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Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen x Jaar 2015 x

    Since 2001, the Dutch province of Overijssel has had its own knowledge centre focusing on urban society, called the ‘KennisInstituut Stedelijke Samenleving’ (KISS), alongside national knowledge centres. This essay gives an overview of some relevant KISS meetings devoted to a many kinds of citizen participation. The overview is based on reports made by the author himself. Examples of citizen participation are: the new styles of neighbourhood governance, citizen participation through neighbourhood budgets, the strength of the city and location-based leadership, innovative urban renewal and the promotion of citizen initiatives in the province of Overijssel. Examples are not only from the province of Overijssel (situated in the east of the Netherlands), but also from other parts of the Netherlands and other countries (Flanders, United Kingdom, United States and all over the world). The subject of citizen participation (in connection with urban renewal and administrative leadership) enjoys an ever-increasing popularity as is shown by the number of KISS meetings devoted to this subject.


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.

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

De duurzaamheid van burgerinitiatieven

Een empirische verkenning

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Malika Igalla BSc en Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Citizens’ initiatives are the focus of public attention as part of the popular ‘do-democracy’ (associative democracy). However, it is not clear to what extent citizens are able to shape self-organization in a sustainable manner, what the important factors in this respect are and if citizens’ initiatives are the sole preserve of a better educated group of citizens. Through a secondary quantitative analysis of 56 citizens’ initiatives, this article offers an empirical contribution to answering these questions. The authors explore the effects of three possible factors on the sustainability of citizens’ initiatives: the network structure of the citizens’ initiative, the organizational design of the initiative and the revenue model. They show significant relationships between the organizational design of citizens’ initiatives and their sustainability. They also show a relationship between the network structure of these initiatives and their sustainability: initiatives that develop into a fully connected network or a polycentric network are more sustainable than initiatives with a star network. The personal characteristics of the initiators show a dispersal in age, descent, gender and retirement. Relatively speaking, many initiators have a high level of education: 80% has a higher professional or university education. But there are no significant relations between these personal characteristics and the sustainability of citizens’ initiatives.


Malika Igalla BSc
M. Igalla BSc rondde in 2014 cum laude de bacheloropleiding bestuurskunde af aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Ze is nu bezig aan haar masteropleiding Bestuurskunde: Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Ingmar van Meerkerk
Dr. I.F. van Meerkerk is postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurskunde van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en doet onderzoek naar institutionele verankering en management van burgerinitiatieven op het terrein van stedelijke gebiedsontwikkeling.

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

    Does scaling up municipalities strengthen or does it weaken (local) political participation? This is an important question because of the intention – as it is written down in the Dutch coalition agreement – to gradually scale up Dutch municipalities to 100.000+ inhabitants. This article answers the question on the basis of a meta-analysis, voter turnouts, the national election study and interviews. The author has also examined behavioural indicators for political participation, especially the turnout figures at local elections. The conclusion from this analysis by the author is clear and unambiguous: as the size of the local government (the municipality) increases (local) political participation decreases. For a lot of forms of political participation a size of about 10.000 inhabitants seems to be the optimal scale for local government. Because other (recent) research in the Netherlands has shown that the assumed cost savings from municipal amalgamation are not achieved, the desirability of (further) upscaling of Dutch municipalities can be questioned.


Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
Dr. ir. P. van Houwelingen is onderzoeker aan het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau bij de afdeling Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving.

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

    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.

    The central argument according to Eric Corijn in the book of Benjamin Barber is that a legitimate political authority should be created that can add some governance, some regulation to the world system. Within the world system a democratic deficit has emerged that is caused by the process of globalization, in which international political and economic decisions are taken without reference to a global constituency, civil society, citizenship or global public opinion. Eric Corijn sees four strong arguments for an increased political role of mayors through a Global Parliament of Mayors. He also discusses three structural global challenges that can better be dealt with by cities than by dysfunctional nations: a) our relationship with nature, b) the growing social inequality, c) superdiversity resulting from migration and socio-cultural diversification. In dealing with these issues (the political agenda) the Global Parliament of Mayors should act in a pragmatic way.


Prof. dr. Eric Corijn
Prof. dr. E. Corijn is cultuurfilosoof, sociaal wetenschapper en hoogleraar Stadsgeografie aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij is oprichter van Cosmopolis, Centre for Urban Research (http://www.cosmopolis.be).
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