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Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde x Jaar 2020 x
Thema-artikel

Het klimaat en het subject

Waarom Foucault een bestuurskundige klassieker is

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden climate change, climate policy, power, Foucault, governmentality
Auteurs Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper discusses how Michel Foucault’s governmentality approach contributes to our understanding of the climate crisis and climate policy. After adopting a governmentality approach to the domain of climate change, the paper highlights how this approach contrasts with dominant conceptions of governance in Public Administration. Finally, the paper argues that Foucault is an innovative and important thinker and should be considered a classic for critical governance researchers.


Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
Dr. S. S. Jhagroe is als universitair docent verbonden aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.
Thema-artikel

De Frankfurter Schule en algoritmisch bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden algorithmic governance, enlightenment, Frankfurter Schule, public administration, technology critique
Auteurs Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Frankfurter Schule offers an interesting intellectual orientation for critical public administration that seeks to unmask problematic political-administrative power structures. It compels public administration scholars to reflect on the policy processes and bureaucratic structures of a technological society, and the legitimizing or criticizing role of public administration scholars in this. A critical public administration that is inspired by the Frankfurter Schule does not accept existing processes and structures. On the contrary, it contests them and uncovers them as a critique of domination, repression, reification, one-dimensionality, bias, erotic deficit and lack of creativity. It is focussed on identifying alternative, more humanizing and democratizing, futures. In this essay the significance of the Frankfurter Schule for critical public administration in technological society is explored. The development of algorithmic governance serves as a case to illustrate critical analysis, to reveal the essence of the Frankfurter Schule, and to show some of its contemporary relevance for critical public administration. Algorithmic governance is portrayed as a type of governance that reinforces existing policy processes and bureaucratic structures of technological society, and is unmasked by critical public administration scholars as a force of reification.


Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde
Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde is als universitair hoofddocent Bestuur, Samenleving en Technologie verbonden aan de Universiteit Twente.
Thema-artikel

Tegendraads betrokken

De bijdrage van de complexiteitstheorie aan bestuur en bestuurskunde

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden complexity theory, machine, simplification, complex systems, critical public administration
Auteurs Hans Joosse MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Complexity theory dares to adopt a critical-constructive attitude to the practice and science of public administration. From the worldview of complex systems, it raises questions about the machine thinking that has influenced public administration strongly and persistently. Many contemporary attempts by governments to simplify societal issues to knowable, solvable and controllable problems – for example the approach to transforming Utrecht Central Station and dealing with multi-dimensional problems in families – can be traced back to machine thinking. Complexity theory points to the ineffectiveness and undesirability of simplifications and considers the complexity of government and society a quality that should be increased rather than reduced. Complexity theory not only keeps the administrative mind sharp on simplification reflexes, but also offers the option to make policy by increasing, rather than reducing complexity.


Hans Joosse MSc
J.A. Joosse, MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Department of Public Administration and Sociology.
Thema-artikel

Phronetische bestuurskunde

Een antwoord op bestuurskundig onderzoek zonder maatschappelijke bijdrage

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden phronetic public administration, critical and interpretive public administration, social relevance, perspectives, power process, imagination
Auteurs Yvonne La Grouw MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The discipline of public administration is critiqued for its lack of social relevance. Three issues prevent public administration scholars from social relevant research: (1) the assumption of universal knowledge; (2) the assumption of neutrality; and (3) distance from practice. These issues obscure the role of power processes in both the administrative practice under study and in conducting research, while paying attention to power processes is key to a more socially relevant public administration. I propose a phronetic research approach as an alternative to research that lacks social relevance. Phronetic public administration (1) acknowledges and deliberately uses the complexity of different perspectives of actors; (2) makes power processes visible; and (3) chooses a position in a dialogue about the problem under study by imagining alternative future scenarios. Phronetic research offers a promising, critical perspective on public administration by specifically aiming for a social contribution.


