Zoekresultaat: 41 artikelen

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Article

Emotions and Vote Choice

An Analysis of the 2019 Belgian Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Belgium, elections, emotions, voting behaviour
Auteurs Caroline Close en Emilie van Haute
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article digs into the relationship between voters’ political resentment and their electoral choice in 2019 by focusing on the respondents’ emotions towards politics. Using the RepResent 2019 voter survey, eight emotions are analysed in their relation to voting behaviour: four negative (anger, bitterness, worry and fear) and four positive (hope, relief, joy and satisfaction). We confirm that voters’ emotional register is at least two-dimensional, with one positive and one negative dimension, opening the possibility for different combinations of emotions towards politics. We also find different emotional patterns across party choices, and more crucially, we uncover a significant effect of emotions (especially negative ones) on vote choice, even when controlling for other determinants. Finally, we look at the effect of election results on emotions and we observe a potential winner vs. loser effect with distinctive dynamics in Flanders and in Wallonia.


Caroline Close
Caroline Close is Assistant Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Charleroi campus). Her research and teaching interests include party politics, representation and political participation from a comparative perspective. She has published her work in Party Politics, Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Representation, Acta Politica and the Journal of European Integration. She regularly contributes to research and publications on Belgian politics.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections, and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies, European Political Science and Acta Politica. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Article

Introduction: Parties at the Grassroots

Local Party Branches in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Bram Wauters, Simon Otjes en Emilie van Haute
Auteursinformatie

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is Associate Professor in 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 specific attention for diversity. He has recently published on these topics in journals such as Party Politics, Political Studies, Politics & Gender and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is Assistant Professor of Dutch Politics at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University. His research focuses on political parties, parliaments and public opinion. His research has appeared in various journals, including American Journal of Political Science and European Journal of Political Research.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies or European Political Science. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Article

Between Party Democracy and Citizen Democracy

Explaining Attitudes of Flemish Local Chairs Towards Democratic Innovations

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden democratic innovations, citizen participation, local politics, Flanders, Belgium
Auteurs Didier Caluwaerts, Anna Kern, Min Reuchamps e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    As a response to the perceived legitimacy crisis that threatens modern democracies, local government has increasingly become a laboratory for democratic renewal and citizen participation. This article studies whether and why local party chairs support democratic innovations fostering more citizen participation. More specifically, we analyse the relative weight of ideas, interests and institutions in explaining their support for citizen-centred democracy. Based on the Belgian Local Chairs Survey in 2018 (albeit restricting our analysis to Flanders), the central finding is that ideas matter more than interests and institutions. Ideology is alive and kicking with regard to democratic innovation, with socialist and ecologist parties and populist parties being most supportive of participatory arrangements. By contrast, interests and institutions play, at this stage, a minor role in explaining support for participatory innovations.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research and teaching deal with Belgian and comparative politics and democratic governance in deeply divided societies. His work has been published in various journals, including European Political Science Review, West European Politics, the Journal of Legislative Studies and Acta Politica.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is Assistant Professor at research group GASPAR at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University. Her main research interests include political participation, political equality and political legitimacy. Her work has been published in international peer-reviewed journals such as West European Politics, Local Government Studies, Social Science Research and Political Behavior.

Min Reuchamps
Min Reuchamps is Professor of Political science at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). His teaching and research interests are federalism and multilevel 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.

Tony Valcke
Tony Valcke is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences of Ghent University. 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, citizenship (education), (the history of) political institutions and (local) government reform, political elites and leadership.
Article

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Linkage Between Local Branches and Their National Party Headquarters in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local branches, national party headquarters, linkage, integration, multilevel parties
Auteurs Kristof Steyvers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article scrutinises local-national linkage in Belgium to better understand territorial power relations in multilevel parties. Drawing on a survey of local chairs of national parties, it adopts an innovative, informal and bottom-up approach. The descriptive analysis reveals two central axes in the morphology of linkage: scope (downward support and upward influence) and surplus (benefits versus costs). However, (the valuation of) this interdependence appears as a matter of degree. The explanatory analysis therefore probes into the effect of macro- (between environments), meso- (between parties) and micro- (within parties) level factors. It demonstrates that variance is explained by different parameters. For scope, differences between parties trump those within them. For surplus, specific differences between parties as well as within them matter. The answer to our guiding question is therefore variegated: it depends on for what and for whom.


Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of Ghent University (Belgium). His research is conducted in the Centre for Local Politics, where he focuses on topics such as local political leadership, parties and elections at the local level, local government in multilevel governance and local government reforms (often from a comparative perspective).
Artikel

Moreel persoon of moreel manager?

Een kwantitatieve analyse van de aan burgemeesters gestelde integriteitseisen, 2008-2019

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2020
Trefwoorden ethical leadership, moral management, Integrity, Mayors, The Netherlands
Auteurs Simon Jacobs BSc en Dr. Niels Karsten
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Dutch mayors are expected to act both as moral person and as moral managers. However, the extent to which council members express such requirements when selecting candidates remains underexplored. To identify possible changes in these expectations following the implementation of a 2016 integrity law, which made the mayor responsible for ‘advancing the administrative integrity of the municipality’, the current article quantitatively analyses 349 vacancy texts for Dutch mayoralty for the time period 2008-2019. Unexpectedly, the authors find that moral person requirements still feature prominently in job advertisements, but that attention is declining. In addition, they find a significant shift from moral-person requirements to moral-management requirements, which indicates that vacancy texts mirror the increasing importance of moral leadership requirements for Dutch mayors. Further, whereas the complex integrity concept requires tailoring to the unique circumstances in municipalities, the authors find that councilors make little effort to provide their own definition of integrity in vacancy texts, which leaves ample room for local customization.


Simon Jacobs BSc
Simon Jacobs, BSc, is masterstudent public governance aan het Tilburg Institute of Governance, Tilburg University.

Dr. Niels Karsten
Dr. Niels Karsten is universitair docent aan het Tilburg Institute of Governance, Tilburg University.
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

Access_open Hoeder van de raad of functie zonder inhoud?

Een beschouwing op het vicevoorzitterschap van de gemeenteraad

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten en Dr. Sabine van Zuydam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    At the time of the ‘dualization’ of Dutch local government in 2002 the acting municipal chairman of the local council under article 77 (1) of the Dutch Municipal Act was seen as the ‘guardian of the local council’, who has a special responsibility for the functioning of the council as a whole and who can give the council a face opposite the local board. However, this role has never been given to this ‘vice-president’. This option has recently been suggested again, with the aim of promoting cooperation within the local council and facilitating the changing role of the council. In this article, the authors show that the role of the vice-president in practice is limited, although importance is attached to it and a majority of municipal councils use the power to appoint their own vice-president. For the time being the Netherlands does not seem inclined to learn from Flanders, where the council now appoints its own chairman. This is partly due to differences between the mayor’s positions in the Netherlands and in Flanders. At the same time, it cannot be ruled out that in the Netherlands too in the future more attention will be paid to the issue of the (vice-)presidency of the municipal council.


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

Dr. Sabine van Zuydam
Dr. S. van Zuydam is als onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg, onderzoeker en adviseur bij Necker Van Naem en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Thema

Access_open Lokaal bestuur in Vlaanderen en Nederland: een verkennende vergelijking

Inleiding op het themanummer ‘De gemeenteraad in Vlaanderen en Nederland vergeleken’

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Prof. dr. Marcel Boogers en Prof. dr. Herwig Reynaert
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    There are many good reasons to dwell a little longer on current developments in Dutch and Flemish local government and to examine what both countries can learn from each other. Despite all the differences, Flemish and Dutch municipalities have more in common than with local government in France, the United Kingdom, German Länder or Scandinavian countries. Different words are used on both sides of the border, but the duties and powers of local officials are largely the same. It is therefore a good reason to subject the local government on either side of the border to a first comparison, as a prelude to the contributions in this special issue. After an initial interpretation of the institutional and administrative differences and agreements, the editors of this special issue discuss a number of current discussions about the role and position of the municipal council in Flanders and the Netherlands. They conclude with a brief introduction to the two contributions to this special issue.


