Maintaining Administrative Justice in the Dutch Regulatory Welfare State
16 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2016 Last revised: 2 Dec 2016
Date Written: June 28, 2016
On 1 January 2015 the Dutch welfare state emerged in a major reform of decentralisation. Schemes of social support, social benefit and youth care were transferred from national and regional authorities to the local municipal level. This decentralization is expected to enhance tailor made and integral decision‐making and changed the perspective from a ‘rights based’ welfare state to a ‘participatory society’ that stimulates citizens to take responsibility for their own fate. The reform was therefore not only a decentralisation in the sense of transferring responsibilities and competences to a different layer of government, but also a recalibration of the legal relationship between government and citizen.
Though the reform is very young the impacts are already visible. There is a wide variation of decision‐making procedures – a logic consequence of decentralisation. Though the general picture is that many municipalities lack the capabilities to monitor and supervise the private agents that provide the care. The clients (citizens) are then driven from pillar (municipality) to post (the actual supplier). The main research question to be addressed is: to which extent does the local regulatory welfare state provide administrative justice? What are the consequences of the tendency towards a regulatory welfare state and what are the possible solutions? To answer these questions I will first describe the reform, then illustrate the outcomes with actual examples of decision‐making a few municipalities and finally pay attention to some suggested solutions.
Keywords: decentralization, welfare state, administrative justice
JEL Classification: K00, K12, K19, K20, R50
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation