Zoekresultaat: 47 artikelen

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Article

Access_open Is Euroscepticism Contagious?

How Mainstream Parties React to Eurosceptic Challengers in Belgian Parliaments

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden Euroscepticism, parliaments, party competition, Belgium, federalism
Auteurs Jordy Weyns en Peter Bursens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Euroscepticism has long been absent among Belgian political parties. However, since the start of the century, some Eurosceptic challengers have risen. This article examines the effect of Eurosceptic competition on the salience other parties give to the EU and on the positions these parties take in parliament. Using a sample of plenary debates in the federal and regional parliaments, we track each party’s evolution from 2000 until 2019. Our findings both contradict and qualify existing theories and findings on Eurosceptic competition. When facing Eurosceptic challengers, all parties raise salience fairly equally, but government and peripheral parties adopted (soft) Euroscepticism more often than other parties.


Jordy Weyns
Jordy Weyns is a doctoral student at the European University Institute in Florence.

Peter Bursens
Peter Bursens is professor of political science at Universiteit Antwerpen, at the research group Politics and Public Governance and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence.
Thema-artikel

De woningcrisis in Nederland vanuit een bestuurlijk perspectief: achtergronden en oplossingen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden the Netherlands, housing policy, governance of the housing market, building production, spatial policy
Auteurs Peter Boelhouwer en Harry van der Heijden
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Partly as a result of major problems on the housing market and in particular the large housing shortage, there is now a lot of attention for housing in both the press and politics. After many years of focus on more market forces and decentralization, the national government recently seems prepared to take more responsibility. In this contribution we try to interpret this turnaround by successively considering the main problems in the housing market, the development of government policy and possible solutions to the problems that have arisen. The emphasis is on the role of the national government. We conclude that, in view of the many spatial claims and the major investment tasks, it is important that the national government takes control and makes clear choices, which can then be worked out at regional and local level. By subsequently closely monitoring the developments and intervening if necessary, the central government can make adjustments on the intended housing policies.


Peter Boelhouwer
Prof. dr. P.J. Boelhouwer is hoogleraar huisvestingssystemenaan de Faculteit Bouwkunde van de Technische Universiteit Delft.

Harry van der Heijden
Dr. H.M.H. van der Heijden is universitair hoofddocent aan de Faculteit Bouwkunde van de Technische Universiteit Delft.
Vrij artikel

De drie deconcentraties in het sociaal domein

Verbeter verhoudingen tussen Rijk en gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2022
Trefwoorden decentralization, deconcentration, municipalities, public finances, public policy
Auteurs Nils Nijdam
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In 2015, the three decentralizations in the social domain took place, a transfer of tasks and resources from the national government to municipalities in the Netherlands. Since then, the Dutch municipalities have been responsible for tasks related to work, care and youth. How the municipalities have tackled these tasks? What is the situation in the social domain seven years later? And what is the relationship between municipalities and national government?
    It appears that municipalities are struggling with their new tasks, mainly because of the insufficient financial resources and the limited freedom of choice. With regard to the characterization of the transfer of tasks, it is better to speak of the three deconcentrations, instead of the three decentralizations. Municipalities have received new tasks, but experience little policy freedom to tackle those tasks. In order to achieve the goals associated with the transfer to municipalities, it is necessary to increase the scope for municipalities to make their own choices. In this way, national government and municipalities can work on more equal relations.


Nils Nijdam
Dr. mr. N. Nijdam heeft van 2014 tot 2020 gewerkt in het sociaal domein van de gemeente Den Haag en is in oktober 2020 gepromoveerd op een onderzoek naar gemeentelijke sturing op de drie decentralisaties in het sociaal domein van 2015. Tegenwoordig is hij als onderzoeker en specialist bestuurlijke en financiële verhoudingen en sturingsvraagstukken verbonden aan de Algemene Rekenkamer en doceert hij aan de opleiding Bestuurskunde en Overheidsmanagement van de Haagse Hogeschool.
Artikel

Access_open Lokale beleidsvrijheid: geven en nemen?

