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Article

Hoe populistisch zijn Geert Wilders en Rita Verdonk?

Verschillen en overeenkomsten in optreden en discours van twee politici

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2009
Trefwoorden populism, Netherlands, discourse, Geert Wilders, Rita Verdonk
Auteurs Koen Vossen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands, the rise of new parties such as the Lijst Pim Fortuyn, the Partij voor de Vrijheid, lead by Geert Wilders and the movement Trots op Nederland, lead by Rita Verdonk, have attracted much attention. In an attempt to interpret and explain the (temporary) advance of these parties, both commentators and political scientists have often used the notion of populism. In most commentaries however, it remains unclear what the term exactly means and whether it has any explanatory value. The aim of this article is to investigate whether Rita Verdonk and Geert Wilders and their movements may actually be labelled as populist. By discerning the presence of the features of an ideal-typical populism in discourse and performance of both politicians their ‘degree of populism’ is measured. The differences in degree of populism also helps to explain why Geert Wilders and his party proved (thus far) more successful and durable.


Koen Vossen
Koen Vossen (1971) is universitair docent Nederlandse politiek Instituut Politieke Wetenschap, Universiteit Leiden. In 2003 is hij gepromoveerd op een proefschrift getiteld Vrij vissen in het Vondelpark. Kleine politieke partijen in Nederland 1918-1940 (Wereldbibliotheek 2003). Zijn belangstelling gaat vooral uit naar protestpartijen en populisme in de Nederlandse politiek in heden en verleden.
Article

Dunken en driepunters. Intergemeentelijke samenwerking en bestuurskracht in Nederland

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2009
Trefwoorden administrative power, municipalities, cooperation
Auteurs Peter Castenmiller
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article addresses the impact of intermunicipal cooperation on the administrative power of municipalities. It focuses on a specific form of intermunicipal cooperation in the Netherlands, which is called ‘WGRplus’. This concerns the intermunicipal cooperation in the major urban regions in the Netherlands. In this article administrative power is not used as a fixed and quantifiable concept, yet as a process that might contribute to the performance of individual municipalities. It is argued that intermunicipal cooperation strengthens the possibilities of municipalities to address social challenges. The cooperation is considered to be successful and rewarding. It also stimulates the cooperation with relevant social organisations. Yet this form of intermunicipal cooperation has a weak democratic and political profile. Next year the Dutch government will conduct a thorough evaluation of this specific form of intermunicipal cooperation. This is still necessary because the evidence that the administrative power of the municipalities benefits from this specific form of intermunicipal cooperation is not absolutely convincing.


Peter Castenmiller
Peter Castenmiller (1961) is werkzaam bij Zenc, adviesbureau voor innovaties in het openbaar domein, en tevens als Lector ‘Bestuurskracht en innovatie’ bij BAZN, de bestuursacademie. Hij is politicoloog en hij is gepromoveerd op een studie naar de betrokkenheid van burgers bij het lokale bestuur. Tot 2005 was hij werkzaam bij SGBO, Onderzoeks- en Adviesbureau van de Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten, waar hij zich met vele facetten van lokaal bestuur en beleid heeft beziggehouden. Samen met Herwig Reynaert (Universiteit Gent) organiseert hij al verschillende jaren tijdens het gezamenlijk congres van de Nederlandse en Vlaamse politicologenverenigingen een workshop ‘lokale democratie’.
Article

Het Verdrag van Lissabon in het nieuws

Een crossnationale analyse van nieuwsframes in de kwaliteitspers

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2009
Trefwoorden Framing, Treaty of Lisbon, newspapers, EU news, media analysis
Auteurs Anna Van Cauwenberge, Dave Gelders en Willem Joris
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates the cross-national prevalence of five news frames in quality papers’ coverage of the Treaty of Lisbon (EU Constitution). Three frames were identified in earlier studies: economic consequences, conflict, and human interest. Two additional frames were identified and composed: power and nationalization. During the seven-month period leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon (December 2007), we analyzed 341 articles from four quality papers: Le Monde (France), De Volkskrant (The Netherlands), De Standaard (Dutch speaking community of Belgium), and Le Soir (French speaking community of Belgium). Our results show that although significant differences between newspapers were found in the amount of framing, overall they reflected a similar pattern in the adoption of the news frames. The economic consequences frame, followed by the power frame, appeared most prominently in all of the newspapers’ coverage. However, the conflict and nationalization frames recurred in a significantly lesser degree. These findings indicate that the meaning behind the Treaty of Lisbon as a symbol of supra-national unity could have led to a shift from a domesticated, conflict oriented coverage as found in previous studies to a more unified portrayal of the EU within and between the quality papers under study.


