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    Dutch municipalities and provinces have been obliged to have an audit office or audit office function for about 20 years. How does the audit office work nowadays and what contribution does it make to decentralized administration? That is the question at the center of this article. To this end, the authors list the available knowledge about audit offices or committees and present the results of their own analysis of 982 audit reports from 234 audit offices or committees from 308 Dutch municipalities. The audit office or committee has been institutionalized in the vast majority of municipalities and in all provinces. Council members are increasingly less likely to (also) be members of this board and the output has increased slightly from approximately one to an average of one and a half surveys per year. Where initially mainly business management-oriented subjects were examined, some broadening to more policy-related themes has taken place. Municipal councilors are quite satisfied with their audit office or committee. At the same time, the actual social effects of policy are rarely measured in audit institutions. Moreover, council members make little use of audit reports in controlling the municipal board, and audit offices or committees also add little to their framework-setting role. Little is known about the extent to which the research of the audit offices makes a more objective contribution to the administration and strengthening of the functioning of the municipal council, which is also a theme for future research.


Klaartje Peters
Prof. dr. K. Peters is zelfstandig onderzoeker en publicist en bijzonder hoogleraar Lokaal en regionaal bestuur aan de Universiteit Maastricht; zij is voorzitter van de Rekenkamer Venlo en rekenkamerdirecteur in Beuningen, en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.

Sabine van Zuydam
Dr. S. van Zuydam is onderzoeker bij Necker van Naem en is verbonden aan de Universiteit Twente; daarnaast is zij (plaatsvervangend) voorzitter van verschillende rekenkamercommissies en redactielid van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Artikel

Hoe SyRI het belang van transparantie ­onderstreept

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2021
Trefwoorden SyRI, digitisation, transparency, trust, ICT
Auteurs Mr. Tosja Selbach en Dr. Barbara Brink
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The Dutch digital fraud detection system SyRI was announced to set up to detect social security fraud quickly and effectively and by doing so, maintain support for the social security system. It was the formal position that for the sake of effectiveness, no information about the algorithm and very limited information about the application of the system should be shared. The authors argue on the basis of a policy analysis, a legal exploration and a literature study that the lack of transparency about the chosen method and the application of the digital fraud detection system in social security can have far-reaching consequences for both the individual and society . The information sharing and the use of algorithms can lead to suspicion of and declining confidence in the government, and a reduced motivation to comply with the prevailing rules. This could undermine the original purpose.


Mr. Tosja Selbach
Mr. Tosja Selbach is voormalig LLM-student governance and law in digital society, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

Dr. Barbara Brink
Dr. Barbara Brink is postdoc-onderzoeker socialezekerheidsbeleid, vakgroep Staatsrecht, Bestuursrecht en Bestuurskunde aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.
Article

Access_open An Actor Approach to Mediatization

Linking Politicians’ Media Perceptions, Communication Behaviour and Appearances in the News

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden mediatization, politicians, news media, media perceptions, news management
Auteurs Pauline Ketelaars en Peter Van Aelst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the light of the broader debate on the mediatization of politics, this study wants to better understand how the media perceptions and media behaviour of politicians are related to their appearances in the news. We opt for an innovative actor-centred approach to actually measure the views and actions of individual politicians. We combine surveys conducted with 142 Belgian representatives with data on politicians’ external communication behaviour and on their appearances in television news, newspapers and news websites. The results show that media behaviour is not so much related to beliefs of media importance. We do find a significant positive relationship between strategic media behaviour and media attention suggesting that politicians who put in more effort appear more often in various news media. However, this positive relationship depends on the specific form of strategic communication and the political position of the legislator. Our study adds to the mediatization literature by showing how and when politicians are successful in obtaining media attention.


Pauline Ketelaars
Pauline Ketelaars was a postdoctoral researcher of the Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO). Her main research interests are political communication and social movements.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is a research professor at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp and a founding member of the research group ‘Media, Movements and Politics’ (M2P). His research focuses on political communication. Corresponding author: peter.vanaelst@uantwerpen.be.
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

