- Vergeet niet hoe activistisch bestuur met identiteit omgaat bij bestuurlijke herindeling
- B en M : Tijdschrift voor Beleid, Politiek en Maatschappij
- Volume | Issue number
- 38 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Regional or local identities are an important factor to take into account in administrative rearrangement processes, as Evert Meijers rightly argues. But if one does so, it’s very important to analyse how public authorities deal with such identities and identifications. In The Netherlands many instances can be found were at least one public authority becomes activistic and tries to mobilize the public against rearrangement plans. This very often happens throughout processes of municipal amalgamation. Activistic public authorities can bring historically formed and often still cultivated local identities into play as being threatened by the plans. By doing so, citizens can identify with the ‘we’ of the local community against ‘them’ of another community. Another antithesis can develop in how the plans are being framed: ‘we’ who will suffer because of ‘their’ bad plans. Finally, the political performance of proponents may be critiqued, thus evoking identifications with ‘we’ who are treated undemocratically against ‘them’ who are unreliable. This appeal to identities and identifications by activistic public authorities provides powerful impediments for successful administrative rearrangement. Prevention of such activism thus seems to be a very important requirement.
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