Zoekresultaat: 314 artikelen

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Thema-artikel

Participeren, juridiseren of politiseren?

De effectiviteit en legitimiteit van verschillende routes voor de strijd om de ruimte

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden public participation, legalizing, politicizing, effective and legitimate decision-making, spatial claims
Auteurs Wouter Jan Verheul, Feie Herkes en Stavros Zouridis
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The effectiveness and legitimacy of action strategies in the realm of spatial decision making Increasing spatial claims require careful decision-making. The question is where, from an institutional point of view, decision-making can best take place. Traditionally, balancing interests takes place in the political arena. Our legal system also guarantees legally anchored interests. In addition, we have expected for decades that participation processes stimulate participation, creativity and co-creation of citizens and entrepreneurs. Moreover, the arrival of the new Environment Act in the Netherlands gives participation a more compelling character: for private initiators, such as project developers, the organization of participation is even a hard requirement in a number of cases. Under the new Environment Act, policymakers, administrators, citizens and companies must constantly make a choice between participating, legalizing or politicizing in decision-making processes. This article analyses this choice from the perspectives of effectiveness and legitimacy. Is decision-making through participation more effective, or are parties better off in the courtroom, or the local council for effective and legitimate decisions? Theoretically, this question is interesting because the answer teaches us about effective and legitimate governance. For the practice of environmental decision-making, we consider when the participatory, legal or political route can best be followed to create both effective and legitimate decisions.


Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is senior onderzoeker gebiedsontwikkeling en universitair docent urban development management aan de TU Delft en daarnaast zelfstandig bestuurskundig adviseur.

Feie Herkes
F.J. Herkes MSc is promovendus aan Tilburg University en is tevens verbonden aan het kennisprogramma Bindend Besturen in Brabant.

Stavros Zouridis
Prof. dr. mr. S. Zouridis is hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan Tilburg University en is tevens verbonden aan het kennisprogramma Bindend Besturen in Brabant.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Institutionele ruimte voor wonen: de woning­crisis en achterliggende systeemkwesties op de agenda

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden Housing crisis, Issue attention cycle, Institutional transitions, Spatial planning, Policy instruments
Auteurs Wouter Jan Verheul en Fred Hobma
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The housing crisis is a social, political and policy issue that has not been as topical in recent decades as it is today. Over the past 25 years, the housing crisis has grown from an orphaned dossier to a problem that even has people taking to the streets. Starting from the issue attention cycle, after the alarm phase we are now in the contemplation phase of this cycle. Although the diagnosis of the problem is shared in this phase and agreement begins to emerge about the solutions, we also see the beginning of reflections on the effectiveness of the intended policy instruments and doubts about the feasibility of the objectives. Nowadays, the question is regularly asked whether major institutional changes should not be made to tackle the housing crisis. This article uses the current contemplation phase to address important institutional issues. The conclusion is that without thinking about institutional transitions, no major breakthroughs can be expected in the housing crisis and related spatial issues.


Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is senior onderzoeker gebiedsontwikkeling en universitair docent urban development management aan de TU Delft en zelfstandig bestuurskundig adviseur.

Fred Hobma
Mr. dr. F.A.M. Hobma is universitair hoofddocent omgevingsrecht en mastercoördinator Management in the Built Environment aan de TU Delft.
Artikel

Access_open Niet alleen lokaal

Verkenning van verschillen tussen coproductie-initiatieven op de lokale, regionale en nationale bestuurslagen

