Zoekresultaat: 56 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

Populism as a Visual Communication Style

An Exploratory Study of Populist Image Usage of Flemish Block/Interest in Belgium (1991-2018)

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Populism, image use, visual style, campaign, posters, visual, Flanders, populist right, Belgium
Auteurs Kevin Straetemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the visual communication of the Flemish populist right-wing party Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang, and investigates whether or not the party uses a specific populist communication style in its campaign posters, whether or not its visual style evolves over time and how the party distinguishes itself from other (right-wing) parties in its use of images. To do this, the image use will be compared with the CVP/CD&V and the Volksunie/N-VA. This use of images will be investigated by analysing election posters from 1991 to 2018. The analysis shows that there is indeed a ‘populist visual style’. These items consist mainly of (negative) metaphors, false dilemmas, caricatures and the use of so-called ‘agonic’ visual techniques.


Kevin Straetemans
Kevin Straetemans attained a Master’s degree in Political Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2018. He is currently pursuing an Educational Master in Social Sciences at the same university. His research interests are political parties, elections, extremism, propaganda and political communication.
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.
Thema-artikel

Onafhankelijk onderzoek in het publiek belang

Een essay over wat onafhankelijkheid in onderzoek behelst en vergt

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Independent research, Public interest, The Dutch Safety Board
Auteurs Prof. dr. ir. Marjolein van Asselt, Drs. Marjan Slob, ir. Marjolein Baart e.a.
Samenvatting

    The Dutch Safety Board is authorised to conduct safety investigations in nearly every area and sector. The Board is independent and aims to contribute to learning from incidents, accidents and disasters. In the essay, the authors reflect on what it means to conduct independent investigation in the public interest. They define independent investigation as a relational enterprise that requires reflexive investigators but also elementary and advanced safeguards in position, judgement and presentation.


Prof. dr. ir. Marjolein van Asselt

Drs. Marjan Slob

ir. Marjolein Baart

mr. drs. Dirk Ipenburg

Drs. Mirjam van het Loo
Thema-artikel

Leren van de WODC-casus

Formele en professionele waarborgen voor onafhankelijk onderzoek vergen onderhoud

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden professional safeguards, policy influence, independence, scientific research
Auteurs Dr. Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the relationship between the Ministry of Justice and Security and the Scientific Research and Documentation Center, safeguards to prevent improper influence of research were lacking. In the opinion of the WODC II investigation committee, civil servants were too close to the substantive execution of the investigation, as a result of which the WODC was given too little room for critical investigation. For other ministries and knowledge institutions the question is relevant as to what safeguards are needed for conducting independent research. Rules and procedures are not sufficient for creating and maintaining responsible research practices. It is also important that employees learn to recognize difficult situations, can discuss these with their colleagues, and know how to deal with dilemmas. Other organizations can learn from the WODC issue that they must maintain and recalibrate the formal and professional safeguards for the independence of scientific research. Trust in science stands or falls with independence and soundness in word and deed.


Dr. Meike Bokhorst
Dr. A.M. Bokhorst is senior wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid en onderzoeker bij de Universiteit Utrecht. Zij was als onderzoeksleider en auteur betrokken bij het rapport van de onderzoekscommissie over de relatie WODC en beleid.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Onafhankelijk onderzoek in positie, oordeelsvorming en beeldvorming

Institutionele en professionele dimensies van ‘speaking truth to power’

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Independent Research, Policy Evaluation, Organisational Culture, Public Policy, Quality Management
Auteurs Dr. Peter van der Knaap, Dr. Meike Bokhorst en Dr. Yvonne Kleistra
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Regularly, doubts about the independence of research leads to heated discussion. This is especially true if things have gone wrong. This issue explores the question how research organizations and researchers can defend themselves against improper influence: the conscious and active pursuit of too positive research results by commissioners or government officials. This article outlines a number of dimensions of how establishing good, independent research can be structured in a systematic and sensible manner. Independent inquiry manifests itself in position, judgment, and appearance or image. Institutional safeguards form the basis for professional roles and responsibilities that can fulfill the requirements of independent research in the political arena.


Dr. Peter van der Knaap
Dr. P. van der Knaap is directeur-bestuurder van SWOV, voorzitter van Vide en redactielid van Bestuurskunde.

