Zoekresultaat: 22 artikelen

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Thema-artikel

Waarom burgers coproducent willen zijn

Een theoretisch model om de motivaties van coproducerende burgers te verklaren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2021
Auteurs Carola van Eijk en Trui Steen
Auteursinformatie

Carola van Eijk
Ten tijde van publicatie werkte C.J.A. van Eijk MSc. (research) als promovenda bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Trui Steen
Dr. T.P.S. Steen was universitair hoofddocent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden en bij KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid.
Article

The Impact of VAAs on Vote Switching at the 2019 Belgian Legislative Elections

More Switchers, but Making Their Own Choices

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden voting advice applications, vote switching, vote choice, elections and electoral behaviour, voters/citizens in Belgium, VAA
Auteurs David Talukder, Laura Uyttendaele, Isaïa Jennart e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    During electoral campaigns, the use of voting advice applications (VAAs) has become increasingly widespread. Consequently, scholars have examined both the patterns of usage and their effects on voting behaviour. However, existing studies lead to conflicting findings. In this article, we take a closer look at the effect of De Stemtest/Test électoral (a VAA developed by academics from the University of Louvain and the University of Antwerp, in partnership with Belgian media partners) on vote switching. More specifically, we divide this latter question into two sub-questions: (1) What is the impact of a (dis)confirming advice from the VAA on vote switching? (2) Do VAA users follow the voting advice provided by the VAA? Our study shows that receiving a disconfirming advice from the VAA increases the probability of users to switch their vote choice.


David Talukder
David Talukder is a PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium). He works within the research project “Reforming Representative Democracy”. His main research interests are democratic innovations, political representation, and democratic reforms.

Laura Uyttendaele
Laura Uyttendaele is a PhD candidate at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium). Her main research interests are Voting Advice Applications, Youth & politics, political attitudes and behaviours, and experimental methods.

Isaïa Jennart
Isaïa Jennart is a PhD candidate (Universiteit Antwerpen & VUB, Belgium) interested in public opinion, electoral campaigns, voting behaviour, Voting Advice Applications and political knowledge. He mainly studies citizens’ knowledge of parties’ issue positions.

Benoît Rihoux
Benoît Rihoux is full professor in political science at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium). His research covers comparative methods (especially QCA) as well as diverse topics in comparative politics, political organizations and political behaviour.
Article

Getting Party Activists on Local Lists

How Dutch Local Party Branches Perform Their Recruitment Function

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden municipal politics, political parties, candidate lists, local party branches, recruitment
Auteurs Simon Otjes, Marcel Boogers en Gerrit Voerman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines what explains the performance of Dutch local party branches in the recruitment of candidates for municipal councils. Fielding a list of candidates is the most basic function of political parties. In the Netherlands, party branches are under pressure from the low number of party members. To analyse how branches fulfil their role in recruitment, we employ our own survey of the secretaries of party branches held in the run-up to the 2018 municipal election. We find that party membership drives the successful fulfilment of the recruitment function but that, more than the absolute number of members, the crucial factors are how these party members cooperate, the number of active members and the development of this number.


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 articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science and in the European Journal of Political Research, among others.

Marcel Boogers
Marcel Boogers is Professor of Innovation and Regional governance at Twente University. His research focuses on the structure of and dynamics within networks of local and regional governments. Boogers combines his position at Twente University with a position as senior advisor at consultancy firm BMC.

Gerrit Voerman
Gerrit Voerman is Professor of the Development and Function of the Dutch and European Party System at Groningen University and Director of its Centre Dutch Political Parties. His research focuses on political parties, their history and their organisation. He is editor of a long-running series of books on Dutch political parties.
Article

Access_open 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

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.
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)

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

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

Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Dr. Linze Schaap, Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks, Dr. Niels Karsten MA e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors argue that municipal democracy in the Netherlands has become a multiple democracy. Within the formal framework of representative democracy, numerous democratic arrangements have emerged that may be referred to as participatory, direct and also what the authors call ‘do-democracy’. Additions to representative democracy did not come without reason: representative democracy is not a perfect system, either in theory or in practice. Efforts have been made to improve the functioning of representative democracy in a number of ways. Three of these are discussed in this article. The authors note that these three reforms do not solve the problems in representative democracy. So the Dutch municipalities have started looking for additions to representative democracy. In this article various forms of participatory, do-it-yourself and direct democracy are discussed. Many effects of these reforms are still unknown and knowledge about them has crumbled, but one conclusion can be drawn: people with a low education are not inclined to take part, even with arrangements that are easily accessible. Striving for a more vital local democracy seems meaningful; the authors formulate a number of ways of thinking about this.