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, april 2022
Auteurs Hessel Bos en Carola van Eijk
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Coproductie is niet meer weg te denken uit de Nederlandse bestuurspraktijk. Hierbij ligt de focus vooral op de lokale bestuurslaag, waar coproductie makkelijker te implementeren zou zijn. Toch bestaan er wel degelijk coproductie-initiatieven op regionaal en nationaal niveau. De lokale, regionale en nationale overheid vervullen echter staatsrechtelijk en institutioneel gezien andere functies en voeren andere taken uit. Daarnaast verschilt de (gepercipieerde) afstand tussen burger en overheid tussen de bestuurslagen, evenals het abstractieniveau van de onderwerpen die op de betreffende bestuurslaag worden behandeld. Bestaand onderzoek richt zich echter nauwelijks op de vraag of coproductie hiermee wel op dezelfde wijze wordt vormgegeven op de verschillende bestuurslagen. Dit exploratieve onderzoek verkent deze verschillen door het bestuderen van zes coproductie-initiatieven op het gebied van duurzaamheid en ruimtelijke ordening en pleit voor meer onderzoek naar coproductie op regionaal en nationaal niveau.


Hessel Bos
Hessel Bos heeft in 2020 de master Public Management and Leadership met honours afgerond aan de Universiteit Leiden. Tijdens zijn studie heeft hij een jaar stage gelopen in de Eerste Kamer bij de GroenLinksfractie. Een belangrijk onderwerp waarvoor hij zijn ondersteuning heeft verleend, is het Invoeringsbesluit van de Omgevingswet, waarin ook het participatieproces is vastgelegd. Tijdens zijn studie werkte hij bij het Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg als beleidsmedewerker medezeggenschap. Inspraak en (mede)zeggenschap zijn belangrijke interesses voor hem. Momenteel is hij werkzaam als docent maatschappijleer en maatschappijwetenschappen op het Zwijsen College.

Carola van Eijk
Carola van Eijk is als universitair docent verbonden aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden. In haar onderzoek richt zij zich op de coproductie van publieke diensten en andere vormen van burgerparticipatie waarbij een directe interactie ontstaat tussen burgers en de overheid. Ze bestudeert onder andere de motivatie van burgers om deel te nemen, de conflicterende belangen waarmee overheidsprofessionals te maken krijgen in coproductieprocessen en de uitdagingen rondom het organiseren van coproductie in kwetsbare buurten.

Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Essay

Een nieuwe weg naar Rome?

Alternatieve vorm van burgerparticipatie bij stadsverbetering

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2022
Auteurs Nico Nelissen en Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Municipalities are in a new phase of development. This requires rethinking how citizens can be involved in these developments. Instead of asking citizens to respond to municipal project initiatives, one of the (new) ways is to let citizens have their say about where, what and how urban improvements can be made. In this essay, the authors discuss what they mean by ‘areas for improvement’ and discuss two experiments – in two of the oldest Dutch cities: Maastricht and Nijmegen – of citizen participation that are intended to address such areas. In their view, in this way ‘a new, but obviously not the only, way to Rome is created’ in terms of citizen participation.


Nico Nelissen
Prof. dr. N.J.M. Nelissen is emeritus hoogleraar aan de Radboud Univer­siteit Nijmegen, redactielid en oud-hoofdredacteur van Bestuurs­wetenschappen.

Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. W.J. Verheul is onderzoeker, adviseur en universitair docent aan de Technische Universiteit Delft bij de faculteit Bouwkunde. Hij houdt zich bezig met urban governance & leadership, grote iconische stadsprojecten, stedelijke gebiedstransformaties, place branding en place making.
Artikel

Lessen uit het Amsterdamse experiment met de bijstand

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden Experiment, Social assistance, Activation, Social participation, Amsterdam
Auteurs Paul de Beer en Sandra Bos
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the period 2018-2021 the municipality of Amsterdam conducted an experiment with beneficiaries of social assistance. Benefit recipients could voluntarily participate in the experiment. They were randomly assigned to three experimental conditions, viz. ‘extra attention’ (in which they received more frequent counseling and support), ‘self-direction’ (which offered the participants the freedom to make their own choices), and the ‘comparison group’ (the control group which received the customary treatment). Under all three conditions, participants who worked part-time could earn up to €200 a month on top of their social assistance benefit. A little over 800 participants (of the 5,000 in total) were followed closely by researchers of the Amsterdam University of Applied Science (HvA) and the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Although the participants who got ‘extra attention’ did not significantly flow out more frequently from the social assistance system than participants in the other two conditions, they did more often have a part-time job at the end of the experiment. There were no significant differences between the conditions with respect to participation in other non-paid activities, such as voluntary work and informal care. In-depth interviews with a selection of the participants showed, among other outcomes, that they considered the financial uncertainty as a main hindrance for doing (more) part-time work.


