Het betreft een promotie-onderzoek bij de Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.


Homelessness, nowadays, is merely a local responsibility. The policy challenges that a local authority faces in dealing with this issue are complex or according to some even wicked (Rittel&Weber, 1973). In recent history it appeared that local authorities haven’t always been too successful in addressing homelessness, with a lack of information to base policy on (Fleurke e.a., 2002) and highly fragmented services (Wolf, 2002), congested shelters (Ibo, 2003) and the institutionalization of homeless (Lindblom, 1991) as its main characteristics.

More recently several northern European Metropolises, in facing comparable policy challenges, have published comparable strategic approaches to end homelessness (also see: Benjaminsen e.a 2009). This study will focus on the differences and similarities in three metropolises’ governance arrangements, to study the impact of these arrangements on the quality of service provision (output) and outcome (e.g. in public space and on the level of self-sufficiency of homeless people themselves). Elements of governance that will be studied in each case are the policy (content, instruments), structure (level of allocation of responsibilities and key-players involved) and employed management style (technical vs. organizational or mix). Case selection will be on the bases of differences in governance. A Scandinavian city tends to have a relative autonomous position in relation to the central state, organizes its homeless services ‘in house’ and manages the topic in a primarily organizationally inspired fashion. Any Anglo-Saxon metropolis is less autonomous from the core executive, contracts both specialists as well as mainstream providers to deliver services and follows a technical style. The Netherlands is usually referred to as a hybrid or borderline case in which both styles and structures tend to be mixed and for which reason this comparative perspective is not only theoretically highly relevant, but in a practical sense as well.