Zoekresultaat: 33 artikelen

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Article

Still Consociational? Belgian Democracy, 50 Years After ‘The Politics of Accommodation’

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Belgium, consociational democracy, Lijphart, federalism, ethnolinguistic conflict
Auteurs Didier Caluwaerts en Min Reuchamps
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Despite the enduring importance of Lijphart’s work for understanding democracy in Belgium, the consociational model has come under increasing threat. Owing to deep political crises, decreasing levels of trust in elites, increasing levels of ethnic outbidding and rising demands for democratic reform, it seems as if Lijphart’s model is under siege. Even though the consociational solution proved to be very capable of transforming conflict into cooperation in Belgian politics in the past, the question we raise in this article is whether and to what extent the ‘politics of accommodation’ is still applicable to Belgian democracy. Based on an in-depth analysis of the four institutional (grand coalition, proportionality, mutual veto rights and segmental autonomy) and one cultural (public passivity) criteria, we argue that consociational democracy’s very nature and institutional set-up has largely hollowed out its potential for future conflict management.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is professor of political science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research deals with democratic governance and innovation in deeply divided societies. With Min Reuchamps, he has recently published “The Legitimacy of Citizen-led Deliberative Democracy: The G1000 in Belgium” (Routledge, 2018).

Min Reuchamps
Min Reuchamps is professor of political science at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). His teaching and research interests are federalism and multi-level governance, democracy and its different dimensions, relations between language(s) and politics and in particular the role of metaphors, as well as participatory and deliberative methods.
Literature Review

Access_open Preference Voting in the Low Countries

A Research Overview

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden elections, electoral systems, preference voting, candidates, personalization
Auteurs Bram Wauters, Peter Thijssen en Patrick Van Erkel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Preference votes constitute one of the key features of (open and flexible) PR-list electoral systems. In this article, we give an extensive overview of studies conducted on preference voting in Belgium and the Netherlands. After elaborating on the definition and delineation of preference voting, we scrutinize studies about which voters cast preference votes (demand side) and about which candidates obtain preference votes (supply side). For each of these aspects, both theoretical approaches and empirical results are discussed and compared. At the same time, we also pay attention to methodological issues in these kinds of studies. As such, this research overview reads as an ideal introduction to this topic which has repercussions on many other subfields of political science.


Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is an associate professor at the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University, where he leads the research group GASPAR. His research interests include political representation, elections and political parties, with special attention to diversity. He has recently published in journals such as International Political Science Review, Party Politics, Political Studies, and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen is a professor at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, where he is a member the research group M2P (Media, Movements and Politics). His research focuses on political sociology, public opinion and political participation. He has published in such journals as British Journal of Sociology, Electoral Studies, Energy Policy, European Journal of Social Theory, Party Politics and Risk Analysis. He has co-edited ‘New Public Spheres’ (Ashgate, 2013) and ‘Political Engagement of the Young’ (Routledge, 2016).

Patrick Van Erkel
Patrick van Erkel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, where he is connected to the research group M2P (Media, Movements and Politics). His research interests include electoral behavior, public opinion, political communication and polarization. He has published in journals such as the European Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies, European Political Science Review and the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.
Article

Access_open Opening the Opaque Blank Box

An Exploration into Blank and Null Votes in the 2018 Walloon Local Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden voting, elections, blank vote, invalid vote, abstention
Auteurs Jean-Benoit Pilet, Maria Jimena Sanhuza, David Talukder e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, we propose an in-depth exploration of blank and null ballots in the recent 2018 local elections in Wallonia (Belgium). In the official results, both blank and null ballots are merged together and are classified as invalid votes. After obtaining the authorization to access genuine electoral ballots, we study the votes which were not considered for the composition of local councils in detail. The dataset is a representative sample of 13,243 invalidated ballots from 49 Walloon municipalities. We first describe how many of these invalidated ballots are blank and how many are null votes, as well as the nature of the nulled votes (unintended errors or intentionally spoiled ballots). Second, we dig deeper into the differences between ballots that have been intentionally invalidated by voters (blank votes and intentional null votes) and ballots non-intentionally invalidated. Our results show that most of the ballots (two-thirds) are null ballots and that among them, half are unintentional null ballots. Finally, we show that contextual (socio-demographic and political) factors explain the variations in intentional and unintentional null votes across municipalities.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is professor of political science at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He works on elections, political parties, and democratic reforms. He has recently co-authored Faces on the Ballot. The Personalization of Electoral Systems in Europe (OUP, 2016, with Alan Renwick) and The Politics of Party Leadership (OUP, 2016, with William Cross).

