Listen to us! Regional and local public affairs in the Dutch and European political arena

Edward Leopold Figee

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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The research in this dissertation is focused on the question what processes decentralized governments (i.e., municipalities and provinces) have to overcome in order to intervene in the Dutch and European political arena and to acquire attention for their interests. In the introduction (ch. 1) PA is defined and related to regionalism. The chapters 2, 3, 4 and 6 are based on 41 in-depth interviews with prolific subnational PA professionals and PA practitioners (i.e., subnational politicians and officials temporarily entrusted with PA messages), together representing 93 functions (by career), connected with subnational interests. The interviews were focused on the arenas (ch. 2), on the internal and external organization of PA in decentralized governments (ch. 3 and 4) and on the competences of PA professionals (ch. 6). Chapter 5 – profiling the PA professional: importance and self-evaluation of PA competences - is based on quantitative research of PA professionals who were questioned about their demography, their organization and the way they are judging PA competences, also in relation to themselves. Chapter 7 is the general discussion. Data-analyzing points out that (a) communication with the national arena is complex because of minimal susceptibility for subnational interests, in particular as result of Randstad-dominance; the European political arena is - because of program financing - more susceptible but now national interests may frustrate subnational PA. Communication in the municipal and provincial home organization (b) is determined by the extent PA is embedded and accepted, also in the region by (potential) regional stakeholders. Cooperation (in the region) with private and other (public) stakeholders is commonly undisputed but in the national and European political arenas subnational cooperation is oftentimes fragmentized, because of self-interest, opportunism and a money-drive attitude. PA professionals, including PA practitioners are (c) diplomats and fighters at the same time, enriched with competences in local, regional, national and European arena-knowledge, in communicative and political skills and in attitude. However, knowledge-competences are weakly developed. Regionalism is less dominant than expected.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • de Jong, Menno D.T., Supervisor
  • Linders, Paul, Co-Supervisor
  • Gosselt, Jordi F., Co-Supervisor
Award date31 Mar 2017
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4259-3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2017


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