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"Never waste a good crisis": COVID-19 crisis as a catalyst for energising government - citizen relationships : Analysing the influence of COVID-19 on the collaboration between local governments and citizens on renewable energy projects in the Netherlands

Willemsen, C.J. (2021) "Never waste a good crisis": COVID-19 crisis as a catalyst for energising government - citizen relationships : Analysing the influence of COVID-19 on the collaboration between local governments and citizens on renewable energy projects in the Netherlands.

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Abstract:This study focuses on the opportunities COVID-19 can offer for the collaboration between local governments and citizens on REPs. Hence, the goal of this research is to uncover variables that positively influence collaboration. Subsequently, improved collaboration can lead to more successful realisation of REPs. This leads to the following research question: “What opportunities does COVID-19 offer for the collaboration between local governments and citizens on realising successful REPs?” Four variables were identified: digital collaboration, trust, environmental concern and mentality shift. A total of 9 focus groups were held. To verify the results, 4 interviews with experts were conducted. The outcomes show that the variable digital collaboration is most promising for improving collaboration. The lowered threshold facilitates easier engagement. Especially when complemented with physical meetings, digitalisating due to COVID-19 can contribute to better collaboration. However, the effects of the other three variables were smaller than expected. Citizens’ resistance is rooted too deeply for COVID-19 to make a difference. Participants could not directly link COVID-19 with trust. Regarding environmental concern, people do come outside more, and for some COVID-19 formed a wake-up call. Nonetheless, this glimmer of concern would not lead to higher willingness to collaborate. Likewise, COVID-19 did impact people’s mindset, however, whether this change will be continual is uncertain. Hence, the outcomes of this research do not correspond with the expectations drafted in the theoretical framework. COVID-19 can provide new opportunities for collaboration between local governments and citizens on success realisation of REPs in the Netherlands. However, finding out how to optimally benefit from the dynamic remains challenging.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Over Morgen, Amersfoort, Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86190
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