Scott Douglas

Scott Douglas
Utrecht University | UU · School of Governance (USG)

DPhil

About

38
Publications
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384
Citations

Publications

Publications (38)
Article
Full-text available
Collaborative governance is popular among practitioners and scholars, but getting a grip on the performance of collaborations remains a challenge. Recent research has made progress by identifying appropriate performance measures, yet managing performance also requires appropriate performance routines. This article brings together insights from coll...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
As a group of fifteen scholars from different sub-fields, countries, and generations, we argue that public administration would benefit from launching a self-conscious and cohesive strand of ‘positive’ scholarship, akin to social science subfields like positive psychology, positive organisational studies, and positive evaluation. We call for a prog...
Article
Full-text available
Studying collaborative governance has become a booming business. However, the empirical literature still struggles to produce robust generalizations and cumulative knowledge that link contextual, situational and institutional design factors to processes and outcomes. We still have not mustered the broad and deep evidence base that will really help...
Article
Full-text available
Extensive research has produced many insights into the dynamics of performance management systems. Spreading these complex insights among students and practitioners can be a daunting task. Gathering new insights can be equally challenging. This article introduces a novel tool for teaching and researching performance management, reporting on the des...
Article
Full-text available
Journalists, politicians, watchdog institutions, and public administration scholars devote considerable energy to identifying and dissecting failures in government. Studies and case-studies of policy, organizational and institutional failures in the public sector figure prominently in public administration curriculums and classrooms. Such a focus o...
Book
Full-text available
Beleidsmakers willen maatschappelijke meerwaarde realiseren, maar in het evalueren van beleid zijn de instrumenten vooral gericht op het behalen van strak geformuleerde en meetbare doelen. Op basis van werksessies met verschillende afdelingen van het Ministerie van OCW, ontwikkelt dit essay een alternatief perspectief op het evalueren van beleid. D...
Article
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IMPACT The goal of this article is to identify evidence-based building blocks for smart and sensible practices of policy design, public leadership and management, while recognizing that universal templates for success are not the right approach. It is critical that strategies to improve governance show appropriate sensitivity to context. The author...
Article
Full-text available
In this programmatic essay, we argue that public governance scholarship would benefit from developing a self-conscious and cohesive strand of “positive” scholarship, akin to social science subfields like positive psychology, positive organizational studies, and positive evaluation. We call for a program of research devoted to uncovering the factors...
Research
Full-text available
Journalists, parliaments, watchdog institutions, and public administration scholars devote considerable energy to targeting and dissecting failures in government. Studies and case-studies of policy, organizational and institutional failures in the public sector have figured prominently in public administration curriculums and classrooms. Such a foc...
Article
Full-text available
In geval van dreiging is het verleidelijk om de noodtoestand af te kondigen. Ofschoon de noodtoestand een juridische grondslag kent, is de uitwerking en doorwerking ervan niet op voorhand duidelijk. De auteurs laten zien dat de betekenis van noodmaatregelen van land tot land verschilt, en dat de noodtoestand vooral door politiek-bestuurlijke a...
Article
Full-text available
Advancing the performance of collaborations requires not only shared performance indicators, but also shared performance routines. Collaborative performance summits offer partners a routine for jointly explicating goals, exchanging performance information, examining progress, and exploring actions. However, summits can easily devolve into pointless...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The principles of public value management (PVM) have greatly inspired public management practitioners and scholars, but the application of these ideas to the everyday practice and research of government has proven to be more difficult. This article formulates propositions for how the principles of PVM could affect one of the core processes...
Article
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The literature on collaborative governance has generated several comprehensive models detailing the conditions which collaborations must meet to achieve collaborative performance. The importance of each separate condition - such as the presence of incentives to participate, appropriate institutional designs, or facilitative leadership - has been va...
Chapter
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The ideas of Public Value Management have expanded the scope of ambitions and actors involved in government. Public, private, and community partners increasingly join forces to achieve societal outcomes. Yet the measures and processes for reviewing the impact of these collaborations have lagged behind. Reviews traditionally center on politicians ho...
Chapter
Full-text available
From 2013 onwards, local governments in the Netherlands started to receive worrying reports from the national intelligence agency. Groups and individuals in their communities were developing into radical supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The intelligence agency estimated that several thousand people in the Netherlands suppor...
Article
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Dit artikel verkent hoe we met behulp van het publieke waardeperspectief zicht kunnen krijgen op de kwaliteit van lokaal bestuur. Het publieke waardeperspectief beoordeelt de overheid niet op basis van algemene standaarden of benchmarks, maar via de oordelen van betrokken actoren. Deze benadering doet in potentie meer recht aan de unieke, lokale co...
Article
Full-text available
Citizens and scholars excel in identifying and analyzing government failure. It is important indeed to understand public sector, but while governments in the Low Countries are doing well on average and very well from an internationally perspective, most attention is focused on the errors and mishaps. This article argues for a robust positive perspe...
Book
Full-text available
On behalf of the mayor of Arnhem, an interdisciplinary research team of Utrecht University evaluated the local anti-radicalization program in the city of Arnhem. The report maps the social network and contacts between the local partners, measures the knowledge and skills of the street-level professionals involved, and evaluates the the inter-organi...
Article
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It is attractive to frame societal challenges such as climate change, terrorism and migration as ‘wicked issues’. Wickedness theory in its various guises has become popular as it connects the uncertain and political nature of issues with hopeful strategies for strengthening networks, trust and learning. In this paper we take a critical approach tow...
Chapter
Full-text available