Prof. dr. Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, senior adviseur Openbaar Bestuur bij BMC en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Prof. dr. Herwig Reynaert
Prof. dr. H. Reynaert is hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen bij het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek van de Universiteit Gent en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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.
Artikel

Bekwaam, betrouwbaar en betrokken: over de eigenschappen die volksvertegenwoordigers en bestuurders waarderen in medebestuurders

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden credibility, political leadership, local government, excellence, the Netherlands
Auteurs Dr. Sabine van Zuydam, Dr. Niels Karsten, Drs. Hans Oostendorp e.a.
Samenvatting

    Credibility is an essential quality for executive politicians but cannot be taken for granted. The literature on political leadership suggests that credible politicians are competent, trustworthy, and caring. Existing studies, however, often do not take into account differences between various offices and tend to ignore the distinction between disparate layers of government. In this article, we analyze as yet unutilized data from local and provincial councilors’ and executives’ evaluations on the qualities they ascribe to their fellow executive politicians. The data were collected for the 2015 Best Dutch Executive election and covers almost all executives who were in office at the time. In contrast to what the existing literature often presumes, our secondary quantitative analysis of this data on 1,776 executives shows that there are significant differences in the qualities that are used to evaluate the most appreciated local and provincial chairpersons on the one hand, and the most appreciated executives on the other hand. Whereas municipal mayors and provincial King’s Commissioners are championed for being particularly caring and showing decisiveness, municipal aldermen and provincial executives are valued in particular for their expertise. This finding indicates that a politician’s credibility for his peers depends on his office as each position requires a particular set of qualities.


Dr. Sabine van Zuydam

Dr. Niels Karsten

Drs. Hans Oostendorp

Drs. Maarten Hoogstad

Frank van Kooten MSc
Article

Als je wint, heb je vrienden

Een verkenning van de pre-electorale aantrekkelijkheid van politieke partijen aan de hand van de verspreiding van verkiezingsmemoranda van belangengroepen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden political parties, interest groups, election memoranda, rational choice, political effectiveness
Auteurs Tom Schamp en Nicolas Bouteca
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper we look at the way in which a wide range of interest groups have tried to influence political parties in Flanders. In order to test both aspects of the historic-institutional perspective and the rational choice perspective on party-group relations, we have analyzed the dissemination of in total 1569 memoranda by 616 interest groups over the six represented Flemish political parties in the 2013-2014 election year. We find that interest groups are very selective in the distribution of their memoranda to the different parties. Traditional parties seem more popular than new parties and political effectiveness seems to be the driver behind the selectivity of the large majority of the interest groups studied in this paper.


Tom Schamp
Tom Schamp is als doctoraatsstudent betrokken bij 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 het effect van kiessystemen op de vertegenwoordiging van politieke partijen en over de relatie tussen politieke partijen en belangengroepen in Vlaanderen.

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 Belgische federalisme.
Artikel

De aanstellingswijze gewogen

Een overzicht van argumenten voor en tegen verschillende aanstellingswijzen van de burgemeester

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2017
Auteurs Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen, Dr. Niels Karsten en Prof. dr. Pieter Tops
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article offers the reader an overview of arguments for and against the different modes of appointments of Dutch mayors. The authors do this from different perspectives that are based on relevant values of good governance. In relation to the intended deconstitutionalization of the mode of appointment, they want to contribute with this overview to the debate on the role of the mayor and the mode of appointment. The three modes of appointment discussed are nomination by the Crown, election by the municipal council and direct election by citizens. On the basis of this research, they conclude that changing the mode of appointment to one of the three (pure) modes of appointment has advantages as well as disadvantages, but that the combination has important consequences for the functioning of the local governance system as a whole. In addition, they conclude somewhat paradoxically that the mode of appointment is only one of the factors that influences the functioning of a mayor. Therefore, the question about the mode of appointment of Dutch mayors must be considered within a broader framework of possible measures, with the underlying questions: what kind of mayor, and what kind of local governance, do we want ultimately?


Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg en voorzitter van de Rekenkamercommissie in de gemeente Zundert.

