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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).
Thema-artikel

‘Meedoen is belangrijker dan winnen’

Prijzen als exponent van de positieve bestuurskunde?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Positive Public Administration, prizes, successes
Auteurs Dr. Tom Overmans, Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf en Prof. dr. Filip De Rynck
Samenvatting

    Positive Public Administration (PPA) encourages scholars to examine governance success. The appreciation of successes, however, is not new. During previous decades, awards were bestowed for exceptional performance. We analyse whether two important awards in the Netherlands and Flanders are an expression of PPA. Firstly, we find that successes are interpreted differently: in the Netherlands, one-off, trendy performances are rewarded, while in Flanders the focus is on consolidated results of long-term change processes. Secondly, we see that ‘clean’ success criteria promote a suggestion of ‘control’, whilst public settings are ambiguous and unpredictable. Finally, we conclude that prizes are primarily celebrations; little evidence is found of systematic knowledge exchange, learning and professionalisation.


Dr. Tom Overmans

Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf

Prof. dr. Filip De Rynck

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.

    Overheidsbeleid heeft steeds meer te maken met digitalisering en data-ificering van de samenleving en het menselijk gedrag. Dat betekent uitdagingen voor beleidsevaluatoren. In dit artikel gaat het om éen van de daarmee gepaard gaande verschijnselen: Big Data en Artificiële Intelligentie (BD/AI). Het artikel stelt, na erop gewezen te hebben dat de evaluatieprofessie langere tijd niet erg actief op digitaal gebied is geweest, ten eerste de vraag wat BD/AI te bieden hebben aan evaluatieonderzoek van (digitaal) beleid. Vijf toepassingsmogelijkheden worden besproken die de kwaliteit, bruikbaarheid en relevantie van evaluatieonderzoek kunnen bevorderen. De tweede vraag is wat evaluatieonderzoek te bieden heeft, als het gaat om het analyseren/onderzoeken van de betrouwbaarheid, validiteit en enkele andere aspecten van Big Data en AI. Ook daar worden verschillende mogelijkheden (en moeilijkheden) geschetst. Naar het oordeel van de schrijver is het enerzijds dienstig (meer) gebruik te maken van BD/AI in evaluatieonderzoek, maar doen onderzoekers er ook goed aan (meer) aandacht uit te laten gaan naar: de assumpties die aan BD/AI ten grondslag liggen (inclusief het ‘black box’-probleem); de validiteit, veiligheid en geloofwaardigheid van algoritmes; de bedoelde en onbedoelde consequenties van het gebruik ervan; én de vraag of de claims dat digitale interventies die mede gebaseerd zijn op BD/AI effectief (of effectiever zijn dan andere), onderbouwd en valide zijn.


Frans L. Leeuw
Frans L. Leeuw (socioloog) is hoogleraar Recht, Openbaar Bestuur en Sociaalwetenschappelijk onderzoek aan Maastricht University. Eerder was hij o.a. directeur WODC, Hoofdinspecteur Hoger Onderwijs Onderwijsinspectie, hoogleraar evaluatieonderzoek Universiteit Utrecht, directeur doelmatigheidsonderzoek Algemene Rekenkamer en decaan Humanities Open Universiteit. Hij bereidt een boekje voor over 125 jaar empirisch-juridisch onderzoek, inclusief de nieuwste loot: digitaal empirisch-juridisch onderzoek. Eerdere publicaties handelden over diverse onderwerpen met als rode draden evaluatieonderzoek, theorieën, gedragsmechanismen, benutting van onderzoek en juridische thema’s.

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


Miguel Heilbron
Miguel Heilbron, MSc, is ontwikkelingseconoom en een van de oprichters van The Black Archives. Ook werkt hij als conceptontwikkelaar en strategisch en creatief adviseur. Met slavernij-instituut NiNSee ontwikkelde hij het concept van de sinds 2016 jaarlijks gevierde Black Achievement Month. Ook ondersteunt hij scholen bij de verankering van wereldburgerschap in het onderwijs.
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Management van stedelijke ontwikkeling

Beleid, sturing en institutionele veranderingen voor duurzame steden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden sustainable urban development, governance, institutional innovation, socio-technical-ecological system
Auteurs Ellen van Bueren
Samenvatting

