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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

Getting Party Activists on Local Lists

How Dutch Local Party Branches Perform Their Recruitment Function

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden municipal politics, political parties, candidate lists, local party branches, recruitment
Auteurs Simon Otjes, Marcel Boogers en Gerrit Voerman
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines what explains the performance of Dutch local party branches in the recruitment of candidates for municipal councils. Fielding a list of candidates is the most basic function of political parties. In the Netherlands, party branches are under pressure from the low number of party members. To analyse how branches fulfil their role in recruitment, we employ our own survey of the secretaries of party branches held in the run-up to the 2018 municipal election. We find that party membership drives the successful fulfilment of the recruitment function but that, more than the absolute number of members, the crucial factors are how these party members cooperate, the number of active members and the development of this number.


Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is Assistant Professor of Dutch Politics at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University. His research focuses on political parties, parliaments and public opinion. His articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science and in the European Journal of Political Research, among others.

Marcel Boogers
Marcel Boogers is Professor of Innovation and Regional governance at Twente University. His research focuses on the structure of and dynamics within networks of local and regional governments. Boogers combines his position at Twente University with a position as senior advisor at consultancy firm BMC.

Gerrit Voerman
Gerrit Voerman is Professor of the Development and Function of the Dutch and European Party System at Groningen University and Director of its Centre Dutch Political Parties. His research focuses on political parties, their history and their organisation. He is editor of a long-running series of books on Dutch political parties.
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.
Artikel

Over zelfredzame burgers gesproken

Hoe ambtenaren een buigzaam burgerschapsideaal vormgeven

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden Interactional framing, Self reliance, Silent ideologies, Micro frames, Self referentiality
Auteurs Drs. Harrie van Rooij, Dr. Margit van Wessel en Prof. dr. Noelle Aarts
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The concept of self-reliant citizens reflects an ideology of citizenship that is multiple and flexible. It could be regarded as a ‘plastic’ word, malleable and adjustable according to convictions, needs and purposes. This study shows the importance of considering the way in which ideological views on citizenship are transferred, adjusted and enacted in an organizational context. On the basis of a case study at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (DTCA), we contribute to knowledge on the way processes of framing interrelate on micro, meso and macro levels. We found that frames on self-reliance are enacted in a way that tensions and dilemmas are neutralized or reduced. In a dynamic context of conflicting goals and limited resources, DTCA-employees create meanings of self-reliance which legitimate practices and policies. By doing this they reproduce both organizational and social perspectives. Accounts of citizenship play an important role in this process. Self-reliant citizens are presented as active and responsible. The need of help is imagined as a normal and yet an atypical situation. This study promotes attention to the possibility that organizational systems reproduce perspectives in a way that alternative views remain unnoticed, whereas organizational choices are silently accepted as natural facts.


Drs. Harrie van Rooij
Drs. Harrie van Rooij is PhD-kandidaat (buitenpromovendus) bij het Institute for Science in Society (ISiS), Radboud University, en coördinerend adviseur corporate communicatie bij het ministerie van Financiën.

Dr. Margit van Wessel
Dr. Margit van Wessel is universitair docent, leerstoel Strategische Communicatie aan de Wageningen University & Research.

Prof. dr. Noelle Aarts
Prof. dr. Aarts is professor Socio-Ecological Interactions aan het Institute for Science in Society (ISiS), Radboud University.
Artikel

Crowd-based innovaties: verschuivende verantwoordelijkheden in een institutional void

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden responsible innovation, institutional void, crowd-based innovations, governance
Auteurs Thijs Slot MSc, Dr. ir. Eefje Cuppen, Prof. dr. mr. ir. Neelke Doorn e.a.
Samenvatting

    The crowd increasingly plays a key role in facilitating innovations in a variety of sectors, spurred on by IT-developments and the concomitant increase in connectivity. Initiatives in this direction, captured under the umbrella-term ‘crowd-based innovations’, offer novel opportunities in socio-technical systems by increasing the access, reach and speed of services. At the same time, they signify important challenges because these innovations occur in a context of traditional, well-established institutional and governance structures and practices. This dynamic is captured in the idea of the ‘institutional void’: the tension between traditional structures and (radically) new initiatives. Existing rules, standards and practices are challenged, which raises questions about the safeguarding of public values such as quality, legitimacy, efficiency and governance of crowd-based innovations. This article argues that understanding these tensions requires supplementing empirical research with an explicitly normative dimension to reach thorough and balanced conclusions to facilitate innovation while protecting the valuable elements in existing rules and regulations. Illustrated by a number of short examples, we propose a multidisciplinary research agenda towards formulating appropriate governance structures.


