Public safety policy
Contesting crime and ensuring safety has been on the national and local political agendas in the Netherlands for quite some time. The Rotterdam integrated public safety policy has been initiated mid 2001 in order to shift the focus from contingency oriented actions to programmatic oriented actions.

Together with Arie van Sluis I have conducted a research in Antwerp to see what the differences are between Rotterdam and Antwerp in the way they handle safety issues, the policy dynamics and the output they deliver. In 2008 we extended this research to Germany as well. We have now investigated the local public safety policy in Munster as well.

  • Marks, P. and Sluis, A. van (2009) Comparative Analysis of Public Safety Policy of Antwerp and Rotterdam, in: Katsas, G. (Ed) Sociology in a Changing World: Challenges and Perspectives, Atiner: Athens: 39-50
  • Sluis, A. van, Marks, P. and Cachet, L. (2008) Innovations in local public safety: Local public safety policies in a comparative perspective, EGPA conference Rotterdam, September 3-5
  • Marks, P. and Sluis, A. van (2008), 'Developments in local public safety policy: a comparison between Antwerp and Rotterdam', in: Cachet, A, et al. (Eds) Governance of security in the Netherlands and Belgium, Boom Legal Publishers, The Hague, 79-100
  • Marks, P. and A van Sluis (2007) Citizens, cities and safety I: Een vergelijkend onderzoek naar veiligheidsbeleid in Antwerpen en Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Marks, P. and Sluis, A. van (2007) Cities, Citizens and Safety: Studying the development of local public safety policy in a comparative perspective, International Conference on Sociology in Athens, Greece, May 14-15, 2007
  • Marks, P. and A. van Sluis (2006) Laat vertrokken en toch op tijd? Lokaal veiligheidsbeleid in Antwerpen, een voorlopige stand van zaken, Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid 5(3): 5-18

One of the aspects of the safety program in Rotterdam is that it is partly based on the ideas of New Public Management. That is, contracts between the central municipal government and the decentralised partners are made on what output to deliver. The implementation of the program at the decentralised level is formulated in so-called district safety programs. Together with Arie van Sluis and Natascha Baaij we have done research in a district in Rotterdam to see how they municipal district is able to cope with the output agreements.

  • Marks, P, A van Sluis and N. Baaij (2006) 'Afspraak is afspraak? Leren omgaan met prestatiegestuurde aanpak van wijkveiligheid', Bestuurskunde 15(2): 91-101.

Also I'm applying the instrument of game theory to explain actor behaviour in the Rotterdam public safety policy process. By showing the roles of the actors, including their separate characteristics, in different interaction situations, constrained and contained by the institutional setting, resulting in certain outcomes in particular situations of the Rotterdam public safety policy process, the capabilities and applicability of a game-theoretic approach will be shown, which builds on the actor-centralized approach of Scharpf (1997), institutional approaches (Hill and Hupe, 2002) and the associative approach (Marks, 2002) by looking at the interactions between a multitude of actors involved in the process. The above research is used as input for a chapter in a book about the legitimacy of the Rotterdam safety policy.

  • Marks, P. (2007) 'The legitimacy of the Rotterdam Integrated Public Safety Program', in: Bekkers, V, et al. (Eds) Governance and the Democratic Deficit: Assessing the Democratic Legitimacy of Governance Practices, Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 149-163
  • I also have presented a paper at the Sociologie marktdag in Brussels, Belgium (2 juni 2005), together with Guido Lafeber on the subject, titled Safely interacting in local policy: A game-theoretic analysis of the Rotterdam integral public safety policy

Besides public safety policy in general I also conducted a research together with Robin Blokland into the effectiveness of decision making in the Fire safety care.

  • Marks, P. and Blokland, R. (2007) Brandweerzorg en rampenbestrijding opgebrand?: Over de effectiviteit en efficiëntie van complexe besluitvorming, Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid 6(4): 20-34

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