Dr. Meike Bokhorst
Dr. A.M. Bokhorst is onderzoeker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid en bij de Universiteit Utrecht.

Dr. Yvonne Kleistra
Dr. Y. Kleistra is universitair docent aan de Universiteit Leiden en redactielid van Bestuurskunde.
Thema-artikel

Onafhankelijk onderzoek in het biomedische gebied

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Medical research, independent research, pharmaceutical research, pharmaceutical industry, conflict of interest
Auteurs Prof. dr Frits R. Rosendaal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The author discusses the practices, problems and pitfalls research in the biomedical field with regard to conflicts of interests. Medicines are not ordinary products: the exclusive right to prescribe lies with the doctor, and because of the potentially life-saving nature of medicines, their use, price and availability is surrounded by emotions, especially when there is only one medicine available for a serious illness. Nonetheless, these products are marketed by companies that have a primarily commercial interest and, on the basis of those interests, engage in pricing and advertising activities. In the research on medicines, there is close cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and doctor-researchers, whereby independence is at stake due to the large financial interests and reimbursements. This pushes the design, outcome and publication of research in a direction that is favorable to the pharmaceutical industry, but that is not financially the best direction for society, or medically for patients.


Prof. dr Frits R. Rosendaal
Prof. dr F.R. Rosendaal is hoogleraar en afdelingshoofd Klinische Epidemiologie in het Leids Universitair Medisch Centrum (LUMC). Hij doet onderzoek naar oorzaken van hart- en vaatziekten. In 2003 ontving hij de Spinozaprijs, de hoogste wetenschappelijke prijs in Nederland. Hij is gekozen lid van de Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen en van de Duitse Akademie Leopoldina. In 2011 ontving hij een eredoctoraat van de Universiteit van Parijs Descartes.
Research Notes

Paid Digital Campaigning During the 2018 Local Elections in Flanders

Which Candidates Jumped on the Bandwagon?

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden local elections, candidates, campaign spending, digital campaigning
Auteurs Gunther Vanden Eynde, Gert-Jan Put, Bart Maddens e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This research note investigates the role of paid digital campaigning in the 2018 local elections in Flanders. We make use of the official declarations which candidates are legally required to submit. In these declarations, candidates indicate whether and how much they invested in online campaigning tools during the four months preceding the elections. We collected data on a sample of 3,588 individual candidates running in the 30 municipalities of the Leuven Arrondissement. A multilevel logistic regression model shows that the odds of spending on digital campaigning increases among incumbent aldermen and local councillors. The latter finding supports the normalization thesis of digital campaigning. The results also show that scale is important – the more potential voters a candidate has, the higher the odds that the candidate invests in digital tools.


Gunther Vanden Eynde
Gunther Vanden Eynde is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research interests include political finance, campaign spending and the social media campaigns of Belgian political parties and their candidates.

Gert-Jan Put
Gert-Jan Put is a Senior Researcher at the Research Center for Regional Economics, KU Leuven. His research focuses on candidate selection and intra-party competition, and has been published in Political Behavior, Party Politics and Electoral Studies.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is a professor of political science at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute His research interests include political finance, elections and multi-level systems. His work has been published in West European Politics, Party Politics and Electoral Studies.

Gertjan Muyters
Gertjan Muyters is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research focuses on candidate turnover and political careers.
Article

How to Improve Local Turnout

The Effect of Municipal Efforts to Improve Turnout in Dutch Local Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden turnout, local elections, get out the vote, campaign, the Netherlands
Auteurs Julien van Ostaaijen, Sabine van Zuydam en Martijn Epskamp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Even though many municipalities use a variety of means to improve turnout in local elections, citizen participation in local elections is a point of concern in many Western countries, including the Netherlands. Our research question is therefore: How effective are municipal efforts to improve turnout in (Dutch) local elections? To this end, we collected data from three sources: (1) a survey sent to the municipal clerks of 389 Dutch municipalities to learn what they do to improve turnout; (2) data from Statistics Netherlands on municipalities’ socio-demographic characteristics; and (3) data on the turnout in local elections from the Dutch Electoral Council database. Using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, we found that the direct impact of local governments’ efforts to improve turnout is low. Nevertheless, some measures seem to be able to make a difference. The relative number of polling stations was especially found to impact turnout.


Julien van Ostaaijen
Julien van Ostaaijen is assistant professor of public administration at the Tilburg Institute of Governance (Tilburg University).

