Saturday, May 13, 2017

Agenda Setting Datasets Online

After years of collecting data, coding, and re-coding we can proudly announce the on-line publication of 5 Agenda- Setting datasets on the Netherlands.  
It contains more than 20,000 manually coded entries and it was created with the help of many.
Please take a look at www.comparativeagendas.com and play around with the trend tools, it’s fun!
Screenshot:
http://www.comparativeagendas.net/netherlands
 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Onze jaarlijkse bijdrage aan de analyse van de troonrede. Zie: Troonrede 2015.  Nieuw dit jaar is een "wolligheidindex". Het gemiddelde van alle zinnen van de eerste troonredes waarin een beleidsintentie wordt uitgesproken is 65%. In de tweede troonrede 60% en in de derde 55%. Weliswaar stijgt het in de 4e troonrede, maar er zijn van alle na-oorlogse kabinetten maar 9 kabinetten geweest die een 4e troonrede mochten formuleren.
 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Happy to promote 3 new publications


1. Enhancing food security through a multi-stakeholder process: the global agenda for sustainable livestock , together with Jeroen Dijkman and Katrien Termeer


Abstract:
Feeding the world is not only a complex technical matter, but also a demanding governance issue. As food security has all the characteristics of a wicked problem (variety of problem definitions, conflicting interests, interconnectedness across scales, inherent uncertainties), conventional governance arrangements do not seem to work. New ways of concerted actions are introduced to better link global challenges with local practices. One example of this is the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock: a partnership of public, private, social, and civil society actors, committed to the sustainable development of the livestock sector. It aims to enhance shared understanding of sustainability and its underlying development issues and to build consensus on the path towards sustainable food security through dialogue, consultation, and joint analyses. This article analyses the Agenda as a new type of governance arrangement to enhance food security. It relies on a theoretical framework that consists of five governance capabilities, which are considered crucial for coping with wicked problems: reflexivity, resilience, responsiveness, revitalisation, and rescaling. The aim of this paper is threefold: 1) to assess the Agenda and learn from that; 2) to evaluate the capabilities framework as a tool to assess governance arrangements; and 3) to reflect on the potentials of new governance arrangements to deal with food security. The article illustrates how the governance capabilities framework can be used as a tool to analyse the multi-stakeholder platform for enhancing food security. It concludes that the Agenda successfully encompasses many elements of these capabilities although improvements are possible.


Abstract:
The European Commission's ability to cope with wicked problems is generally viewed as inadequate because of its hierarchical and inflexible modus operandi. Recent research suggests, however, that the Commission may be better equipped to deal with wicked problems than is commonly assumed. To elucidate these contradictory viewpoints, we analysed conditions that enable or constrain the Commission in dealing with wicked problems. To do so, we applied a framework consisting of five governance capabilities required to deal with wicked problems (reflexivity, responsiveness, resilience, revitalization and rescaling) to a case study of how the Commission deals with the wicked problem of food security. Although our results confirm some of the earlier critiques, we have also identified various enabling conditions, most notably inter-service and inter-institutional procedures and structures, boundary arrangements and a widespread tolerance of frame conflicts, uncertainty and cross-scale dynamics. However, the Commission lacks a mechanism to continuously monitor and adjust its capabilities, thereby running the risk of challenges remaining unforeseen and unanticipated.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Call for panels on Food Governance


Together with a colleague  I am organising a section at the ECPR general conference, Montreal 2015 ( http://www.ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=94 )
 
We welcome panel and paper proposals (until 10 November  2014) that are based on the section description below.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me: Gerard.Breeman@wur.nl

Cross-Disciplinary Issues for Food Policy and Governance: Challenges and Opportunities
Food has proven to be a complex, even wicked, policy issue which encompasses multiple policy domains. The call for a more integrated food policy away from mono-disciplinary focus on agricultural, international development, or health is  increasing. Food policy integrates nutrition and public health, agriculture, environment, ethics and social justice, trade, ecology, spatial planning, climate change, water management, and energy and therefore needs the analysis of all policy domains involved, as well as cross-policy domain research. The interconnectedness of  relevant policy domains means that food represents a policy challenge as well as a governance challenge at all levels (i.e., local, national, international, multinational). As such, it requires not only the setup of cross-boundary governance arrangements between traditional institutions and administrative competences, but also the analysis of possible gaps between institutions, deadlocks, miscommunication and/or lack of coordination.

