. For this case study, over 100 very diverse mainly digital sources, such as official decision-making documents, research reports and statement via social and other media, were used. In this way, in-depth knowledge was acquired about one of the mechanisms that underpinned the creation of the park. The sources are carriers of the narrative ‘Wildlands Emmen.’ Despite the success, a warning is called for. A healthy focus on results can result in ‘escalating’ commitment. Then the parties involved are linked to the project to such an extent that a way back is excluded by definition. Although the business case should be a ‘business-like’ justification, it seems that the mechanism of ‘self-justification’ enters into force. One shows through rationalization that previous decisions were right and then acts on these decisions in a sensible and competent manner. However, alternatives are not explicitly weighed against each other and there can be a tendency to underestimate the risks.


Drs. Maarten Hoekstra
Drs. M.J. Hoekstra is verbonden aan het lectoraat Persoonlijk Leiderschap & Innovatiekracht van de NHL Hogeschool te Leeuwarden en is buitenpromovendus aan de faculteit Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) van de Universiteit Twente.

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

    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.
Artikel

Big Data: een revolutie in gemeentelijk beleid?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Tom Daalhuijsen MSc, Sebastiaan Steenman MSc en Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Big Data is the new hype in municipal policy and the promise of Big Data is rationalization: better policy that is based on better information. In this article the authors investigate the extent to which the use of Big Data in municipal organizations results in a more rational policy process. Their empirical research was held in two Dutch municipalities: Tilburg, in the south of the Netherlands, and Assen, in the north of the Netherlands. They investigated how Tilburg deploys Big Data for the fight against crime and Assen is trying to improve its traffic management with Big Data. Their analysis shows that policy, more so than in the past, is being steered by specific information because Big Data is being used. The rationalization of policy, however, is limited by the possibilities of Big Data and by political dynamics. Their final conclusion therefore is that the uncertainty, unfamiliarity, complexity and constant change are partly made manageable and controllable by the use of Big Data in municipal organizations. Politics is also partly ‘tamed’ because politicians have to relate to ‘objective data’ from information systems.


Tom Daalhuijsen MSc
T. Daalhuijsen MSc werkt sinds kort als business analist bij Capgemini Nederland. Hij is in 2014 afgestudeerd bij de masteropleiding Bestuur en Beleid van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Sebastiaan Steenman MSc
S.C. Steenman MSc is docent in de bacheloropleiding Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap en de masteropleiding Bestuur en Beleid van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
Prof. dr. A.J. Meijer is hoogleraar Publieke Innovatie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Praktijk

Slimme netwerkgemeente met ‘verbindend vakmanschap’

Reactie uit de bestuurlijke praktijk

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2015
Auteurs Mr. drs. Christophe van der Maat
Auteursinformatie

Mr. drs. Christophe van der Maat
Mr. drs. C.A. van der Maat is lid van het directieteam van de gemeente Roosendaal. Hij is verantwoordelijk voor de portefeuille ‘maatschappij en economie’: toezicht handhaving veiligheid, onderwijs, sport, cultuur, arbeidsmarkt, werk & inkomen, zorg. In 2012 was hij jonge ambtenaar van het jaar.

    This article is about one of the experiments in local democratic renewal: MyBorne2030 (in Dutch ‘MijnBorne2030’). The aim of the project was to develop a communal vision for Borne (a relatively small suburban municipality of 20.000 inhabitants in the East of the Netherlands) for the year 2030. A steering committee of 20 local organizations has worked out four scenarios on the basis of three building stones: an identity study, a research of societal trends and the formulation of ambitions. These four scenarios have been submitted to the citizens of Borne in a referendum. The scenario that has received the most votes (‘Dynamic villages’) is further elaborated in a new vison for the future called MyBorne2030. Institutionally the decision-making process in Borne can be described as a mixture of participative (deliberative), associative and direct (plebiscitary) democracy. The authors conclude that it was a successful experiment, that has produced broad support for the vision of Borne for the future and a solid basis for the implementation of this vision. Participants (as well as non-participants) think this approach can be repeated not only in Borne, but also in other municipalities. The authors add that this could also be the case for the level above of cooperating municipalities.


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.