Sabine van Zuydam
Sabine van Zuydam is assistant professor of public administration at the Tilburg Institute of Governance (Tilburg University) and researcher at Necker van Naem.

Martijn Epskamp
Martijn Epskamp is a researcher of the municipality of Rotterdam (Research and Business Intelligence department)
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).
Research Notes

Sub-Constituency Campaigning in PR Systems

Evidence from the 2014 General Elections in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Sub-constituency campaigning, PR system, political advertisements, election campaign, content analysis
Auteurs Jonas Lefevere, Knut De Swert en Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Sub-constituency campaigning occurs when parties focus their campaign resources on specific geographical areas within an electoral district. This behaviour was traditionally thought to occur only in single-member plurality elections, but recent research demonstrates that proportional systems with multi-member districts can also elicit sub-constituency campaigning. However, most studies of sub-constituency campaigning rely on self-reported measures of campaigning, not direct measures of campaign intensity in different regions and communities. We present novel data on geographical variations in the intensity of Flemish parties’ campaign advertising during the 2014 general elections in Belgium, which provides a direct measure of sub-constituency campaigning. Our findings show clear evidence of sub-constituency campaigning: parties campaign more intensely in municipalities where they have stronger electoral support and in municipalities with greater population density.


Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is assistant professor at Vesalius College and the Institute for European Studies (VUB). His research interests include the strategic communication of political elites, the effects of campaign communication on political attitudes and electoral choice and the role of issue perceptions in electoral behavior.

Knut De Swert
Knut De Swert is Assistant Professor, Political Communication and Journalism, at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands). His research is situated in the field of media and politics, and mainly focuses on the quality of (political) journalism and foreign news in a comparative perspective.

Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi
Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi is a student research assistant for the EOS research project RepResent which focuses on representation and democratic resentment. She is currently following a Research Master’s at the University of Amsterdam with an interest in political communication research.
Article

Fiscal Consolidation in Federal Belgium

Collective Action Problem and Solutions

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden fiscal consolidation, fiscal policy, federalism, intergovernmental relations, High Council of Finance
Auteurs Johanna Schnabel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Fiscal consolidation confronts federal states with a collective action problem, especially in federations with a tightly coupled fiscal regime such as Belgium. However, the Belgian federation has successfully solved this collective action problem even though it lacks the political institutions that the literature on dynamic federalism has identified as the main mechanisms through which federal states achieve cooperation across levels of government. This article argues that the regionalization of the party system, on the one hand, and the rationalization of the deficit problem by the High Council of Finance, on the other, are crucial to understand how Belgium was able to solve the collective action problem despite its tightly coupled fiscal regime and particularly high levels of deficits and debts. The article thus emphasizes the importance of compromise and consensus in reducing deficits and debts in federal states.


Johanna Schnabel
School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent, Rutherford College, Canterbury CT2 7NX, United Kingdom.
Article

Access_open What Is Left of the Radical Right?

The Economic Agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party 2006-2017

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden radical right-wing populist parties, economic policies, welfare chauvinism, populism, deserving poor
Auteurs Simon Otjes
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines the economic agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party. It finds that this party mixes left-wing and right-wing policy positions. This inconsistency can be understood through the group-based account of Ennser-Jedenastik (2016), which proposes that the welfare state agenda of radical right-wing populist parties can be understood in terms of populism, nativism and authoritarianism. Each of these elements is linked to a particular economic policy: economic nativism, which sees the economic interest of natives and foreigners as opposed; economic populism, which seeks to limit economic privileges for the elite; and economic authoritarianism, which sees the interests of deserving and undeserving poor as opposed. By using these different oppositions, radical right-wing populist parties can reconcile left-wing and right-wing positions.


Simon Otjes
Assistant professor of political science at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University.

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.
Dossier

De aanpak van belastingontwijking door de EU: gerichte maatregelen zonder structurele verandering.

