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Verantwoorden met gevoel

Taalkundige analyse van de impact van verantwoordingsrapporten in het openbaar bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Auteurs Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans en Marija Aleksovska Msc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper analyzes the impact of linguistic characteristics of accountability reports on public sector organizations. It does so by analysing hundreds of accountability reports by four public sector bodies using the linguistic tool LIWC. The research question is: what linguistic characteristics of accountability reports are related to a bigger impact on the evaluated organization? The impact of three strategic choices is assessed. First of all, the impact of strategic positioning. Authors of texts can maintain a position of power in the choice of language (high clout) and speak top down to the recipient or they can take a more egalitarian, face to face, position. Secondly, authors can choose to use many complex linguistic phrasings, with causal reasoning for instance, or they can opt for simpler texts. Finally, the text can be littered with emotional, positive and negative, wordings or can be set in a neutral tone. Our analyses suggest that more emotional accountability reports are consistently related to a better reception and seem to have more impact. This has important consequences both theoretically and practically, which are discussed in the paper.


Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans
Prof. dr. T. Schillemans is hoogleraar Bestuur en beleid aan de Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap. Daarnaast is hij als co-decaan verbonden aan de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur.

Marija Aleksovska Msc
M. Aleksovska, Msc is promovenda aan de Universiteit Utrecht, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap.
Thema-artikel

Onafhankelijk onderzoek in het biomedische gebied

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Medical research, independent research, pharmaceutical research, pharmaceutical industry, conflict of interest
Auteurs Prof. dr Frits R. Rosendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The author discusses the practices, problems and pitfalls research in the biomedical field with regard to conflicts of interests. Medicines are not ordinary products: the exclusive right to prescribe lies with the doctor, and because of the potentially life-saving nature of medicines, their use, price and availability is surrounded by emotions, especially when there is only one medicine available for a serious illness. Nonetheless, these products are marketed by companies that have a primarily commercial interest and, on the basis of those interests, engage in pricing and advertising activities. In the research on medicines, there is close cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and doctor-researchers, whereby independence is at stake due to the large financial interests and reimbursements. This pushes the design, outcome and publication of research in a direction that is favorable to the pharmaceutical industry, but that is not financially the best direction for society, or medically for patients.


Prof. dr Frits R. Rosendaal
Prof. dr F.R. Rosendaal is hoogleraar en afdelingshoofd Klinische Epidemiologie in het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC). Hij doet onderzoek naar oorzaken van hart- en vaatziekten. In 2003 ontving hij de Spinozaprijs, de hoogste wetenschappelijke prijs in Nederland. Hij is gekozen lid van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen en van de Duitse Akademie Leopoldina. In 2011 ontving hij een eredoctoraat van de Universiteit van Parijs Descartes.
Thema-artikel

Catharsis: een vergeten functie van financiële verantwoording

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Catharsis, Accountability, Emotions, Debates, Positive Public Administration
Auteurs Dr. Sjoerd Keulen en Dr. Ronald Kroeze
Samenvatting

    Performance Budgeting has been introduced to gain greater managerial control over the outcomes and efficiency of policies and their budgets. Strikingly, a growing body of literature has explained that politicians hardly use performance information or only to emotionally judge government performance. We, however, propose understanding the emotional use of performance information as catharsis. Catharsis is the ritual of emotional and moral judging to understand and initiate improvement. Catharsis has been named as an important function of accountability, but has not been researched in the field of Public Administration. We discuss the concept of catharsis in relation to accountability and show that, by using evidence from its role in Dutch parliament, the use of ‘cathartic emotions’ are omnipresent in financial debates, especially when parliamentary enquiries and annual budgets are debated. Based on these findings catharsis should be understood as a much more serious function of accountability by both academics and public officials.


Dr. Sjoerd Keulen

Dr. Ronald Kroeze
Artikel

Access_open Verantwoordelijkheid, veiligheid en strafrecht

Over het bestraffen van feilbaarheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden accountability, blame, criminal law, professional error, safety
Auteurs Dr. mr. Willem-Jan Kortleven
Samenvatting

    This paper analyses various landmark criminal cases in the Netherlands that saw individual professionals being blamed for allegedly contributing to safety-critical events occurring in the past twenty years. These cases can be seen as symbolizing an increasingly risk-averse society whose expectations of human capacity for securing safety have reached unprecedented levels. In this view, punishing professionals who make dangerous mistakes serves to re-establish the illusion of being in control and to satisfy emotions. In practice, however, the prosecution of professional error appears to be somewhat out of touch with public sentiment, as responses to the cases discussed revealed little public support and a backlash among professionals. Moreover, safety science and practice claim that punishing individual error tends to undermine safety and overemphasizes the role of individual error compared to systemic failures. This begs the question of whether criminal liability should be imposed at the system level, as recently happened when local governments were sentenced following fatalities on dangerous road spots. Sentencing ‘system administrators’ may have advantages, but probably produces negative effects as well. Therefore, it would be ideal if administrators reduced the need for resorting to criminal law by proactively and generously taking responsibility for their organisation’s share in accidents.


