Zoekresultaat: 19 artikelen

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Article

How Issue Salience Pushes Voters to the Left or to the Right

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden voting behaviour, salience, ideological dimensions, elections, Belgium
Auteurs Stefaan Walgrave, Patrick van Erkel, Isaïa Jennart e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recent research demonstrates that political parties in western Europe are generally structured along one dimension – and often take more or less similar ideological positions on the economic and cultural dimension – whereas the policy preferences of voters are structured two dimensionally; a considerable part of the electorate combines left-wing stances on one dimension with right-wing stances on the other. These ideologically ‘unserved’ voters are the main focus of this study. Using data from a large-scale survey in Flanders and Wallonia, we demonstrate how the salience of the two dimensions explains whether these unserved voters ultimately end up voting for a right-wing or a left-wing party. Specifically, we show that these voters elect a party that is ideologically closest on the dimension that they deem most important at that time. To summarise, the findings of this study confirm that salience is a key driver of electoral choice, especially for cross-pressured voters.


Stefaan Walgrave
Stefaan Walgrave (Corresponding author), Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp,

Patrick van Erkel
Patrick van Erkel, Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp.

Isaïa Jennart
Isaïa Jennart, Department of Political Science, University of Antwerp.

Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere, Institute of European Studies, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Pierre Baudewyns
Pierre Baudewyns, Institut de Science Politique Louvain-Europe (SSH/SPLE) Department, UCLouvain.
Artikel

Access_open Ethics work for good participatory action research

Engaging in a commitment to epistemic justice

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, september 2020
Auteurs Tineke Abma
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Participatory and responsive approaches to research strive to be democratic, inclusive and impactful. Participatory researchers share a commitment to epistemic justice and actively engage citizens and users as well as other stakeholders in the co-creation of knowledge for social change. While more and more researchers and policymakers feel attracted to these approaches in practice, the normative ideals of social inclusion and justice are sometimes hard to realize, because of established interests, power relations and system requirements. In this article I argue that participatory researchers and evaluators have a moral responsibility to do ‘ethics work’. This is more than just following ethical principles and codes of conduct. ‘Ethics work’ entails the labour and effort one puts into recognizing ethically salient aspects of situations, developing oneself as a reflexive practitioner, paying attention to emotions and relationships, collaboratively working out the right course of action and reflecting in the company of critical friends. In this article I present the theory and ethics of participatory approaches, illustrate ethical issues and ethics work related to collaboration, politics and power, and share lessons based on ten years of practice in the field of health and social well-being.


Tineke Abma
Tineke A. Abma is Professor Participation & Diversity Amsterdam University Medical Centres, Amsterdam, and Executive Director of Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, Leiden.
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 Online First 2020
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, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Jan Beyers
Jan Beyers, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Frederik Heylen
Frederik Heylen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.
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.
Artikel

Over Rousseau, goede burgers en de participatiesamenleving

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

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

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


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

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.
PhD Review

‘Romani Women in European Politics: Exploring Multi-Layered Political Spaces for Intersectional Policies and Mobilizations’

PhD by Serena D’Agostino (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), supervisors: Karen Celis, Ilke Adam.

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Peter Vermeersch
Auteursinformatie

Peter Vermeersch
KU Leuven.
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.
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Europese regelgeving: meer dan de som der delen?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden European Union, EU legislation, evaluation, implementation, European administrative networks
Auteurs Prof. dr. Ellen Mastenbroek
Samenvatting

    Evaluations of EU legislation can fulfill a key role in the European policy process. They can provide the knowledge base required for political accountability towards the electorate, and form a basis for the improvement of existing legislation. This article introduces a research agenda in the realm of the ex-post evaluation of EU legislation, which comprises two research lines. The first strand comprises research into ex post legislative evaluations conducted by the European Commission. This research is innovative, because EU policy researchers so far have barely touched upon evaluation, as a final and important stage in the EU policy cycle. By assessing evaluation critically, we can ascertain to what extent the EU’s ex-post evaluation system is more than an instrument, aimed at increasing the EU’s legitimacy. The second research strand is own evaluation research, focusing on the role of European administrative networks- intergovernmental structures that have been established to improve the implementation of EU legislation by the member states. By critically evaluating the functioning and effectiveness of these networks, I hope to be able to find out whether and under what conditions these network structures are more, than the sum of their national parts.