The concept of public value has expanded the ambition of public organizations, encouraging them to create desirable societal outcomes together with stakeholders (Moore, 1995; Williams and Shearer, 2011). However, different tasks and different stakeholders prioritize different dimensions of value. Public organizations have to satisfy competing deman...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
Public administration-as a field of both academic study and professional practice-would benefit greatly from a more systematic and cohesive strand of research that is explicitly geared towards systematically studying the successes and positive contributions of government. At present, the citizenry at large is ill-informed about what government does...
Book
Full-text available
This report summarizes the research finding of our Successful Local Government Project. We used the public value framework to analyze the local definitions of value, strategic practices, and stakeholder assessments of six highly successful local governments in the Netherlands.
Book
Full-text available
This study commissioned by the Scientific Research and Documentation Center (WODC) of the Dutch Ministriy of Justice and Security analyses the experiences of Western-particularly Western European-countries upon declaring a state of emergency in response to terrorist threats. Its purpose is to identify relevant lessons that the Netherlands can learn...
Article
Full-text available
Wicked problems present major challenges for evaluation as they cross the boundaries between countries, policy domains, organizations, and scientific disciplines. They force evaluators to study large networks in order to trace extended chains of cause and effect. However, beyond this category of ‘regular’ wicked problems that cross boundaries, ther...
Article
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Public value management encourages public organizations to move beyond existing frameworks and create value in flexible collaboration with societal partners. However, this approach creates problems for the accountability processes, because reports to politicians are often still directed at quantitative goals and rigid frameworks. This creates uncer...
Article
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Innovative public management practices can greatly benefit citizens, but often fail due to a mismatch with the societal context. Public Value Management was developed in North America and Western Europe, emphasising public leadership, stakeholder involvement, and information sharing. This article examines whether these practices advocated in resili...
Article
Full-text available
The tools of public value management – such as the strategic triangle and the public value account – are increasingly used by scholars and practitioners alike. At the same time, some confusion remains regarding their functionality in action. Based on our experiences with these tools in classrooms and boardrooms, we analyse how these instruments hel...
Article
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There is considerable scholarly writing about the theory and application of public value concepts, but this article explores why there is, by contrast, so little empirical research on public value. The article then goes on to provide a framework and a research agenda for inspiring and guiding new empirical research, based on three different concept...
Article
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This essay reviews the development of public value management, tracing its rise from relative obscurity in the 1990s to the global attention it receives today. We also introduce the accompanying essays in this symposium which aim to spur further development in the years to come. We review the main tenets of public value management and highlight the...
Book
Full-text available
Evaluation of the Dutch counterterrorism strategy between 2011-2015, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Security & Justice. The report evaluates the effects of the national strategy on the intervention capacity of the government partners against the terrorist threat, covering the strategic plans, collaboration practices, and local government approa...
Article
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This article examines to what extent transparency is a condition for the creation of public value. Transparency is usually narrowly defined as a tool for external stakeholders to monitor the internal workings of an organization, but public value management positions transparency as a broader instrument for actively engaging stakeholders. We investi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Zorg-en welzijnsorganisaties moeten op meerdere dimensies waarde leveren. Zorg moet bijvoorbeeld kwalitatief hoogstaand én kosteneffectief én legitiem zijn. De vraag is hoe een instelling deze botsende dimensies kan inbedden in een heldere organisatiestructurering. We schetsen vier opties: 1) scheiden van de verschillende waardedimensies in zelfsta...
Article
Full-text available
Winning entry for an essay contest on 'How to change the world?'. This essay was featured alongside contributions of Margaret Atwood, Alan Bodiou, John Gray, and other international intellectuals.
Book
Full-text available
Every government faces its own particular challenges. For a small-scale democracy, the size of its society might be the obvious limitation. Most discussion about small societies thus focuses on the governance failures caused by this small size. This book argues that it would be more useful to explore the governance successes that also occur. Based...
Thesis
Full-text available
A large part of the study of politics is dedicated to identifying the circumstances under which democracy will flourish. Putnam made a major contribution to this field through his concept of social capital as developed in Making Democracy Work. Putnam found that communities with a high number of civic associations –i.e. social capital- had a better...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
We want to counter the omnipresent negativity bias in how many scholars, journalists and citizens look at, interpret and evaluate the institutions and processes of government. We do so by offering conceptual toolkits, research strategies and findings that allow us to see, appreciate and learn from positive achievements of policy programmes, projects, and organizations.
Project
Public administration –as a field of both academic study and professional practice – would benefit greatly from a more systematic and cohesive strand of research that is explicitly geared towards systematically studying the successes and positive contributions of government. At present, the citizenry at large is ill-informed about what government does well, while the civil service operates in a political environment that tends to derogate or discount its accomplishments. In this environment, it is incumbent for scholars to offer a more balanced appreciation for, and more empowering understanding of, public administration. Inspired by comparable developments in other disciplines, this project outlines the concrete steps and challenges in launching a “Positive Public Administration,” an approach to research and scholarship that examines the degree to which, the manner in which, and the conditions under which public policies, programs, projects, organizations, networks, and partnerships thrive, advance important democratic values, and produce widely valued societal outcomes.
Project
The Utrecht University Security in Open Societies research hub aims to offer an independent, interdisciplinary platform for accurate and systematic knowledge on production and coproduction, knowledge-sharing and debate among actors engaged in and affected by new forms of security governance.