Over de relatie tussen formele beleidsvrijheid, ambtelijke capaciteit, schaal en politieke verandering

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2022
Auteurs Jolijn De Roover, Jan Wynen, Wouter Van Dooren e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Local policy freedom is often equated with the formal policy freedom of municipalities and thus with the formal boundaries that determine the local playing field. In this article, we question this approach. It is not clear to what extent formal policy freedom is a good measure for the ‘real’ policy freedom of municipalities, and thus for the policy freedom that municipalities use in policy implementation. Does more formal policy freedom necessarily lead to more used policy freedom? Moreover, not every municipality uses formal policy freedom in the same way. To indicate variance in policy discretion used, reference is often made to official capacity, scale and political changes. However, it is unclear to what extent these variables have an impact on local policy freedom. The authors investigate the link between formal and used policy freedom, official capacity, scale and political change on the basis of Flemish policy reform. Based on an analysis of financial data, they conclude that more formal policy freedom can be an incentive for more used policy freedom, but also that the explanatory power of administrative capacity, scale and political change is limited. In both research and policy, we need more attention for the value of social interaction, soft skills and networking.


Jolijn De Roover
Dr. J. De Roover is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Antwerpen en freelance docent ‘Good Governance’ aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Jan Wynen
Prof. dr. J. Wynen is onderzoekshoogleraar aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de relatie tussen organisaties en veranderende omgevingen.

Wouter Van Dooren
Prof. dr. W. Van Dooren is hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Antwerpen en daarnaast voorzitter van de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bestuur en Beleid.

Jan Boon
Dr. J. Boon is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Universiteit Antwerpen bij het departement Politieke wetenschappen.

    How did Flemish and Dutch mayors experience the first months of the corona crisis? To find out, the Flemish and Dutch authors of this article first zoom in on the local government system of Flanders (Belgium) and the Netherlands in which these mayors operate. That system differs between the Low Countries from a functional, territorial and political perspective. However, a thorough document analysis and a series of interviews teach us that the position and leeway of mayors is quite similar in full corona time and during the corona struggle. Crisis decision-making is centralised in both Flanders and the Netherlands. Mayors therefore quickly made a significant shift in terms of (1) power and authority (respectively to the provincial governor and the federal level and to the regional mayor and the national level); (2) tasks (prioritising crisis management over other tasks); and (3) roles (increased importance for the executive role with impact on the ‘mayor father’ or ‘mayor mother’ role). And, with that, this contribution shows that Flemish and Dutch mayors, and if they are extended, local authorities, are indispensable for these days tackling a crisis, even if it extends far beyond their own borders.


Ellen Wayenberg
Prof. dr. E. Wayenberg is hoofddocent aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Zij is covoorzitter van de Permanent Study Group on Regional and Local Government in het kader van de European Group on Public Administration en redactielid van Beleidsonderzoek Online en het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheids­management.

Marieke van Genugten
Dr. M.L. van Genugten is universitair hoofddocent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van het tijdschrift Bestuurskunde.

Joris Voets
Prof. dr. J. Voets is hoofddocent bestuurskunde aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is bestuurslid van de Vlaamse Vereniging voor Bestuur en Beleid en de International Research Society for Public Management en hoofdredacteur van het Vlaamse Tijdschrift voor Overheidsmanagement.

Sandra Resodihardjo
Dr. S.L. Resodihardjo is universitair docent bestuurskunde in de sectie Bestuurskunde van de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit in Nijmegen. Zij is redactielid van Risk, Hazards, & Crisis in Public Policy.

Inke Torfs
I. Torfs MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

Bram Van Haelter
B. Van Haelter MSc is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Bestuurskunde en Publiek Management van de Faculteit Economie en Bedrijfskunde van de Universiteit Gent.