Thijs Slot MSc

Dr. ir. Eefje Cuppen

Prof. dr. mr. ir. Neelke Doorn

Maria Galeano Galvan MSc

Dr. ing. Bram Klievink
Artikel

De transformatie van kennis voor klimaatadaptatie

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden wicked problems, climate change adaptation, science-policy interface, knowledge production, mainstreaming
Auteurs Dr. Daan Boezeman
Samenvatting

    Scientific knowledge plays a pivotal yet problematic role in identifying, assessing and evaluating climate impacts, and hence in their governance. This raises questions of how knowledge for adaptation policy is made. This article studies the production of authoritative and meaningful knowledge claims in the Delta Committee, regional water management and urban warming. It is argued that the conventional supply-and-demand conceptualisation with its notion of ‘knowledge transfer’ has fundamental flaws. This study shows how the wicked issue of climate change is tamed and made tractable in climate adaptation. In these processes knowledge of climate change transforms. This article presents a conceptual apparatus to study transformation. Transformation has a Janus face. While transformation brings climate change in conversation with localised meaning to create concrete adaptation responses, it also closes down and becomes blind to particular climate risks. Transformations are affected by the goals and institutions of policy fields. To overcome problems of blindness and cognitive path dependencies, more institutional change is necessary than the current piggyback approach of mainstreaming and knowledge co-creation entails.


Dr. Daan Boezeman
Artikel

Informatieveiligheid: de digitale veerkracht van Nederlandse overheden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2017
Trefwoorden cybersecurity, information chains, law, accountability
Auteurs Dr. mr. Anne de Hingh en Prof. mr. Arno R. Lodder
Samenvatting

    Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly vulnerable. DDos attacks, phishing e-mails, ransomware, Russian hacker attacks on the head office of a political party are all part of our daily online businesses, for governments too. Governments play various roles here. They are internet users and rely on information on the internet. They are also suppliers of online information and in these roles they are connected to citizens, companies and other governmental organisations. Because of the role they play in society, the government possesses huge quantities of – often sensitive – information. They have the legal and moral obligation to be careful with this information and to secure it properly. Providing adequate security for information, however, is not an easy task for governments, especially because they usually do not operate in isolation. What factors threaten the security of government information and the systems involved? And who is accountable for the security of the information chains that are becoming complex as a consequence of cooperation between organisations?


Dr. mr. Anne de Hingh

Prof. mr. Arno R. Lodder
Artikel

Sturing van warmtenetten: naar een typologie van governance-structuren van warmte-infrastructuren

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2016
Auteurs Dr. Maurits Sanders, Mr. Anne Veerle Brunnekreef en Prof. mr. dr. Michiel Heldeweg
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A promising option in energy transition is a more efficient use of heat by linking local heating projects to a regional infrastructure. Although this is technologically feasible and the local officials are often benevolent, such projects only scantily get off the ground. The main challenge appears to be the aspect of the appropriate type of governance for the design and use of regional heat networks. The authors of this article developed a governance-typology for heat networks. The aim of the typology is to help unravel the complexity in the planning of heat infrastructures, taking due account of some legal principles. This typology also enables to categorize heating projects. In this way it is possible to provide some insight in the influence of the stakeholders’ preferences on the governance of heat infrastructures. Barriers and opportunities can be reduced that may hinder or promote the use of waste heat. Local officials may use the information for preventing or breaking through deadlocks in the planning of heat infrastructures.


Dr. Maurits Sanders
Dr. M.P.T. Sanders is associate lector governance bij Saxion Hogescholen, kerndocent Publiek-Private Samenwerking bij de Nyenrode Business Universiteit en partner bij ResetManagement.

Mr. Anne Veerle Brunnekreef
Mr. A.V. Brunnekreef is docent rechten bij Saxion Hogescholen, aan de Academie Bestuur, Recht & Ruimte.

Prof. mr. dr. Michiel Heldeweg
Prof. mr. dr. M.A. Heldeweg is hoogleraar Law, Governance & Technology aan de Universiteit Twente.

    The doctrine of benevolent empire posits that unilateral security governance has become a necessary and legitimate form of global governance. After first assessing if imperial governance can even be considered an instance of global governance, its claim of legitimacy is scrutinised. It is argued, with reference to the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, that its strategy of legitimation is eventually doomed to fail because benevolent empire appears to downplay both the importance of education in forging legitimacy and the context-specific nature of legitimacy.


Jacobus Delwaide
Jacobus Delwaide is als politicoloog verbonden aan de KUB/HUB.

Jorg Kustermans
Jorg Kustermans is verbonden aan de vakgroep Europese en Internationale Politiek van de Universiteit Antwerpen.
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