Zoekresultaat: 8 artikelen

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Article

Performing the COVID-19 Crisis in Flemish Populist Radical-Right Discourse

A Case Study of Vlaams Belang’s Coronablunderboek

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden populism, COVID-19, crisis, discourse
Auteurs Jens Meijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In June 2020, the Flemish populist radical right party Vlaams Belang (VB) published the Corona Blunder Book (CBB; Coronablunderboek in Dutch), detailing the government’s mistakes in handling the COVID-19 crisis. Populist parties can ‘perform’ crisis by emphasising the mistakes made by opponents (Moffitt, 2015) and may use a specifically populist discursive style, consisting largely of aggressive and sarcastic language (Brubaker, 2017). This paper takes the CBB as a case study in the populist performance of crisis and the populist style, finding that the book is, first, a clear example of populist ‘everyman’ stylistics and the performance of crisis, and, second, that VB uses the book to shift the COVID-19 crisis from a public health crisis to a crisis of governance, seeking to blame Belgium’s federal structure for the government’s alleged mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and hence arguing for Flemish independence, one of the party’s main agenda points.


Jens Meijen
Jens Meijen is a PhD candidate at Leuven International and European Studies (LINES) at KU Leuven. His research focuses on nationalism, populism, and diplomacy.
Article

The Praise for a ‘Caretaker’ Leader

Gendered Press Coverage of Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès in a COVID-19 Context

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden political leadership, crisis, care, Belgium, gendered media coverage
Auteurs Clémence Deswert
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Studies on media coverage of women politicians have underlined how the media contribute to the association of the figure of the political leader with masculinity. Yet, the social construction of leadership seems to evolve towards a more ‘femininity-inclusive’ definition. Research on the ‘glass cliff’ phenomenon suggests that stereotypical feminine attributes might be expected from political leaders in a time of crisis. We investigated the gendered construction of political leadership in the press in a COVID-19 context through the case of former Belgian Prime minister Sophie Wilmès. In line with the ‘think crisis-think female’ association, our discourse analysis shows an appreciation of traditionally feminine traits, and particularly care-related qualities, in the evaluation of what a ‘good’ leader should be in pandemic times, although some characteristics traditionally associated with masculinity are still considered valuable assets in the journalistic portrayal of Wilmès’ leadership.


Clémence Deswert
Clémence Deswert is a PhD candidate at the Political Science Department of the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Her research interests include political communication and political representation of women. Declaration of interests: I confirm that this article was not submitted to or publicised in another journal. No conflict of interest exists.
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.
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

Twee handen op één buik?

Hoe en waarom de mediatisering van de Vlaamse politiek en particratie hand in hand gaan

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden mediatisation, particracy, media logic
Auteurs Peter Van Aelst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    There is a growing consensus that politics have become mediatised. News media have become more independent and are more guided by their own routines and standards and less by what political actors deem important. However, this paper argues that this has not led to a decrease of the power of political parties. In Belgium, particracy and mediatisation seem to go hand in hand. There are mainly two reasons for this. Firstly, media attention focuses heavily on politicians with power and in that sense, media logic and party logic overlap. Secondly, parties have adjusted well to the media and their logic, among others by integrating journalists in the party organisation. We expect that social media will gradually become more important for politicians, but that this evolution too will change little to the central position of political parties in our democracy.


Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is onderzoeksprofessor aan het departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek. Hij doet onderzoek naar de oorzaken en gevolgen van de mediatisering van de politiek, verkiezingscampagnes, nieuwe media en politiek nieuws. Zijn onderzoek verschijnt in toonaangevende internationale tijdschriften, maar ook in publicaties voor een breder publiek.
Artikel

Doorgeven, negeren of vervormen?

Media als kritische transparanteurs van beleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden transparency, media, policy
Auteurs Thomas Schillemans en Anne Klijn MSc.
Samenvatting

    Transparency is a token of modern governance and is said to serve many different goals. Earlier research has shown that the disclosure of information will only be seen by the public and serve its goals if ‘transparators’, such as news media, pay attention to the information. The news media cannot be expected to be uncritical implementers of transparency policies; they will only do so when the policy and ensuing story fit their criteria for newsworthiness. This paper analyzes when and how news media pay attention to different types of policies serving different types of goals. It does so on the basis of quantitative and qualitative content analysis of 8 important cases of transparency-policies in the Netherlands in the past decade. The analysis shows that, even for these high profile cases, the amount of media attention for disclosed information is limited. The analysis also suggests that the media primarily tend to treat items in neutral or critical frames. Particularly in cases where the disclosed information is about the government itself, media stories seem to be primarily negative. These results suggest, in line with prior research, that transparency-policies may easily fail to be effective.


Thomas Schillemans

Anne Klijn MSc.

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

Het onaangename en het nuttige: Over nieuwsmedia en bestuur

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden news media, government, mediatisation, monitory democracy, journalism
Auteurs Sandra Jacobs en Thomas Schillemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Relations between government and news media are often complex and contradictory. In order to shed light on their interactions, this review essay discusses four recent books on the tensions between government and the media. Discussed are Schudson's Why Democracies Need an Unlovable Press, Prenger et al's Gevaarlijk spel, Cook's Governing with the News and Keane's Life and Death of Democracy. Three general issues are discussed: the ways in which journalists and policy actors behave towards each other; the implications for the daily practices of journalists and policy actors and, on a more abstract level, the implications for the democratic system. It is argued that critical and inconvenient news media fulfil a crucial role in a vital democracy, as essential checks for those in power. The news media facilitate the interaction between the fragmented parts of a monitory democracy and thus enhance a well-functioning government. In order to cope with media pressure, government pr-officials try to pacify journalists, but at the same time, government and public organizations should be wary of the incorporation of media rules in their own processes as this may lead to a mediatisation of politics.


Sandra Jacobs
S.H.J. Jacobs MSc MA en dr T. Schillemans zijn beiden verbonden aan het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht, respectievelijk als promovenda en docent/onderzoeker.

Thomas Schillemans
S.H.J. Jacobs MSc MA en dr T. Schillemans zijn beiden verbonden aan het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht, respectievelijk als promovenda en docent/onderzoeker.
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