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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.
Artikel

Access_open ‘We gaan het gewoon doen!’

Rebelse initiatieven in onderwijs en ouderenhuisvesting

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden rebellion, housing for older people, education, rules and regulations, room to manoeuvre
Auteurs Marianne van Bochove, Katja Rusinovic, Suzanna Koops-Boelaars e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Both education and housing are highly regulated sectors in the Netherlands. According to various stakeholders, regulations and formal and informal rules hinder the development of new initiatives aimed at providing attention to personal needs and wishes of children (in education) and older people (in housing). This article focuses on founders of initiatives in both sectors that, despite institutional obstacles, dare to do things differently. We adopt a rebellion perspective, which focuses on how individual and collective actors aim to create favorable circumstances for providing better services, even if this means they have to disrupt existing institutions. In-depth interviews were conducted with 22 founders of rebellious initiatives in education and housing for older people. According to the founders, what makes them different from others is having a dream, learning by doing, and critically assessing rules and regulations. Founders in both sectors not only interpret rules differently, but also try to change them. In order to do so, they need supportive internal and external contexts, which they create through personal contacts and social media. Although rebellion in both sectors has many similarities, sector-specific institutional settings and past events do shape its appearance.


Marianne van Bochove
Dr. Marianne van Bochove is universitair docent, sectie Health Care Governance, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam en senior onderzoeker aan De Haagse Hogeschool.

Katja Rusinovic
Dr. Katja Rusinovic is lector grootstedelijke ontwikkeling, faculteit Bestuurskunde, Recht & Veiligheid aan De Haagse Hogeschool.

Suzanna Koops-Boelaars
Suzanna Koops-Boelaars, MSc, is promovendus, sectie Health Care Governance, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Joost van Hoof
Dr. ir. Joost van Hoof is lector urban ageing, faculteit Sociaal Werk & Educatie, aan De Haagse Hogeschool.
Vrij artikel

Weerbarstige lokale inpassing van geo-energieprojecten

‘Localism’ en ‘soft power’ als handelingsperspectief voor gemeenten?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden subsoil interventions, network management, Localism, Participation
Auteurs Dr. ir. Geert Roovers en Dr. Mike Duijn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Subsoil interventions in the Netherlands are crucial elements in the transition to a sustainable energy future. These subsoil interventions concern reduction of fossil energy mining, extraction of thermal energy, energy storage and CSS storage. These geo projects cause tensions. Planning under the mining law leads to local resistance, debate and often delay or cancelling of initiatives. The central characteristics of this planning are an important cause. As the transition to sustainable energy asks for more interventions in the subsoil, these tensions get problematic, and hinder the transition. In this article we investigate this problematic nature of planning under the mining law. In examples we show the problems, and accordingly we analyse them. We explore a more prominent role of local actors, using localism and soft power. With this article we want contribute to national and international discussions about the planning and governance of subsoil initiatives and strengthening of local involvement in these.


Dr. ir. Geert Roovers
Dr. ir. G. Roovers is lector Bodem en ondergrond aan de Saxion hogeschool en senior adviseur bij Antea Group.

Dr. Mike Duijn
Dr. M. Duijn is senior onderzoeker en managing director GovernEUR, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Access_open Uitvoeringsorganisaties tussen staat en straat

De relevantie van maatschappelijke verantwoording voor directeuren van ZBO’s en agentschappen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2021
Auteurs Lars Brummel, Sjors Overman en Thomas Schillemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution analyzes the degree of relevance that administrators of independent administrative bodies (ZBOs) and agencies assign to their accountability relationships with social stakeholders. Although there is a lot of attention for social forms of accountability in the scientific literature, no large-scale quantitative research has been conducted into how administrators of implementing organizations experience this accountability. This study fills this gap on the basis of survey research by: (1) mapping the importance of forms and practices of social accountability for implementing organizations; and (2) weighing potential explanations for differences in the importance of social accountability in implementing organizations. The authors show that administrators of ZBOs and agencies in the Netherlands attach great importance to accountability towards their broad public environment, also compared to other countries with similar types of implementing organizations. This observation is in line with the Dutch reputation of consensual and interactive governance. Differences in the importance of social accountability between implementing organizations cannot be explained by the vertical accountability relationship with the parent department or other institutional organizational characteristics. The analysis shows that social orientation is greater among ZBOs and agencies where the media has more influence over administrators. Social accountability is associated with greater perceived media pressure.


