Zoekresultaat: 360 artikelen

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    Large government investments are regularly preceded by an ex-ante evaluation. This article examines the quality of two ex-ante studies and considers the use made by administrators and representatives of the people of these ex-ante studies. In both cases it concerned qualitatively sound ex-ante studies. In both cases, these studies also demonstrably affected the debate about these investment plans in the people’s representations. But there was no question of power-free decision making. In both cases, the representatives of the people were put under great pressure. Not only was there time pressure. The public debate came late. The use of sound ex-ante studies is not only an investment in rationality, but is also accompanied by political-strategic manoeuvring. The relevance of this article to practitioners is that it (a) contains four reasonable requirements that the representative may make of each ex-ante study offered by the executive board; (b) also shows that an ex-ante analysis on which important decisions are based should not be characterised by secret parts or by undefined assumptions and an ex-ante analysis must be transparent; and (c) demonstrates it is important as a representative to be tenacious, to keep a firm hand and not to decide before all questions have been answered and a full list of safeguards is on the table.


Prof. dr. Michiel Herweijer
Prof. dr. M. Herweijer is bijzonder hoogleraar Bestuurskunde aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen. Hij was tot 1 januari 2019 directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer. Sinds 1 november 2018 is hij docent publiek management aan de Universitaire Campus Fryslân te Leeuwarden (een nevenvestiging van de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen).
Artikel

Het spel en de knikkers: ervaren rechtvaardigheid in vier lokale participatieprocessen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Drs. Christine Bleijenberg, Dr. Reint Jan Renes, Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Designing and implementing participation processes that are perceived as meaningful by both municipalities and citizens requires insight into the assessment by participants. In this study the theory of experienced procedural justice is applied in the context of citizen participation. To gain insight into the importance of the outcome and the course of the process in the assessment by participants, the authors have used survey research to collect data from four different participation processes in a Dutch municipality (Delft). The results of this explorative study show that the respondents rate the participation processes in which they have participated as reasonably fair. There is a fair process effect when respondents experienced the process as fair and their confidence in the municipality increases, even if the outcome is unfavourable for them. For practitioners, this study shows that the dimensions of procedural justice, namely respect, having a voice and explanation, are guiding principles for the design and implementation of participation processes. There is still much to be achieved, especially when it comes to being given an explanation, so information about the decision-making process and accountability for the substantive choices that have been made. Finally, regular evaluation research is needed to set up participation processes that tie in with what participants think is important.


Drs. Christine Bleijenberg
Drs. C. Bleijenberg is als onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan het lectoraat Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein van de Hogeschool Utrecht en als promovendus aan de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.

Dr. Reint Jan Renes
Dr. R.J. Renes is lector Psychologie voor een Duurzame Stad aan het Amsterdams Kenniscentrum voor Maatschappelijke Innovatie van de Hogeschool van Amsterdam.

Prof. dr. Noëlle Aarts
Prof. dr. M.N.C. Aarts is hoogleraar Socio-Ecologische Interacties aan het Instituut for Science in Society (ISiS) van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.

Jonas Moons MSc
J. Moons MSc is als onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan het lectoraat Crossmediale Communicatie in het Publieke Domein van de Hogeschool Utrecht.
Thema-artikel

De Frankfurter Schule en algoritmisch bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden algorithmic governance, enlightenment, Frankfurter Schule, public administration, technology critique
Auteurs Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Frankfurter Schule offers an interesting intellectual orientation for critical public administration that seeks to unmask problematic political-administrative power structures. It compels public administration scholars to reflect on the policy processes and bureaucratic structures of a technological society, and the legitimizing or criticizing role of public administration scholars in this. A critical public administration that is inspired by the Frankfurter Schule does not accept existing processes and structures. On the contrary, it contests them and uncovers them as a critique of domination, repression, reification, one-dimensionality, bias, erotic deficit and lack of creativity. It is focussed on identifying alternative, more humanizing and democratizing, futures. In this essay the significance of the Frankfurter Schule for critical public administration in technological society is explored. The development of algorithmic governance serves as a case to illustrate critical analysis, to reveal the essence of the Frankfurter Schule, and to show some of its contemporary relevance for critical public administration. Algorithmic governance is portrayed as a type of governance that reinforces existing policy processes and bureaucratic structures of technological society, and is unmasked by critical public administration scholars as a force of reification.


Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde
Dr. Ringo Ossewaarde is als universitair hoofddocent Bestuur, Samenleving en Technologie verbonden aan de Universiteit Twente.
Thema-artikel

Een kritisch-pragmatische bestuurskunde

Oxymoron of gelukkig huwelijk?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden critical pragmatism, public administration, energy justice, governance arrangements, regional energy strategies
Auteurs Dr. Tamara Metze
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A pragmatic criticaster or a critical pragmatist is considered a schizophrenic in daily life: it seems impossible to be solution oriented and critical at the same time. You are either an optimist or a pessimist. This schism also seems to run between public administration and political scientists. Public administration is focused on (positive) problem solving, whereas political scientists – especially in a tradition of critical theory – examine the exertion of power. This essay proposes a combination of the two extremes: a critical-pragmatist approach for public administration.
    In this approach, critical political theory goes hand in hand with pragmatist reconstruction and design. This design is impossible without normative and procedural principles, for example ideas about sustainability, justice and democracy. This is illustrated with an example for designing just governance arrangements in the Dutch regional energy strategies. The article shows that public administration that is relevant, reflective and democratic builds on a critical-pragmatist approach.


Dr. Tamara Metze
Dr. T. Metze is universitair hoofddocent Bestuur en beleid aan de universiteit van Wageningen.
Thema-artikel

Kritisch bestuurskundig onderwijs

Een pleidooi voor productieve subversiviteit

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Public Administration, critical theory, education, subversive
Auteurs Dr. Mark van Ostaijen en Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    By analysing the current self-presentation of educational programs, this article problematizes the dominating instrumental knowledge within Public Administration. By foregrounding ‘productive subversion’, the authors provide a perspective on more reflexive types of knowledge and methods, to re-value educational programs within Public Administration.


Dr. Mark van Ostaijen
Dr. M.A.C. van Ostaijen is universitair docent aan het Departement Bestuurskunde en Sociologie van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Dr. Shivant Jhagroe
Dr. S. S. Jhagroe is universitair docent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.
Vrij artikel

Ontwerpprincipes voor betere burgerparticipatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden citizen participation, equality, law-making, local policy
Auteurs Dr. Menno Hurenkamp en Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Citizen participation is a regular feature of recent legislation and policymaking. However, more often than not, the goals of participation remain implicit. As a consequence, exclusion mechanisms well known from the literature keep coming back. A current example is the Dutch Environment and Planning Act, which is expected to enter into force in 2021. In this article we use this Act to identify the exclusion mechanisms at work and suggest an alternative wording.


Dr. Menno Hurenkamp
Dr. M. Hurenkamp is publicist en is als politicoloog verbonden aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek en de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
Prof. dr. E. Tonkens is hoogleraar Burgerschap en humanisering van de publieke sector aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek.

    From 1964 until roughly 1990, political science would become the dominant approach within the (local) administrative sciences in the Netherlands. This central position was taken over from the legal approach. Important impulses from political science for Public Administration came only from the second-generation political scientists: Gijs Kuypers at the Free University Amsterdam, Hans Daudt at the University of Amsterdam and Hans Daalder at the University of Leiden. In their footsteps, a political scientist emerged who, through his contribution to several universities (the Free University, the University of Nijmegen and the University of Twente), had a great deal of influence on the further development of Dutch Public Administration: Andries Hoogerwerf. Two other approaches emerged from political science that were important for the development of modern public administration in the Netherlands, namely policy science and the new political economy (public choice). In this essay the author outlines the input of the main figures from political science, policy science and public choice until 1990 in various stages that are most relevant to Public Administration. These stages take us to various cities and universities in the Netherlands. In addition, we see important cross-fertilization between the institutions through the transfer of people from one university to another. After 1990 however, Public Administration would increasingly profile itself as an independent inter-discipline.


Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    The vast majority of Dutch municipalities organize part of their activities on a smaller scale than those of the municipality as such: it is called intra-municipal organization. In this article an inventory is made of the existing knowledge about the effects of various forms of intra-municipal organization in the Netherlands. On the basis of recent research, this knowledge is supplemented and it is also made clear which forms of intra-municipal organization are currently used. An analysis is also made of what legal leeway Dutch municipalities have in this regard. A new and richer typology of intra-municipal organization is also being developed. Finally, the authors place the results of the research reported here in a broader perspective. In particular, they reflect on two presuppositions under many forms of intra-municipal organization, namely that activities are location specific and democracy must necessarily be of the ‘representative’ type. Its relevance for practitioners is that the article provides insight into the legal leeway for intra-municipal organization and into the design of intra-municipal organization. It also contains a reflection on the design of the intra-municipal organization.


