From Big Brother to Radical Decentralization

In the past centuries governing has become more centralized, out of necessity and because it made the most sense. The state and its organizations, national as well as international, will not disappear as sources of power and government. However, they can no longer govern alone.

Many things will have to be radically re-organized. Districts organize their own waste collection and every home is energy supplier. The adage for the next decennium will be: Radical Decentralization.

Sun and waste

Governed from Beijing and in its well-known particular brand of go getting, China is creating giant fields full of solar panels in the Gobi desert. The European Union has found the spirit after the accession of 10 new countries in 2004 and is getting ready to accept the rest of former Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia) after the accession of Slovenia. The role of centralized government is far from played out. And yet a different trend marks the second decennium of this century: Radical decentralization, meaning organizing general interest issues on a micro scale. The size of the scale varies, and ends with the individual. Currently, individualism is not a popular term and brings to mind images of self-enriching bankers. That is one side of the coin. Thanks to the high level of education of for instance Western societies and ongoing technological advancements, we are more than ever capable of shaping our own lives, which creates great opportunities for the individual as well as for society at large. It does require changes from bureaucrats and administrators. In the next decade they will either have to adjust or make room for new ones.

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Policy Games for Strategic Management

In the life of each organization, situations arise that are completely new to the history of the organization. These situations are complex, surprising, urgent, inspiring, threatening and sometimes enduring. Leadership is forced to bring the organization into uncharted territory. Facing these situations, and often after a period of muddling through in a business-as-usual way, leadership has to recognize that a breakthrough response will only emerge from a previously unexplored (and, for this organization, a revolutionary) strategy process. Think about the bewilderment in a high-tech company when an emerging technology from a competitor threatens the whole existence of their organization.

The California energy crisis in 2002 is another example: by initially oversimplifying the problem and failing to identify and evaluate major alternatives, the state found itself in a crisis of its own making. If there had been proper communication about this complex system among all interested parties (e.g. suppliers, regulatory agencies, distributors, and consumers), it is unlikely that the decisions made would have proven so unsatisfactory. Yet another instance is the dilemma faced by a nationalized railway or postal service – is deregulation an opportunity or a threat? Should they lobby against adoption of a new deregulation law, or pursue it as a great opportunity?

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The Constitution, Negotiation and Representation of Immigrant Student Identities in South African Schools

‘Think, instead of identity as a “production” which is never complete, always in process, and always constituted within, not outside representation’ (Hall, 2000).


The easing of legal and unauthorized entry to South Africa has made the country a new destination for Black immigrants. As this population continues to grow, its children have begun to experience South African schools in an array of uniquely challenging ways. For these immigrant youth, forging a sense of identity may be their single greatest challenge. Accordingly, this study asks how do immigrant students construct, negotiate, and represent their identities within the South African schooling context. Findings were multifold in nature.

First, although immigrant students’ ease of assimilation into the chosen reference group was to some degree sanctioned by their phenotypic racial features, their attempt at ‘psychosocial passing’ was politically motivated. Second, immigrant students did not readily classify themselves according to skin pigmentocracy. Third, the majority of immigrant students heightened their ethnic self-awareness in forming their identity, but also assumed hyphenated identities. Fourth, immigrant students were not seen as having an identity, but rather as being ‘plugged into a category with associated characteristics or features’. Fifth, immigrant students forged a ‘continental identity’. And sixth, the selfagency of immigrant students was twofold in nature; not only did they want to improve their own condition, but there seemed to be an inherent drive to improve the human condition of others.

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CDA: een niet onbelangrijke programmatische verandering

Church of Burgum

Op 9 juni 2010 vond wederom een verkiezing van de leden van de Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal plaats. In totaal 9.442.977 kiesgerechtigden (opkomstpercentage 75,4) maakten letterlijk of figuurlijk de gang naar het stemlokaal, van wie er 9.416.001 een geldige stem uitbrachten. Zij hadden de keuze uit een aanbod van 18 politieke partijen of kandidatenlijsten, zij het dat niet in alle (19) kieskringen al deze lijsten zich aan de kiesgerechtigden presenteerden. Van de deelnemende partijen slaagden er tien in voldoende stemmen te behalen om vertegenwoordigers naar de Tweede Kamer te mogen afvaardigen. De VVD werd nipt de grootste partij met 31 zetels, gevolgd door de PvdA (30), de PVV (24), het CDA (21), de SP (15), GroenLinks (10), D66 (10), CU (5), de PvdD (2) en de SGP (2).

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Lejos de la Costa ~ Far from the Costas. Introducción ~ Introduction

Monroy Photo: Ab den Held

Photo: Ab den Held

Extremadura es una de las regiones más occidentales de España, situada junto a la frontera portuguesa. Muy pocos extranjeros han oído hablar de esta región y la han visitado.
Es una región poco conocida de la que uno desea que siga siendo así. Una región con mucho espacio natural, donde lo más habitual es la tranquilidad, donde las puestas de sol presentan una amplia gama de colores entre nubes y donde la luna aparece completamente redonda. Una región con muchos pájaros donde las campanas de las vacas tintinean día y noche.
Se puede caminar o montar a caballo o en bicicleta por los extensos campos  e ir de pueblo en pueblo, junto a las viejas cercas, por vías pecuarias o a través de campos de cultivo con encinas. Uno se imagina situado en la Edad Media con un retroceso de varios siglos.

Pero hay también alegría y cultura española. También en Extremadura hay veranos españoles con tardes largas, plazas ruidosas, festivales rurales (fiestas) y procesiones. Llegando esta época de verano la vida tranquila se convierte en una actividad bulliciosa, doblándose el número de habitantes en los pueblos, donde acuden los que en su día se marcharon para encontrarse con la familia, los viejos amigos y beber los vinos locales y cerveza con tapas de jamón ibérico, y además charlar  y charlar. Uno de estos pueblos de Extremadura es Monroy.