    With her chair in urban development management, Ellen van Bueren investigates policy, governance and management issues. Cities, as economic and cultural centres in our society, are major consumers of resources. They not only contribute to problems such as climate change, but also experience the risks and consequences thereof. Technological solutions to these problems are difficult to implement. They require larger-scale system changes, or encounter resistance. Making cities sustainable not only requires technical solutions, but also institutional innovation. A socio-technical-ecological system approach to cities shows the coherence and complexity of issues. Issues play on multiple scales, are cross-sectoral, and require an interaction of citizens, companies, and governments. Moreover, the playing field between these groups of actors is changing rapidly, technological empowerment in particular has made the citizen a much more equal player alongside the government and business. Existing instruments and approaches are not sufficient to approach sustainability issues. To identify and address these issues, cooperation between science and society is necessary. Multi- and transdisciplinary learning environments enable researchers and students to identify issues, to answer questions and to try out solutions together with stakeholders. Such environments are indispensable for the development of sustainable cities.


Ellen van Bueren
Thema-artikel

Access_open De blik naar buiten: bestuurlijke verbouwingen in het buitenland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden bestuurlijke hervormingen, bestuurlijke ontwikkeling, internationale vergelijking, New Public Management, New Public Governance
Auteurs Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan en Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Samenvatting

    In this special issue, recent public sector reforms in South Africa, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico, Singapore and Denmark are analysed. Reforms in the public sector are by and large explained as a chronological development from traditional bureaucracy, via New Public Management to New Public Governance. This is also the way the many administrative reforms in the Dutch public sector are often explained.
    The articles give insight in the administrative developments in these countries and their background. They also offer the opportunity to make comparisons with administrative developments in the Netherlands, and to draw lessons. The analyses show that the dominant explanation of reforms in the public sector (from traditional bureaucracy, to New Public Management to New Public Governance) is helpful in making sense of administrative developments, but they put this explanation into perspective too.
    For the Dutch situation yet another insight came to light. We often complain that the Dutch processes are cumbersome, take long and involve many -if not all- stakeholders. A close reading of the contributions from abroad must inevitably change this pejorative view on our national sport: the cumbersome process provides valuable checks and balances, that will help to fight the drawbacks and risks that we have seen in the international cases.


Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan

Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Dossier

De Europese vakbeweging en de vormgeving van sociaal beleid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Social Europe, European Union, Social policy, Trade unions, ETUC
Auteurs Drs. Saskia Boumans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The European project currently faces not only an economic crisis, but a moral one as well. The economic growth model of social justice combined with market-oriented policies, also referred to as the European social model has lost much of its meaning after ten years of austerity and financial calamities. In 2012 ECB President Draghi says in the Wall Street Journal that the European social model is “gone”, a thing of the past. While only a couple of years later the European Pillar of Social Rights is put in place. What is happening with ‘Social Europe’? And how do trade unions, as a historical motor of social policy in the member states, relate to the European social model, especially since the financial crisis. This article deals with the position of trade unions vis-à-vis European social policy and the European institutions. The European social model, economic governance and the collective bargaining system are discussed as examples of post-crisis European social policy. It will be argued that although the European Commission gives institutional space to social policy and to a role for trade unions, it has always been subordinate to economic integration. And moreover that the recent economic crisis is used at the European level to obtain almost complete control over social policy in the member states.


Drs. Saskia Boumans
Drs. Saskia Boumans werkt als promovendus bij AIAS-HSI (UvA) aan een onderzoek naar werkgeversorganisaties in collectieve onderhandelingen, en heeft de afgelopen vijftien jaar voor de vakbeweging gewerkt.
Dossier

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

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

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


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

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

State of the Art of Two Decades of Research

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

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


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

Anna Kern
Anna Kern, Ghent University.
Article

Access_open Do Characteristics of Consociational Democracies Still Apply to Belgian Parties?

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Belgium, political parties, party membership, political participation, political representation
Auteurs Emilie Van Haute en Bram Wauters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Belgium has long been described as a typical case of a consociational or consensus democracy. This article aims at identifying whether political parties in Belgium share the internal characteristics of parties in consensus democracies: passive mass memberships, the importance of purposive and material incentives for joining, and representation of a clear subculture in the social and attitudinal profiles of their members and via overlapping memberships with related organizations. We mobilize longitudinal party membership data and party member surveys conducted in three different time periods. We show that pillar parties still exercise their role of mobilization and representation of societal segments, but these segments tend to become smaller over time. New parties offer alternative options of mobilization and representation, although not always in line with the specific institutional arrangements of consociational democracy.