Lars Brummel
L. Brummel MSc is promovendus aan de Utrecht School of Governance (USG) van de Universiteit Utrecht. In 2018 rondde hij zijn researchmaster bestuurskunde en organisatiewetenschap af in Utrecht.

Sjors Overman
Dr. S.P. Overman MSc is universitair docent aan de Utrecht School of Governance (USG) van de Universiteit Utrecht. Hij is in 2016 gepromoveerd aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

Thomas Schillemans
Prof. dr. T. Schillemans is hoogleraar Verantwoording, gedrag en instituties aan de Utrecht School of Governance (USG) van de Universiteit Utrecht.
Article

Political Sophistication and Populist Party Support

The Case of PTB-PVDA and VB in the 2019 Belgian Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden populist voters, political sophistication, voting motivations, Belgium, elections
Auteurs Marta Gallina, Pierre Baudewyns en Jonas Lefevere
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, we investigate the moderating role of political sophistication on the vote for populist parties in Belgium. Building on the literature about the diverse determinants of populist party support, we investigate whether issue considerations and populism-related motivations play a bigger role in the electoral calculus of politically sophisticated voters.
    Using data from the 2019 general elections in Belgium, we focus on the cases of Vlaams Belang (VB) and Parti du Travail de Belgique- Partij van de Arbeid (PTB-PVDA). We find evidence suggesting that political sophistication enhances the impact of populism-related motivations on populist party support, although the effects are contingent on the party. Moreover, we show that, for issue considerations, the moderation effect only comes into play for VB voters: the impact of anti-immigrant considerations is greater at increasing levels of political sophistication.


Marta Gallina
Marta Gallina is a PhD Student at the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium. She obtained her BA and MA in Social Sciences at the University of Milan. Her research interests regard the study of political behaviour, political sophistication, issue dimensionality, populism and Voting Advice Applications. Her work appeared in scientific journals such as Statistics, Politics and Policy, Environmental Politics and Italian Political Science.

Pierre Baudewyns
Pierre Baudewyns is Professor of political behaviour at UCLouvain. He is involved in different projects (voters, candidates) related to National Election Study. Results of his research have been published in Electoral Studies, European Political Science, Regional & Federal Studies, West European Politics and Comparative European Politics.

Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is research professor of political communication at the Institute for European Studies and assistant professor of communication at Vesalius College. Since 2018, he is also vice-chair of the ECPR Standing Group on Political Communication. His research interests deal with the communication strategies of political parties, and the effects of election campaigns on voters’ electoral behaviour. He has published on these topics in, amongst others, Electoral Studies, Public Opinion Quarterly, Political Communication and International Journal of Public Opinion Research.
Article

Drivers of Support for the Populist Radical Left and Populist Radical Right in Belgium

An Analysis of the VB and the PVDA-PTB Vote at the 2019 Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden populism, voting, behaviour, Belgium, elections
Auteurs Ine Goovaerts, Anna Kern, Emilie van Haute e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This study investigates how protest attitudes and ideological considerations affected the 2019 election results in Belgium, and particularly the vote for the radical right-wing populist party Vlaams Belang (VB) and for the radical left-wing populist party Partij van de Arbeid-Parti du Travail de Belgique (PVDA-PTB). Our results confirm that both protest attitudes and ideological considerations play a role to distinguish radical populist voters from mainstream party voters in general. However, when opposed to their second-best choice, we show that particularly protest attitudes matter. Moreover, in comparing radical right- and left-wing populist voters, the article disentangles the respective weight of these drivers on the two ends of the political spectrum. Being able to portray itself as an alternative to mainstream can give these parties an edge among a certain category of voters, albeit this position is also difficult to hold in the long run.