Yvonne La Grouw MSc
Y.M. La Grouw MSc is PhD-onderzoeker aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschap & Politicologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Kritische bestuurskunde

Naar een reflexief perspectief op bestuur en beleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Critical Public Administration, Reflexive knowledge, Instrumental knowledge, Public Values
Auteurs Robert van Putten MSc MA, Lars Dorren MA MSc en Prof. dr. Willem Trommel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Over the past four decades of its existence, Dutch public administration has developed into a science which mainly produces knowledge that either caters to a very specific scientific niche or aims to optimize policy processes in an instrumental fashion. This type of knowledge is not well equipped to provide answers or improve understanding of the challenges of our time. We argue that public administration needs to shift its focus more towards producing reflexive knowledge in the form of what we would call critical public administration. Based on the contributions in this special issue, this article outlines what the contribution of such a critical public administration could be. The article shows that, even though it is theory driven, critical public administration is close to policy practice and can fuel a productive public debate by imagining alternative futures.


Robert van Putten MSc MA
R.J. van Putten MSc MA is promovendus aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschappen en Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Lars Dorren MA MSc
L. Dorren MA MSc is promovendus aan de onderzoeksgroep Politics & Public Governance, Universiteit Antwerpen.

Prof. dr. Willem Trommel
Prof. dr. W.A. Trommel is hoogleraar Bestuur en beleid aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschappen en Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Vrij artikel

20 jaar Verantwoordingsdag: Inzicht voor Kamercommissies

Hoe inhoudsanalyse inzicht geeft in prestatiegegevensgebruik door Kamerleden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden performance information, accountability, Parliament, annual reports, Performance-based Budgeting
Auteurs Dr. Sjoerd Keulen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 20th Accountability Day of the Netherlands House of Representatives is a fitting occasion to investigate whether Dutch Members of Parliament use performance information (PI). Performance information used by managers and politicians is a basic assumption for managing and guiding Performance-based Budgeting. Ironically, based on a literature review on performance use, we know that politicians and especially parliamentarians do not use performance information for decision making or scrutiny. This is specifically so when PI reports are long. Using the framework of accountability of Bovens (2007) and using content analysis of the questions, motions and debates of the Standing Committees on the annual reports, this article shows that MPs use performance information in all phases (informing, debating, sanctions). Contradicting earlier research on parliamentarians, we found that they use annual reports and reports of the Court of Audit as their main sources in the debates. This article shows that the use of PI in parliament is steadily rising. The growing importance of performance information for accountability is further illustrated by the strengthening of the accountability forum.


Dr. Sjoerd Keulen
Dr. S.J. Keulen is onderzoeker bij de Algemene Rekenkamer en universitair docent Bestuurskunde aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Thema-artikel

Een kritisch-pragmatische bestuurskunde

Oxymoron of gelukkig huwelijk?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden critical pragmatism, public administration, energy justice, governance arrangements, regional energy strategies
Auteurs Dr. Tamara Metze
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A pragmatic criticaster or a critical pragmatist is considered a schizophrenic in daily life: it seems impossible to be solution oriented and critical at the same time. You are either an optimist or a pessimist. This schism also seems to run between public administration and political scientists. Public administration is focused on (positive) problem solving, whereas political scientists – especially in a tradition of critical theory – examine the exertion of power. This essay proposes a combination of the two extremes: a critical-pragmatist approach for public administration.
    In this approach, critical political theory goes hand in hand with pragmatist reconstruction and design. This design is impossible without normative and procedural principles, for example ideas about sustainability, justice and democracy. This is illustrated with an example for designing just governance arrangements in the Dutch regional energy strategies. The article shows that public administration that is relevant, reflective and democratic builds on a critical-pragmatist approach.


Dr. Tamara Metze
Dr. T. Metze is universitair hoofddocent Bestuur en beleid aan de universiteit van Wageningen.
Thema-artikel

Kritisch bestuurskundig onderwijs

Een pleidooi voor productieve subversiviteit

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Public Administration, critical theory, education, subversive
Auteurs Dr. Mark van Ostaijen en Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    By analysing the current self-presentation of educational programs, this article problematizes the dominating instrumental knowledge within Public Administration. By foregrounding ‘productive subversion’, the authors provide a perspective on more reflexive types of knowledge and methods, to re-value educational programs within Public Administration.


Dr. Mark van Ostaijen
Dr. M.A.C. van Ostaijen is universitair docent aan het Departement Bestuurskunde en Sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
Dr. S. S. Jhagroe is universitair docent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.
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