Democratization paradoxes in the Dutch steering philosophy 'from taking care to making sure that'

PhD research of Jelle Behagel

A new steering philosophy, designed to “close” the gap between politics and citizenry, entails two separate trends: First, participation from non-state actors is stimulated; the second trend is towards “output steering”. These forms of deliberative and data democracy can be criticized. Participation might be achieved at the cost of a reduction in representation; output legitimacy can be hard to verify, due to the technical, specialized nature of the output. Furthermore, both trends could come into conflict with one another, possibly widening the gap they are supposed to close. The implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) in the Netherlands is selected as case study.