    Because local political parties are by definition only active in one municipality, the assumption is that they are less effective compared to national parties because they have no representation at other levels of government and in other municipalities. It is then expected that aldermen of local parties will have more difficulty advocating the interests of their municipality in the region or province, the national government or the European Union. Interviews with aldermen of local parties and a survey among aldermen show that this picture needs some nuance. Aldermen from local parties say they can compensate for the lack of party political contacts by investing in personal relationships. It is striking that the non-partisan role of these aldermen also benefits them: because they do not have to take party political interests into account, they can more forcefully propagate the interests of their municipality if they are at odds with provincial or national policy. Because of their party-politically neutral role, they also acquire key positions more quickly in the region. The only disadvantage that aldermen of local parties do experience is the lack of support in the form of professionalisation and of knowledge exchange. They see that aldermen of national parties, who usually receive support from their national party bureau, sometimes have an advantage in this regard. This sheds new, and relatively little mentioned, light on the importance of party-political contacts.


Marcel Boogers
Prof. dr. M.J.G.J.A. Boogers is hoogleraar Innovatie en Regionaal Bestuur aan de Universiteit Twente, onderzoeker bij Necker van Naem en hoofdredacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Franziska Eckardt
Dr. F. Eckardt promoveerde op 3 september 2021 bij de vakgroep Bestuurskunde van de Universiteit Twente op een onderzoek naar drie G-1000-initiatieven. Momenteel werkt ze als onderzoeker in Utrecht bij Citisens voor verschillende overheden aan projecten op het snijvlak van democratie, participatie en innovatie.
Article

Interest Representation in Belgium

Mapping the Size and Diversity of an Interest Group Population in a Multi-layered Neo-corporatist Polity

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden interest groups, advocacy, access, advisory councils, media attention
Auteurs Evelien Willems, Jan Beyers en Frederik Heylen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article assesses the size and diversity of Belgium’s interest group population by triangulating four data sources. Combining various sources allows us to describe which societal interests get mobilised, which interest organisations become politically active and who gains access to the policy process and obtains news media attention. Unique about the project is the systematic data collection, enabling us to compare interest representation at the national, Flemish and Francophone-Walloon government levels. We find that: (1) the national government level remains an important venue for interest groups, despite the continuous transfer of competences to the subnational and European levels, (2) neo-corporatist mobilisation patterns are a persistent feature of interest representation, despite substantial interest group diversity and (3) interest mobilisation substantially varies across government levels and political-administrative arenas.


Evelien Willems
Evelien Willems is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp. Her research focuses on the interplay between interest groups, public opinion and public policy.

Jan Beyers
Jan Beyers is Full Professor of Political Science at the University of Antwerp. His current research projects focus on how interest groups represent citizens interests and to what extent the politicization of public opinion affects processes of organized interest representation in public policymaking.

Frederik Heylen
Frederik Heylen holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Antwerp. His doctoral dissertation addresses the organizational development of civil society organizations and its internal and external consequences for interest representation. He is co-founder and CEO of Datamarinier.
Artikel

Regels breken in het belang van de burger

Van rebelse leidinggevende naar rebelse professional?

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden leadership, pro-social rule breaking, red tape, purpose-driven work, professionals
Auteurs Bernard Bernards en Eduard Schmidt
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The recent decentralization of many healthcare and welfare responsibilities from the national to the municipal level in the Netherlands was aimed at reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and giving discretion to the professional. However, this is not (yet) fully achieved. Therefore, calls have been made for more purpose-driven organizations. Pro-social rule breaking, which refers to acts of rule breaking motivated by the benefits that this creates for citizens, might be a way to make organizations more focused on their organizational purpose. Since little is known about the antecedents of pro-social rule breaking, this article looks at the possible effects of red tape and supportive leadership on pro-social rule breaking behavior of professionals. Based on a quantitative large-n study of professionals in the social domain, the results show that red tape significantly affects pro-social rule breaking. Stimulating leadership does not affect pro-social rule breaking behavior, which may be caused by the fact that intended leader support is not be perceived that way by the professional. The article concludes with a discussion on the desirability of rule breaking in a public sector context, followed by practical implications and further avenues for researchers.


