Coercion, Cooperation, and Control: Understanding the Policy Impact of Administrative Courts and the Ombudsman in the Netherlands



This article examines the way in which administrative courts and the National Ombudsman in the Netherlands seek to control administrative action, and is aimed at developing a heuristic model that can also be useful in a wider context. Two styles of control will be introduced: “coercive” and “cooperative.” An exploratory empirical study was conducted of two administrative agencies, investigating the implementation process of court and ombudsman decisions. This article argues that it is likely that the policy impact of the courts and the ombudsman is directly related to their style of control. More empirical research is needed to evaluate this hypothesis.