Maria Jimena Sanhuza
Maria Jimena Sanhueza is PhD Researcher in Political Science at Universite Libre de Bruxelles where she is associated to three projects studying Belgian politics. Her research focuses on citizenship, representation and democracy. Before starting her PhD, Maria Jimena worked as assistant researcher for EU HORIZON 2020 projects Pathways to Power and Solidarity in Times on Crisis, and co-authored a few publications on European democracies and representation.

David Talukder
David Talukder is PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He is conducting a thesis on the reform of representative democracy, looking at disadvantaged groups’ evaluation of representative democracy and demands for procedural democratic reforms. His main research interests are related to procedural democratic reforms, participatory democracy and democratic innovations.

Jérémy Dodeigne
Jérémy Dodeigne is associate professor in political science at the Université de Namur. His research areas cover the study of political representation in multilevel systems, local politics, comparative politics and mixed methods research designs. His work appears in journals such as Party Politics, American Behavioral Scientist, Local Government Studies, Regional & Federal Studies, Government & Opposition, and Representation.

Audrey E. Brennan
Audrey E. Brennan is completing a joint doctorate in political science at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Université Laval. Her research interests are political parties, elections, and political participation. Her dissertation studies the effect of leadership change mechanisms on the long-term behaviour of political party members.

Sofie Hennau
Sofie Hennau is a postdoctoral research at the Center for Government and Law, Hasselt University. Her research focuses on local elections and on the relationship between politics and administration at the local level.

Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert is professor at the Center for Government and Law, Hasselt University. His research interests are local government and local governance.
Article

Split-Ticket Voting in Belgium

An Analysis of the Presence and Determinants of Differentiated Voting in the Municipal and Provincial Elections of 2018

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden split-ticket voting, local elections, voting motives, Belgium, PR-system
Auteurs Tony Valcke en Tom Verhelst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article tackles the particular issue of split-ticket voting, which has been largely overlooked in Belgian election studies thus far. We contribute to the literature by answering two particular research questions: (1) to what extent and (2) why do voters cast a different vote in the elections for the provincial council as compared to their vote in the elections for the municipal council?
    The article draws on survey data collected via an exit poll in the ‘Belgian Local Elections Study’, a research project conducted by an inter-university team of scholars.
    Our analysis shows that nearly 45% of the total research population cast a split-ticket vote in the local elections of 2018. However, this number drops to one out of four if we only consider a homogenous party landscape at both levels by excluding the numerous votes for ‘local’ lists (which occur mostly at the municipal level). This finding underlines the importance of accounting for the electoral and institutional context of the different electoral arenas in research on split-ticket voting in PR systems. In the Belgian context, split-ticket voting in 2018 also differed between the different parties and regions. Furthermore, it was encouraged by a higher level of education and familiarity with particular candidates. This candidate-centred and strategic voting was matched by party identification and the urban municipal context favouring straight-ticket voting. Other factors such as region, a rural municipal context and preferential voting seemed more relevant to determine voting for local parties than using the instrument of split-ticket votes as such.


Tony Valcke
Tony Valcke is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University (Belgium). He is a member of the Centre for Local Politics (CLP) and coordinator of the Teacher Training Department. His research, publications and educational activities focus on elections and democratic participation/innovation, (the history of) political institutions and (local) government reform, political elites and leadership, citizenship (education).