Paul de Beer
Prof. dr. Paul de Beer is verbonden aan HSI-AIAS, gelieerd aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Sandra Bos
Dr. Sandra Bos is verbonden aan de Hogeschool van Amsterdam.
Artikel

Technologie voor mensen met afstand tot de arbeidsmarkt

Toepassingen van een mensgerichte aanpak

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden human-centered design, inclusive technology, impaired workers, cognitive support, Augmented Reality
Auteurs Michiel de Looze, Kim Kranenborg en Ellen Wilschut
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    New ict and robots in the workplace may raise productivity but can have negative effects on people. A human-centered approach and human-centered technology may prevent negative outcomes. In the present article, this is outlined for the diverse and vulnerable group of ‘people with distance to the labour market’.
    These people face difficulties in getting a job and holding a job for a long period of time. For getting a job, they may need support in getting motivated and acquiring the necessary skills. For holding a job, support may be needed for adequate task performance, for staying healthy and vital, for personal development and for being able to switch from one job to another.
    Various technologies may provide one or more of these types of support. In particular, cognitive support technology has a great potential to make difficult work easier and therefore more accessible to more people. In three case descriptions we illustrate the application of a human-centered approach and the potential of operator support technology for cognitively impaired people.
    The case description shows the surplus value of the human centered approach, analyzing first the barriers and needs of the people involved, before iteratively testing and developing the technology with an active involvement of end-users. The described cases as well as other small-scale pilots contribute to our insight in the potential of operator support technology in increasing the accessibility of jobs for cognitively impaired people. The quantification of effects on work participation requires application of this type of technology on a much larger scale.


Michiel de Looze
Dr. Michiel de Looze is onderzoeker bij TNO.

Kim Kranenborg
Drs. Kim Kranenborg is onderzoeker bij TNO.

Ellen Wilschut
Dr. Ellen Wilschut is onderzoeker bij TNO.
Artikel

Access_open Experimenteren met basisbanen in Groningen en Rotterdam

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden basic jobs, active labour market policy, structural unemployment, job guarantee
Auteurs Kees Mosselman, Fabian Dekker en Elisa de Vleeschouwer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines the experiences of Dutch municipalities with the so called ‘basic job’. Basic jobs are primarily meant for individuals lacking realistic prospects on the mainstream labour market. These jobs should provide good work on a permanent basis. In both Groningen and Rotterdam, the basic job is used to improve the labour market perspectives of long-term job seekers. These are still relatively small interventions, which show that the basic job contributes to an improvement in the participants’ chances of work, their health and well-being. At the same time, it’s a costly experiment, in which the municipalities are net contributors and scalability only seems possible through the introduction of a national room for experimentation with accompanying monitor research and by adopting a broader perspective on economic growth. Only then, a more definitive judgment can be made about the viability of the basic job.


Kees Mosselman
Drs. Kees Mosselman is verbonden aan de Hanzehogeschool Groningen, lectoraat Arbeidsparticipatie.

Fabian Dekker
Dr. Fabian Dekker is verbonden aan het onderzoeksbureau SEOR, gelieerd aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.