Dr. mr. Willem-Jan Kortleven
Artikel

Access_open Acht stellingen bij wijze van uitdaging

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden societal unease, political discontent, angry citizens, emotions
Auteurs Prof. dr. Gabriël van den Brink, Drs. Thijs Jansen en Dr. Philip Marcel Karré
Samenvatting

    In this article we draw several conclusions based on the individual contributions to our special issue. We do so by making eight statements that in our view should contribute to the discussion on societal discontent and political unease in the Netherlands.


Prof. dr. Gabriël van den Brink

Drs. Thijs Jansen

Dr. Philip Marcel Karré
Artikel

‘Een kakafonie van woeste woede’: reflecties op de opkomst van de ‘boze burger’

Inleiding themanummer

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden societal unease, political discontent, angry citizens, emotions
Auteurs Dr. Philip Marcel Karré, Drs. Thijs Jansen en Prof. dr. Gabriël van den Brink
Samenvatting

    The articles in this special issue try to shed some light on the rise of societal unease and political discontent in the Netherlands. It is often assumed that citizens are angry and can no longer identify with the actions undertaken by government. But is this really true? Who are these ‘angry citizens’ that everybody seems to be talking about? Do they really exist and what are they angry about? How to square the heated discussions about the angry citizen with research that shows that trust in government still is quite high in the Netherlands? How can we understand the motivations of societal discontent and how can government react to citizens reacting to its actions more emotionally than before?


Dr. Philip Marcel Karré

Drs. Thijs Jansen

Prof. dr. Gabriël van den Brink
Artikel

Maatschappelijk onbehagen en burgerlijke boosheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden societal unease, pessimism, political discontent, angry citizens, emotions
Auteurs Prof. dr. Paul Dekker
Samenvatting

    In recent narratives about the negative mood of the Dutch, ‘societal unease’ and ‘angry citizens’ seem to be concepts that are directly linked: angry behaviour is the manifestation of deep feelings of unease. Is it that simple? In this contribution, I use the Citizens’ Outlook Barometer (COB) to investigate unease and anger, and their relationship. The spread of unease in today’s Netherlands is outlined quantitatively using indicators for strong societal pessimism and political discontent (a complex of negative attitudes towards national politics and globalization). The approach to anger is more exploratory. Anger is definitely not the most dominant feeling that pessimists are aware of, but their explanations of why the country is heading in the wrong direction do often reveal anger. Interviewing ‘angry citizens’ suggests that they are not ‘angry people’ in general, but that their anger is limited to politics and social issues, and is sometimes instrumental (‘you have to express yourself angrily to be heard’). This civic anger can be important both in addressing injustice in politics and as a source of action. It is better to approach anger as a topic in its own right rather than to frame it as an expression of unease.


Prof. dr. Paul Dekker
Artikel

Lessen voor de omgang met het onbehagen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden societal unease, political discontent, angry citizens, emotions
Auteurs Boudewijn Steur, Thomas Zandstra en Yosha van Droffelaar
Samenvatting

    Recently the authors, who all work at the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, published a paper in which they analysed contemporary literature and research on social discontent to clarify whether this current feeling of discontent is different to previous periods of discontent and how it might affect the functioning of the Dutch government. In addition, to strengthen their analysis they discussed its implications with local politicians, experts and practitioners. In this article, the authors reflect on the outcome of these discussions. Their dialogues revealed that there is a need to redefine the dialogue between administration and society. They distilled five lessons from these discussions: they argue that government should be more 1) reliable and credible, 2) responsive, 3) effective, 4) empathic and 5) cohesive.


Boudewijn Steur

Thomas Zandstra

Yosha van Droffelaar
Artikel

Access_open Over woede en rechtvaardigheid

Liberale democratie als het einde of het einde van de liberale democratie?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden societal unease, political discontent, angry citizens, emotions
Auteurs Drs. Thijs Jansen
Samenvatting

    Populism, terrorist attacks, global revolutions, threats against public figures, hate and fury on social media. All of this suggests that we appear to be living in an ‘age of anger’, as Pankaj Mishra calls it. Everyone is sometimes outraged or angry, but in these times we see permanent moods of anger and revenge raging. This makes classic questions current again: how should anger in the public domain be understood? Is it always inappropriate and should it be controlled and condemned under all circumstances? Or is anger necessary to highlight structural injustices and to force change? The justification of anger is very delicate.. In this article the author discusses these questions based on philosophical treatises of anger by Martha Nussbaum, Peter Sloterdijk, Slavoj Žižek and Pankaj Mishra.


