Processes of policy-making are complex. Policy-makers and other actors face difficulties. Actors experience tensions between interests, or ideals, particularly at the crossroads of spatial planning and mobility. This PhD thesis places policy-making in the context of the democratic rule of law. Developments are understood in terms of representative democracy and participatory democracy. How can can interests best be presented? By means of ‘objective’ representation or by means of ‘committed’ participation? None of the democracy models offers a way out just by itself. And the models do not go together easily. The author seeks possibilities to connect the models and thus develop new strategies of legitimising action. Two Dutch cases illustrate the challenges where space and mobility meet. In those empirical cases the relation between representation and participation is analysed. The cases are the redevelopment of the Rotterdam Central railway station area and the regional development of Ghent-Terneuzen. The work of, amongst others, Hannah Arendt and Henri Lefebvre is used to build the frame of analysis. The cases show that with spatial development there is more participation. Investments in mobility mostly take place by means of representation. The model of representative democracy appears to be stronger in policy-making. Tensions and coherence are indicated. On the basis of his analysis the author suggests connections of representation and participation.

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Erasmus University Rotterdam
Department of Public Administration

Oosten, J. W. (2005, September 9). Ruimte voor een democratische rechtsstaat: geschakelde sturing bij ruimtelijke investeringen. Retrieved from