Consolidating Governance Capacity in Complex Networks: Changing Perceptions,


  • Arwin van Buuren
  • Jean-Marie Buijs
  • Adriaan Slob


In this article we address the question how differences in organizational contexts influence the consolidation of governance capacity and thus the sustainability of successful governance reforms. We analyze the outcomes (in terms of consolidation of governance capacity) of two change trajectories in the Dutch public domain in rather different institutional contexts. The first case is a bilateral planning process between Flanders and the Netherlands in which a new way of collaborative decision-making for the Schelde estuary was established. After decades of stalemate negotiations, the governments of Flanders and the Netherlands decided to initiate a collaborative governance process with a variety of public, private and societal actors which was intended to result in an integral (broadly supported) vision on the future of the estuary. The second case assessed is a program in the Dutch ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (VROM), intended to get more interaction between policy-makers and citizens as well as to improve citizen orientation with the organization. A variety of projects were launched to experiment with new ways of working and to enhance the openness of the policy process with regard to environmental policy.

Author Biographies

Arwin van Buuren

Arwin van Buuren, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Jean-Marie Buijs

Jean-Marie Buijs, M.Sc., Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Public Administration, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Adriaan Slob

Adriaan Slob, M.Sc., Department of Innovation and Environment, TNO Delft, The Netherlands.


How to Cite

van Buuren, A., Buijs, J.-M., & Slob, A. (2014). Consolidating Governance Capacity in Complex Networks: Changing Perceptions,. International Public Management Review, 11(1), 34–51. Retrieved from