Elisa de Vleeschouwer
Elisa de Vleeschouwer, MSc, is verbonden aan het onderzoeksbureau SEOR, gelieerd aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

    Since 1989, the parties participating in the Dutch elections have been obliged to opt for the legal form of an association with full legal capacity, if they wish to be stated on the ballot under their own name. What this has meant in practice for the structure of local party organisations is, however, unknown. For this reason, this article focuses on the question of how local parties are organised. How have the parties arranged their internal functioning and what human and financial resources do they have at their disposal? A second reason to take a closer look at the organisation of local parties lies in their increased electoral significance. Since 2010, as a collective category, they have managed to attract the largest percentage of voters, with 29% of the total number of votes in the 2018 municipal elections. This justifies the question of whether the social significance of local parties is now just as strong. How do local parties organise their members, sympathisers and volunteers. On the basis of this exploratory study into the organisation of local parties, it can be concluded that both the internal and the external facets of the party organisation are relatively highly developed. Where, according to the literature, national political parties place less emphasis on the external mobilisation function, we see that local parties perform better than the branches of national parties in terms of both the internal organisational function and the external mobilisation function.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, onderzoeker bij Necker van Naem en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Gerrit Voerman
Prof. dr. G. Voerman is directeur van het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (DNPP) en hoogleraar Ontwikkeling en functioneren van het Nederlandse en Europese partijstelsel aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

    The history of local parties in the Netherlands is quite a mystery. Since their first appearance at the dawn of the twentieth century, local parties were founded sooner or later in all municipalities. They seemed to have served as an addition to local representatives of national parties. Despite the variety in their ideologies, shapes and modi operandi, they could be qualified and studied as ‘niche parties’, offering an alternative to the viewpoints and divisions of the traditional (national) party politics. With this article, the authors aim to contribute to a better understanding of Dutch local parties, whose origins and development have largely remained a black box due to the scarcity of sources and studies. They do so by adopting a partly quantitative, partly qualitative or narrative approach, while looking at the election results of local parties in the past century, including salient regional differences, and by comparing these to the success of national parties in local elections. Within the boundaries of their research, their hypothesis seems to hold true that the popularity of local parties, as ‘niche parties’, depended largely on the strategies of national parties, which justifies the assumption that these two types of parties have acted as communicating vessels.


Ingrid van Biezen
Prof. dr. I. van Biezen is hoogleraar vergelijkende politicologie aan de Universiteit Leiden. Daarvoor was ze verbonden aan de University of Birmingham.

Geerten Waling
Dr. G.H. Waling is historicus en is als onderzoeker verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij studeerde geschiedenis en wijsbegeerte aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.


Jeff Handmaker
Dr. Jeff Handmaker is universitair hoofddocent rechtssociologie, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Sanne Taekema
Prof. dr. Sanne Taekema is hoogleraar inleiding tot de rechtswetenschap en rechtstheorie, Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Article

Opposition in Times of COVID-19 – To Support or Not to Support?

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden minority government, rally-around-the-flag, COVID-19, mainstream parties, challenger parties, opposition, party goals
Auteurs Britt Vande Walle, Wouter Wolfs en Steven Van Hecke
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    COVID-19 has hit many countries all over the world, and its impact on (party) politics has been undeniable. This crisis situation functions as an opportunity structure incentivising opposition forces to support the government. Not much is known about what drives opposition parties to (not) support the government in crisis situations. This article integrates the literature on rally-around-the-flag, political opportunity structures, party types and party goals. More specifically, we focus on the behaviour of opposition parties towards the government’s crisis response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We analyse whether and how the party type influences the position of the party vis-à-vis the governmental coalition, focusing on the case of Belgium. We categorise the seven opposition parties in Belgium as challenger or mainstream parties and explain their behaviour on the basis of policy-, office- or vote-seeking motives. Our analysis is based on party voting behaviour, elite interviews and an analysis of the main plenary debates.


Britt Vande Walle
Britt Vande Walle is PhD Researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Instituted, funded by a FWO fellowship ‘Fundamental Research’. Her research focuses on comparative politics, political parties, and political party think tanks. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9594-9897.