Food policy and governance issues cross different levels and scales: from global discussion about food security, to local water management issues; from acute problems to looming catastrophes  in the distant future. All these interconnected linkages and cross-overs pose many challenges to state actors, civil society, and the private sector.  In this section we will to explore the variety of issues that arise when working towards integrated food policies.

We welcome panel and paper proposals that analyse cross-policy and governance issues in the field of food and agriculture. We are looking for proposals that address participatory governance for food security, integrated systems approaches for food governance, local governance arrangements for sustainable food systems, or food governance in a changing geopolitical context.
Suggested panels:

Panel 1: Participatory governance and food policy
Panel 2: Governing at the Nexus
Panel 3: Integrated Systems Approaches for Food Governance/ Global Environmental Change and Food Systems
Panel 4: Future Challenges for Food Governance
Panel 5: Local governance arrangements for sustainable food systems
Panel 6: Food Governance in a Changing Geopolitical Context

Saturday, August 9, 2014

2 new articles and a book chapter 

1. The first article provides an analysis of the allocation of attention to policy problems on the local level, focusing on the executive agenda of six municipalities in the Netherlands over a 25-year period. It reveals that there is specifically a local politics of attention, showing differences between national and local policy agendas in specific policy areas. We did not find evidence that the political composition of the local executive coalitions leads to agenda differences, revealing the more problem-oriented and pragmatic nature of local politics. We did find evidence of an effect of institutional arrangements between national and local government on shifting patterns of attention, such as due to decentralisation. This shows that the local politics of attention is limited in scope and conditioned by the functions of local government and the institutional arrangements of policy making in the Dutch decentralised unitary state and that rearrangements affect these patterns of attention

Full article (login / payment required): Breeman, G, P. Scholten, and A. Timmermans (2014) Analysing Local Policy Agendas: How Dutch Municipal Executive Coalition Allocate Attention, Local Governement Studies, June 20, online first.

2. The second article analyses the principles of food safety regulation at EU level and their impact on food safety measures. It focuses on the possibilities for integrating the risk analysis methodology into the Commission’s decision making.

Full article (login/payment required): Szajkowska, A. and G. Breeman (2014) Decision-making procedures in the EU: Opening the black box of risk analysis in food saftey policy, Ars Aequi, Mei 2014: 375- 383.

3. The bookchapter analyses the correlation between Dutch coalition agreements and the governments's legislative activities. It shows that coalition agreements correlate weak in the first year to legislation, followed by 2 years of stronger correlation and, if the government stays in office long enough a weaker correlation in the fourth year. Link to the book:

Timmermans, A and G. Breeman (2014) The Policy Agenda in Multiparty Government: Coalition Agreements and Legislative Activity in the Netherlands. In: C. Green-Pedersen and S. Walgrave (eds.) Agenda Setting, Policies and Political Systems: A Comparative Approach, pp. 86-104, Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

De Kamer vraagt uw mening over de Tweede Kamer en Europa

 Op een mooie dag in oktober lazen wij een initiatief vanuit de Tweede Kamer. Wij citeren:

“De Tweede Kamer is bezorgd over het draagvlak onder de bevolking bij het Europese besluitvormingsproces. De Tweede Kamer meent dat legitimiteit en draagvlak voor Europese besluitvorming vanuit de bevolking tot stand zou moeten komen. Een goede band tussen de bevolking en volksvertegenwoordiger bij die Europese besluitvormer is hierbij cruciaal. De Kamer vraagt zich af of de bevolking in voldoende mate betrokken is en wordt bij de discussie over Europese besluitvorming.”
Dat leek ons een terechte zorg en een goede gedachte.

