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Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde x Jaar 2013 x
Artikel

Hoe beoordelen topambtenaren veranderingen?

De bijzondere positie van de Nederlandse topambtenaar

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden senior officials, reforms, public sector, international comparison
Auteurs Steven Van de Walle, Stephan Dorsman en Tamara Homan
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article shows how top officials in ten European countries evaluate changes in the public sector based on a number of dimensions, such as quality, cost-efficiency, ethics, effectiveness and the attractiveness of the public sector as an employer. Senior public officials in the Netherlands are compared to their counterparts from 9 other European countries. The study is based on the large-scale academic COCOPS Top Executive Survey, and answers from 3,173 top public sector officials were used.
    Results show that senior public officials in the Netherlands are very positive about changes in cost-efficiency and service quality in the public sector. Yet they are concerned about the attractiveness of the public sector as an employer and public trust in government. At the same time, senior public officials in the Netherlands appear to be among the most positive all nationalities about recent changes in how the public sector operates. Only with regard to changes in the attractiveness of the public sector as an employer are senior Dutch public officials considerably less optimistic.


Steven Van de Walle
Prof. dr. S. Van de Walle is verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Stephan Dorsman
S.J. Dorsman MSc. is verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Tamara Homan
T. Homan is verbonden aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    This article analyzes the inquiry into the financial problems at a large educational conglomerate, Amarantis, in the Netherlands. The article is solely based on the text of the report. From a learning point of view, assuming that inquiries should contribute to learning from the past to improve the present and future, there are three weaknesses in the approach followed by the commission. The first is that the commission looks at the principles for governing the organization to explain its fall. However, the principles adopted match very well with professional organizations and are used successfully in other professional organizations. The question why these principles were unsuccessful in the case of Amarantis has not been addressed in the report. Second, the report strongly focuses on the role of the top management of the organization and ignores the middle management, a critical layer in managing professional organisations. And third, by looking back the commission creates a bias of hindsight, ignoring the question of how the managers could have identified upcoming problems at that time.


Hans de Bruijn
Prof. mr. J.A. de Bruijn is hoogleraar aan de Faculteit Techniek, Beleid en Management aan de TU Delft.

    Interview with Winnie Sorgdrager, member of the Council of State of the Netherlands


Martijn van der Steen
Dr. M. van der Steen is co-decaan en adjunct-directeur van de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur (NSOB) in Den Haag.
Boekbespreking

‘Governing Governance’: zware kost in een Jip-en-Janneke-jasje

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden governance, network society, innovation
Auteurs Jeroen van der Heijden
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The manifest Governing Governance: A Liberal-Democratic View on Governance by Relationships, Bureaucracies and Markets in the 21st Century aims to please a wide range of audiences. Yet in trying to do so it does not seem to please any. The manifest may be applauded for its clear and concise discussion of the complicated concept of governance. Yet, it falls short in being a truly engaging text as it is somewhat outdated, it lacks interaction with the wider world beyond the Netherlands (and Belgium), and it is too optimistic in terms of what may be achieved through collaborative or new governance and deliberative democracy. All this may very well explain why the manifest has, as of yet, not received a great deal of attention.


Jeroen van der Heijden
Dr. ir. J.J. van der Heijden is als research fellow verbonden aan the Regulatory Institutions Network (RegNet), Australian National University, en als universitair docent aan de Faculteit der Rechten, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Artikel

Lobbyen met een commissie

Over hoe de VNG met commissies agendeert en hoe dat soms mislukt

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden Lobby, Committee
Auteurs Rien Fraanje
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Committees are connected with the political culture of the Netherlands. It is no surprise that organizations that promote certain interests aim at bringing forward their members’ interests by installing committees. Lobbying through a committee, however, is a delicate matter. What elements lead to a committee that is a successful instrument of lobby? A comparison between the committees of the Dutch Union of Municipalities (VNG) led by Jorritsma, Bovens and Van Aartsen on one hand and the committee led by Nijpels on the other shows that the denial of problems and shortcomings does not help the organization or person that asks for the advice of the committee. This person or organization benefits most if the committee points out existing displeasure with the functioning of the person or organization. Yet at the same time, the committee must present a way ahead and proposals for improvement. This gives a positive turn to the criticism and presents a perspective for improvement.


Rien Fraanje
Drs. M.J. Fraanje is bestuurskundige en als senior adviseur verbonden aan de Raad voor het openbaar bestuur. Hij was scribent van de VNG-Commissies Van Aartsen (2007) en Aarts (2008) en de Interbestuurlijke Taakgroep Gemeenten (2008, commissie-D’Hondt).

