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Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen x Jaar 2015 x
Artikel

Hoe korter, des te langer?

Over het verband tussen coalitieakkoorden en conflicten in gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2015
Auteurs Jacomijn Visser BSc, Dr. Hans Vollaard en Dr. Frits Meijerink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch municipality of Leiden used to be a rather ‘politically troublesome’ municipality, but after the formulation of a short coalition agreement during the 2010 to 2014 term of office, for the first time in a long while, no alderman was sent away. So, could short coalition agreements help to diminish the number of political conflicts, so that aldermen can remain in office for a longer period? In the first place, the answer to this question is important from a societal point of view because in the Netherlands an increasing number of aldermen are sent away. In the second place, it is important from an academic point of view because there is a lack of studies into local coalition agreements. In the third place, it is important because the analysis of the length of coalition agreements and the number of conflicts in almost all Dutch municipalities in the period 2010 to 2014 offers a good opportunity to test the contradictory expectations on the relationship between coalition agreements and political conflicts in Dutch municipalities at a national level. From the analysis, the authors conclude that there is a relationship between a high number of coalition parties and a large municipality, on the one hand, and longer coalition agreements, on the other hand. The length of the coalition agreements is not necessarily related to the number of conflicts measured by the number of aldermen sent away for political reasons. It is clear that the higher the number of coalition parties, the more conflicts there are likely to be, which is not an inviting prospect considering the ongoing fragmentation of municipal councils.


Jacomijn Visser BSc
J. Visser BSc MA deed een bachelor Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Leiden en een master Nederland-Duitsland Studies aan de Radboud Universiteit te Nijmegen. In 2014 kreeg ze de J.Th.J. van den Berg-prijs voor haar bachelorscriptie. Ze liep stage bij de gemeente Weeze (Duitsland).

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. J.P. Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

Dr. Frits Meijerink
Dr. F.G.J. Meijerink is universitair docent op het terrein van de statistiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

    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.

    Polling is being done a great deal in the Netherlands, especially during election campaigns when market researchers sometimes present new polls every day. The national government also takes polls that are often larger and more complicated than the quick and small polls conducted by market research agencies. They are often called surveys, and they gather information on the state of affairs in society. That information can become the basis for new policies. Local governments also take polls, although on a smaller scale than national government. Dutch municipalities have a tradition of organizing omnibus surveys in which (as the name indicates) several subjects can be addressed. Nowadays many ‘omnibus surveys have been replaced by ‘citizen panels’. One thing all these polls and surveys have in common is that they are based on random samples of the population and statements are made about the population as a whole based on these samples. Such generalizations are only possible if the sample is drawn using by random sampling methods. This article describes good and bad polling. This is illustrated using a unique example: the research into the opinion of the inhabitants of Alphen aan den Rijn, a Dutch municipality, on Sunday shopping. At the same time, and using the same questionnaire, three different polls were carried out. This example makes clear that the wrong sample can lead to incorrect conclusions and maybe to incorrect policy decisions.


Prof. dr. Jelke Bethlehem
Prof. dr. J.G. Bethlehem is bijzonder hoogleraar in de survey-methodologie aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Hij is tevens senior methodologisch adviseur bij het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek in Den Haag.
Artikel

Spanningsvolle verbindingen tussen verticale en horizontale sturing

Een empirische analyse van de Dialoogtafel in Groningen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Drs. Arnout Ponsioen, Drs. Mildo van Staden en Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the Dialogue Table (‘Dialoogtafel’ in Dutch) in Groningen, the most northern province in the Netherlands, as an example of connecting vertical and horizontal steering. The Dialogue Table was set up to supervise the spending of compensation money for the damage from the earthquakes caused by gas extraction in this province. The Dialogue Table combines vertical forms of governance, such as a unilateral imposition of the budget and the presidency of the Dialogue Table, and more horizontal forms such as equal deliberation between administrative bodies and stakeholders. The central questions are which tensions will occur in these two different logics of steering, how one deals with these tensions and which competences this requires from civil servants. An exploratory analysis of the case shows that tensions occur around (1) the starting conditions (costs, presidency, selection and representation), (2) the progress of the process (desired results, openness, inequality) and (3) the outcomes of the process (influence). On the basis of their research, the authors offer recommendations about the organization of such hybrid steering processes and indicate which competences are required in this respect from civil servants.


Drs. Arnout Ponsioen
Drs. A. Ponsioen heeft bijna twintig jaar ervaring in het advieswerk. Hij is sinds 2014 eigenaar van bureau DuiDT, dat advies, onderzoek en inspiratie biedt voor organisaties in de publieke sector die aansluiting zoeken bij de (online) netwerksamenleving.

Drs. Mildo van Staden
Drs. M. van Staden is senior-adviseur op het terrein van sturing, ICT en sociale media bij het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken.

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

    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).

    The first contribution to this special issue on local democracy in the Netherlands is the inaugural speech of Job Cohen (the former mayor of Amsterdam) held on January 9th 2015 at the University of Leiden as extraordinary professor at the prestigious Thorbecke-chair. His field is the theory of the municipality as an administrative, political and legal system. The title of his inaugural speech was ‘The fourth D’, in which the first three D’s stand for three different decentralizations of tasks to the Dutch municipalities and the fourth D for democracy. In his speech Cohen advocates a deliberative form of democracy, because it doesn’t emphasize differences and the exaggeration of differences, but emphasizes what the members of a community have in common. Deliberative democracy wants to create space for this common interest through the establishment of an arena for dialogue. Job Cohen is particularly taken by the ideas of the Belgian writer David Van Reybrouck about lottery selection and citizen participation and corresponding initiatives like G1000: a civic-summit, a form of deliberative democracy that generates new ideas, opens new perspectives and increases trust in the democratic process. The element of lottery selection (that was previously put on the agenda by the American professor James Fishkin) is essential for these results, because it creates a maximum of diversity and real involvement of all layers of the population: full citizen participation.


Prof. mr. dr. Job Cohen
Prof. mr. dr. M.J. Cohen is bijzonder hoogleraar decentrale overheden (Thorbecke-leerstoel) aan de Universiteit Leiden en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    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.

    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.

    At December 1st 2014 in the Dutch city of Nijmegen (known from the Treaty of Nijmegen, 1678) the yearly VanHeste-lecture took place. This year the mayors Hubert Bruls of Nijmegen (Netherlands) and Louis Tobback of Leuven (Belgium) discussed the binding role of the modern mayor. Their starting point was the latest book of the American political scientist Benjamin Barber ‘If mayors ruled the world’. Michiel Herweijer, professor of Public Administration at Radboud University Nijmegen, is supposed to lead the discussion. To structure the discussion between the two mayors he formulates six questions, which contain six reservations about the gospel of Benjamin Barber. His conclusion is that Barber has written a fascinating book that has aroused much discussion worldwide. This debate is a good thing, because there are at least six good reasons (the six reservations mentioned by Herweijer himself in this contribution) to abandon the idea of a global parliament of mayors.


Prof. dr. Michiel Herweijer
Prof. dr. M. Herweijer is redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen, directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer en bijzonder hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
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