We herinneren ons het referendum in Nederland over het Europees Grondwettelijk Verdrag, in juni 2005. Voor die tijd ontbrak een maatschappelijk debat, de uitslag was een shock voor de regeringspartijen en sindsdien werd ook het politieke debat angstvallig vermeden door politici met regeringsverantwoordelijkheid.
Intussen is het Verdrag van Lissabon goedgekeurd in het Nederlandse parlement. Bij de afgelopen Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van september 2012 zou er een nieuw ‘referendum’ over Europa worden gehouden, maar dat viel tegen. Het ging over van alles, maar niet echt over Europa.

Tot die mooie dag in oktober dit jaar, toen een burgerconsultatie over Europa werd gelanceerd. De Tweede Kamer schrijft:
“De vaste commissie voor Europese zaken heeft haar ondervoorzitter René Leegte (VVD) benoemd tot ‘rapporteur democratische legitimiteit in de EU’. Zijn doel is om in gesprekken met allerlei betrokkenen te komen tot een breed gedragen standpunt van de Tweede Kamer over een aantal actuele vragen die te maken hebben met democratische legitimiteit in de Europese Unie. Het gaat dan in het bijzonder om de vraagstukken die de rol van parlementen in de beleidsvorming in de Europese Unie betreffen en de vraag of het huidige instrumentarium van de nationale parlementen moet worden uitgebreid.”
Een breed gedragen standpunt in de Tweede Kamer. Dat lijkt ons al een hele klus.

Maar nu verder over die consultatie van burgers. Via de website van de Tweede Kamer:  http://www.tweedekamer.nl/nieuws/kamernieuws/newspage2348_mening_legitimiteit_EU.jsp, legt de Tweede Kamer haar burgers onder andere de volgende vragen voor:
·         Hoe beoordeelt u de rol van nationale parlementen in de Europese besluitvorming? (indirecte invloed via controle regering; directe invloed op subsidiariteit)
·         Ziet u buiten de bovengenoemde directe en indirecte taken nog andere rollen/taken van het nationale parlement in de beïnvloeding van voorgenomen Europees beleid (fase van groen- en witboeken)
·         Vindt u dat de informatiepositie van het nationale parlement toereikend is om deze rol te vervullen?”
·         Hoe beoordeelt u de samenwerking tussen parlementen onderling (in het forum van de COSAC en interparlementaire bijeenkomsten, bilaterale gesprekken) en welke suggesties heeft u voor verbetering?

We weten dat het in de mode is om brede maatschappelijke debatten te organiseren waarbij burgers, politiek en bestuur met elkaar in discussie gaan.  Maar deze oproep met dit soort vragen is, op zijn zachtst gezegd, niet de manier om dat te doen. Het lijkt er sterk op dat de Tweede Kamer geen tijd en geen zin heeft om echt met burgers over dit onderwerp te praten.
Naar onze mening is dit, na die trieste campagne in 2005 dat Europa ‘best belangrijk is’, een nieuw dieptepunt in de organisatie van het publieke debat over Europa in Nederland.

U kunt nog tot 19 december ‘meedoen’ aan de burgerconsultatie. Het zou ons niet verbazen als er amper een burger heeft gereageerd. Misschien mag de Tweede Kamer dan nog van geluk spreken ook, gezien de beschamende manier waarop deze burgerconsulatie in elkaar is gezet.
Arco Timmermans, onderzoeksdirecteur Montesquieu Instituut en bijzonder hoogleraar public affairs aan de Campus Den Haag, Universiteit Leiden

Gerard Breeman, fellow aan het Montesquieu Instituut en docent bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Wageningen

 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Nieuwe publicatie over vertrouwen en megastallen:
 
Breeman, G., C. J. A. M. Termeer, et al. "Decision making on mega stables: Understanding and preventing citizens’ distrust." NJAS - Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences(0).
Highlights:
•The arguments used to build trust for mega stables resulted in distrust.
 
•Gaining trust for mega stables needs more than public gatherings or research.
 
•Mega stables are more beneficial from the national than from the local perspective.
 
•Trust starts with analyzing configurations, reflection, and critical outsiders.