Wouter Wolfs
Wouter Wolfs is Senior Researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research interests include the European Union, political finance, legislative studies and political parties. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6214-5972.

Steven Van Hecke
Steven Van Hecke is Associate Professor in Comparative and EU Politics at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research focuses on Europarties, EU institutions and European integration history. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0215-5463.
Article

‘Think Like Me, and I Will Trust You’

The Effects of Policy Opinion Congruence on Citizens’ Trust in the Parliament

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden political representation, parliaments, opinion congruence, political trust, public opinion
Auteurs Awenig Marié en David Talukder
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Do citizens with a lower level of political representation evaluate political actors more negatively? While the literature has documented inequalities in political representation, less attention has been given to the extent to which different levels of representation affect citizens’ levels of political trust. We aimed to fill this gap by analysing whether Belgian citizens with a lower level of policy opinion congruence with their party’s legislators have lower levels of trust in the parliament. Our results show that policy opinion congruence has a positive impact on citizens’ political attitudes. Indeed, citizens with policy preferences closer to those of their political representatives tend to have higher levels of trust in the parliament. This rela‍tionship depends on political sophistication: policy opinion congruence affects political trust for most citizens except those who consider themselves to be ‘very interested’ in politics. Citizens with a very high level of interest in politics trust the parliament regardless of policy opinion congruence with their party’s legislators.


Awenig Marié
Awenig Marié is a FNRS research fellow and a PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles. His main research interests include political inequalities, political representation, parliaments and EU politics.

David Talukder
David Talukder is a PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles. His main research interests are democratic innovations, political representation, disadvantaged groups and democratic reforms.
Research Note

Peer Assessment in Parliament

Promises and Pitfalls of a Marginalised Method in Parliamentary Research

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2021
Auteurs Richard Schobess
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Peer assessment is a rather marginalised method in political research. This research note argues that the collective expertise of MPs can complement other data to contribute to more comprehensive evaluations of MPs’ parliamentary work. Yet, this method is potentially flawed by low survey participation and rater bias among MPs. The experience with a peer assessment survey among members of three Belgian parliaments shows that participation does not necessarily need to be problematic. However, the empirical analysis suggests that scholars should control for various forms of rater bias.


Richard Schobess
Richard Schobess is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University. His research focuses on parliaments and elections.
Article

Cancelling proposed debates

Agenda Setting, Issue Ownership and Anti-elitist Parliamentary Style

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2021
Trefwoorden agenda-setting, parliaments, anti-elitism, issue-ownership
Auteurs Simon Otjes en Roy Doedens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch Tweede Kamer is unique among parliaments because here the agenda is actually determined in a public, plenary meeting of all MPs. In the Dutch Tweede Kamer 30 members of parliament (MPs) can request a plenary debate. Many opposition parties request these debates, but only 23% of these are actually held. We examine the question ‘under what conditions do political party groups cancel or maintain proposals for minority debates?’ as a way to gain insight into the black box of parliamentary agenda setting. We examine two complementary explanations: issue competition and parliamentary style. We trace all 687 minority debates that were proposed between 2012 and 2021 in the Netherlands. This allows us to see what proposals for debates MPs make and when they are retracted. We find strong evidence that anti-elitist parties maintain more debate proposals than do other parties


Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is assistant professor of Dutch Politics at Leiden University and researcher at Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties. His research focuses on political parties, legislative behaviour and interest groups in Europe and the Netherlands specifically. He has previously published on legislative behaviour in West European Politics, the Journal of Legislative Studies and Party Politics.

