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De invloed van kleinschaligheid en informele politiek op bestuur in Caribisch Nederland

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Dutch Caribbean, informal politics, Smallness, Governance, non-sovereignty
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2010, the three Dutch Caribbean islands of Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (the BES islands) were constitutionally integrated into the Netherlands, and were administratively reorganized on the basis of the Dutch municipal model. While this reform was anticipated to mitigate some of the governance problems of these islands, so far this expectation has remained unmet. Using the literature on the effects of smallness on the relation between formal and informal politics as a baseline, this article investigates why the new institutional structure has so far not resulted in improved governance in the Caribbean Netherlands. On the basis of three stages of field research resulting in over forty semi-structured interviews with political elites on the three islands, the analysis highlights the influence of two contextual factors – the small scale and the political culture of the postcolonial Caribbean – that have a powerful, and in many ways negative, impact on governance performance. Subsequently, the article highlights the inapplicability of the Dutch municipal model to the Dutch Caribbean islands, and also pays attention to a number of differences between the three islands, which are explained on the basis of their divergent historical and demographic trajectories, as well as differences in individual leadership.


Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Dr. Wouter Veenendaal is werkzaam als universitair docent bij het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.
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