Tom Verhelst
Tom Verhelst is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences at Ghent University (Belgium) and a postdoctoral research fellow at the Department of Political Science at Maastricht University (the Netherlands). His research focuses on the Europeanisation of local government (with a particular interest for the regulatory mobilisation of local government in EU decision-making processes) and on the role and position of the local council in Belgium and the Netherlands (with a particular interest for local council scrutiny).
Thema

De raad in beraad

Een vergelijking en evaluatie van de formele hervormingen ter versterking van de gemeenteraad in Vlaanderen en Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Dr. Tom Verhelst, Prof. dr. Klaartje Peters en Prof. dr. Koenraad De Ceuninck
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Until 2002, local government in Flanders and the Netherlands had a monistic approach. In both systems, the city council was formally the head of the board. However, due to the interplay of factors and evolutions, the influence of the council in practice was increasing. This contribution compares and evaluates the institutional reforms that have been implemented in Flanders and the Netherlands over the past decades in an attempt to reassess the role and position of the council. While Flanders opted for more limited reforms within the existing monistic system (e.g. its own chairman for the council, a special committee for intermunicipal cooperation, a procedure for restoring structural unmanageability), the Netherlands opted with dualism for a radical personnel and functional separation between council and board. Although the reforms in Flanders often seem half-hearted and councilors in the Netherlands attribute more influence to themselves, research also shows that the revaluation of the council in the Netherlands is (still) incomplete too. This theme will undoubtedly remain on the political agenda in the coming years. The authors are thinking of the development of a better statute for council members, or the functioning of the council as a democratic watchdog of the network society.


Dr. Tom Verhelst
Dr. T. Verhelst is postdoctoraal medewerker bij het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek (vakgroep politieke wetenschappen) van de Universiteit Gent.

Prof. dr. Klaartje Peters
Prof. dr. C.E. Peters is zelfstandig onderzoeker en publicist, bijzonder hoogleraar Lokaal en regionaal bestuur aan de Universiteit Maastricht en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Prof. dr. Koenraad De Ceuninck
Prof. dr. K. De Ceuninck is politicoloog en hoogleraar bij het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek van de Universiteit Gent.
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden (de-)nationalization, voting behaviour, party offer, voter response, methodological nationalism
Auteurs Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer en Tom Verthé
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    By examining the Belgian case, this article aims to show that methodological nationalism is strongly present in the literature on nationalization of party offer and voting behaviour. In nationalization studies, Belgium is often presented as a typical example of a denationalized country. This is true for the party offer, as it is de facto split between the two language groups since the 1980s, and therefore also voter response at the national level. However, voter response within each separate subnational party system is very homogeneous and shows interesting differences between these party systems that inform us about important electoral dynamics. We argue, on the basis of our results, that rather than stretching the concept of nationalization, it is preferable and justified to treat the concepts of nationalization of the party offer and homogenization of voter response as analytically distinct and not as two sides of the same coin.


Luana Russo
Luana Russo, Maastricht University.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Tom Verthé
Tom Verthé, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Access_open Do Characteristics of Consociational Democracies Still Apply to Belgian Parties?

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Belgium, political parties, party membership, political participation, political representation
Auteurs Emilie Van Haute en Bram Wauters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Belgium has long been described as a typical case of a consociational or consensus democracy. This article aims at identifying whether political parties in Belgium share the internal characteristics of parties in consensus democracies: passive mass memberships, the importance of purposive and material incentives for joining, and representation of a clear subculture in the social and attitudinal profiles of their members and via overlapping memberships with related organizations. We mobilize longitudinal party membership data and party member surveys conducted in three different time periods. We show that pillar parties still exercise their role of mobilization and representation of societal segments, but these segments tend to become smaller over time. New parties offer alternative options of mobilization and representation, although not always in line with the specific institutional arrangements of consociational democracy.