Roy Doedens
Roy Doedens studied Philosophy and International Relations and International Organizations at Groningen University and Political Science at Leiden University. Currently, he works as a public affairs advisor at Erasmus University.
Article

The Praise for a ‘Caretaker’ Leader

Gendered Press Coverage of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès in a COVID-19 Context

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden political leadership, crisis, care, Belgium, gendered media coverage
Auteurs Clémence Deswert
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Studies on media coverage of women politicians have underlined how the media contribute to the association of the figure of the political leader with masculinity. Yet, the social construction of leadership seems to evolve towards a more ‘femininity-inclusive’ definition. Research on the ‘glass cliff’ phenomenon suggests that stereotypical feminine attributes might be expected from political leaders in a time of crisis. We investigated the gendered construction of political leadership in the press in a COVID-19 context through the case of former Belgian Prime minister Sophie Wilmès. In line with the ‘think crisis-think female’ association, our discourse analysis shows an appreciation of traditionally feminine traits, and particularly care-related qualities, in the evaluation of what a ‘good’ leader should be in pandemic times, although some characteristics traditionally associated with masculinity are still considered valuable assets in the journalistic portrayal of Wilmès’ leadership.


Clémence Deswert
Clémence Deswert is a PhD candidate at the Political Science Department of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Her research interests include political communication and political representation of women. Declaration of interests: I confirm that this article was not submitted to or publicised in another journal. No conflict of interest exists.
Article

Access_open The Resilience of Democracy in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Democratic Compensators in Belgium, the Netherlands and France

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden COVID-19, crisis-management, democratic compensators, exceptionalism
Auteurs Tom Massart, Thijs Vos, Clara Egger e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since January 2020, European countries have implemented a wide range of restrictions to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet governments have also implemented democratic compensators in order to offset the negative impacts of restrictions. This article aims to account for the variation of their use between Belgium, the Netherlands and France. We analyse three drivers: the strength of counterpowers, the ruling parties’ ideological leanings and political support. Building on an original data set, our results distinguish between embedded and ad hoc compensators. We find that ad hoc compensators are championed mainly by counterpowers, but also by ideology of the ruling coalitions in Belgium and the Netherlands and used strategically to maintain political support in France. Evidence on the link between embedded compensators and counterpowers is more ambiguous.


Tom Massart
Tom Massart is a PhD candidate at ULB / CEVIPOL. His research mainly focuses on European economic governance.

Thijs Vos
Thijs Vos is a political scientist and research assistant at Groningen University.

Clara Egger
Clara Egger is assistant professor in international relations at Groningen University. She is currently leading the Exceptius project on Covid19 containment policies in Europe.

Claire Dupuy
Claire Dupuy is professor of comparative politics at UCLouvain. She specializes in comparative public policy with a focus on multilevel governance, federalism and regionalization processes.

Constance Morel-Jean
Constance Morel-Jean is a master’s student at Grenoble-Alpes University. She specialises in the study of political behaviour.

Raul Magni-Berton
Raul Magni-Berton is professor of political science at Grenoble-Alpes University, PACTE research unit. His research mainly focuses on democracy, its institutions and norms.

Sébastian Roché
Sebastian Roché is CNRS Research Professor at Grenoble-Alpes University, PACTE research unit. He specializes in policing and legitimacy studies.
PhD Review

Pragmatic Citizens – A Bottom-Up Perspective on Participatory Politics

PhD by Hannah Werner (KU Leuven and Universiteit van Amsterdam), supervisors: Sofie Marien, Wouter van der Brug & Marc Hooghe

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Auteurs Anna Kern
Auteursinformatie

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at Ghent University, Belgium.

    Dutch social policies are aimed at the integration and participation of all people. This creates challenges for persons with a mental vulnerability and their neighbourhoods. Five municipalities in the province of Flevoland asked us to help them improve the move from protected living to living in the neighbourhood. We used an arts-based participatory action research design and we followed ‘hot topics’, topics that sparked people’s energy and emotion, and which led to empowerment and participation. Focusing on these topics, which initially might not seem to be closely connected to the main research topic, might produce more information, and energy to take action on it, rather than rigidly sticking with the initial research topics. In this article, we focus on the first phases of the project. The emotions that people with mental vulnerabilities expressed when talking about their dogs, led us to the core of what really mattered to them in terms of inclusive living and participation. The dog functioned as an unexpected ‘hot topic’. In a symbolic sense, ‘the dog’ stands for a diverse range of lifeworld topics that can act as a creative catalyst for social change.

