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Civil Society Organisations as a Government Steering Mechanism: A Comparison between Sport Associations and Patient Organisations in the Netherlands

  • Maikel Waardenburg
  • Hester van de Bovenkamp
Chapter
Part of the IIAS Series: Governance and Public Management book series (GPM)

Abstract

Within governance literature the dominant narrative is that government is losing its hierarchical position and cannot authoritatively steer public policy. As a result new modes of public governance arise which have been described as network governance (Rhodes, 1997). Civil society organisations (CSOs) play an important role in such networks (Stoker, 1998). Part of this change is a focus on the involvement of citizens and their organisations. In the last two decades many Western welfare states have granted their citizens more choice and voice in the provision of public services (Clarke et al., 2007). This does not only apply at the individual level, where citizens can influence their own service provision, but also at the collective level where CSOs can play an active role. The activities of CSOs are expected to foster many positive results: they are expected to revitalise the social by increasing social capital and social trust, improve the quality of public services, and make these services more democratic. However, activating these organisations is also driven by more instrumental objectives such as shifting responsibilities from the state to its citizens and their organisations, thereby saving costs (Van Oorschot, 2006; Trappenburg, 2008; Van de Bovenkamp et al., 2010). Moreover, as we will show in this chapter, CSOs can also be used by governments to accomplish other policy goals.

Keywords

Social Capital Policy Document Civil Society Organisation Sport Club Patient Organisation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Maikel Waardenburg and Hester van de Bovenkamp 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maikel Waardenburg
  • Hester van de Bovenkamp

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