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Article

‘A touchstone of consent?’

Euroscepticisme in consensusdemocratieën

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2016
Trefwoorden euroscepticism, consensus democracy, political trust, national institutions
Auteurs Louise Hoon
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article looks at national political institutions and euroscepticism. Over a timespan of 25 years, I compare values for majoritarian vs consensus democracy for 14 European democracies, with measures for euroscepticism at the levels of party systems, elections and public opinion. Consistent with the thesis that consensus democracy generates more system-opposition at the national level, this regime type is also more sensitive to euroscepticism. This is not the case, however, for France and the UK, two very eurosceptic majoritarian democracies. The study also shows that a context of socio-economic crisis (2008-2014) turns this relationship around, as increased conflict within society demands for more consensus at the elite level. The study essentially argues that euroscepticism still is ‘a touchstone of dissent’ for national politics. However, the extent to which national democracies generate this dissent, and especially, whether it is channelled by eurosceptic parties, depends on the dominance of consensus in the domestic institutional context.


Louise Hoon
Louise Hoon is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Faculteit Economische en Sociale Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

De invloed van verkiezingen op politiek vertrouwen

Een analyse van een verkiezingspanel in België, 2009-2014

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2016
Trefwoorden procedural fairness theory, political trust, internal political efficacy, elections, Belgium
Auteurs Dieter Stiers en Marc Hooghe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Elections are routinely investigated with a focus on the way in which winners or losers of the elections are different in their attitudes towards the political system. There is no previous research on the general impact of participation in the electoral process on support for the political system. In this study, we hypothesize – based on the procedural fairness theory – that participating in elections raises the voter’s political trust, irrespective of the result of the party s/he voted for. Furthermore, we expect this impact to be largest for voters with the lowest level of internal political efficacy. These expectations are investigated using the Belgian election panel (2009-2014) study, observing political trust before and after the elections in two consecutive electoral cycles. The results provide support for all proposed hypotheses, highlighting the importance of general participation in elections for democratic legitimacy.


Dieter Stiers
Dieter Stiers is FWO-aspirant verbonden aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op verkiezingsgedrag en in het bijzonder op de oorzaken en gevolgen van electorale volatiliteit.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen aan het Centrum voor Politicologisch Onderzoek van de KU Leuven. Hij is houder van een ERC Advanced Grant.
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