Anna Van Cauwenberge
Anna Van Cauwenberge (°1985) is als doctoraal onderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor Mediacultuur & Communicatietechnologie van de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven en de sectie Communicatiewetenschap van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Haar onderzoeksinteresses omvatten nieuwsbeleving en -verwerking bij jongeren en jongvolwassenen, nationaal en Europees audiovisueel mediabeleid, en de beeldvorming van en berichtgeving over de Europese Unie.

Dave Gelders
Dave Gelders (°1978) is docent politieke marketing en overheidscommunicatie aan de School voor Massacommunicatieresearch aan de Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Zijn onderzoeksinteresses omvatten beeldvorming van prestaties van de overheid, de rol van communicatie in beleidsprocessen en de rol van media in de marketing van politici en politieke partijen.

Willem Joris
Willem Joris (°1986) is Master in de Communicatiewetenschappen en volgt momenteel de Master Overheidsmanagement en -beleid. Zijn onderzoeksinteresses omvatten overheidscommunicatie, framing van de Europese Unie en toplonen.
Article

Onafhankelijke referendumcommissies: kenmerkend voor de Nederlandse consensusdemocratie

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden referendum, independent referendum body, consensus democracy, local politics
Auteurs Philip van Praag
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Since the nineties of the last century, there has been a modest rise of local referendums in the Netherlands. This article describes the important role played by independent local referendum committees, one of the most remarkable characteristics of the recent Dutch referendum experience. Their task is among others to advice about the wording of the question, to supervise the organisation of the referendum and the campaign and to handle complaints. The need to use an independent body to support the referendum process is missing in countries as Switzerland and the United States. The lack of referendum experience and the lack of confidence in Dutch local authorities forced them to introduce independent local referendum bodies. The role of these institutions fits in the traditions of the Dutch consensus democracy to engage experts to depoliticise delicate political problems.


Philip van Praag
Philip van Praag (°1949) is universitair hoofddocent politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hij houdt zich voornamelijk bezig met politieke partijen, verkiezingscampagnes, politieke communicatie en referenda.
Article

Volksraadplegingen: kan België wat leren van Nederland?

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2009
Trefwoorden referendum, local referenda, local politics
Auteurs Jo Buelens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Belgium did not organise a referendum on the European Constitution, like the Netherlands, even though there were some initiatives to make it legally possible. In the Netherlands there is also more experience with referenda at the local level. For decades there has been a debate about how to make it legal at the national level, but after many attempts, there is still no law that makes referenda possible at that level. The aim of this article is to compare Belgium and the Netherlands in order to identify similarities and differences. Some explanation can be found in the past, which clarifies why Belgium is reluctant to referenda and why at the local level this tool is not as often used as in the Netherlands. The main conclusion is that in spite of the referendum on the European Constitution in the Netherlands and the more frequent use of local referenda in that country, the political classes in Belgium and the Netherlands are comparable in their reluctant attitude towards this consultation of their citizens. Both countries continue to evaluate referenda as not in accordance with the system of representative democracy.


Jo Buelens
Jo Buelens (°1954) is verbonden aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn belangstelling gaat met name uit naar politieke partijen, verkiezingen en lokale politiek. Hij doceert tevens aan de Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel.
Article

Burke leeft en woont in Nederland

Over volksvertegenwoordigers en de invloed van de publieke opinie

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2008
Trefwoorden public opinion, representative democracy, parliament, Dutch politics
Auteurs Christel Koop en Joop van Holsteyn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to many observers, contemporary politicians too often are being swayed by the issues of the day. Elected representatives are supposed to permanently monitor public opinion in general and opinion polls in particular and to act accordingly. An analysis of in-depth interviews with Dutch MPs and a content analysis of an important, long-lasting debate in Dutch Parliament indicates, however, that this popular claim is a misconception. Elected representatives disagree on the content and manifestations of ‘public opinion’ and seldom take it into consideration in their role as representatives. Moreover, public opinion is taken seriously only if it is well-considered and based on substantive knowledge and conclusive arguments.


Christel Koop
Drs. C.M.M. Koop is verbonden aan het Europees Universitair Instituut in Florence.

Joop van Holsteyn
Prof. dr. J.J.M. van Holsteyn is als universitair hoofddocent en bijzonder hoogleraar Kiezersonderzoek verbonden aan het departement Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

Min Reuchamps
Aspirant du Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS au département de Sciences politiques, Université de Liège.