Emilie Van Haute
Emilie Van Haute, Cevipol, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters, Research Group GASPAR, Ghent University.
Artikel

De opkomst van voedselbeleid: voorbij de tekentafel

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden Food policy, Food system, Agricultural policy, Policy integration, Policy instruments
Auteurs Dr. Jeroen Candel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    To address a range of interconnected food-related challenges, Dutch policymakers have invested in the development of integrated food policy in recent years. This article discusses this development in two parts. The first part contains a detailed description of the main events and lines of thinking that characterized the food policy process. From this description it becomes clear that food policy has been gradually developing towards a separate institutionalized policy domain. In the second part, this development is analysed from a policy integration perspective. This analysis shows that although considerable steps towards strengthened policy integration have been made, the Dutch ‘Food agenda’ does not yet proceed beyond symbolic levels. This particularly shows in the absence of concrete policy goals and in a policy instrument mix that has not been adjusted to strengthen consistency and effectiveness. In addition, the involvement of relevant ministries gradually decreased after the initial stages. The article concludes that the food policy process has arrived at a critical juncture: the next steps of the new government will prove decisive for whether food policy integration intentions will advance beyond the drawing board. Political and administrative leadership are identified as key conditions for such further steps to occur.


Dr. Jeroen Candel
Dr. Jeroen Candel is universitair docent bij de Bestuurskundegroep van de Wageningen Universiteit.

Bert Fraussen
Bert Fraussen is universitair docent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderzoek focust op de interne organisatie en ontwikkeling van politieke organisaties zoals belangengroepen en denktanks, en de wijze waarop die organisatie relaties onderhouden met beleidsmakers en betrokken worden bij beleidsvorming.

Darren Halpin
Darren Halpin is hoogleraar aan de Research School of Social Sciences aan de Australian National University. Zijn onderzoek focust op de rol van belangengroepen in beleidsprocessen, met bijzondere aandacht voor vraagstukken verbonden aan hun vertegenwoordigende functie, organisatiekenmerken en democratisch karakter. Hij is coredacteur van het tijdschrift Interest Groups & Advocacy.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar Politieke Wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven en was in 2003 en 2004 hoofdredacteur van Res Publica.
Dossier

Access_open De politiek van buy-to-let

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Housing, Financialization, Private investors, Buy-to-let, Private rent
Auteurs Jelke Bosma MSc, Dr. Cody Hochstenbach, Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this feature authors discuss recent research findings that are of interest to readers of Beleid en Maatschappij.
    Mounting concerns exist that small private investors exacerbate the urban housing crisis, by purchasing dwellings to rent out so-called ‘buy-to-let’ purchases. By buying up property, they may drive up house prices and exclude regular house-seekers. In this paper, we show that buy-to-let purchases constitute an increasing share of all purchases on the Dutch housing market, and especially so in larger cities and university cities. We argue these local trends do not emerge out of thin air and are not a ‘natural’ market process but should be considered the product of both global economic developments and national policies supporting these changes. Global developments include the increased mobility and ample availability of capital, exemplified by a prolonged low interest environment and a growing scarcity of high quality collateral and investment opportunities, making housing attractive for storing capital. Dutch housing policies have increasingly restricted access to social rent to low-income groups, while blowing up house prices fuelled with mortgage debts. As a consequence, a growing number of households falls in-between these two tenures: they have to resort to private rent. Private investors respond to and accommodate this demand through buy-to-let investments. Furthermore, the Dutch national government has made steps to relax regulation on the private-rental market and weakened tenant rights. In so doing, it sets the scene for amplifying social and spatial inequalities between the property rich and the property poor.


Jelke Bosma MSc
Jelke Bosma MSc is junior onderzoeker aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Dr. Cody Hochstenbach
Dr. Cody Hochstenbach is postdoctoraal onderzoeker stadsgeografie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, en redactielid van Beleid en Maatschappij.

Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez
Dr. Rodrigo Fernandez is postdoc aan de KU Leuven en onderzoeker bij SOMO.

