Why Conservatives Must Protect Local Government

"If European conservatives do not stand between national rationalization and local government autonomy, it is unclear who will stand against the self-conquering technocratic logic of administrative efficiency of the liberal state, and preserve the rich diversity and texture that makes Europe the continent of diverse regions and nations that we love—to say nothing of buttressing … Continue reading Why Conservatives Must Protect Local Government

Municipal amalgamation: Look before you leap.

Since the 1950s the number of municipalities in the Netherlands has been reduced from over 1,000 to around 350 now. Yet, we know virtually nothing about the effects of these municipal amalgamations on the social fabric and local politics of these local communities. Joes and Brandon ask the question: Maybe we should look before we … Continue reading Municipal amalgamation: Look before you leap.

Preventing local profligacy (or Fiscal Federalism 201)

As I wrote previously, fiscal federalism allows local governments to adjust their policies to local circumstances, but this often entails transfers from the central government to local governments. Often, the central government can set particular policy goals for local governments, for instance, Dutch municipalities execute many parts of Dutch social policy. They have fairly little … Continue reading Preventing local profligacy (or Fiscal Federalism 201)

Governments are like onions (or: Fiscal federalism 101).

Governments execute a wide array of tasks in modern societies, from maintaining infrastructure for traffic and water management, via providing health care and education to providing national defense and safety. With the exception of a few tiny countries like the Vatican, countries tend to have multiple levels of government to execute these tasks. For instance, … Continue reading Governments are like onions (or: Fiscal federalism 101).

Dutch voters have not become more punitive since the 1990s

In the Netherlands, like in other Western countries, we have been hearing the stories about the angry or alienated voter for a long time. Right wing populism has been present in parliament since the 1980s, and became really big with the electoral victory of Pim Fortuyn in the 2000s. Yet looking at the incumbency effect … Continue reading Dutch voters have not become more punitive since the 1990s