Zoekresultaat: 6 artikelen

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Jaar 2013 x
Artikel

Klein maar fijn?

De effecten van kleinschaligheid op het karakter van politiek en democratie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden State Size, Dutch Caribbean Islands, Democracy, Good Governance, Personalistic Politics
Auteurs Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Whereas the six Dutch islands in the Caribbean all have a (very) limited population size, analyses of political problems on the islands rarely seem to take the variable of state size into account. The available academic literature demonstrates that the population size of states has a strong influence on the quality of democratic governance, although scholars disagree on the question whether smallness is an asset or an obstacle to democratic development. After a discussion of this theoretical literature, the present article proceeds with a presentation of field research in three small island states (St. Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles, and Palau) in which the political consequences of a limited population size are analyzed. This analysis reveals that a number of size-related effects can be observed in all three examined island states, among which a tendency to personalistic competition, strong polarization between parties and politicians, particularistic relationships between voters and their representatives, and a dominant position of the political executive vis-à-vis other institutions. A subsequent analysis of the contemporary political situation on the Dutch Caribbean islands shows that the observed problems also play a role on these islands, which indicates that smallness is perhaps of greater significance than is now often supposed.


Dr. Wouter Veenendaal
Wouter Veenendaal is docent bij het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. In de afgelopen drie jaar is hij als promovendus werkzaam geweest bij hetzelfde instituut. Zijn promotieonderzoek heeft betrekking op de invloed van bevolkingsgrootte op de ontwikkeling en consolidatie van democratie, met daarin een specifieke focus op politiek en democratie in microstaten. E-mail: veenendaalwp@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

    Dramatic incidents, such as the 1986 Challenger Disaster, induce the instalment of a Commission to investigate the process that lead to the incident. The Commission attempts to reconstruct the many smaller and larger steps towards the one or several decisions and actions that turned out to be vital – and sometimes fatal. Most Commissions serve a dual purpose; the want to learn lessons and avert similar incidents to occur again, but they are also part of a process to allocate responsibilities and – sometimes – to point the blame. An analysis of Commission-reports reveals two dominant patterns in the narratives Commissions produce. One is relatively simple and identifies the decision or action that caused the incidents; it shows the mistakes that were made, when and by who, The lessons is often to not make the same mistake again. The second pattern is more complicated and produces less ‘crisp’ explanations for the incident. Decisions, actions take place in ambiguous, complex and inherently uncertain contexts. Actors acts amidst such complexity, are subject to all sorts of dynamics and pressures and in the process do things that look awkward or wrong in hindsight. Mistakes happen, not because actors are not smart enough or do the wrong things, but because they are an inherent element of complex decision making. The lesson that follows from that is for organizations that make important decisions under complex conditions to organize checks and balances and look for heterogeneity in their processes. That produces a difficult dilemma, given the ambivalent role of commissions. The second line of reasoning produces much richer lessons for policy, but is very ‘soft’ in casting blame. The first line of reasoning is clearer about responsibility and blame, but oversimplifies the lessons. That draws attention to a crucial – and yet unanswered – question for researchers, practitioners and also the general public; do we see them as platforms for learning or tools for sanctioning?


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

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.

Rik Peeters

    In a column a journal editor or an author expresses his or her opinion on a particular subject.


Caelesta Braun
Caelesta Braun is redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.

    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.
Article

Access_open Doeltreffend en evenwichtig ontwerpen van wetten

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, mei 2013
Auteurs André Nijsen, Ab van den Burg en Jaap Stumphius
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Wetten beantwoorden lang niet altijd aan hun primaire doel: het reguleren van een maatschappelijk probleem. In toenemende mate lijken wetten smeerolie voor politieke processen. Dat kan en moet anders, gelet op de grote maatschappelijke risico's. Daarom zou al in de voorbereidings- en ontwerpfase van een wet een Programma van Eisen (PvE) moeten worden opgesteld, waarin wordt vastgelegd waaraan een wet ten minste moet voldoen om de realisatie van het betrokken publieke doel te borgen. Een dergelijke aanpak noemen we doeltreffend en evenwichtig wetgeven. 'Den Haag' lijkt echter te berusten in de huidige eenzijdige praktijk in de politieke besluitvorming. Hoe is dat te veranderen? Hierover gaat dit artikel.


André Nijsen
dr. André Nijsen is zelfstandig adviseur en sociaal-economisch onderzoeker.

Ab van den Burg
ir. Ab van den Burg is partner bij Van de Geijn Partners.

Jaap Stumphius
drs. Jaap Stumphius is zelfstandig onderzoeker.
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