Emilie Van Haute
Emilie Van Haute, Cevipol, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters, Research Group GASPAR, Ghent University.
Article

Ze halen hun slag wel thuis

Over particratie en het aanpassingsvermogen van Belgische partijen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden dealignment, electoral support, federalism, gender, particracy, personalisation
Auteurs Jean-Benoit Pilet en Petra Meier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Particracy has been widely used to describe Belgian politics after World War II. Yet, Belgian politics has changed. We examine five changes – the federalisation of the state architecture, diversification of the demos, erosion of political support, party’s dealignment and personalisation of politics – to evaluate how they have affected particracy in Belgium. The answer is twofold: particracy is still very strong, but it has changed. The three traditional party families that had institutionalised particracy in Belgium (Christian-democrats, socialists and liberals) had to face new challengers. They co-opted the most moderate ones (greens, regionalists), while excluding others (radical right/left). Intraparty democracy/participatory/transparency reforms, or changes to the electoral system, all of them opening the political system, were also implemented, but parties were able to overcome them. Yet, the ever-growing gap between traditional parties and citizens and the growth of new parties building upon voters’ dissatisfaction with traditional parties, may put particracy more radically into question.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is hoogleraar in de Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke partijen, kiessystemen, kiesgedrag, de personalisering van de politiek en democratische vernieuwing. Over die thema’s publiceerde hij boeken bij Oxford University Press en Routledge en artikels in wetenschappelijke tijdschriften zoals European Journal of Political Reform, West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Environmental Politics, Representation, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Res Publica, Revue Française de Science Politique en Comparative European Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier, hoogleraar Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen, focust op de representatie van gender, de reproductie van ongelijkheid en de constructie van normativiteit in politiek/beleid. Zij publiceerde recent een aantal special issues over de ontwikkeling van gender beleid (Journal of Women, Politics and Policies; met Emanuela Lombardo en Mieke Verloo), symbolische vertegenwoordiging (Politics, Groups, and Identities; met Tania Verge) en een boek over de professionalisering van de strijd voor gelijkheid (Academia L’Harmattan; met David Paternotte).
Article

Het electorale succes van etnische minderheden in Brussel: de rol van kiezers en partijen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Brussels, electoral system, ethnic minorities, political representation
Auteurs Chloé Janssen, Régis Dandoy en Silvia Erzeel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    European democracies have grown ethnically diverse in the recent years. Yet, ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in politics. Despite the theoretical argument asserting that ethnic minorities should perform better in systems allowing voters to cast intra party preferences, empirical studies bring mixed results. In particular, scholars highlight the role of both parties and voters in explaining the electoral success or failure of ethnic minority candidates. Using data on regional elections between 1995 and 2014 in Brussels, our study shows that even though parties have made gradual efforts to include ethnic minorities on their lists, voters appear to be an important force behind the election of ethnic minorities. We find variations according to party ideology, with socialist and – to a lesser extent – Christian democratic candidates benefiting the most from preferential voting. However, the positive impact of preference votes seems to decrease over time, as parties themselves become more inclusive and tend to allocate more realistic positions to their ethnic minority candidates in recent elections.


Chloé Janssen
Chloé Janssen is als doctoraal onderzoekster verbonden aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Daarvoor werkte ze als FNRS research fellow aan de Université catholique de Louvain. Haar onderzoek handelt over de politieke vertegenwoordiging van etnische minderheden en vrouwen, en focust in het bijzonder op het effect van het kiessysteem en de rol van politieke partijen.

Régis Dandoy
Régis Dandoy is docent aan de Waseda University (Tokio, Japan) en gastdocent aan de Université catholique de Louvain. Zijn belangrijkste onderzoeksinteresses zijn Belgische politiek, vergelijkend federalisme, regionale politiek en party manifestos. Hij publiceerde hierover in internationale tijdschriften en is tevens coredacteur van verschillende boeken over Belgische politiek.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel doceert politieke wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar onderzoek en recente publicaties spitsen zich toe op gender en politieke vertegenwoordiging, rechts populisme, intersectionaliteit in politieke partijen, en economische ongelijkheid. Haar onderzoek is vaak vergelijkend, met een geografische focus op West-Europa.
Article

