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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.

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.

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

Greep op het ongrijpbare?

Een onderzoek naar nieuwe vormen van controle en verantwoording in een samenwerkend lokaal bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2017
Auteurs Prof. dr. Bas Denters, Dr. Pieter-Jan Klok en Anieke Kranenburg BSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years in the Netherlands, a lot of attention has been paid to the question of how municipal councils maintain inter-municipal cooperation, which has also become increasingly important because of decentralizations in the social domain. Other forms of collaborating governance have received much less attention. This article focuses primarily on these, until now, largely underexposed forms of collaborative governance because, apart from inter-municipal cooperation and participation of Dutch municipalities in different organizations based on private law, modern municipalities maintain a variety of cooperative relations with organizations in local society. The municipal board and the mayor often play a key role in the web of these cooperative relations, but what is the role of the municipal council? In what way do municipal councils in the Netherlands institutionally shape control and accountability in (intra-municipal) collaborative governance? The article gives an overview of the rules of the game that are currently being used in Dutch municipalities for the control and accountability of intra-municipal collaborative governance. This inventory may be a point of reference for municipal councils, individual councilors and registrars of the council in their search for new rules of the game for control and accountability for different forms of ‘displaced’ local governance. The aim of this broad inventory is to outline possible interesting and innovative forms of control and accountability; it is not about proven ‘best practices’.


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).

Anieke Kranenburg BSc
A. Kranenburg BSc doet de master European Studies (double degree met de Universiteit Münster) en de master Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente.

    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.

    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.

    Do energy cooperatives work together with municipalities in the area of energy and, if this is so, how can this cooperative relationship be interpreted from a public administration perspective? That is the central question of this article. The experiences with cooperation of four frontrunners amongst the energy cooperatives show that in many areas a fruitful cooperative relationship has been developed. In other areas cooperation is lacking because the municipality stands aloof as soon as the energy cooperative provides services to citizens and/or companies or because the purchase of green energy by the municipality from their own energy cooperative cannot simply be carried out. In the development of renewable energy projects it also suits municipalities to be reluctant because they not only promote local renewable energy but are also responsible for the spatial quality. From the perspective of public administration it is striking that the variety of municipal roles increases the complexity of cooperative relationship with energy cooperatives. For energy cooperatives it is difficult to understand that the municipality sometimes behaves like an ally, but can also be reluctant. The variety of the bond between both parties is first of all apparent from the need of an own identity and autonomy in the energy cooperatives. Secondly, two of the four energy cooperatives that were analysed needed support in a financial emergency.


Dr. Hans Hufen
Dr. J.A.M. Hufen is senior onderzoeker en adviseur bij Questions, Answers and More (QA+).

    For the Dutch Association of Municipal Councillors (Raadslid.Nu) Bas Denters, professor of Public Administration at the University of Twente, wrote an essay on control and accountability in local government and the role of the municipality in this process. At close examination the relations in this area are less clear than they look on paper. The reason is what Mark Bovens and others have called the ‘displacement of politics’ in all its appearances: regionalization, privatization and socialization (i.e. tasks carried out by the society instead of the government). That process requires reflection on the question how democratic control and accountability at the local level can be reshaped. It is important to experiment with new ways in which municipal councils redefine the local processes of control and accountability. One can think of: (a) broadening the scope of the section in Dutch Municipal Law on affiliated parties (‘Verbonden Partijen’); (b) formulating Governance Charters and process framework notes; and (c) organizing the ‘democratic encirclement’ of the local administration, e.g. by other parties. In various places interesting initiatives have already been taken and hopefully this essay and the attention from Raadslid.Nu will contribute to more municipalities daring to blaze new paths.


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), wetenschappelijk adviseur van KISS en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    In this contribution to the special issue on his own book ‘If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities’ Benjamin Barber first explains the background of his proposal to establish a global parliament of mayors: the failure of nation-states in solving the problems of the 21st century. The hope for a democratic solution lies especially in the rise of the cities and their mayors. A crucial role in this solution should be played by a global parliament of mayors. According to Barber the key issues for such a global parliament of mayors are climate change, immigration, policing and violence and urban autonomy. The biggest practical problem of this project is how thousands of representatives could meet on a regular basis. The digital technology of the information age offers the solution for this practical problem through a virtual platform for meetings of the global parliament of mayors. The global parliament of mayors is a unique form of intercity association that establishes a new form of political authority rooted in universal-rights claims: the rights of the city and citizens.


Prof. dr. Benjamin Barber
Prof. dr. B.R. Barber is als onderzoeker verbonden aan het Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York.
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