Drs. Thijs Jansen
Artikel

Monitoring van sociale media: op weg naar een Brave New Democracy?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2017
Trefwoorden social media monitoring, democracy, responsiveness, privacy
Auteurs Dr. Arthur Edwards en Dr. Dennis de Kool
Samenvatting

    Social media monitoring is a topical and relevant phenomenon. It enables civil servants and politicians to gauge the sentiments voiced on social media, on the basis of which they are in a better position to take into account the wishes and needs of citizens. Social media monitoring is primarily used for rational and strategic purposes. In terms of democratic legitimacy, it may enhance the quality of the processes on the output side of the political system, i.e. authorities can be more responsive and can fine tune public policies. There also threats for the relation between citizens and government. When citizens communicate on networks they perceive as private, social media monitoring can be seen as an intrusion into their private sphere. This not only concerns individual privacy but also an interpersonal private sphere in terms of the right that people have to define a domain within which they can exchange experiences with peers. Transparency and accountability are therefore important conditions for the application of this instrument.


Dr. Arthur Edwards

Dr. Dennis de Kool
Artikel

Beleid voor de irrationele mens

Hoe gedragswetenschap de bestuurskunde zou kunnen versterken

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden public administration, psychology, decisions, (ir)rationality
Auteurs Dr. Marijke van Putten, Prof. dr. Wilco van Dijk en Prof. dr. Eric van Dijk
Samenvatting

    Policy is often based on the assumption that people are rational decision makers. Rational decision makers search all relevant information before they make a decision. They list the pros and cons of relevant options and make a well thought choice that best fits their fixed preferences. However, research from amongst others psychology and behavioral economics shows that people decide differently and that they are irrational, emotional decision makers instead. Policy therefore fits people’s decision making strategies worse than expected. It is important for policy makers to gain insight into situational influences on decisions and the influence of the so-called choice architecture on decisions. In this article we discuss research that tested when policy was more efficient, based on behavioral insights and the view of man as an irrational, emotional being.


Dr. Marijke van Putten

Prof. dr. Wilco van Dijk

Prof. dr. Eric van Dijk
Artikel

Coördinatie in complexe systemen: het ontstaan van stuurloosheid in het Nederlandse spoorwegsysteem

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden Dutch railway system, sensemaking, coordination, disruption management
Auteurs Danny Schipper, Joop Koppenjan en Lasse Gerrits
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    We are only fully aware of our dependency on large scale technical infrastructure systems when they fail to provide reliable services. Yet, at the same time we have witnessed the dismantling of the organizations providing these services due to privatization and liberalization policies. In this article we provide insight into the complexity of managing these now networked systems, consisting of several private and public organizations, by looking at the Dutch railway system. More specifically we analyze a case in which the decision to take several railway tracks and switches out of service resulted in a large scale disruption during rush hour in one of the busiest parts of the Netherlands. With the concept of sensemaking we show that the different actors involved were unable to create a common understanding of the situation to enable coordinated action.


Danny Schipper
D. Schipper is verbonden aan de vakgroep Bestuurskunde, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Joop Koppenjan
J.F.M. Koppenjan is verbonden aan de vakgroep Bestuurskunde, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Lasse Gerrits
L. Gerrits is verbonden aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Otto-Friedrich- Universiteit Bamberg, Duitsland.
Artikel

Natuurramp, bonuscultuur of kans: Crisisframes

Waarom frames interpretatie beïnvloeden en waarom dit onvermijdelijk is

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden framing, crisis frames, neurolinguistics, persuasive communication, rhetorics
Auteurs Sarah Gagestein
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Framing is a not a new subject in science, but scientific interest in this matter is increasing lately. Being a quite abstract and somehow indefinite research object, framing theory is not yet fully developed and used in every research field in the same way. This article explores framing theory from a neurolinguistic perspective and shows why framing is important as well as inevitable in any form of communication or text. A case - framing crisis - is used to show the body and impact of different frames. The main argument is that it is impossible to communicate without frames and that the chosen frame has a great impact on the way the public will interpret certain events or situations.


Sarah Gagestein
S. Gagestein MA is taalstrateeg en eigenaar van taalbureau Taalstrategie.
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