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Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Dr. Linze Schaap, Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks, Dr. Niels Karsten MA e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors argue that municipal democracy in the Netherlands has become a multiple democracy. Within the formal framework of representative democracy, numerous democratic arrangements have emerged that may be referred to as participatory, direct and also what the authors call ‘do-democracy’. Additions to representative democracy did not come without reason: representative democracy is not a perfect system, either in theory or in practice. Efforts have been made to improve the functioning of representative democracy in a number of ways. Three of these are discussed in this article. The authors note that these three reforms do not solve the problems in representative democracy. So the Dutch municipalities have started looking for additions to representative democracy. In this article various forms of participatory, do-it-yourself and direct democracy are discussed. Many effects of these reforms are still unknown and knowledge about them has crumbled, but one conclusion can be drawn: people with a low education are not inclined to take part, even with arrangements that are easily accessible. Striving for a more vital local democracy seems meaningful; the authors formulate a number of ways of thinking about this.


Dr. Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap is universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks
Prof. dr. F. Hendriks is hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

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

Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg en voorzitter van de Rekenkamercommissie in de gemeente Zundert.

Charlotte Wagenaar MSc.
C.C.L. Wagenaar MSc is onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

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.

    Governance is a human activity and is therefore unquestionably about relationships. Relationships between public and private parties. Relationships in existing steering-oriented structures (the political administrator as guardian, magistrate) and also relationships in new forms of cooperation that are often focused on good relationships (government participation). Public-private partnerships are inevitably accompanied by conflicting interests that place different demands on interactions. One-size-fits-all does not fit there, but customization is required, with constant alignment with what is – and what is not (yet). And so the ability to make contact requires much more attention, and from there to explore and grasp perspectives. How do you work on the tensions that you find on your way? It is there that the method of communication influences how the process of cooperation and steering proceeds. This is not a matter of whether-or, but and-and. Both perspectives are characterized by a different relationship with those involved and a different way of contact and interaction. This article focuses on contact from a collaborative perspective. The classical administrative side already has a rich history, while the cooperation side is often still an unknown and unexplored territory. The central question is: how can you, as a director and public professional, deliver tailor-made solutions and therefore adapt to complex tasks? The authors look at complex situations from a communicative perspective and they introduce ‘appreciative communication’ as the art of aligning with what really moves people, as a frame of view of the inconvenience caused by the differences present. They highlight a number of generic tensions that can arise in cooperation situations. A case study into the approach to regional innovation in the field of mobility serves as an illustration.


Dr. Els van der Pool
Dr. E.M.C. van der Pool is lector Human Communication Development bij de Hogeschool van Arnhem en Nijmegen (HAN).

Dr. Guido Rijnja
Dr. G.W. Rijnja is adviseur communicatiebeleid bij de Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst, Ministerie van Algemene Zaken.

    Civil servants at the Dutch authorities increasingly make use of behavioural insights in the policy process. These insights are primarily put on the agenda at the level of the national government in the Netherlands. However, they also seem to be particularly useful at the local level. After all, behaviour-conscious policy focuses on behavioural change through the redesign of the direct environments of citizens, and local authorities have a clear view and control over these environments. In the light of this potential, this article explores the current rise and institutionalization of behavioural expertise in local government. The work practices of local behavioural experts are examined on the basis of three dimensions of local government: positioning, practices and politics. The findings show that local behavioural experts are still in an experimental and start-up phase, but at the same time are already working with a wealth of behavioural assignments. In doing so, they deal tactically with scarce resources, resistance and abrasive institutional logics. The article shows that behavioural insights and designs are also promising in local government, that a local administrative landscape of behavioural expertise is already being developed; and that making meters in the field of behavioural expertise calls for several forms of coordination.


Joram Feitsma MSc
J.N.P. Feitsma MSc is promovendus bij het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht. Hij studeerde bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschap en filosofie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en de Washington University in Saint Louis.

    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.