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Tax, EU/European Union, Corporate taxation, Tax avoidance, Tax policy
Auteurs Indra Römgens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    According to the outgoing European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, the European Union (EU) has made more progress in tackling tax avoidance and evasion in the last five years than in the twenty years before that. This article argues that although several targeted measures have indeed been adopted, such as automatic exchange of tax rulings and limitations on interest deductions, this has not led to a structural change in EU corporate tax policies, nor in underlying power relations. The article discusses the politics of a number of recent policy developments related to tax avoidance and evasion by transnational corporations. It argues that the adoption of targeted measures, and the simultaneous stalling of more comprehensive approaches – in terms of tax transparency or a common consolidated corporate tax base – can be explained by recent tax controversies, international politics, and the dynamics within and between EU institutions. Particular attention is paid to the role of the European Parliament that is formally limited, but still houses progressive forces that have continuously pushed for a clampdown on tax avoidance. Finally, the article pleads for more transparent EU decision-making, specifically concerning discussions with and within the Council, in order to improve the democratic legitimacy of EU corporate tax policies and processes.


Indra Römgens
MSc Indra Römgens is Promovendus aan de Roskilde Universiteit in Denemarken en de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen.
Dossier

De schuldencrisis in de eurozone: oorzaken, aanpak en implicaties

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Eurozone crisis, Financialization, Bail-outs, Austerity, Banking union, Quantitative easing
Auteurs Dr. Henk Overbeek
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Ten years ago, now, the Eurozone began to shake on its foundations. This article traces the genesis of the crisis and the present state of affairs. As to the causes of the global financial crisis in 2008, I argue that contrary to common understanding, the financial crisis had its deeper causes in a decades old tendency towards crisis in the real economy, produced by the continuous overaccumulation of capital which can only return profits by undertaking speculative short-term investments (a phenomenon known as ‘financialisation’). I then trace how the global financial crisis morphed into a crisis of public deficits and debt in 2010-2011, particularly in the Eurozone. Three factors are shown to be responsible: financialization, design faults in the European monetary union, and the neo-mercantilist strategy of especially Germany and the Netherlands. The paper next looks at the five main traits of the policy responses in the Eurozone: bailing out governments and banks through creating emergency funds; imposition of austerity and budget discipline for member state governments; attempting to create and complete a Eurozone banking union; subsequently the European Central Bank engaged on an unprecedented scale in ‘quantitative easing’; and finally, institutional reform in an attempt to repair the most pressing design faults of the EMU. The paper concludes that the underlying structural factors leading up to the crisis have only been addressed incompletely: the overaccumulation of capital continues, the completion of the banking union is in an impasse, quantitative easing has mostly just intensified financialization by pushing up asset prizes, and institutional reform has taken the form of a fundamentally undemocratic attempt at monetary and political union by stealth. The broader legitimacy of the European project has been substantially undermined, and Europe is not in a better position than eight years ago in case of a new global crisis.


Dr. Henk Overbeek
Henk Overbeek is Emeritus Hoogleraar Internationale betrekkingen aan de afdeling Bestuurswetenschap en Politicologie van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Auteurs Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.


Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
Literature review

Consensualism, Democratic Satisfaction, Political Trust and the Winner-Loser Gap

State of the Art of Two Decades of Research

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensualism, majoritarianism, political trust, satisfaction with democracy, Lijphart
Auteurs Tom van der Meer en Anna Kern
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Lijphart (1999) argued that citizens tend to be more satisfied with democracy in consensual democracies than in majoritarian democracies and that the gap in democratic satisfaction between the winners and the losers of elections is smaller under consensualism. Twenty years on since then, this article takes stock of the literature on consensualism and political support. We find considerable ambiguity in the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence provided in this literature. Finally, we speculate on possible reasons for this ambiguity.


Tom van der Meer
Tom van der Meer, University of Amsterdam.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern, Ghent University.
Article

Transformative Welfare Reform in Consensus Democracies

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, welfare state, social investment, transformative reform, Belgium and the Netherlands
Auteurs Anton Hemerijck en Kees van Kersbergen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article takes up Lijphart’s claim that consensus democracy is a ‘kinder, gentler’ form of democracy than majoritarian democracy. We zoom in on contemporary welfare state change, particularly the shift towards social investment, and argue that the kinder, gentler hypothesis remains relevant. Consensus democracies stand out in regard to the extent to which their political institutions help to overcome the politically delicate intricacies of governing for the long term. We theorize the features that can help to solve the problem of temporal commitment in democracy through processual mechanisms and illustrate these with short case studies of the contrasting welfare state reform experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Anton Hemerijck
Anton Hemerijck is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Kees van Kersbergen
Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University, Denmark.
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