Dr. Pieter-Jan Klok
Dr. P.J. Klok is universitair docent Beleidsprocessen bij de vakgroep Public Administration van de Universiteit Twente (Faculteit Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences).
Redactioneel

Inleiding op het themanummer ‘Dichtbij, Dialoog & Democratie’

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2015
Auteurs Dr. Rik Reussing, Prof. dr. Bas Denters en Dr. Rogier van der Wal
Auteursinformatie

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. 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.

Dr. Rogier van der Wal
Dr. R.L. van der Wal is strategisch beleidsadviseur wetenschap bij de Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG) in Den Haag.

    This article is about local referenda in the Netherlands. Based on extensive empirical research the authors make clear how the local referendum in the Dutch democracy has developed not only in time and practice, but also how we can interpret the referendum theoretically. They show how in scientific literature, but also in practice, they are still looking for the meaning of the local referendum for Dutch local democracy. The authors also show that the practice of Dutch local referenda is searching, varied and in continuous development. Since 1906 193 local referenda are organized in the Netherlands. By far most referenda took place after the nineties of the last century. Local referenda are a local democratic ‘domain’, that will be explored in the Netherlands in the coming years. Last year a lot of attention has been given to the (local) referendum in the domain of legislation. The process of legislation has not been finished yet. The authors believe this offers an unique opportunity to share the available knowledge and experience about referenda and debate the adequate filling in and anchoring of the (local) referendum. This is a task for scientists, administrators and politicians alike.


Koen van der Krieken Msc
K.H.J. van der Krieken MSc MA is promovendus aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Laurens de Graaf
Dr. L.J. de Graaf is werkzaam als universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Hoe word je wethouder? Een onderzoek naar de transparantie en het democratisch gehalte van de wethoudersvoordracht

Een onderzoek naar de transparantie en het democratisch gehalte van de wethoudersvoordracht

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2014
Auteurs Julien van Ostaaijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article addresses the question how aldermen are selected and nominated and how this process is related to a number of democratic values like popular influence and transparency. The central question is how one becomes an alderman in the Netherlands. To answer this central question a document analysis has been carried out and 137 interviews with aldermen have been held in 77 municipalities that were selected on geographical dispersion and number of inhabitants. The research shows that the process until the appointment of aldermen is little transparent and democratic for the outside world. In the large majority of the cases aldermen are asked an nominated from within a political party. The road to becoming an alderman is not closed, in principle everyone can become an alderman, but it is also not transparent and accessible for everyone. For this the selection and nomination is too much tied up to and decided in political party networks. However, gradually changes occur in this closed party bastion, because now parties more often are forced to look for suitable candidates outside the party.


Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is werkzaam als onderzoeker en docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur (Tilburg University).

    In policy practice sometimes organizational arrangements appear that at first glance manifest itself as cooperative relations between private organizations, but about which on second thoughts the question can be asked if after all there is an active input from the side of the government. This is for instance the case in the construction of biogas infrastructures. In this article the authors discuss if we can talk about PPC after all. In the debate on governance this question is important because in the design of PPC the public interest involved must be sufficiently guaranteed in terms of control and accountability. On the basis of a confrontation between the results of a literature review and an empirical study of the case of a Green Gas pipeline in North-East Friesland (‘Biogasleiding Noordoost Fryslân’) in the Netherlands, the authors conclude that public steering in practice can take a form in disguise. Using ‘intermediate’ civil law legal persons, governmental influence indeed can be and is exercised during the cooperation. Especially law poses specific demands on control and accountability to take care of public interests, like the promotion of the use of renewable energy. Likewise in this kind of projects, especially in comparison with pure private-private cooperation, the public and if possible even the public law regulation must be safeguarded, for instance by transparency of form and content of steering. Of course this has to be done with preservation of the cooperative nature that is typical of PPC.


Maurits Sanders
Dr. M.P.T. Sanders is hoofddocent Bestuurskunde bij Saxion Hogescholen, zakelijk directeur van het Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG) en onlangs gepromoveerd aan de Faculteit Management en Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.

Michiel Heldeweg
Prof. mr. dr. M.A. Heldeweg is hoogleraar Public Governance Law aan de Faculteit Management en Bestuur van de Universiteit Twente.
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