    Since 2018, the Department of Public Administration of the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS) of the University of Twente, in close cooperation with the municipality Zwolle, the Province of Overijssel and BMC advice, have been organizing the yearly Van Poelje lecture (named after administrative scientist and founder of Dutch Public Administration Gerrit van Poelje). The first lecture took place on 29 January 2018 in the ‘Grote Kerk’ in Zwolle. The subject of the lecture was the secret of successful regions: which policy works? Otto Raspe of the Dutch Planning Agency for the Environment delivered the keynote speech. Presentations from the administrative field were given by Henk Jan Meijer (mayor of the municipality Zwolle) and Staf Depla (alderman of the municipality Eindhoven) who respectively addressed the cooperation in the regions Zwolle and South-East Brabant. Bert van Delden responded from the point of view of the Home Office (he deputized for his minister, Kajsa Ollongren). After a short debate, the afternoon was closed by Marcel Boogers (senior advisor at BMC and professor at the University of Twente) with a scientific reflection on the subject of the lecture. The main message of the keynote speaker Otto Raspe was that an urban region is successful if it is able to use its agglomeration advantages. This is possible by seeking connections between clusters and the knowledge infrastructure, and between human capital and a pleasant living and social climate.


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.

    Exploration of the future is about systematically exploring future developments and the possible consequences for an organization or issue. The demand for future explorations at local policy level has increased in recent years. This article focuses on the relationship between participatory future exportations and local strategic policy processes. On the basis of four case studies, the meaning of participatory foresight studies for local policy processes was investigated. The research, which was carried out as action research, shows that future explorations in local strategic policy processes can be significant in different ways: they provide new knowledge, they promote learning in an integral and future-oriented manner and they encourage social learning processes that are independent of the content, which is valuable for group dynamics. In addition, future explorations can be useful in different phases of the policy cycle. Despite the fact that participatory explorations of the future can be meaningful in local strategic policy processes, there is still a bridge between the method of future exploration on the one hand and policy processes and organizations on the other. The research shows that a demand-driven approach starting from the needs of the participants in the policy process and responding to the culture, structure and working method of the organization is a promising approach. At the same time, the research shows that there are several factors that need to be considered in order to achieve a stronger interrelatedness of future exploration and policy. The policy practice and the exploratory practice seem to be gradually evolving towards each other. On the one hand, policy practice is becoming more rational, transparent and analytical in nature through the use of future explorations, at least in policy preparation. The explorations promote substantive discussions on policy agendas and policy intentions. On the other hand, they are becoming more policy oriented through more reasoning from the policy practice in terms of process design and knowledge needs of the policy process.


Dr. Nicole Rijkens-Klomp
Dr. N. Rijkens-Klomp is in 2016 gepromoveerd aan de Universiteit Maastricht bij prof. Pim Martens, met dr. Ron Cörvers als haar co-promotor. Ze heeft sinds 2004 een eigen bedrijf in Antwerpen op het gebied van toekomstverkenning (foresight & design studio Panopticon). Daarnaast werkt ze aan het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.

Dr. Ron Cörvers
Dr. R.J.M. Cörvers is wetenschappelijk directeur van het Scientific Institute for Sustainable Development (ICIS) van de Universiteit Maastricht.

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.

    In this essay, the author is looking for pioneering local administrators in the Netherlands who dared to push existing boundaries. However, the story starts in Great Britain where progressive liberals under the label ‘municipal socialism’ proceeded to provide public utilities through municipal governments rather than private enterprises. Their example was adopted by the so-called ‘radicals’ in Amsterdam led by Wim Treub. ‘Aldermen socialism’ with Floor Wibaut in Amsterdam as its most important representative, took it a step further. Their aim for a welfare municipality anticipated the later welfare state. After the Second World War we also saw some strong local administrators who in their own way strived for changes in their municipalities. After 1970 the phenomenon of ‘urban renewal’ led to a new flourishing of ‘aldermen socialism’ in the Netherlands with Jan Schaefer (in Amsterdam) as its most appealing figurehead. Since 2000, we have been in a new era of dualism, citizen participation and devolution that has produced new 'boundary pushers', which generated interest abroad (see the book on mayors by Benjamin Barber). At the end of the article, the author takes a look into the future. Current global problems also confront municipalities and they require local administrators with a good mix of political leadership, new civic leadership, inspiring commissioning and good stewardship. This essay is written for the ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference of the VNG (the Association of Netherlands Municipalities founded in 1912) held in Maastricht (in the far south of the Netherlands) in 2018.


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.