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

Prof. dr. Pieter Tops
Prof. dr. P.W. Tops is hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg en lector Openbaar bestuur aan de Politieacademie.
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.
Article

Bijzondere buren

Lokaal bestuur en lokale verkiezingen in Nederland en Vlaanderen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden The Netherlands, Flanders, Belgium, local government, local politics, elections
Auteurs Julien van Ostaaijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Even though they are portrayed as culturally and mentally very different, the Dutch and the Flemish share a border, a part of their history, and their language. Little oversight has been provided regarding the similarities and differences in terms of their democratic and political institutions and their mode of operation. This is especially the case for the local level. With upcoming local elections in both the Netherlands and Flanders/Belgium, this article presents an oversight of similarities and differences regarding local government and local elections in both territories. The main conclusion is that there are differences and similarities in both the local institutional setting and government practice. In local government practice however, the differences stand out.


Julien van Ostaaijen
Julien van Ostaaijen is als universitair docent verbonden aan de Tilburg School of Governance van Tilburg University. Hij doet veel onderzoek naar lokale democratie en heeft onder meer gepubliceerd over de rol van de gemeenteraad, lokale partijen, de aanstellingswijze van wethouders en burgemeesters, burgerbetrokkenheid en de opkomst bij (lokale) verkiezingen. Zijn proefschrift ging over de vraag hoe veranderingen in het lokaal bestuur kunnen worden doorgevoerd. Voor meer informatie over zijn werk: www.vanostaaijen.nl
Article

Domineren Brussel en Den Haag ook de Dorpsstraat?

Nationale en lokale determinanten van het succes van nationale partijen bij de Nederlandse en Vlaamse gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden second-order elections, municipal elections, local politics
Auteurs Sofie Hennau, Ramon van der Does en Johan Ackaert
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates to what extent national and/or local factors influence the performance of national parties in the most recent Flemish and Dutch municipal elections of, respectively, 2012 and 2014.
    Our analyses underscore the impact of local factors on the municipal election results, both in Flanders and in the Netherlands. The number of parties and previous election results have a negative effect on the vote share of national political parties. Contrary to the expectations, participation in local government does not have any influence on the national lists’ elections results.
    Although local factors have to be taken into account to get a better estimation of the performance of national lists in municipal elections, national factors have significant effects as well. Parties doing well at the national elections, are less successful at the local level.


Sofie Hennau
Sofie Hennau is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de faculteit Rechten van de UHasselt. Zij doet onderzoek naar lokale institutionele hervormingen en lokale politiek.

Ramon van der Does
Ramon van der Does is werkzaam als onderwijs- en onderzoeksassistent aan de Universiteit Leiden. Ook doet hij zelfstandig onderzoek naar deliberatie, politieke participatie en lokale verkiezingen.

Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert is hoogleraar en decaan van de faculteit Rechten van de UHasselt. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op lokaal beleid en lokale politiek.

    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.

    The recruitment and selection of candidate (municipal) councillors by political parties at the local level is an underexposed area of research. This is noteworthy because of the explicit worries about the lack of suitable candidates and about the underrepresentation of certain groups in society. These kinds of nomination problems may also arise from the manner in which parties recruit and which requirements they have for potential candidates. Therefore this article explores recruitment and selection processes at the local level in order to be able to designate possible causes of these nomination problems. The exploratory research involves case studies of the selectors, candidates and the nomination procedure of seven political parties that took part in the municipal elections of 2014 in a typical, average Dutch municipality in the west of the Netherlands: Voorschoten (25,000 inhabitants). The local party elite mainly recruited party members and some non-party members from their own networks, such as local associations. Thus groups in society that are not part of these networks, are less likely to appear in the picture. Active party membership and the willingness to invest a lot of time in their council work appeared to be the highest appreciated characteristics of the ideal councillor according to interviews with the local party elite and a survey amongst the candidate councillors. With a declining number of party members and other ways to spend their time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit non-pensioners as candidates.


Maurits Grimberg MSc
M.R. Grimberg MSc is als militair werkzaam bij de Kernstaf van het Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten, binnen de sectie Coördinatie en Investeringsplannen. In april 2014 studeerde hij af aan de Universiteit Leiden in de Politieke Wetenschap bij Hans Vollaard op een masterthesis over de totstandkoming van een kandidatenlijst in de gemeente Voorschoten.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. J.P. Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de opleiding European Public Administration aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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