Verticale politieke cumul in de Lage Landen: evolutie en verklaringen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden Cumul des mandats, Multiple office-holding, Members of parliament, Local representatives, Central-local relations
Auteurs Nicolas Van de Voorde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Studies have shown that multiple office-holding, a practice that denotes the simultaneous exercise of any directly elected municipal mandate and parliamentary seat, is more commonplace in European national parliaments than expected. However, research in Belgium, and especially in the Netherlands, is scarce and extremely fragmented. Therefore, our analysis provides a systematic comparison between the Low Countries with a longitudinal focus. In the first part of the paper, the frequency of the practice is described and its evolution in the last two decades tracked. In the second part, we provide aggregated explanations for the identified discrepancy. Indeed, our results show that after the most recent elections, more than 80% of all Belgian members of parliament held a local mandate, and this percentage increased by 10% during our reference period. In contrast, 9 out of 150 members of the Dutch Second Chamber were combining several offices at the beginning of their national mandate, while the degree of cumulards remained stable. Unexpectedly, the legislative framework and the party regulations are not the source of this deviation, as they are almost identical in both countries. We argue that the difference can be attributed to the role and position of the local government, the political culture and the electoral system.


Nicolas Van de Voorde
Nicolas Van de Voorde is als FWO-aspirant verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoek is gericht op het fenomeen cumul des mandats in de Belgische context.

    Municipal amalgamations form a red thread through the history of local government in the Netherlands. With varying intensity, this country was continuously confronted with adjustments of the municipal scale. Where once the focus was rather one-sided on the minimum number of inhabitants of a municipality, we see that since the nineties questions were asked about the amalgamation policy. From now on a lack of administrative power had to be demonstrated before an amalgamation would be carried through. These critical remarks however didn’t lead to a downfall in the number of municipal amalgamations. Amalgamation and merger will always continue in the Netherlands. The Flemish policy on amalgamation appears to be quite different. Since the large-scale merger operation in 1976 Flanders was no more confronted with municipal amalgamations. The former Flemish government however, announced at its appointment in 2009 that it would encourage voluntary mergers of municipalities with financial and administrative incentives. The present Flemish government treads the same path. The incentives put in place by the former Flemish legislature are even increased. They even appear to bear fruit. In the provinces Limburg and East-Flanders several municipalities have indicated to investigate a merger. Some of them even have taken the principal decision to merger in the municipal councils involved. This article describes and compares the municipal amalgamation policies of the Netherlands and Flanders. The authors also investigate what both can learn from each other.


Prof. dr. Koenraad De Ceuninck
Prof. dr. K. De Ceuninck is politicoloog en hoogleraar bij het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent.

Dr. Klaas Abma
Dr. K. Abma is programmamanager bij de gemeente Súdwest-Fryslân (Zuidwest-Friesland). In 2012 promoveerde hij aan de Open Universiteit bij Arno Korsten op een onderzoek naar het beoordelen van gemeenten.
Symposium

Fractionalisatie, volatiliteit en nieuwe partijen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2017
Auteurs Stefanie Beyens, Simon Otjes en Marc van de Wardt
Auteursinformatie

Stefanie Beyens
Stefanie Beyens is als postdoc onderzoeker en universitair docent verbonden aan de Universiteit Utrecht, waar ze succesvolle publieke organisaties onderzoekt. Ze verdedigde in 2016 haar proefschrift over de overlevingskansen van nieuwe politieke partijen en publiceerde over dit onderwerp in Party Politics en West European Politics.

Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes werkt als onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. Hij promoveerde in 2012 op een proefschrift over het effect van nieuwe partijen op bestaande partijen. Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke partijen en partijsystemen in West-Europa, met een bijzondere focus op Nederland. Hij publiceerde in European Journal of Political Research, American Journal of Political Science en Party Politics.