    An element of the theme of the VNG 2018 ‘Across boundaries’ annual conference in Maastricht is the necessity for Dutch politicians and administrators to push existing boundaries. In many cases this will involve a national border, which is closer in the region than in the national administrative center in The Hague. More than half of the twelve Dutch provinces have national borders, so cross-border cooperation is a regular phenomenon. National or EU regulations and subsidies may help to realize policy goals that are found important at a regional or local level, but when policy crosses national borders in practice it is also confronted with other ‘European’ boundaries. If there are incomprehensible, impracticable or conflicting rules, there is tension between common European policy and Dutch decentralization. Therefore this essay focuses on the control that the European Union has as an administrative challenge. It first discusses the shaky European consciousness and then the actions taken to break this vicious circle.


Dr. Mendeltje van Keulen
Dr. M. van Keulen is lector Europese Studies bij de Haagse Hogeschool. Van 2011 tot 2017 was zij griffier Europese Zaken bij de Tweede Kamer.

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

Crisis? What crisis?!

Verhalende betekenisgeving aan de economische crisis door gemeenten en hun maatschappelijke partners

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2018
Auteurs Dr. Mark van Dam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2008 a global economic crisis broke out. Now we can look back at the crisis as a clearly ordered sequence of events. But at the time these events were experienced as unexpected, unordered and unpredictable: a shock situation. How did municipalities respond to this shock situation, to this economic crisis? This article describes how two Dutch municipalities, together with their societal partners, made sense of the economic crisis. This concerns the question of how they interpreted the crisis themselves, but also which actions ensued. From a constructivist position, the article considers how the two municipalities together with their partners made sense of the situation and this enabled them to implement measures that could mitigate the consequences of the crisis for their communities. Based on epistemological and methodological assumptions discourse analysis, the author investigates the role of language in this process of sense-making. This approach offers municipalities insight in the role of stories in policymaking and in determining new practical solutions. The article closes with some guidance on how this perspective can help to people and institutions to cope with comparable situations, specifically in the cooperation between municipalities and other organizations.


Dr. Mark van Dam
Dr. A. van Dam is oprichter en onderzoeker/adviseur bij AddSense. In 2017 promoveerde hij aan de Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent.
Artikel

Waarderen of veroordelen?

De betekenis van kritische burgers die niet meepraten voor lokale participatieprocessen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2018
Auteurs Drs. Christine Bleijenberg, Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts en Dr. Reint Jan Renes
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To be able to realize the ambitions of citizen participation, diversity of participants is a crucial condition. At the same time excluding groups of citizens, amongst them critical citizens, is inextricably linked with citizen participation. In this article in the series ‘Local democratic audit’, the authors wonder what the exclusion of critical citizens means for the process and outcome of citizen participation. Through two empirical studies during a spatial intervention in different municipalities in the Netherlands, they investigated how people involved in a participation process spoke about critical citizens and their manifestations. The results show that the way these critical citizens are discussed either legitimizes exclusion or questions it critically. The legitimization of exclusion is detrimental to the support for spatial intervention. The problematization of exclusion results in a responsive approach to critical citizens, which is beneficial for both the course of the participation process and for the support for the spatial intervention.


Drs. Christine Bleijenberg
Drs. C. Bleijenberg is promovendus aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en is verbonden aan het lectoraat Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein van de Hogeschool Utrecht.

Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts
Prof. dr. M.N.C. Aarts is hoogleraar Socio-Ecological Interactions aan het Institute for Science in Society (ISiS) van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

Dr. Reint Jan Renes
Dr. R.J. Renes is lector Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein aan de Hogeschool Utrecht en universitair hoofddocent aan de Wageningen Universiteit.

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

    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.

    A provincial government in the Netherlands (Limburg) wants to start a movement designed to encourage citizens to live longer and healthier, and to participate in society. The province mobilizes partners to achieve these goals, with important tasks for the municipal governments. This article addresses the question how to help municipal governments in this approach. To draft a guide, a literature search was carried out, interviews were held and the policy practice was explored. This approach resulted in several building blocks that promote a departure from the trend in the health and participation of the citizens in Limburg. These building blocks are set in municipal activities in a Participation Compass social domain. Applying them indicates whether a municipal government is doing the right things to actively engage citizens. It gives an overall picture of the functioning of administrators, networkers and service providers. The report mentions strong points as well as learning points. It is crucial that results are recognized and accepted. The report also suggests improvement points for municipal governments and their partners on their path to the participation society.


Dr. Jean Schutgens
Dr. J.M.L.R. Schutgens is bestuurskundige en bestuurlijk vrijwilliger van het Huis voor de Zorg. Hij was gemeentesecretaris van Landgraaf in de periode 1992-2008.
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.
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.

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.
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