Ine Goovaerts
Ine Goovaerts is a Doctoral Candidate of the Democratic Innovations and Legitimacy Research Group at the University of Leuven. Her research focuses on the quality of political discourse, with a specific focus on incivility and argumentation quality.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science of Ghent University. Her research focuses on political participation, political equality and political legitimacy. Her work has been published in journals such as West European Politics, Local Government Studies, Social Science Research and Political Behavior.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies, European Political Science and Acta Politica. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.

Sofie Marien
Sofie Marien is Associate Professor at the University of Leuven, where she is director of the Democratic Innovations and Legitimacy Research Group. Her research has appeared in journals such as Political Behavior, European Journal of Political Research, European Sociological Review and Political Research Quarterly.
Article

Access_open Voters of Populist Parties and Support for Reforms of Representative Democracy in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Belgian politics, democratic reforms, elections, populist voters, representative democracy
Auteurs Lisa van Dijk, Thomas Legein, Jean-Benoit Pilet e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Recently, studies have burgeoned on the link between populism and demands for democratic reforms. In particular, scholars have been debating the link between populist citizens or voters and support for referendums. In this article, we examine voters of populist parties (Vlaams Belang (VB) and Parti du Travail de Belgique-Partij van de Arbeid (PTB-PVDA)) in Belgium in 2019 and we look at their attitudes towards various types of democratic reforms. We find that voters of populist parties differ from the non-populist electorate in their support for different kinds of reforms of representative democracy. Voters of VB and PTB-PVDA have in common stronger demands for limiting politicians’ prerogatives, for introducing binding referendums and for participatory budgeting. While Vlaams Belang voters are not significantly different from the non-populist electorate on advisory referendums, citizens’ forums or technocratic reform, PVDA-PTB voters seem more enthusiastic.


Lisa van Dijk
Lisa van Dijk (corresponding author), KU Leuven.

Thomas Legein
Thomas Legein, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet, Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB).

Sofie Marien
Sofie Marien, KU Leuven.
Article

Emotions and Vote Choice

An Analysis of the 2019 Belgian Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden Belgium, elections, emotions, voting behaviour
Auteurs Caroline Close en Emilie van Haute
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article digs into the relationship between voters’ political resentment and their electoral choice in 2019 by focusing on the respondents’ emotions towards politics. Using the RepResent 2019 voter survey, eight emotions are analysed in their relation to voting behaviour: four negative (anger, bitterness, worry and fear) and four positive (hope, relief, joy and satisfaction). We confirm that voters’ emotional register is at least two-dimensional, with one positive and one negative dimension, opening the possibility for different combinations of emotions towards politics. We also find different emotional patterns across party choices, and more crucially, we uncover a significant effect of emotions (especially negative ones) on vote choice, even when controlling for other determinants. Finally, we look at the effect of election results on emotions and we observe a potential winner vs. loser effect with distinctive dynamics in Flanders and in Wallonia.


Caroline Close
Caroline Close is Assistant Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Charleroi campus). Her research and teaching interests include party politics, representation and political participation from a comparative perspective. She has published her work in Party Politics, Political Studies, Parliamentary Affairs, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Representation, Acta Politica and the Journal of European Integration. She regularly contributes to research and publications on Belgian politics.

Emilie van Haute
Emilie van Haute is Chair of the Department of Political Science at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and researcher at the Centre d’étude de la vie politique (Cevipol). Her research interests focus on party membership, intra-party dynamics, elections, and voting behaviour. Her research has appeared in West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Political Studies, European Political Science and Acta Politica. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
Thema-artikel