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

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

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

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.

Charlotte Wagenaar MSc.
C.C.L. Wagenaar MSc is onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open De vrijheid om te kiezen of thuis te blijven

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Voter turnout, Provincial elections, Water boards, Democracy, Voter mobilization
Auteurs Dr. Claartje Brons en Dr. Tamara Metze
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Dr. Claartje Brons
Dr. Claartje Brons is lid van de redactie van Beleid en Maatschappij, zij schrijft dit artikel op persoonlijke titel.

Dr. Tamara Metze
Dr. Tamara Metze is voorzitter van de redactie van Beleid en Maatschappij.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open DENK. Factoren voor het succes, de kenmerken van de achterban en het bereiken van nieuwe stemmers

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Multicultural parties, Local elections, The Netherlands, Immigrants, Turnout rates
Auteurs Dr. Floris Vermeulen en Drs Maria Kranendonk MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Dr. Floris Vermeulen
Dr. Floris Vermeulen is werkzaam op de afdeling Politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Drs Maria Kranendonk MSc
Drs. Maria Kranendonk, MSc is werkzaam op de afdeling Politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open De zin en onzin van opkomst(bevordering)

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Voter turnout, Turnout, Elections, Politics, Local (getting out the vote)
Auteurs Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen, Daan Jacobs MSc en Sabine van Zuydam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan Tilburg University en wetenschappelijk adviseur bij ProDemos: huis voor democratie en rechtsstaat.

Daan Jacobs MSc
Daan Jacobs MSc is onderzoeker en docent bestuurskunde aan Tilburg University.

Sabine van Zuydam
Sabine van Zuydam is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan Tilburg University en onderzoeker bij Necker van Naem.
Reflectie & debat

Access_open Opkomst bij verkiezingen: onbekend maakt onbemind

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Elections and election turnout, Compulsory voting, Citizenship, Democracy, Voter education
Auteurs Eddy Habben Jansen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Reflection and debate initiates academically inspired discussions on issues that are on the current policy agenda.


Eddy Habben Jansen
Eddy Habben Jansen is directeur van ProDemos – Huis voor democratie en rechtsstaat.
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.
Artikel

Lokale verkiezingen: een lokaal of nationaal feest der democratie?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden, Babs Broekema MSc en Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The term ‘second-order election’ indicates some elections are less important for citizens than national elections. This article investigates to what extent that applies for the Dutch elections of the municipal council. The research builds on literature about the second-order nature of the local elections in the Netherlands. The authors focus on the question to what extent the Dutch elections of the municipal council are second-order elections, by comparing voting at local and national elections in different ways. They compare four aspects of local and national voting: the turnout, the underlying factors that explain the turnout, the factors that explain voting for local parties, and the national or local character of the voting motives at the municipal elections in 2014. The results do not give a clear answer to the question to which extent municipal elections are locally oriented. The four different angles all deliver ambiguous patterns. So municipal elections indeed partly have a second-order nature as previously argued and shown. Nevertheless, we must not underestimate local affinity and political involvement. The fact that some of the citizens are interested in local politics, local parties and in local election electoral programmes is pointing out a local political dynamics.


Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden
Dr. E.H. Steenvoorden is universitair docent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Babs Broekema MSc
B. Broekema MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Aan dezelfde universiteit deed ze een master Bestuurskunde, Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
Dr. J. van der Waal is universitair hoofddocent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

De slagkracht van populisme. Een onderzoek naar de houding tegenover populisme bij jongeren en jongvolwassenen in Vlaanderen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden public opinion, Populism, Democracy, adolescents and young adults, political attitudes
Auteurs Gil Keppens, Dr. Jessy Siongers, Dr. Bram Spruyt e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Populism is usually studied by investigating the political discourses of parties considered to be populist. In contrast, this paper attempts to measure the support for a populist attitude among adolescents and young adults (age 14 to 30) in Flanders (N = 2618), the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. This paper answers two research questions: (1) Which adolescents and young adults support the populist attitude and which are the core elements of populism that get the most support? (2) To what extent are adolescents and young adults who support the core elements of populism willing to be politically engaged? The results show that: (1) the support for the populist attitude is widespread among young people in Flanders, and (2) the relationship between a support for populism and political engagement is nuanced. Implications of the support of the populist attitude for democratic participation are discussed.


Gil Keppens
Gil Keppens is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Dr. Jessy Siongers
Dr. Jessy Siongers is als doctoraal assistente verbonden aan de vakgroep Sociologie van de Universiteit Gent.