Prof. dr. Ellen Mastenbroek

    This contribution describes civil service professionalism from a functionalist perspective: the most important function of civil service professionalism is creating, developing and maintaining the authority of governments. Contrary to common opinion, moral authority in our day appears to be of prime importance. Citizens appreciate moral authority, but this important source of authority is often underused by political-administrative officials (especially by them). By making better use of moral authority, civil servants – policy officials and executive officials – could play a much bigger role. In order to achieve this, their professionalism must be improved by creating a broad civil service charter from which (to a certain extent) they can derive a right for civil service professionalism. In the context of the present political debate in the Netherlands on the normalization of the legal status of civil servants, there is an opportunity now to make real progress in this matter. It would be a good thing if civil servants would make themselves heard in this debate. Looking after the moral dimension of the work of civil servants and the accountability in this respect is not only a matter for the Dutch cabinet and those preparing the civil service charter, but also for the civil servants in different parts of the Dutch civil service themselves.


Prof. dr. Gabriël van den Brink
Prof. dr. G.J.M. van den Brink is emeritus hoogleraar Maatschappelijke bestuurskunde aan de Tilburg University (Universiteit van Tilburg). Op 27 november 2015 hield hij zijn afscheidsrede.

Drs. Thijs Jansen
Drs. M. Jansen is universitair docent en senior onderzoeker aan de Tilburg University (Universiteit van Tilburg) bij de School voor Politiek en Bestuur.
Artikel

Big data klaar voor gebruik?

De coördinatie van de dataketen

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden chain, big data process, coordination, transfer, data quality
Auteurs Prof.dr.ir. Marijn Janssen en dr. Haiko van der Voort
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the sequence of creating, processing and use of data several actors are involved. They have different knowledge, skills, motives and interests. In this contribution big data is framed as a coordination effort in a chain. This perspective emphasizes the importance of transfers between actors. It emphasizes their difficulties too. Do actors mean the same? Do actors understand the same? Do actors want the same? To understand the value of data, the entire process from data creation to use need to be considered. This process may entirely take place within an organization. More often parts of the process are outside the organization. The challenge for governments that use big data for their decisions, is managing the quality of data and the chain that process them.


Prof.dr.ir. Marijn Janssen
Prof.dr.ir. M.F.W.H.A. Janssen is hoogleraar aan de Technische Universiteit Delft

dr. Haiko van der Voort
dr. H.G. (Haiko) van der Voort is universitair docent aan de Technische Universiteit Delft
Article

Impact en haalbaarheid in politieke theorieën

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden feasibility, impact, theory parts, practical application of theory
Auteurs Stijn Koenraads
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Feasibility considerations are important for political theories. An infeasible theory may contain valuable ideals, but is not suited to reality. Utilizing a precise and complete conceptualization of feasibility is essential to considering the feasibility of theories. An existing definition of feasibility is presented here. It is argued that this conception of feasibility is incomplete. The impact of parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the parts of a theory themselves should be considered as well – something that has not been addressed in the literature thus far. A new feasibility framework is developed, in which the impact of parts of a theory, the feasibility of the parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the preferred outcome of a theory have a place. Thus, the notion of feasibility is conceptualized in a more complete way.


Stijn Koenraads
Stijn Koenraads heeft aan de Radboud Universiteit een BSc in de Politicologie en een MSc in Political Science/Political Theory behaald. Zijn onderzoeksinteressen zijn politieke haalbaarheid en milieuethiek.
Artikel

Coördinatie in complexe systemen: het ontstaan van stuurloosheid in het Nederlandse spoorwegsysteem

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2015
Trefwoorden Dutch railway system, sensemaking, coordination, disruption management
Auteurs Danny Schipper, Joop Koppenjan en Lasse Gerrits
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    We are only fully aware of our dependency on large scale technical infrastructure systems when they fail to provide reliable services. Yet, at the same time we have witnessed the dismantling of the organizations providing these services due to privatization and liberalization policies. In this article we provide insight into the complexity of managing these now networked systems, consisting of several private and public organizations, by looking at the Dutch railway system. More specifically we analyze a case in which the decision to take several railway tracks and switches out of service resulted in a large scale disruption during rush hour in one of the busiest parts of the Netherlands. With the concept of sensemaking we show that the different actors involved were unable to create a common understanding of the situation to enable coordinated action.