Niet toegeven maar teruggeven bij protest

Effecten van beleid bij vestiging van een asielzoekerscentrum in Utrecht

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden asylum seeker centres, local opposition, policy effects, inter-group contact, Utrecht
Auteurs Dr. Rianne Dekker, Dr. Karin Geuijen en Dr. Caroline Oliver
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The refugee crisis of 2015-2016 prompted European governments to quickly institute new asylum seeker centres. Often however, plans for opening new reception centres are met with protest in surrounding localities. Gaining public support for new ASCs has become a pressing governance issue facing local governments. This research looks at whether a policy strategy of ‘giving back’ to the neighbourhood rather than ‘giving in’ to the demands of protesters can minimise local opposition and alleviate negative attitudes . A door-to-door survey of N = 511 neighbourhood residents is combined with semi-structured interview data of N = 31 neighbourhood residents. We find that attitudes were already neutral to fairly positive shortly after the centre opened and fears of nuisance and crime did not materialise. Those who became involved in the ASCs’ courses and activities are a small and selective group who were already fairly accepting of the centre. Contact between asylum seekers and neighbours developing within and beyond the ASC was valued but did not develop into stronger ties due to frequent moves of asylum seekers and early closure of the ASC.


Dr. Rianne Dekker
Dr. R. Dekker is universitair docent en onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht. Zij doet onderzoek naar de invloed van nieuwe media in verschillende beleidsterreinen waaronder integratie en veiligheid.

Dr. Karin Geuijen
Dr. K. Geuijen is universitair docent en onderzoeker bij het departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht. Zij doet onderzoek naar multi-sector en multi-level governance, voornamelijk op het terrein van asielmigratie.

Dr. Caroline Oliver
Dr. C. Oliver is universitair hoofddocent aan het Institute of Education van University College London. Zij doet onderzoek naar de gevolgen van migratiebeleid en instituties voor sociale rechtvaardigheid.
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

Sturing op toeristische gentrificatie in stadscentra

Lessen uit Amsterdamse stadsstraten

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden Urban governance, policy fit, tourism gentrification, city centre, Amsterdam
Auteurs Ir. Simon van Zoest en Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The extensive growth of urban tourism has influenced the living environment of urban citizens worldwide, which is among others due to changes in the range of commercial amenities. As a manifestation of this development, the existing supply of retail and hospitality services gradually changes from a focus on inhabitants to the tourist. As a result, the call for municipal intervention grows. However, little is known about the steerability of this development. In this article we therefore asses how tourism affects the range of commercial amenities in city streets, and what local policy responses are most suitable. The research builds on the concepts of tourism gentrification and different types of ‘policy-instrument fit’. Our case study of the city centre of Amsterdam, including a media and policy document analysis, as well as in-depth interviews with stakeholders, show that some problems caused by mass tourism require ‘hard’ forms of government control, while others require a ‘softer’ process approach, linking local parties to jointly improve a city street. The presented steering perspectives are not only relevant for the city of Amsterdam, but also for many other towns within, and beyond, the Netherlands, that have been struggling with the growth of tourism. The open attitude towards urban mass tourism has come up for discussion and urban (tourism) policy calls for reconsideration.


Ir. Simon van Zoest
Ir. Simon van Zoest is promovendus aan de Technische Universiteit Delft.

Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul
Dr. Wouter Jan Verheul is universitair docent en onderzoeker aan de Technische Universiteit Delft. Beide zijn verbonden aan de afdeling Urban Development Management.
Vrij artikel

Access_open Democratie ligt op straat

Dilemma’s en kansen in de interactie tussen overheid en burger

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2019
Trefwoorden citizen participation, democratic legitimacy, street-level interactions, informal citizenship, contestation
Auteurs Dr. Nanke Verloo
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The goal of citizens participation increases the moments of contact between politicians, policy makers, welfare professionals and citizens. The shared responsibility for local decision making is not an easy task. Often conflicts emerge between parties with opposing needs and interests. Citizens oppose decisions or organize protest. These moments do not only challenge the goal of participation, they also jeopardize the quality of democracy. The democratic value of contentious moments, however, is often neglected. How can public professionals deal with the dilemma’s and chances that emerge during interactions that happen unexpectedly at the street-level? I answer that question by applying the agonistic approach to democracy to the action repertoire of public professionals dealing with conflict. A dramaturgical analysis of contentious interactions provides insights in how we can recognize and acknowledge contentious citizenship.


