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Sub-National Government

Traditionally, Dutch subnational government has been analysed by experts in public administration rather than by political scientists. This is reflected in the focus of most publications in this subfield. On the relationship between national and subnational government, see:

  • I. Tömmel, Decentralisation of Regional Development Policies in the Netherlands – A New Type of State Intervention? West European Politics, Vol. 15 (1992), pp. 107-126
  • P.L. Hupe, Implementing a Meta-Policy: the Case of Decentralisation in the Netherlands, Policy and Politics, Vol. 18 (1990), pp. 181-193
  • Th.A.J. Toonen, The Unitary State as a System of Co-Governance: the Case of the Netherlands. Public Administration, Vol. 68 (1990), pp. 281-297
  • Th.A.J. Toonen, The Netherlands: a Decentralized Unitary State in a Welfare Society, West European Politics, Vol.10:4 (1987), pp. 108-129. 

Despite their once predominant position in the Dutch Republic, the provinces are now the least important layer of government in the Netherlands. This is reflected in the relative paucity of publications. On the provinces and on regional government, see:

  • B. Denters, R. Schobben and A. van der Veen, Governance of European Border Regions: a Juridical, Economic and Political Science Approach with an Application to the Dutch-German and Dutch-Belgian Border, in: G. Brunn and P. Schmitt-Egner (eds), Grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit in Europa: Theorie, Empirie, Praxis, Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag
  • A.J. H Smallenbroek and T.J.M. Spit, Regions and Regionalization in the Netherlands, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Vol. 83 (1992), pp. 234-240
  • Th.A.J. Toonen, Dutch Provinces and the Struggle for the Meso. In: L.J. Sharpe (ed.), Between Locality and Centre: the Rise of the Meso in Europe. London: Sage, 1992. 

There has been considerably more research on Dutch municipal government:

  • G. Dijkink, Metropolitan Government as a Political Pet? Realism and Tradition in Administrative Reform in the Netherlands, Political Geography, Vol. 41 (1995), pp. 329-343
  • J.C.N. Raadschelders, Understanding the Development of Local Government: Theory and Evidence from the Dutch Case, Administration and Society, Vol. 25 (1994), pp. 410-443
  • H. Anker and L.A. Hospers, Local Democracy and Administrative Renewal in Seven Dutch Municipalities: an Enterprise of the Inter-University Working Group Local Democracy and Administrative Renewal. Amsterdam: Steinmetz Archive / SWIDOC, 1993
  • T.J.M. Spit, Strangled in Structures: an Institutional Analysis of Innovative Policy by Dutch Municipalities. Utrecht: PhD. thesis, University of Utrecht 1993
  • S.A.H. Denters, The Politics of Redistribution in Local Government, European Journal of Political Research, Vol.23 (1993), pp. 323-342
  • D. Hillenius, Municipalities in Dutch public administration. The Hague: Ministery of the Interior/ VNG / Stichting Burgerschapskunde, 1991. 

There is nothing in English on local elections, but coalition formation on the local level has attracted considerable interest. See for example:

  • B. Steunenberg, Coalition Theories: Empirical Evidence for Dutch Municipalities, European Journal of Political Research, Vol. 22 (1992), pp. 245-278
  • W. Kuiper and P. Tops, Local Coalition Formation in The Netherlands. In: C. Mellors and B. Pijnenburg (eds), Political Parties and Coalitions in European Local Government. London: Routledge, 1989, pp. 220-239. 

An interesting form of sub-national government, combining geographical and functional decentralization, are the water management boards, one of the oldest forms of democratic government in Northern Europe. See for example: G.P. van der Ven (ed.), Man-Made Lowlands; History of Water Management and Land Reclamation in the Netherlands, Utrecht: 1993.

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