Bernard Bernards
Bernard Bernards, MSc MA is promovendus bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

Eduard Schmidt
Dr. Eduard Schmidt is universitair docent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Universiteit Leiden.

    This article is about how the number of downfalls of aldermen can be controlled or reduced. Behind this main question are two sub-questions: should the alderman, who is now filling his office increasingly professionally, professionalize even more? Or should the alderman take a pause for reflection by thinking about how to hold the office in a more politicizing way, so that it remains accessible to untrained administrators? The answers to these questions are based on the research conducted on the downfalls of aldermen in four consecutive board periods from 2002 to 2018 in the Netherlands. The investigation shows that, for at least half of the downfalls, the alderman directly influenced his fall through his own behaviour or omissions. Better preparation, sharper selection and more professional implementation and guidance during the aldermanship is desirable to reduce the large number of downfalls that are detrimental to the image, role and position of the office of alderman. At the same time, more professionalization of the office because of the desire for efficient and effective implementation, as well as simultaneous decentralization and regionalization, is turning the alderman more and more into a manager. That could mean the end of political aldermanship. The relevance for practitioners is that this article shows that (a) the early departure and the political downfall of aldermen in the period 2002-2018 shows a stable pattern; (b) for at least half of the downfalls the alderman fall through his own behaviour or neglect of influence; (c) better preparation, sharper selection and more professionalization may limit the number of political downfalls of aldermen.


Mr. Henk Bouwmans MPM
Mr. H.M.J. Bouwmans MPM is directeur van de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Raadsleden (NVvR) en zelfstandig onderzoeker en publicist voor De Collegetafel.
Thema-artikel

Access_open Decentraliseren en experimenteren

De ontwikkeling van sociaal beleid voor asielmigranten door gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden decentralization, migrant integration, social contact, mainstreaming, living labs
Auteurs Dr. Rianne Dekker en Dr. Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    After the European refugee crisis of 2015-2016, many Dutch municipalities took initiative in (re)shaping policies of asylum seeker reception and refugee integration in their own ways. We are witnessing a ‘local turn’ of integration policies with decentralization of responsibilities to the local level of governance. Besides civic integration and socioeconomic integration, social integration of asylum seekers and refugees has been a concern as these groups are often housed in superdiverse and vulnerable neighborhoods. How can municipalities best address the specific problems in their cities? This editorial introduces the four articles that are part of this special issue. We discuss three overarching topics. First, we argue that aside from targeting specific groups and issues, cities should develop mainstreamed policies and provisions to be able to handle future fluctuations and changes in their populations. Second, we observe that in policies aimed at enhancing inter-group contact, earlier immigrant groups are often overlooked. They can play a bridging role in establishing social connections. Third, we highlight the role of urban experiments and living labs in transfer and upscaling of innovative policies.


Dr. Rianne Dekker
Dr. R. Dekker is universitair docent en onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht. Zij doet onderzoek naar de invloed van nieuwe media in verschillende beleidsterreinen waaronder integratie en veiligheid.

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 is als projectcoördinator migratiediversiteit en auteur betrokken bij WRR-publicaties over de immigratiesamenleving.
Thema-artikel

Van diversiteitsagenda’s tot participatietrajecten

Een vergelijking van lokaal vluchtelingenbeleid in zestien Nederlandse gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden local governance, decentralization, refugees, immigrant integration, mainstreaming
Auteurs Ilona van Breugel MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article describes the main trends in refugee policies in sixteen Dutch cities, offering an overview of the local approaches to the reception, housing and integration of refugees that the cities rapidly had to develop in response to the increased refugee inflow in 2015. In contrast to other studies that often focus on capital and gateway cities, this article illustrates the variety of local approaches to migration diversity and refugee integration. By illustrating the different positions municipalities take, the article shows the local power to innovate. In this article clusters of cities with comparable approaches to refugee policies are identified to aid cooperation and knowledge exchange between cities, in which the big cities are not necessarily always the relevant partners.