Marc van de Wardt
Marc van de Wardt is als assistant professor verbonden aan Tilburg University en als postdoc aan de Universiteit Gent. Hij onderzoekt het gedrag van politieke partijen (issuecompetitie, partijtoetreding en uittreding) in vergelijkend perspectief en ook politieke vertegenwoordiging op het niveau van parlementariërs. Zijn onderzoekslijn naar de toetreding en uittreding van politieke partijen in West-Europese partijsystemen wordt gefinancierd door een driejarige onderzoeksbeurs van het Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Vlaanderen (FWO016/PDO/198). Hij publiceerde recentelijk in tijdschriften als American Journal of Political Science, Electoral Studies, European Union Politics en Journal of Politics.
Article

Van Volksunie (VU) naar Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA)

Een analyse van de ideologische opvattingen van hun partijleden

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden regionalist parties, party ideology, elections, party members, Belgium
Auteurs Bram Wauters en Nicolas Bouteca
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The electoral rise of the Belgian regionalist party New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA) from scratch to the country’s largest party is remarkable. We explore here to what extent the party has shifted in ideological terms compared to its less successful predecessor VU. We make use of party member survey data (a dynamic indicator of a party’s position). We distinguish three factors that impact on parties’ positions: institutional reforms, the influx of new members and changes in the internal power distribution. The results show a clear change: on each of the five policy dimensions (centre-periphery, socio-economic, moral-ethical, post-materialist and migration issues), significant differences could be found.


Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is professor aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is hoofd van de Ghent Association for the Study of Parties and Representation (GASPAR).

Nicolas Bouteca
Nicolas Bouteca is professor aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de UGent en lid van de Ghent Association for the Study of Parties and Representation (GASPAR). Hij publiceerde eerder over ideologie, politieke partijen, electorale competitie en het Belgisch federalisme.
Article

Ideologische inertie op links, flexibiliteit op rechts?

Een onderzoek naar de mate van programmatische flexibiliteit bij liberalen en socialisten in België

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2015
Trefwoorden ideology, manifestos, party change, Belgium
Auteurs Nicolas Bouteca
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In order to win elections political parties sometimes adapt their policy platforms to a changing society. But according to some scholars left-wing parties are in this regard more reluctant than right-wing parties. The former would show less programmatic flexibility than the latter. Other authors nuance this difference and state that leftist parties are ideologically more volatile at one moment and rightist parties at another time. In this article we empirically test whether rightist parties show more programmatic flexibility than leftist parties. We make use of an in depth quantitative analysis of the socio-economic policy proposals of the Belgian liberal and social-democratic parties between 1961 and 2010. We find that the right-wing liberal party indeed makes larger programmatic changes. The intensity of the ties with social groups such as trade unions is probably the most important variable to explain this difference.


Nicolas Bouteca
Nicolas Bouteca promoveerde in 2011 op een proefschrift over ideologische convergentie. Momenteel werkt hij als docent aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent en is hij lid van de onderzoeksgroep GASPAR. Zijn interesses zijn: ideologie, politieke partijen, electorale competitie en het Belgisch federalisme.
Research Note

Hoe ‘trendy’ kiesstelsels Europese democratieën veroveren

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Damien Bol, Jean-Benoit Pilet en Pedro Riera
Auteursinformatie

Damien Bol
Damien Bol is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Montréal. Hij werkt over politieke vertegenwoordiging en heeft gepubliceerd over kieshervormingen, personele vertegenwoordiging, tevredenheid met democratie en gendervooroordelen.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet doceert politieke wetenschappen aan de Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Zijn onderzoek richt zich op kiesstelsels, electorale processen, democratie binnen politieke partijen en Belgische politiek.

Pedro Riera
Pedro Riera is docent aan de Universidad Carlos III Madrid. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op kiesstelsels, politieke instellingen en kwantitatieve methoden.

