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Modernity and the Challenge of Metropolitan Governance: Failure of Structural Solutions and the Polycentric Alternative

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Raadschelders, Jos C. N.; Toonen, Theo A. J.
Conference: Workshop on the Workshop 2
Location: Indiana University Bloomington
Conf. Date: June 9-13, 1999
Date: 1999
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/1840
Sector: Urban Commons
Region: Europe
Subject(s): Workshop
state and local governance--theory
urban affairs
Abstract: "It will come as no surprise that throughout the 20th century various avenues have been proposed,and some experimented with, to 'solve' the problem of metropolitan governance once and for all. Our thesis in this paper is that the 'solutions' advanced so far,as idea or as experiment, aimed at being permanent. By the nature of, at least: Dutch, thinking about government, the solution to metropolitan problems was usually found in structural arrangements rather than through process-approaches. A permanent structural solution in the Netherlands focuses on redefining jurisdictions, on developing legal means to further voluntary or mandatory joint provisions, or on establishing a fourth tier of government. The idea that solutions could depart from a process angle, e.g. arrangements for decision making and consultation, is only toyed with in academic pursuits and rather weakly applied in covenants. We will argue that a real solution to the problems of metropolitan governance is only possible if it establishes flexible arrangements for governance, and hence are a combination of structural and processual approaches. It is in this combination that the polycentric perspective offers a 'global age' alternative to the structural modernistic approach."

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