Prof. dr. Manuel Aalbers
Prof. dr. Manuel Aalbers is hoogleraar sociale en economische geografie aan de KU Leuven.
Dossier

Access_open Reactie op Buy-to-let gewikt en gewogen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Buy-to-let, House price bubbles, Private rental sector, Housing policy, International trends
Auteurs Dr. ir. Maartje Martens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Socialist Party commissioned this academic study into the scale and impact of the recent rise of buy-to-let transactions in Dutch urban housing markets. The study focusses, however, on the rise of private rental housing. This definition of buy-to-let is challenged in this review, as is the impact of the recent rise of buy-to-let on the Dutch owner occupied housing market.


Dr. ir. Maartje Martens
Dr. ir. M. Martens is onafhankelijk woningmarktexpert Housing Analysis.

Rinus van Schendelen
Rinus van Schendelen is emeritus hoogleraar politicologie op de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, adviseur EU-beïnvloeding bij Bureau Brussels in Brussel en publiceerde onder meer ruim 40 boeken op het brede terrein van beïnvloeding van besluitvorming.
Artikel

Slanker maar topzwaar, meer vrouwen maar vergrijsd: het veranderende gezicht van de rijksoverheid 2002-2015

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden Cutbacks, Government spending, Civil servants, Public service, Open data
Auteurs Dr. Dimiter Toshkov, Eduard Schmidt MSc en Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the transformations of the Dutch civil service over the last 15 years, during which numerous cutbacks and reorganizations took place. While existing research predominantly focused on changes in the total number of civil servants, we examine how the distribution of civil servants changed in terms of rank, gender and age. We theorize four methods for shrinking the government apparatus, and for each method, we identify the possible consequences for the composition of the central civil service in terms of hierarchical make-up and of age. Our results indicate that the total number of civil servants only slightly decreased, but the decrease affected differentially the various ranks of the civil service. While at the lower ranks the number of civil servants decreased strongly, at the upper ranks the number actually increased slightly. The number of women in the civil service increased, also in the higher echelons. Regarding the age distribution, we found considerable changes, with the modal age shifting upwards with up to ten years. Altogether, the civil service has become slightly smaller, more gender-balanced, and significantly more senior (both in terms of ranks and age). The results of this study show that it is important for researchers and practitioners to look beyond the trends in the total number of civil servants and explore the deeper changes within the civil service.


Dr. Dimiter Toshkov
Dr. Dimiter Toshkov is werkzaam bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.

Eduard Schmidt MSc
Eduard Schmidt MSc is werkzaam bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde, Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs, Universiteit Leiden.

Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg
Prof. dr. Caspar van den Berg is werkzaam bij de Campus Fryslan, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Artikel

Verantwoordelijkheid en voorzorg bij ‘de overgewichtepidemie’

Onzekerheid en transparantie bij preventief leefstijlbeleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden prevention, precaution, lifestyle policy, obesogenic society, obesity epidemic
Auteurs Dr. Roel Pieterman
Samenvatting

    Since the start of the 21st century, most nations have followed the lead of the World Health Organization and developed specific policies to tackle the ‘global obesity epidemic’. The medical reasoning is that non-contagious diseases are the most important causes of mortality and morbidity, especially in prosperous nations. As these diseases are conceptualized as ‘caused’ by ‘unhealthy lifestyle choices’, there is dire need for preventive lifestyle policies that help people make ‘the healthy choice’. Seen from this perspective the distribution of responsibilities between governments and their citizens is made in accordance to the ‘intervention ladder’, which has been developed from a stewardship model.
    Regarding the ‘obesity epidemic’, this contribution tests the basic medical claims behind this science policy complex. We find that the knowledge base for these claims is highly uncertain and that interventions lack efficacy. Furthermore, research points to increased levels of stigmatization of ‘fat people’, leading more discrimination. All this changes the status of the policies from preventive (i.e. proportionate) to precautionary (i.e. disproportionate). Further analysis of the preventive medical and policy paradigms shows both are by default biased towards precaution. Combined with the notion that citizens of democratic societies are entitled to trustworthy and transparent information, this contribution concludes that a reorientation of both paradigms is called for.


Dr. Roel Pieterman

Rik Reussing
Dr. G.H. Reussing is onderwijscoördinator van de joint degree Public Governance across Borders aan de Universiteit Twente en redactiesecretaris van Bestuurswetenschappen.
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