    This article is about one of the experiments in local democratic renewal: MyBorne2030 (in Dutch ‘MijnBorne2030’). The aim of the project was to develop a communal vision for Borne (a relatively small suburban municipality of 20.000 inhabitants in the East of the Netherlands) for the year 2030. A steering committee of 20 local organizations has worked out four scenarios on the basis of three building stones: an identity study, a research of societal trends and the formulation of ambitions. These four scenarios have been submitted to the citizens of Borne in a referendum. The scenario that has received the most votes (‘Dynamic villages’) is further elaborated in a new vison for the future called MyBorne2030. Institutionally the decision-making process in Borne can be described as a mixture of participative (deliberative), associative and direct (plebiscitary) democracy. The authors conclude that it was a successful experiment, that has produced broad support for the vision of Borne for the future and a solid basis for the implementation of this vision. Participants (as well as non-participants) think this approach can be repeated not only in Borne, but also in other municipalities. The authors add that this could also be the case for the level above of cooperating municipalities.


Prof. dr. Bas Denters
Prof. dr. S.A.H. Denters is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Twente, wetenschappelijk directeur van de Nederlandse Onderzoeksschool Bestuurskunde (NOB) en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Pieter-Jan Klok
Dr. P.J. Klok is universitair docent Beleidsprocessen bij de vakgroep Public Administration van de Universiteit Twente (Faculteit Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences).
Article

Tussen partij en parlement: het profiel van de fractievoorzitter in België

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden political party, parliament, parliamentary party, leader, political elites, Belgium
Auteurs Benjamin de Vet en Bram Wauters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The leader of the parliamentary party in Belgium occupies a very specific position, which differs from that of the political leader and that of the organizational leader of a party. This person acts as a crucial linking pin between ‘the party in central office’ and ‘the party in public office’. Owing to an increase in power of ‘the party in central office’ in modern ‘cartel parties’, we expect repercussions on the profile, selection and functioning of parliamentary party leaders. In this first, exploratory analysis based on a new dataset, we sketch the profile of these leaders in terms of experience and career, and based on these characteristics, we develop a typology. We also investigate whether these variables vary over time and by government status.
    Our results show for most of the indicators a weakening of the parliamentary party leader over time, whereas government parties appear to prefer a stronger parliamentary party leader than opposition parties.


Benjamin de Vet
Benjamin de Vet is masterstudent Politieke Wetenschappen (nationale politiek) aan de UGent, en schrijft zijn masterproef over de selectie van fractieleiders in het Belgisch federaal en Vlaams Parlement.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is als docent verbonden aan de Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen van de UGent, waar hij de onderzoeksgroep GASPAR (www.gaspar.ugent.be) leidt. Zijn onderzoek gaat over verkiezingen, partijen en politieke representatie, met bijzondere aandacht voor ondervertegenwoordigde groepen.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Zijn onderzoek situeert zich voornamelijk in de domeinen van de politieke communicatie en vergelijkende politiek.

Kees Aarts
Kees Aarts is hoogleraar politicologie aan de Universiteit Twente en wetenschappelijk directeur van het Institute for Innovation and Governance Studies aldaar. Zijn onderzoeksbelangstelling gaat uit naar democratie, verkiezingen en kiezersgedrag.
Artikel

Krachtig en kwetsbaar

De Nederlandse burgemeester en de staat van een hybride ambt

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2014
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten, Dr. Linze Schaap en Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article describes, on the basis of a broad empirical research, the development of the office of mayor since 2002 (the year of the introduction of a dualist local system in the Netherlands) and the present state of the office. It shows a fundamental change in the office during the last decade and how the already existing hybrid nature of the office has continued to grow since 2002. The article describes the effects of this hybridization and identifies, on the basis of this description, eight power lines and vulnerabilities of the office of mayor. The authors relativize a number of issues that are frequently problematized in relation to the office of mayor, but they also point to new concerns amongst mayors. According to the mayors for example the presidency of the council and the presidency of the board of mayor and aldermen can be combined quite easily in practice. Mayors however, and with good reason, are concerned about the vulnerability of their authority and the sustainability of their neutral position ‘above the parties’, their most important source of authority. For this reason a reorientation of the office of mayor in the Netherlands is needed. This reorientation should start with an answer to the question which roles the mayor has to play in Dutch local government.


Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Tilburg University.

Dr. Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap is universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Tilburg University.

Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks
Prof. dr. F. Hendriks is hoogleraar en onderzoeksdirecteur aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Tilburg University.
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