    Vooraf

    Participatief actieonderzoek en responsieve evaluatie staan volop in de belangstelling bij beleidsmakers en onderzoekers. Dit type beleidsonderzoek en -evaluatie beoogt democratisch, inclusief én impactvol te zijn. Het gaat om onderzoek mét in plaats van óver mensen. En het is actiegericht: onderzoek wil bijdragen aan concrete oplossingen door met betrokkenen gezamenlijke (verbeter)acties te ontwikkelen in de praktijk, en daarop te reflecteren en van te leren. Dit alles met het oog op sociale inclusie. Het zijn mooie idealen, maar wat betekent dit in de alledaagse, vaak weerbarstige onderzoekspraktijk?

    Op 20 januari 2020 organiseerde prof. Abma daarover een symposium, getiteld ‘Responsive, Participatory Research: Past, Present and Future Perspectives’ (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam). De rode draad op het symposium was de vraag wat goed en ethisch verantwoord participatief onderzoek is, en wat dit vraagt van onderzoekers en beleidsmakers. Drie lezingen op deze conferentie zijn nadien omgewerkt tot essays om lezers van Beleidsonderzoek Online vanuit verschillende perspectieven beter kennis te laten maken met deze vorm van onderzoek:

    Prof. Weerman en haar team focussen in hun bijdrage op het zich in de praktijk ontwikkelende onderzoeksdesign en het inzetten van creatieve methoden om participatie te bevorderen. Ze gaan na welke kwaliteitscriteria aan participatief actieonderzoek worden gesteld en hechten daarbij met name aan eisen ten aanzien van participatie, samen leren en verschil maken (zie BoO juli 2021). Ze benadrukken het belang van creativiteit en flexibiliteit.

    Prof. Abma bespreekt in haar artikel de normatieve dimensies en de ethiek van participatief actieonderzoek (zie BoO september 2020). Ze illustreert met een voorbeeld uit de crisishulpverlening aan GGZ-cliënten dat participatief actieonderzoek niet slechts een methodisch-technische exercitie is, maar een sociaal-politiek proces waarbij bestaande machtsverhoudingen verschuiven om ruimte te geven aan nieuwe stemmen en kennis. Dit omvat het zien van en stilstaan bij ethisch saillante dilemma’s en morele reflectie.

    De bijdrage van prof. Cook (zie BoO februari 2021) gaat over de weerbarstige praktijk van participatief actieonderzoek. Het doel is samen leren en voorbij geijkte oplossingen komen. Zij laat zien dat dit uitdagend is voor professionals die geconfronteerd worden met burgers die feedback geven en vragen om het (deels) loslaten van vaststaande professionele kaders. Er ontstaat dan ongemak en onzekerheid, maar zo beoogt en laat Cook overtuigend zien, deze ‘mess’ (niet meer goed weten wat goed en nodig is) is productief om te komen tot hernieuwde inzichten en innovaties.

    (Introductietekst opgesteld door prof. T. Abma)


Alie Weerman
Alie Weerman is professor of Mental Health and Society at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Her PhD focused on the use of experiential knowledge of professional social workers and caretakers. She practices Participatory Health Research in several organizations in healthcare and social work. She always uses experiential knowledge as a valuable ‘third source of knowledge’ in the process and results of studies.

Rosalie Metze
Rosalie Metze is associate professor of Mental Health and Society at Windesheim University of Applied Sciences. Her expertise lies in topics such as outreach work, experiential knowledge, self-efficacy, and strengthening the voice of those less heard. Her goal is to always work according to the PAR principles, and gain the necessary acknowledgement for this type of research.

Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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