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Arco Timmermans discusses farmers' protest on Dutch BNN radio

Last week, a large number of farmers came to The Hague to ask attention for the problems they are faced with. They certainly received a lot of attention but does this mean their problems are actually being addressed?

Many farmers are of the opinion that the politicians in The Hague will not do anything to solve their issues and they believe more actions are called for; they plan to occupy the Binnenhof until the farmers' demands have been met, but will this be effective? Is there such a thing as too much lobbying and asking for attention?

Long run

'Getting noticed once does not really mean anything. It’s all about your ability to garner attention for your issue in the long run, being tenacious, and being persuasive in your argumentation.' According to Arco Timmermans, Professor by special appointment Public Affairs at Leiden University's Institute of Public Administration. 'I believe it’s not socially viable not to move forward in the discussion about the future of Dutch agriculture. What matters are the solutions you come up with in order to get your demands granted.’

Polder model

According to Timmermans the proverbial waters are rising fast in the Dutch societal polder model and as a result it is sometimes necessary to dramatize your issues. 'In order to dramatize your issue, by which I don’t mean overreacting but getting society to engage in your problems, you will need a visible arena. Which, I believe, is something the farmers have understood really well.'

You can listen to the entire segment (in Dutch) on the BNR.nl website or read more by Timmermans  on the topic (in Dutch) in de Stentor.


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