With the economic crisis of the 1980s and the drastic austerity measures and public sector reforms (including privatizations of public services and decentralisations) in that era, the Dutch national government launched a number of important new urban policy initiatives that had a considerable impact on the governance of Dutch cities in the period between 1990 and 2020. In this paper we describe these changes and explore their impact on the governance of the major cities in the Netherlands. After a short description of the current Dutch local government system with a focus on the position of the major cities the paper outlines some of the main challenges facing Dutch cities and city regions, and provides a chronological discussion of the most relevant national urban policy initiatives, including the main actors in the Dutch national urban policy initiatives.
Denters discusses in Chapter 11 the potentials and pitfalls of community self-organization. He introduces the distinction between invited and created spaces. This distinction resembles the difference between government-induced and civic-induced interactive governance. In his chapter, Denters elaborates the ACTIE framework which can be used to analyse important features and factors of civic initiatives such as aims and ambitions, talents and time and institutionalization of civic-induced interactive governance. Denters argues that these factors determine to a large extent the effectiveness and legitimacy of community self-organization.
In the literature on size and democracy most attention so far has gone out to size effects on citizens’ psychological and active involvement in democratic politics. Effects of size on political representation have so far been under-studied. In this contribution we focus on how size of (local) political jurisdictions affects political representation. This paper provides an overview of the most important theoretical arguments relevant for answering this question. In doing so, we consider four different interpretations of political representation. In the literature we identify two main lines of arguments. In the first line of argument it is emphasized that for all four interpretations of representation, large jurisdictions provide a better structure of political opportunities. In the second line of argument it is argued that for all four interpretations, the social dynamics in civic communities in smaller jurisdictions create better chances for the actual well-functioning of representative democracy.