    Interview with Jantine Kriens, chairwoman of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities.


Marieke van Genugten
Dr. M.L. van Genugten is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan het Institute for Management Research, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

Henk Wesseling
Drs. H.W.M. Wesseling is hoofd Taskforce Bestuur en informatieveiligheid Dienstverlening, verder verbonden met Berenschot.
Artikel

Twee perspectieven op de eerste overheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden local government, new localism, modernization model, political community model
Auteurs Marcel Boogers en Bas Denters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dutch local government is more and more regarded as a ‘first government’. Vision documents of the association of municipalities and national policy plans stress the importance of local government for improving public governance. This ‘new localism’ builds upon two conflicting perspectives to local government: the modernization model and the political community model. As a result, local governments are becoming overloaded by many new and conflicting demands. A debate about how both perspectives to the ‘first government’ can be balanced, is therefore needed.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M. Boogers is bijzonder hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente en senior adviseur bij BMC.

Bas Denters
Prof. dr. B. Denters is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente en wetenschappelijk directeur van het Netherlands Institute of Government (NIG).
Artikel

Geografische logica voor overheidsorganisatie

Daily urban systems als bestuurlijk perspectief

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2013
Trefwoorden welfare theory, geographical theory, daily urban systems, territorial structure, spatial scale of local and regional government
Auteurs Pieter Tordoir
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The debate on the territorial structure and scale of local and regional government is hardly supported by geographical theory and evidence. In this article, a geographical logic for collective action and the spatial structure of government is unfolded, based on the foundations of Welfare Theory. This logic accounts for the tension between inherently bordered area governance and borderless social and economic networks. Spatial scaling of area government thus involves complex trade-offs. The case is made for area government at the scale of daily urban systems, functional-spatial complexes that are typical for our advanced network society. The article concludes with a discussion of consequences for the spatial organisation of local and regional government.


Pieter Tordoir
Prof. dr. P.P. Tordoir is hoogleraar Economische Geografie en Planologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, Research Fellow aan de Amsterdam School of Real Estate en directeur-eigenaar van adviespraktijk Ruimtelijk-Economisch Atelier Tordoir.

    Values like quality of life, efficiency of services, solidarity in finances and privacy of clients are being compromised continuously in daily practices, inspired by opinions and ideology of (groups of) individuals. Yet, systems like healthcare are dominated by technocratic procedures to enforce transparency and efficiency. This functional rationality pushes away the more fundamental debates on values. This doesn’t mean they are not being compromised, but it’s done in a hidden way. It’s the nurse taking decisions on the amount of time available for a patient. Although restricted by procedures nurses compromise differently. The same counts for healthcare executives in their boardrooms. Restricted by system requirements they take decisions differently, inspired by their convictions. It is all ‘hidden ideology’ in institutions, interactions and intuitions. Even the political arena is imprisoned by the self made technocratic way of debating and deciding on important societal issues. Political debates should be about the values behind procedures instead of technocratic in its essence. Critical checks and balances have to be reinstalled (or reanimated) in political decision making in order to do this and meet patients’ or citizens’ needs, instead of maintaining a procedural attitude that drives politics and ideology away from society.


Kim Putters
Prof. dr. K. Putters is hoogleraar Management van Instellingen in de Gezondheidszorg (Professor of Health Management) bij het Instituut Beleid Management Gezondheidszorg, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, tot 15 juni 2013 lid van de PvdA-fractie in de Eerste Kamer en eerste ondervoorzitter van de Eerste Kamer. Per 15 juni 2013 is hij directeur van het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau.
Artikel

The past, present and future of the Big Society

Een ideeëngeschiedenis met betekenis voor Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden Big Society, political ideas, agenda-setting
Auteurs Peter Franklin en Peter Noordhoek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article explores the intellectual, political and pragmatic origins of the concept Big Society. The authors argue that although the concept has become intertwined with the political ideas of UK’s Prime Minister David Cameron, the concept has also become firmly rooted in society and is thus likely to survive the political life of Cameron. Also outside the UK, the concept has acquired political attention. The authors explore the meaning of Big Society for the Netherlands. Thus far, the concept has reached the political agenda, but time will tell how the concept succeeds to sustain.


Peter Franklin
P. Franklin is a political researcher and speechwriter specialising in social and environmental issues. A former member of the Conservative Research Department and Policy Unit, he now works in the House of Commons. All views expressed in this article are his own.