Dr. Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap was tot 1 augustus 2019 universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg en is sindsdien directeur van de Noordelijke Rekenkamer.

Dr. Gert-Jan Leenknegt
Dr. G. Leenknegt is universitair hoofddocent constitutioneel recht aan de Tilburg Law School van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Hulp bij het vormen van lokale coalities en colleges

De lokale externe (in)formateur in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2020
Auteurs Dirk Winkelmolen MSc en Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In many Dutch municipalities, a ‘local external (in)formateur’ is deployed after the municipal elections. Local (in)formateurs guide the process of coalition formation. They investigate which political parties and political groups want to work together and try to bring them closer together. They can also play a role in the board formation, such as selecting alderman candidates and allocating portfolios. External (in)formateurs come ‘from outside’. They do not have an official political or official position in the municipality where they do their work at the time of their deployment as informateur. In 2014, forty percent of the municipalities made use of such an external (information) officer. However, we still know relatively little about the work of these local external informateurs, their background and results. The authors try to fill that gap on the basis of a literature study, interviews with stakeholders and a survey among 115 local external informateurs. They also consider the added value of local external (in)formateurs for local democracy. The work of local external (in)formal formateurs can contribute to a stable and well-functioning municipal executive. Nonetheless, they tend to have a rather one-sided socio-demographic profile and the desired party political experience and involvement with the municipality can be at odds with the desired independence and objectivity.


Dirk Winkelmolen MSc
D. Winkelmolen MSc deed de master Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg en is momenteel beleidsmedewerker Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling in de gemeente Roerdalen (Limburg).

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.
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

Deliberation Out of the Laboratory into Democracy

Quasi-Experimental Research on Deliberative Opinions in Antwerp’s Participatory Budgeting

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Deliberative democracy, mini-publics, participatory budget, social learning, deliberative opinions
Auteurs Thibaut Renson
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The theoretical assumptions of deliberative democracy are increasingly embraced by policymakers investing in local practices, while the empirical verifications are often not on an equal footing. One such assertion concerns the stimulus of social learning among participants of civic democratic deliberation. Through the use of pre-test/post-test panel data, it is tested whether participation in mini-publics stimulates the cognitive and attitudinal indicators of social learning. The main contribution of this work lies in the choice of matching this quasi-experimental set-up with a natural design. This study explores social learning across deliberation through which local policymakers invite their citizens to participate in actual policymaking. This analysis on the District of Antwerp’s participatory budgeting demonstrates stronger social learning in real-world policymaking. These results inform a richer theory on the impacts of deliberation, as well as better use of limited resources for local (participatory) policymaking.


Thibaut Renson
Thibaut Renson is, inspired by the 2008 Obama campaign, educated as a Political Scientist (Ma EU Studies, Ghent University) and Political Philosopher (Ma Global Ethics and Human Values, King’s College London). Landed back at the Ghentian Centre for Local Politics to do empirical research. Driven by the moral importance of social learning (vs. political consumerism) in democracy, exploring the empirical instrumentality of deliberation.

    Digital transformation offers provinces both opportunities and threats. A long-held wish that social tasks (and the demand from citizens and companies) can be put at the center seems to be fulfilled. But, in addition to opportunities, the transformation also provides the necessary risks for, for example, the privacy of citizens and companies, but also due to the disruptive nature of digital transformation. This contribution looks at the digital transformation from a provincial perspective. The data vision in the making of the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant forms the basis for this essay, but what emerges applies broadly (with differences in emphasis) to several provinces. The author also gives a number of suggestions for the implementation of the transformation.


Dr. Marcel Thaens
Dr. M. Thaens is Chief Information Officer van de Provincie Noord-Brabant en lid van de Regiegroep Interprovinciale Digitale Agenda (IDA).
Thema

Access_open Principes voor goed lokaal bestuur in de digitale samenleving

Een aanzet tot een normatief kader

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2019
Auteurs Prof. dr. Albert Meijer, Dr. Mirko Tobias Schäfer en Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article presents a normative framework for good local governance in the digital society. We build on the five principles of Frank Hendriks (laid down in an article in Urban Affairs Review in 2014): participation, effectiveness, learning ability, procedural justice and accountability. An analysis of these five principles leads to the refinement of these principles for the digital society. The overarching points are that attention is needed for the possibility of human contact, that avoiding discrimination must be central, that higher demands are made with regard to speed of action, that the principles increasingly apply to networks of organizations, and that the principles increasingly apply to the design of systems. This overview thus provides concrete tools for organizations that want to reflect with citizens and stakeholders on the extent to which they are able to achieve good local governance in the digital society.


Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
Prof. dr. A.J. Meijer is hoogleraar Publieke Innovatie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Dr. Mirko Tobias Schäfer
Dr. M.T. Schäfer is universitair hoofddocent aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het departement Media- en Cultuurwetenschappen.

Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
Dr. E.M. Branderhorst is gemeentesecretaris en algemeen directeur in de gemeente Gouda en lid van de Raad voor het Openbaar Bestuur (ROB).

Dr. Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.

    More and more government organizations are making data public with the aim of promoting innovation and democratic processes. But open data does not always lead to the desired impact. In this study the authors analyze why some organizations are successful in exploiting the potential of open data and others are not. This research uses an ecosystem approach to investigate similarities and differences between four organizations that use open data. This has revealed three factors that promote the ecosystem, namely the influence of other organizations that are also involved with open data such as the motivation for open data, the important role of innovation champions and the utilization of the user perspective. Three barriers have also emerged: the preparation of a suitable case question for open data, the difficult relationship between obtaining capacity and the expected yields and the difference in scale between issues and profitable data sets.


Rik Wijnhof MSc
R. Wijnhof MSc deed een master Publiek Management aan de Universiteit Utrecht en is projectleider bij het programma Transparante en Open Provincie (TOP) van de provincie Zuid-Holland.

Jochem van den Berg MSc
J. van den Berg MSc deed een research master Bestuurskunde en Organisatiewetenschap aan de Universiteit Utrecht, is Open Data-consultant bij The Green Land en zakelijk directeur bij PresentU.

Dr. Erna Ruijer
Dr. E. Ruijer is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Utrecht bij het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap.
Vrij artikel

Access_open Democratie ligt op straat

Dilemma’s en kansen in de interactie tussen overheid en burger

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden citizen participation, democratic legitimacy, street-level interactions, informal citizenship, contestation
Auteurs Dr. Nanke Verloo
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The goal of citizens participation increases the moments of contact between politicians, policy makers, welfare professionals and citizens. The shared responsibility for local decision making is not an easy task. Often conflicts emerge between parties with opposing needs and interests. Citizens oppose decisions or organize protest. These moments do not only challenge the goal of participation, they also jeopardize the quality of democracy. The democratic value of contentious moments, however, is often neglected. How can public professionals deal with the dilemma’s and chances that emerge during interactions that happen unexpectedly at the street-level? I answer that question by applying the agonistic approach to democracy to the action repertoire of public professionals dealing with conflict. A dramaturgical analysis of contentious interactions provides insights in how we can recognize and acknowledge contentious citizenship.


Dr. Nanke Verloo
Dr. N. Verloo is universitair docent en onderzoeker bij de afdeling Geografie, Planologie en Internationale Ontwikkelingsstudies van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Artikel

Over Rousseau, goede burgers en de participatiesamenleving

Een normatieve analyse van het nieuwe contractdenken van de Nederlandse overheid door de ogen van een klassieke contractdenker

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Beleidsevaluatie, Burgerschap, Participatiesamenleving, Rousseau, Sociaal contract
Auteurs Dr. Yvonne Kleistra
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands good citizenship has become a topic of increased importance on the government agenda since the murder of Pim Fortuyn. The author assesses the effectiveness of the Dutch citizenship policies within the context of the broader policy framework of the so-called participatory society (participatiesamenleving) or do-democracy (doe-democratie). The evaluative analysis consists of two parts. In the first part the changing ideas concerning good citizenship are identified as well as the normative assumptions that are at the basis of Dutch citizenship policies. In the second part, the potential of current policies, and in particular the ideas that gave rise to creating a new social contract between government and society are assessed. To this end some key aspects of the new contract thinking of the Dutch government are contrasted with the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The findings show that the current strive for tangible agreements on citizen behavior and civic duties is at odds with the main principles of classic contract theory. This leads to the conclusion that the new contractualism that is at the basis of the Dutch citizen policies should rather be seen as a threat to a stable society than as a building block for good citizenship.


Dr. Yvonne Kleistra
Dr. Yvonne Kleistra is werkzaam als universitair docent bij het Dual PhD Centre van de Universiteit Leiden.
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.
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