    In national elections the results tend to become more ‘nationalized’: a homogeneous party offer all over the territory, less variation in the results per constituency and more homogeneous electoral swings. This article investigates whether this nationalization can also be witnessed at local elections. It focuses on two indicators: the party offer and the voting behaviour. The party offer is the presence of the national parties on the local ballot paper, while the voting behaviour looks at patterns of homogeneity across the municipalities.
    The answer to the question of nationalization is mixed. The Flemish and Walloon local elections display the same long-term trend as the national elections, but they keep their own local character. The heterogeneity of the local party offer clearly demonstrates the local specificity of the local elections, and consequently the voting behaviour also differs from the voting behaviour at national elections. We also find that the local elections in Wallonia are less nationalized than in Flanders.
    Although the local character of the local elections remains important, the newer parties – Ecolo and Groen! – show until 2000 a clear trend towards nationalization. Especially the extreme right Vlaams Belang shows positive scores on all indicators of nationalization since its first local appearance in 1982.


Fanny Wille
Fanny Wille is verbonden als assistent/vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen en de Vakgroep Micro-economics of the Profit and Non-Profit Sectors aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zij doet onderzoek naar lokale coalitievorming.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer is gewoon hoogleraar aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke vertegenwoordiging in systemen met een complexe institutionele context.
Article

Stille revolutie, contra-revolutie of cultureel conflict?

Veranderingen in de politieke cultuur en hun invloed op het verband tussen klassenpositie en stemgedrag

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2006
Auteurs Jeroen Van der Waal en Peter Achterberg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This paper deals with the linkage between changes in the political culture and changes in class-party alignments. First, we investigate how the political culture in Western countries has changed over time. Three views are tested using data on party-manifestos. The first predicts that only new-leftist issues will increase in salience. The second predicts that both new-leftist and new-rightist issues will emerge at the same time. The third, which is empirically corroborated, predicts that first new-leftist issues will emerge followed by a rise in new rightist issues.
    Second, we investigate how the emergence of these new issues has affected the traditional class-party alignments. We show that the middle class increasingly votes left-wing as newleftist issues become more important and that the working class increasingly votes rightwing as new-rightist issues become more important. The middle class also appears to alienate from the traditional party of their class as new-rightist issues rise in salience.


Jeroen Van der Waal
Onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en aan de Amsterdam School for Social Research.

Peter Achterberg
Onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en aan de Amsterdam School for Social Research.

    This study reports the results of qualitative interviews with 28 extreme right wing activists in Flanders (Belgium). We focus on the (ideological) motives for activism (why did they become active?) and the trajectory followed in becoming active (how did they become active?). The results show that these activists are primarily motivated by ethnic nationalism. All other ideological stands (e.g. rejection of foreigners, authoritarian attitudes and rejection of actual politics in Belgium) seem to be derived from this core of ethnic nationalism. The trajectory followed is primarily one that relates to socialization and continuity: most interviewees grew up in a family in which nationalism was of primordial importance. A minority of respondents, however, followed trajectories that refer to compliance or to conversion (deprivation).


Hans De Witte
Hoofddocent aan het Departement Psychologie, K.U.Leuven.

    On December 1st 2005, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt proposed the creation of a ‘United States of Europe’: a core group of Eurozone countries surrounded by a confederation of states. A European social-economic policy, technology cooperation, a common justice and security policy, a common diplomacy and army will make the EU stronger and less patronizing, said Verhofstadt. In this article, we look back over the main political and economic developments in the EU in 2005. This year will probably go down in EU history as the year in which the constitutional treaty was rejected. Yet, as demonstrated, despite a feeling of total malaise, a number of knotty dossiers came to a conclusion and new initiatives were taken.


Edith Drieskens
Onderzoeker FWO-Vlaanderen aan het Instituut voor Internationaal en Europees Beleid van de K.U.Leuven.

Bart Kerremans
Hoogleraar aan het Instituut voor Internationaal en Europees Beleid van de K.U.Leuven.

    This paper deals with the electoral and political consequences of urban region formation. The electoral geography of new political parties differs substantially from that of traditional ones. New parties are mainly successful in different parts of urban regions. The declining traditional parties have rather a regional pattern, although some of them show new spatial patterns too. These developments are interpreted in the context of the cleavage theory, in which old and new cleavages are linked with a different spatiality. Following the Anglo-Saxon literature an increasing process of polarisation is hypothesised between the welfare state orientated city and a neo-conservative and neo-liberal suburban fringe. This article examines and proofs the existence of these processes in the urban region of Brussels by means of individual-level and ecological electoral data.


Filip De Maesschalck
Assistent, Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie, K.U.Leuven.

Sarah Luyten
Wetenschappelijk medewerkster, Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie, K.U.Leuven.
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