How to organize citizen engagement: experiences of Dutch municipalities

Vinitha Siebers

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Involving citizens by means of citizen engagement has become widely accepted within local governments, also in the Netherlands. Scholars have long asserted the value of citizen engagement. However, understanding the way citizen engagement is organized and why it works or fails to work is still a challenge. This article explores the experiences of Dutch municipalities with organising citizen engagement. Via 54 semi-structured interviews with municipal representatives and document analyses the article explores motivations to initiate citizen engagement. It analyses the deployed methods and reflects on the role of involved actors. Finally it reveals challenges that occur during the organisation of citizen engagement. The findings indicate that organising citizen engagement is not an easy task and that the extent to which the motivation, methods and roles are clear among municipal council, board of mayor and aldermen and bureaucracy is of importance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-143
Number of pages16
JournalAdministratio Publica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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