Monroy, cuyas  familias vivieron con dificultad durante siglos, es un pueblo donde el tiempo se detuvo. No es por ello de extrañar que los grandes conquistadores se fuesen de esta región. Todavía se encuentra en este pueblo el viejo castillo que ofreció protección durante la reconquista, restos de una antigua Villa Romana y viejas vías pecuarias.

Castillo desde XII siglo  Castle from XII century

Castillo desde XII siglo
Castle from XII century

Extremadura is the most western province of Spain, along the Portuguese border. Only a few foreigners have heard of the region, and sometimes somebody has travelled through the area.
A hidden country, of which you hope that it will always remain this way. A spacious area where tranquility is so common, where the sun sets multicolored with splendid cloud parties and the moon rises full and round. A country with so many birds, where the cow bells tinkle day and night.
You can walk or ride infinitely through the fields, from village to village; between age-old walls, over cattle roads or through farming fields with mighty stone oaks.
You imagine yourself in the middle ages, far back in time.

But there is also Spanish liveliness and culture. Summer evenings in the Extremadura are long and filled with noisy squares, rural festivals (fiestas) and processions. The quiet life accelerates and the number of inhabitants doubles when family and old friends come to the villages from all wind regions, to drink the local wines or cervesa (beer) with the tapa jamon Iberico and talk and talk.. One of these villages in the Extremadura is Monroy.

Monroy, historically a place where ordinary man had difficulty surviving.  Therefore, from time immemorial, a place where one got away from. It’s no surprise that the great conquistadores came from this region. Still standing are the old castle which offered protection during the Reconquista and the remainders of the Villa Romana and the old cattle roads.

Next: Monroy – Un pueblo de Extremadura ~ A village in the Extremadura
Blog Asociacion Historico Cultural el Bezudo Monroy:

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Lejos de la Costa ~ Far from the Costas. Monroy. Un pueblo de Extremadura ~ A village in the Extremadura

La chimenea más antigua del pueblo  The oldest chimney of the village

La chimenea más antigua del pueblo
The oldest chimney of the village

Un pueblo de Extremadura
Monroy está situado a unos 30 km de Cáceres, en medio del triángulo formado por Cáceres, Trujillo y Plasencia. Extremadura se encuentra rodeada por montañas que están situadas al norte, este y oeste. Tiene un clima continental con inviernos fríos y veranos calurosos y durante mucho tiempo ha estado aislada del resto de España, siendo actualmente una de las regiones más pobres.

El pueblo de Monroy está situado en lo alto de una altiplanicie, donde existen varias fuentes por lo que fue un lugar estratégico para construir un castillo. Esto ocurrió a principios del siglo XIV. Los alrededores de la población ya estuvieron habitados durante la edad del bronce así como durante la época de los romanos y los visigodos. En 1309 el rey Fernando IV concedió al noble Hernán Pérez de Monroy el privilegio de fundar una aldea y construir un castillo.

Lo típico de los pueblos de esta región es su estructura. La parte antigua de la población con su iglesia y su castillo. Alrededor del pueblo se encuentran los viejos corrales donde se cultivan verduras  y se guarda el ganado, los caballos, los cerdos y las gallinas.  Monroy4Alrededor del pueblo se encuentran las cercas que son terrenos de algunas hectáreas de extensión  donde se guarda y pasta el ganado y los caballos. También en los alrededores del pueblo se encuentra el área comunal donde pastan las ovejas, las cabras y el ganado de los vecinos. Rodeando todo lo anterior  se encuentra las grandes extensiones de terreno, que son fincas donde se da la ganadería extensiva y los toros de lidia.

A village in the Extremadura
Monroy lies about 30 km from Cáceres, in the middle of the triangle Cáceres-Trujillo-Plasencia. Extremadura is surrounded by the mountains in the west, the north and the east. It has a continental climate with cold winters and hot summers and for ages it has been a fairly isolated area in Spain and until now still one of the poorest regions.

The village lies on a hillock in the highland and has been surrounded by water sources, and therefore in the past a good strategic spot for building a castle. That was at the beginning of the fourteenth century. Already before that the surroundings were inhabited in the bronze time and at the time of the Roman and the Visgoten.

In 1309 King Ferdinand IV granted to the nobleman Hernán Pérez the Monroy the privilege for founding the village and the construction of a castle Typically of the villages in this region is the composition. The old centre with church and castle, at the edge of the village the old corals where one grows vegetables, keeps cattle, horses, pigs and chickens and around the village the cercas, small plots of a few hectares where one mostly keeps cattle and also horses. Around the village the communal area, the grazing area for the sheep and cattle and to a lesser degree the goats. Bordering to the communal area are situated the haciëndas, large farms with extensive livestock-farming and bull-breeding.


Iglesia de Santa Catalina de Monroy desde XIV siglo Santa Catalina Church from XIV century


Doña Maria Teresa

Doña Maria Teresa

Vestibulo en la casa de Doña Maria Teresa Doña Maria Teresa Vestibule in Doña Maria Teresa’s house

Vestibulo en la casa de Doña Maria Teresa
Doña Maria Teresa
Vestibule in Doña Maria Teresa’s house

Hermanos Galea - fábrica de embutidos y jamones Factory of sausages and hams

Hermanos Galea – fábrica de embutidos y jamones Factory of sausages and hams

Tienda de la fábrica  Shop at the factory

Tienda de la fábrica
Shop at the factory

dorp 25112010 (14)

dorp 25112010 (15)

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