Ilona van Breugel MSc
I. van Breugel, MSc is postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurskunde en Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en docent bij de opleiding Ruimtelijke Ontwikkeling aan de Hogeschool Rotterdam. Zij doet onderzoek naar (lokaal) integratiebeleid.
Article

Between Party Democracy and Citizen Democracy

Explaining Attitudes of Flemish Local Chairs Towards Democratic Innovations

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

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


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

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

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

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

    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.
Essay

De vroege geschiedenis van de (lokale) bestuurswetenschappen

Joris in ’t Veld en de nieuwe vormen van decentralisatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2019
Auteurs Dr. Rik Reussing
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This essay is about the Dutch PhD-thesis New forms of decentralization by Joris in ’t Veld from 1929. He was not only a competent and efficient social-democratic administrator, but he was also an early administrative scientist. Like the other early (local) administrative scientists, he mainly worked from the legal discipline. During this period however, we also see an increasing input from other disciplines, such as urban planning, economic geography, business administration and statistics. The subject of his dissertation does not come out of the blue. Like many, In ’t Veld felt strongly attracted to the problems of urban and regional development, but the various problems were not yet ripe for a final solution. An important part of his book is therefore devoted to the various solutions that have been found abroad for similar problems. In his thesis, In ’t Veld discusses various forms of governance. First of all, he looks at the way in which the arrangement of cooperation between municipalities can be improved. Where this (voluntary and forced) cooperation falls short of its nature, the institutes of the port authority and of the regional plan come into the picture. In both cases it concerns decentralization through target corporations. A solution is also conceivable through further territorial decentralization: the insertion of a new regional corporation between the province and the municipality in the form of the region (the urban region or the rural region). The urban region needs a necessary supplement in the form of a system of tax equalization to adequately do justice to the interests of the whole and of the parts. An alternative to the urban region is the unity municipality with local decentralization. His integral vision on the organization of domestic government in 1929 is also instructive for the present time.


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.
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

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

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


Luana Russo
Luana Russo, Maastricht University.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

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

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.

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors discuss the relationship between decentralization, scaling-up and local democracy. Decentralizations and scaling-up operations have changed the face of local government in the Netherlands considerably in recent decades. What have the consequences for the functioning of local democracy been? Although decentralizations aim to increase democratic control of government tasks, decentralizations appear to have weakened local democracy in two ways. First of all, they have led to a substantial scaling-up of the local government, through municipal amalgamations and especially through the formation of regional partnerships. Regionalization in particular has had all kinds of negative consequences for the functioning of local democracy. Decentralization policy itself has also weakened the steering and controlling role of the city council – certainly in the short term – while decentralization presupposes that the city council has a strong role in coordinating decentralized policy with local wishes and circumstances. We can speak of a ‘double decentralization paradox’ that entails both bottlenecks and opportunities. From the legislator’s side, therefore, an integral vision for the organization of domestic governance is needed.


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

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.
Thema-artikel

Voortvarend in verbouwen

Hoe Denemarken efficiënt drastische beleidswijzigingen realiseert (maar niet per se heel effectief blijkt)

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Comparative public administration, Public reform, Reform implementation, Decentralisation, Civil service
Auteurs Eline van Schaik MSc
Samenvatting

    In international comparative research, a dominant image often emerges of Denmark as a frontrunner in innovative governance, gaining top results in international rankings.
    Based on four recent examples of national public reforms, this article studies the dynamics of reform implementation in Denmark, which can be characterised as expeditious and efficient. Three explanatory factors are discussed: a political, systemic and managerial factor. What is Denmark, a country in many ways similar to the Netherlands, doing differently? The article concludes that, for the Netherlands, the guiding element of Danish public reforms can be found not in the results of these reforms, but in the efficiency with which they are implemented.


Eline van Schaik MSc
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.
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