Dr. Bram Spruyt
Dr. Bram Spruyt is docent bij de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Lauren Vandenbossche
Lauren Vandenbossche is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Filip Van Droogenbroeck
Filip Van Droogenbroeck is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Het effect van politieke sofisticatie op de (intentie tot) opkomst bij eerste- en tweederangsverkiezingen in België en Nederland

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden political sophistication, first- and second-order elections, turnout
Auteurs Dieter Stiers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper we investigate the effect of political sophistication on turnout and whether this effect differs in second-order national elections. Political sophistication is thought to influence turnout because the more sophisticated voters have access to more information about the electoral and the party system. In this paper, we start from the expectation that these effects should be even stronger in the context of secondorder national elections, where information about the stakes of the election is not readily available. We analyse citizens’ willingness to turn out to vote at different levels of government in Belgium and the Netherlands. The results show that a higher degree of political sophistication increases the probability to turn out at the national as well as the European level. Our expectation that this effect would be larger at the European level, however, is not supported by these results.


Dieter Stiers
Dieter Stiers werkt als doctoraatsstudent aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op verkiezingsgedrag en in het bijzonder op de oorzaken en gevolgen van electorale volatiliteit.

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

    Does scaling up municipalities strengthen or does it weaken (local) political participation? This is an important question because of the intention – as it is written down in the Dutch coalition agreement – to gradually scale up Dutch municipalities to 100.000+ inhabitants. This article answers the question on the basis of a meta-analysis, voter turnouts, the national election study and interviews. The author has also examined behavioural indicators for political participation, especially the turnout figures at local elections. The conclusion from this analysis by the author is clear and unambiguous: as the size of the local government (the municipality) increases (local) political participation decreases. For a lot of forms of political participation a size of about 10.000 inhabitants seems to be the optimal scale for local government. Because other (recent) research in the Netherlands has shown that the assumed cost savings from municipal amalgamation are not achieved, the desirability of (further) upscaling of Dutch municipalities can be questioned.


Dr. ir. Pepijn van Houwelingen
Dr. ir. P. van Houwelingen is onderzoeker aan het Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau bij de afdeling Participatie, Cultuur en Leefomgeving.
Artikel

Waarom burgers coproducent willen zijn

Een theoretisch model om de motivaties van coproducerende burgers te verklaren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden Co-production, citizens, motivation
Auteurs Carola van Eijk en Trui Steen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In co-production processes, citizens and professionals both contribute to the provision of public services and try to enhance the quality of the services they produce. Although government offers several opportunities for co-production, not all citizens decide to actually take part. Current insights in citizens’ individual motivations offered by the co-production literature are limited. In this article, we integrate insights from different streams of literature to build a theoretical model that explains citizens’ motivations to co-produce. We test the model using empirical data of Dutch neighborhood watches.


Carola van Eijk
C.J.A. van Eijk MSc. (research) werkt als promovenda bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Trui Steen
Dr. T.P.S. Steen is universitair hoofddocent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden en bij KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid.
Article

De opkomstkloof tussen jongvolwassenen en ouderen in nationale verkiezingen

Een vergelijkend onderzoek

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2013
Trefwoorden turnout, national elections, age gap, electoral competition, comparative research
Auteurs Kaat Smets
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recent research from Canada, Great Britain, and the United States indicates that turnout in national elections is declining rapidly among young adults. As a consequence of this trend, the age gap in voter turnout between younger and older voters widens. The aim of this paper is to understand whether similar patterns are observed in other Western democracies. Based on national election studies from eight European countries, Canada, and the United States, turnout patterns of younger and older citizens are traced and compared over the past decades. In a second step, a first attempt at explaining aggregate patterns is made. More specifically, the hypothesis that young people are particularly sensitive to the level of competitiveness between political parties is assessed. In low stake elections, turnout patterns of young citizens are expected to be relatively low. Therefore, declining turnout levels among young adults could be a sign of declining levels of political competitiveness. Nonetheless, multivariate analyses show that different measures of political competitiveness neither directly affect the age gap nor the turnout levels of young voters.


Kaat Smets
Kaat Smets is momenteel als postdoctoral fellow verbonden aan het Centre for the Study of Political Change (CIRCaP) van de Universiteit van Siena, Italië. Zij houdt zich bezig met diverse onderzoeksprojecten gericht op de publieke opinie. Haar onderzoeksinteresse gaat verder uit naar politiek gedrag, politieke socialisatie, politieke communicatie en vergelijkende politicologie en kwantitatieve onderzoekmethoden.
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