Dr. Nanke Verloo
Dr. N. Verloo is universitair docent en onderzoeker bij de afdeling Geografie, Planologie en Internationale Ontwikkelingsstudies van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Opening the Opaque Blank Box

An Exploration into Blank and Null Votes in the 2018 Walloon Local Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden voting, elections, blank vote, invalid vote, abstention
Auteurs Jean-Benoit Pilet, Maria Jimena Sanhuza, David Talukder e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, we propose an in-depth exploration of blank and null ballots in the recent 2018 local elections in Wallonia (Belgium). In the official results, both blank and null ballots are merged together and are classified as invalid votes. After obtaining the authorization to access genuine electoral ballots, we study the votes which were not considered for the composition of local councils in detail. The dataset is a representative sample of 13,243 invalidated ballots from 49 Walloon municipalities. We first describe how many of these invalidated ballots are blank and how many are null votes, as well as the nature of the nulled votes (unintended errors or intentionally spoiled ballots). Second, we dig deeper into the differences between ballots that have been intentionally invalidated by voters (blank votes and intentional null votes) and ballots non-intentionally invalidated. Our results show that most of the ballots (two-thirds) are null ballots and that among them, half are unintentional null ballots. Finally, we show that contextual (socio-demographic and political) factors explain the variations in intentional and unintentional null votes across municipalities.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is professor of political science at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He works on elections, political parties, and democratic reforms. He has recently co-authored Faces on the Ballot. The Personalization of Electoral Systems in Europe (OUP, 2016, with Alan Renwick) and The Politics of Party Leadership (OUP, 2016, with William Cross).

Maria Jimena Sanhuza
Maria Jimena Sanhueza is PhD Researcher in Political Science at Universite Libre de Bruxelles where she is associated to three projects studying Belgian politics. Her research focuses on citizenship, representation and democracy. Before starting her PhD, Maria Jimena worked as assistant researcher for EU HORIZON 2020 projects Pathways to Power and Solidarity in Times on Crisis, and co-authored a few publications on European democracies and representation.

David Talukder
David Talukder is PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB). He is conducting a thesis on the reform of representative democracy, looking at disadvantaged groups’ evaluation of representative democracy and demands for procedural democratic reforms. His main research interests are related to procedural democratic reforms, participatory democracy and democratic innovations.

Jérémy Dodeigne
Jérémy Dodeigne is associate professor in political science at the Université de Namur. His research areas cover the study of political representation in multilevel systems, local politics, comparative politics and mixed methods research designs. His work appears in journals such as Party Politics, American Behavioral Scientist, Local Government Studies, Regional & Federal Studies, Government & Opposition, and Representation.

Audrey E. Brennan
Audrey E. Brennan is completing a joint doctorate in political science at Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) and Université Laval. Her research interests are political parties, elections, and political participation. Her dissertation studies the effect of leadership change mechanisms on the long-term behaviour of political party members.
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).
Artikel

Access_open Sociale cohesie in gentrificerende arbeiderswijken van Amsterdam-Noord

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Gentrification, Bridging capital, Bonding capital, Amsterdam North, Public familiarity
Auteurs Dr. Linda van de Kamp en Dr. Saskia Welschen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    We analyze how ‘original’ residents in different gentrifying working class areas in Amsterdam North experience and evaluate the changes in their neighborhood in terms of social cohesion – in other words, whether they feel at home in their changing neighborhood and whether they feel connected to other residents. Policy interventions often focus on establishing connections between residents with different socioeconomic or cultural backgrounds, in order to stimulate mutual understanding. An underlying policy aim is to uplift vulnerable original residents through contact with higher income groups. Based on our empirical data, we critically assess the concept of ‘bridging capital’ (Putnam, 2000) that underpins several of the social activities that are organized in areas such as the ones in our study. Subsequently, we discuss the importance of ‘bonding capital’ or the sense of interconnectedness and strong ties amongst original residents. Our empirical data – based on both interviews and participatory observation – suggest that activities within the ‘own’ community contribute importantly to feelings of belonging in the neighborhood. In the final section of the article, we discuss how different types of local meeting places offer opportunities for ‘lighter’ forms of interactions without aiming directly at strong connections between differently positioned neighborhood residents.