Peter Noordhoek
P. Noordhoek is directeur van Northedge BV.
Artikel

Zelforganisatie vanuit het perspectief van burgers

Inzichten uit onderzoek naar de pragmatiek van burgerparticipatie in drie Europese steden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden citizen participation, self-organisation, strategies
Auteurs Maurice Specht
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Based on the experience of citizens initiatives in Antwerpen (Belgium), Dortmund (Germany) and Rotterdam (the Netherlands), this article explores the roles of citizens in these projects. The initiatives were not started by already active citizens, but by inactive citizens who were triggered to take action by an event in their direct surroundings. The cases studied show that many small, simple and everyday strategies, which are often overlooked by researchers, are meaningful for successful citizenship. The will to participate is not so much ideologically or democratically driven, but driven by a perceived practical need for action. Governments should aim to support and facilitate these initiatives without aiming to canalize these activities according to their own political or democratic rationality.


Maurice Specht
Dr. M. Specht is zelfstandig actie-onderzoeker bij Specht in de Stad.
Artikel

Europese schone lucht

Doorwerking van een EU-richtlijn in Nederlandse G4-gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden air pollution policy, implementation, enforcement, compliance, European Union
Auteurs Evelien van Rij en Barbara Brink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Research on the implementation of air-quality directives in the Netherlands shows that national and local governments have taken substantial measures to increase air quality. Still, the norms of the directive are not met. Besides, as a result of the focus on norms, insufficient attention has been paid to the objective of the directive, namely improving health. To examine this, a case study on the implementation of the directive within four Dutch cities has been conducted by their local audit services. This shows that, due to the enforcement capacity of the EU (Sverdrup, 2007), that was made effective through the national courts, the Dutch national and local authorities have taken substantial measures. Domestic preferences and the characteristics of the Netherlands’ public law system, contributed to this. In line with Sverdrup’s (2007) ideas on the domestic management capacity of member states, insufficient measures were taken to meet the norm because responsibilities were not clearly distributed between national and local governments and because of conflicting policy aims. Since this takes place during a drawn-out implementation process, the participating actors need clear information about the progress that is made the policy can improve and be enforced during the implementation phase. Independent, local and national, auditors can help the European Committee to provide this insight.


Evelien van Rij
Dr. ir. mr. H.E. van Rij is senior onderzoeker bij de Rekenkamer Rotterdam.

Barbara Brink
Dr. B. Brink is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Gedurende het onderzoek was zij werkzaam bij de Rekenkamer Den Haag als ingeleend onderzoeker.
Boekbespreking

Politieke strijd om de prijs van automobiliteit

De geschiedenis van een langdurend discours: 1895-2010

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Samenvatting

    In the section Dissertations, Maarten Smaal introduces his work on the long-lasting policy discourse on road pricing and alternative policy instruments in the Netherlands.

Artikel

De grote samenleving

Over vitaliteit en nieuwe verhoudingen tussen overheid en burgers

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden civil society, social enterprise, citizen participation, collaborative governance
Auteurs Martijn van der Steen, Hans de Bruijn en Thomas Schillemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Amidst the turbulence of recent crises, governments’ capacity to govern and to deliver public value is under serious pressure. Public institutions are working hard to come up with new and improved schemes for dealing with complex and wicked policy issues that have emerged or just wont go away. But government alone cannot solve most of these issues. Governments already attempted to make ‘better, smarter policy’ in the hopes of raising performance. They also invested heavily in ‘participation’ of citizens, by inviting them to ‘co-create’ policy or ‘join-up’ with government agencies. However, this image of collaboration is one-sided. Besides the efforts initiated by governments themselves, there is a wide array of emerging activities. In these practices, it is not the government that takes action, but society takes ‘public matters’ into its own hands. Just as in many other countries, in The Netherlands groups of citizens have started to organize certain services, tasks or activities that used to be provided by the central or decentralized governmental institutions by themselves (and in most cases, for themselves). This article conceptualizes these emerging practices and analyses how they affect the world of policy making and what they may mean for public administration research.


Martijn van der Steen
Dr. M. van de Steen is codecaan en adjunct-directeur van de Nederlandse School voor Openbaar Bestuur (NSOB) in Den Haag.

Hans de Bruijn
Prof. mr. J.A. de Bruijn is hoogleraar aan de Faculteit Techniek, Beleid en Management aan de TU Delft.

Thomas Schillemans
Dr. T. Schillemans is universitair docent aan de Utrechtse School voor Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschappen, Universiteit Utrecht.
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