Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 371038
Title How to grasp the public? Governmental communication in the Netherlands
Author(s) Wessel, M.G.J. van
Source Javnost 15 (2008)4. - ISSN 1318-3222 - p. 87 - 105.
Department(s) Communication Science
MGS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2008
Keyword(s) politics - culture
Abstract The Dutch government, like many other governments of advanced democracies, finds itself confronted with political disaffection. Recent cabinets have searched for ways to reconnect with citizens. The main argument made in the article is that these efforts are saddled with constructions of the public, which pre-empt the transformation of citizen-government relations that the government seeks. The article shows that there are many instances in which we find that government's theories and practices of communication for reconnection are rooted in constructions of the public as a present and clearly defined entity, as ready and eager for constructive interaction, and for interaction about specific policies. It is argued that both assumptions about citizens fitting these constructions and attempts at connection through these constructions are problematic. Finally, the article discusses possibilities for alternative constructions of the public, which suggests that the connection is possible if the public is constructed differently.
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