Danny Schipper
D. Schipper is verbonden aan de vakgroep Bestuurskunde, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Joop Koppenjan
J.F.M. Koppenjan is verbonden aan de vakgroep Bestuurskunde, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Lasse Gerrits
L. Gerrits is verbonden aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Otto-Friedrich- Universiteit Bamberg, Duitsland.
Artikel

Morele verantwoordelijkheid te midden van meervoudigheid

De toegevoegde waarde van het kritische individu in complexe omgevingen met meervoudige belangen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2012
Trefwoorden financial markets, financial regulation, lobbying, financial crisis, policy paradigms
Auteurs Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens en Lotte van Vliet MA
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The lessons learned from the financial crisis are not necessarily limited to the financial sector. Both the financial sector and the public sector have to deal with perverse effects. The effects can be related to a reduction of complexity and plurality through introducing (oversimplified and one dimensional) models and financial incentives. However, in doing this, complexity and plurality are often lost: the neglect of multiple interests, goal replacement and too much focus on short term results. As a consequence perverse effects arise.
    Public sectors and organizations face internal and external pressure to act as they do. At the level of organizations or groups this may involve groupthink; at institutional level uniformity is promoted by the dynamics of isomorphism. This article is a critique on simplification and a plea for the (re)introduction of plurality. More specifically, we stress the importance of individual moral responsibility as a resource for and a way to preserve plurality. Not because that is the only option, but because it is an option that we believe deserves more attention. Other options such as changing regulations and changing the structure of supervision are already broadly discussed. We want to draw attention to the individual as parts of multiple organizations and systems. Individuals are therefore a natural carrier of multiplicity and plurality. Taking moral responsibility serious is not an easy task, but a meaningful step towards awareness of perverse effects due to reduction of complexity and plurality.


Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens
Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens is als universitair docent verbonden aan de Erasmus School of Economics. Eerder verschenen van haar De overspelige bankier (2004) en Op naar de volgende crisis (2009). In 2010 promoveerde zij op het proefschrift Contested Communication. A Critical Analysis of Central Bank Speech. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens is een van de auteurs van het RMO-advies Tegenkracht organiseren. Lessen uit de kredietcrisis. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. Liesbeth Noordegraaf-Eelens, Erasmus School of Economics, Burgemeester Oudlaan 50, 3000 DR Rotterdam, noordegraaf@ese.eur.nl.

Lotte van Vliet MA
Lotte van Vliet MA werkt als senior adviseur bij de Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling (RMO). Zij is een van de auteurs van het RMO-advies Tegenkracht organiseren. Lessen uit de kredietcrisis. Correspondentiegegevens: l.vliet@adviesorgaan-rmo.nl.

    Although long recognized as beneficial, a global language has not come to fruition despite considerable past efforts. A major reason is that many policy makers and citizens fear that such a universal language would undermine the particularistic, constituting primary languages of local and national communities. This dilemma can be greatly diminished by a two tier approach, in which efforts to protect the primary language will be intensified but all the nations involved would agree to use the same second language as the global one. Although theoretically the UN or some other such body could choose such a language, in effect English is increasingly occupying this position. However, policies that are in place slow down the development of a global language, often based on the mistaken assumption that people can readily gain fluency in several languages.


Amitai Etzioni
Amitai Etzioni is universiteitshoogleraar aan de George Washington University in Washington DC en directeur van het Insititute for Communitarian Policy Studies. Hij wordt beschouwd als een van de grondleggers van het communitarisme. Enkele van zijn meest bekende werken zijn The Active Society (1969), The Spirit of Community (1993) en The New Golden Rule (1996).

    This paper deals with the electoral and political consequences of urban region formation. The electoral geography of new political parties differs substantially from that of traditional ones. New parties are mainly successful in different parts of urban regions. The declining traditional parties have rather a regional pattern, although some of them show new spatial patterns too. These developments are interpreted in the context of the cleavage theory, in which old and new cleavages are linked with a different spatiality. Following the Anglo-Saxon literature an increasing process of polarisation is hypothesised between the welfare state orientated city and a neo-conservative and neo-liberal suburban fringe. This article examines and proofs the existence of these processes in the urban region of Brussels by means of individual-level and ecological electoral data.


Filip De Maesschalck
Assistent, Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie, K.U.Leuven.

Sarah Luyten
Wetenschappelijk medewerkster, Instituut voor Sociale en Economische Geografie, K.U.Leuven.
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