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Gemeentelijke visitaties met behulp van bestuurskrachtmetingen: opzet, uitkomsten en benutting

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2021
Auteurs Jean Schutgens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This study examines the quality of visitation in three government sectors in the Netherlands: academic education (training), urban policy (urban municipalities) and municipal authorities. The focus is mainly on the visitation of municipal authorities in the Dutch province Limburg. The assessment of the visitation quality of university study programmes and of major cities policy must yield hypotheses to determine the quality of the visitation of municipal authorities that have been visited. The object of study is therefore ‘visitation’, in particular ‘visitation quality’. The visitations of university studies were viewed from four quality perspectives, namely on the design quality, the process quality, the assessing and the concluding quality, and usability or utilisation. This is also the case with the visitation of the major cities’ policy and of the Limburg municipal authorities. The question is, of course, what the analysis of the quality of all the assessments in three sectors yields, with special attention to the assessment of municipal authorities. Is it clear after that analysis how this quality inspection should be carried out? The study provides a wealth of insights and shows the state of the administrative strength of the inspected Limburg municipal authorities. A publication of this study has been postponed for more than five years, because the author wanted to investigate whether the administrative strength measurements were used in the longer term.


Jean Schutgens
Dr. J.M.L.R. Schutgens is bestuurskundige en in 2014 bij Arno Korsten gepromoveerd aan de Open Universiteit. Hij was gemeentesecretaris van Landgraaf in de periode 1992-2008.

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

    Local political parties are clearly on the rise in the Netherlands in both the municipal council and the municipal board. Their average percentage of council seats increased from 25% in 1998 to 37% in 2018 and the percentage of councillors from 21% to 32%. This coincided with a greatly increased fragmentation. For example, the average number of political parties on the council rose from 6.5 in 1998 to 8.0 in 2018 and the number of parties providing one or more aldermen increased from 2.8 to 3.4 during this period. Fragmentation expressed in the number of effective parties shows a similar trend. If we use the Chapel Hill score, it appears that the average political colour of both the municipal council and the alderman part in the municipal board has shifted to the right. This is mainly because political parties are becoming increasingly right wing according to this index and not so much because there are more local votes for right-wing parties. Significant differences in the representative representation are also noted. The local parties as well as the Socialist Party (SP) are less successful than average in converting their seats on the council into councillor seats, while the three large traditional (and especially the CDA) and smaller Christian parties have succeeded above average in this.


Raymond Gradus
Prof. dr. R.H.J.M. Gradus is hoogleraar bestuur en economie van de publieke en non-profitsector aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, en is tevens verbonden aan de vakgroep Accounting en het Zijlstra Center for Public Control, Leadership and Governance.

Tjerk Budding
Dr. G.T. Budding is universitair hoofddocent Management and Financial Accounting en opleidings­­directeur van de Public Controllers­­opleidingen aan de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Elbert Dijkgraaf
Prof. dr. E. Dijkgraaf is hoogleraar empirische economie van de publieke sector aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en fellow van het Tinbergen Instituut.

    Because local political parties are by definition only active in one municipality, the assumption is that they are less effective compared to national parties because they have no representation at other levels of government and in other municipalities. It is then expected that aldermen of local parties will have more difficulty advocating the interests of their municipality in the region or province, the national government or the European Union. Interviews with aldermen of local parties and a survey among aldermen show that this picture needs some nuance. Aldermen from local parties say they can compensate for the lack of party political contacts by investing in personal relationships. It is striking that the non-partisan role of these aldermen also benefits them: because they do not have to take party political interests into account, they can more forcefully propagate the interests of their municipality if they are at odds with provincial or national policy. Because of their party-politically neutral role, they also acquire key positions more quickly in the region. The only disadvantage that aldermen of local parties do experience is the lack of support in the form of professionalisation and of knowledge exchange. They see that aldermen of national parties, who usually receive support from their national party bureau, sometimes have an advantage in this regard. This sheds new, and relatively little mentioned, light on the importance of party-political contacts.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, onderzoeker bij Necker van Naem en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Franziska Eckardt
Dr. F. Eckardt promoveerde op 3 september 2021 bij de vakgroep Bestuurskunde van de Universiteit Twente op een onderzoek naar drie G-1000-initiatieven. Momenteel werkt ze als onderzoeker in Utrecht bij Citisens voor verschillende overheden aan projecten op het snijvlak van democratie, participatie en innovatie.

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

    Local political parties are an important factor in local politics in the Netherlands. These parties, which participate in municipal elections but are not affiliated with national political parties, are currently the largest ‘political family’ in the municipal councils. Yet surprisingly little is known about these parties. The existing research indicates that this ‘party family’ has a protest character. But at the same time, more precise analyses indicate that this party family is more diverse: and that the label ‘local party’ describes all kinds of different movements. However, a comprehensive analysis of the programmatic positioning of all parties in this family in relation to national parties is lacking. That is the purpose of this article. For this research, all election manifestoes of the departments and parties that participated in the municipal elections in November 2013, March and November 2014, November 2017 and March and November 2018 were collected. On this basis, the positions of all these parties are estimated on the left-right dimension, a scale that measures anti-elitist rhetoric and a scale that measures localism, based on modern quantitative text analysis techniques (bag-of-words approaches). In this way, for the first time, a picture is obtained of the programmatic cohesion and diversity of this party family as a whole.


Simon Otjes
Dr. S.P. Otjes is onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (DNPP) van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen en universitair docent aan de Universiteit Leiden.

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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