Dr. Linda van de Kamp
Dr. Linda van de Kamp is werkzaam aan de afdeling Sociologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Dr. Saskia Welschen
Dr. Saskia Welschen is senior onderzoeker aan de Hogeschool van Amsterdam en zelfstandig onderzoeker.
Serie

Ambitieuze en ambivalente vernieuwing van de lokale democratie in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 2 2019
Auteurs Dr. Linze Schaap, Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks, Dr. Niels Karsten MA e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article in the series on the local democratic audit, the authors argue that municipal democracy in the Netherlands has become a multiple democracy. Within the formal framework of representative democracy, numerous democratic arrangements have emerged that may be referred to as participatory, direct and also what the authors call ‘do-democracy’. Additions to representative democracy did not come without reason: representative democracy is not a perfect system, either in theory or in practice. Efforts have been made to improve the functioning of representative democracy in a number of ways. Three of these are discussed in this article. The authors note that these three reforms do not solve the problems in representative democracy. So the Dutch municipalities have started looking for additions to representative democracy. In this article various forms of participatory, do-it-yourself and direct democracy are discussed. Many effects of these reforms are still unknown and knowledge about them has crumbled, but one conclusion can be drawn: people with a low education are not inclined to take part, even with arrangements that are easily accessible. Striving for a more vital local democracy seems meaningful; the authors formulate a number of ways of thinking about this.


Dr. Linze Schaap
Dr. L. Schaap is universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Prof. dr. Frank Hendriks
Prof. dr. F. Hendriks is hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Niels Karsten MA
Dr. N. Karsten MA is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. J.J.C. van Ostaaijen is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg en voorzitter van de Rekenkamercommissie in de gemeente Zundert.

Charlotte Wagenaar MSc.
C.C.L. Wagenaar MSc is onderzoeker bij de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

De interactielogica van verzet: een dramaturgische analyse van escalatie tijdens een informatieavond

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden Protest, Governance, Participation, Dramaturgy, Interaction logic
Auteurs Sander van Haperen MSc
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Theory about participation has long moved beyond merely informing citizens, arguing for more influential and effective instruments. Nevertheless, ‘inspraak’ remains widely implemented in Dutch practice, with mixed results. This article argues that the deliberative quality of the instrument is closely related to the performance of power. Dramaturgical concepts are employed to analyze resistance against the siting of a homeless facility in an Amsterdam neighborhood. One particular evening sets the stage for escalation, which ultimately frustrates the policy process. The analysis shows how the performance of the meeting invokes specific kinds of resistance. A different performance of ‘informing’ could potentially improve the quality of the public sphere.


Sander van Haperen MSc
Sander van Haperen MSc is promovendus Political sociology aan the Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Article

De draaideur: van impasse naar uitweg

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2018
Trefwoorden revolving door, lobbying, integrity, public values, polder democracy, regulatory solutions
Auteurs Toon Kerkhoff en Arco Timmermans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The revolving door is an ambiguous concept evoking strong opinions, and often is seen to lead to a decline in trust and legitimacy of the policy-making system of the Netherlands. But the different moral objections against the revolving door between functions and jobs in public and private organizations are barely matched with systematic empirical evidence of negative effects on the policy-making system. In this article, a definition of the concept is presented in order to help focusing the discussion on moral objections and practical implications of the revolving door. Two fundamental contradictions emerge from the panoply of arguments and assertions about this phenomenon. With our definition as a basis, we consider the different forms of the revolving door and discuss conditions under which it may be contained without solutions that are disproportionate to the problem. The way out is to develop clearer norms and integrity-enhancing mechanisms with which negative effects may be avoided and positive effects strengthened.


