|Public Order and Democracy in Amsterdam|
|This paper focuses on public order policy in Amsterdam during the second half of the twentieth century. From the 1960s onwards, apart from the liberalisation of the public sphere, urban government (2) as well as urban society (3) democratized. During the 1960s and 1970s ‘new urban social movements’ emerged, which were deeply involved in urban issues of the time, fighting against ‘authority’ and ‘bureaucracy’ and claiming the right to participate in municipal policy such as, for example, urban renewal. Partially in a response to this development, urban government democratized its institutions through the establishment of administrative districts in the 1980s, aiming to bring urban government closer to the citizens. Nonetheless, during the 1990s complaints rose over the gap between citizens and (urban) government. To a large extent, discussions about this gap seem to revolve around the question of how the demos is conceived of by the government. Who counts, and how is public sentiment divined?
This paper explores different modes of democratization through an analysis of the establishment, maintenance, provocation and (re)definition of the public order during the past half a century.|