Toon Kerkhoff
Toon Kerkhoff is universitair docent bij het Instituut Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit Leiden. Hij geeft leiding aan het Centre for Public Values & Ethics aan de Faculteit Governance & Global Affairs van de Universiteit Leiden, waar wetenschappelijk onderzoek wordt gedaan naar normatieve vraagstukken in de publieke sector en kennis daarover breder toegankelijk wordt gemaakt. Het onderzoek van Kerkhoff richt zich in het bijzonder op good governance en bestuurlijke ethiek, waarover hij ook onderwijs geeft in bachelor- en masteropleidingen.

Arco Timmermans
Arco Timmermans is bijzonder hoogleraar public affairs aan de Haagse Faculteit Governance & Global Affairs van de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderzoek en onderwijs gaan over de dynamiek van de maatschappelijke en politieke agenda, issuemanagement, lobbycoalities en de professionalisering van public affairs als terrein van wetenschap en praktijk. Hij is mede-oprichter en leider van de Nederlandse deelname in het internationale Comparative Agendas Project. Naast onderzoek en onderwijs in reguliere academische programma’s zoals de masterspecialisatie public affairs aan de Universiteit Leiden is hij ook intensief betrokken bij cursussen voor werkende professionals op het terrein van public affairs.
Artikel

Access_open Verantwoordelijkheid, veiligheid en strafrecht

Over het bestraffen van feilbaarheid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2018
Trefwoorden accountability, blame, criminal law, professional error, safety
Auteurs Dr. mr. Willem-Jan Kortleven
Samenvatting

    This paper analyses various landmark criminal cases in the Netherlands that saw individual professionals being blamed for allegedly contributing to safety-critical events occurring in the past twenty years. These cases can be seen as symbolizing an increasingly risk-averse society whose expectations of human capacity for securing safety have reached unprecedented levels. In this view, punishing professionals who make dangerous mistakes serves to re-establish the illusion of being in control and to satisfy emotions. In practice, however, the prosecution of professional error appears to be somewhat out of touch with public sentiment, as responses to the cases discussed revealed little public support and a backlash among professionals. Moreover, safety science and practice claim that punishing individual error tends to undermine safety and overemphasizes the role of individual error compared to systemic failures. This begs the question of whether criminal liability should be imposed at the system level, as recently happened when local governments were sentenced following fatalities on dangerous road spots. Sentencing ‘system administrators’ may have advantages, but probably produces negative effects as well. Therefore, it would be ideal if administrators reduced the need for resorting to criminal law by proactively and generously taking responsibility for their organisation’s share in accidents.


Dr. mr. Willem-Jan Kortleven
Article

TTIP, business as usual?

Europees handelsbeleid en zijn democratische legitimiteit

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2018
Trefwoorden Democratic legitimacy, input legitimacy, throughput legitimacy, European Union, trade policy, TTIP
Auteurs Joke Matthieu
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) can be considered a game changer among trade agreements. TTIP not only aims to shape tomorrow’s trade policy, but has also had a huge influence on the democratic legitimacy of the EU. Based on recent literature on democratic legitimacy in the EU, this paper studies how the TTIP negotiations score in terms of input and throughput legitimacy. Our results show that these negotiations have had their fair share of problems, such as the disproportionally large influence of corporations and a lack of transparency and accountability. However, these legitimacy problems occurred mainly in the first months of the negotiation process. Due to large scale protests and critiques from civil society, measures were taken to boost the legitimacy of the process.


Joke Matthieu
Joke Matthieu studeerde politieke wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) waar ze in 2016 afstudeerde met grootste onderscheiding. Voor haar masterproef onderzocht ze de democratische legitimiteit van de TTIP-onderhandelingen en daarvoor kreeg ze de prijs voor de beste masterproef van de faculteit Economische en Sociale wetenschappen. Ze zette haar academische carrière verder aan de VUB, waar ze momenteel werkt als onderwijsassistent en doctoraatsonderzoeker. Haar voornaamste onderzoeksinteresses zijn democratische innovatie, politieke socialisatie en burgerschap. Ze bereidt momenteel een doctoraat voor over de effecten van deliberatie op het burgerschap van jongeren.
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