Rebellerende zorgprofessionals

Improviseren met regels, passie en verantwoording

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 2 2021
Trefwoorden healthcare rebels, administrative burden, quality of care, etnography, accountability
Auteurs Iris Wallenburg, Hester van de Bovenkamp, Anne Marie Weggelaar-Jansen e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Bureaucracy and ‘red tape’ are seen as a main annoyance in healthcare practice. ‘Rules’ like guidelines and performance indicators would withdraw professionals from their real work, that is, helping patients. However, rules may also improve quality of care if they foster high quality practices. In this research, we explore how healthcare rebels deal with rules in their everyday work: how rebels ignore, engender and bend rules to build new environments for doing good care. Drawing on ethnographic research in three hospitals in the Netherlands (2017-2018), we reveal how rebels build and care for clinical microsystems containing their own clinical unit and related contexts (e.g. pharmaceutical suppliers, ICT companies, primary care) to evoke alternative and situated practices of good care delivery – i.e. focusing on quality of life and person-centred care. Rebels enact mechanisms of decoupling and recoupling to disconnect rules that embark on good care in specific patient situations, and build new routines that foster good care. However, such caring practices are hard to generalize as they often occur ‘under the radar’ and hence remain hardly noticed to the outside world. We argue that through revising accounting processes, and paying more attention to narratives of good care, more convenient quality systems could be found.


Iris Wallenburg
Dr. Iris Wallenburg is universitair hoofddocent, sectie Health Care Governance, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Hester van de Bovenkamp
Dr. Hester van de Bovenkamp is universitair hoofddocent, sectie Health Care Governance, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Anne Marie Weggelaar-Jansen
Dr. Anne Marie Weggelaar-Jansen, MCM is universitair docent, sectie Health Services Management and Organization, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Roland Bal
Prof.dr. Roland Bal is hoogleraar beleid en bestuur van de gezondheidszorg, sectie Health Care Governance, Erasmus School of Health Policy & Management aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

De invloed van contractuele en relationele aspecten op stakeholdermanagement

Een casusstudie van de A9 en A16 DBFM-infrastructuurprojecten

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden infrastructure projects, public-private partnerships, contractual governance, relational governance, stakeholder management
Auteurs Sander Philips MSc, Ir. Bert de Groot en Dr. Stefan Verweij
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the past decade, large infrastructure projects in the Netherlands have often been implemented through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), specifically using Design-Build-Finance-Maintain (DBFM) contracts. While the decision to implement projects through PPPs is based on expected advantages for internal parties – the public and private partners in the PPP –, there is a call for more focus on the advantages and disadvantages of PPPs for external stakeholders. External stakeholder management in DBFM projects is based on a contractual division of risks and responsibilities between the partners. However, it is clear from the literature that the contract does not guarantee successful stakeholder management. Relational aspects are important. Little research has been done, however, into the interplay of contractual and relational aspects in achieving successful stakeholder management. This article addresses this research need. A comparative case study was conducted into the PPP projects A9 Gaasperdammerweg and A16 Rotterdam. The study first shows that sanctions, when combined with a relational approach, have a positive effect on the relationships with stakeholders. Second, external stakeholder management cannot be simply outsourced to the private partner and continuous involvement of the public partner is important for success.


Sander Philips MSc
Sander Philips MSc volgde op het moment van schrijven de double degree master Environmental and Infrastructure Planning (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen) en Water and Coastal Management (Universität Oldenburg). Inmiddels is hij afgestudeerd.

Ir. Bert de Groot
Ir. Bert de Groot is senior adviseur projectbeheersing bij Rijkswaterstaat, ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat, en external PhD bij de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, basiseenheid Planologie.

Dr. Stefan Verweij
Dr. Stefan Verweij is universitair docent infrastructuurplanning, governance en methodologie aan de Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, faculteit Ruimtelijke Wetenschappen, basiseenheid Planologie.
Vrij artikel

Inspectietoezicht op de Belastingdienst in internationaal perspectief

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2021
Trefwoorden inspection supervision, Tax and Customs Administration, international comparative, Charter of the rights of taxpayers, quality of public service
Auteurs Drs. Pieter Welp en Dr. Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The cabinet has decided to set up a national inspectorate with the task of supervising the quality and the rule of law of the public services provided by the tax authorities. The reason for this is the persistent problems surrounding the Tax and Customs Administration for years (organization, management, IT, personnel) and more recently the crisis surrounding the supplementary child benefit. The Netherlands is not the first and will soon not be the only country with a special regulator for the tax authorities and which focuses on legal protection of taxpayers and the quality of the service. In this article, we ask ourselves how the institution of the new Dutch inspectorate relates to the situation in various foreign countries and we examine which dilemmas and policy questions these raise. We note that with this new inspection the Netherlands is in tune with the situation in various foreign countries. Regarding the relationship and cooperative relationship with the National Ombudsman, the guarantee of the independent and impartial exercise of inspection supervision and the increasing importance of a Charter of the rights of taxpayers, a few important policy questions remain in a comparative sense.


Drs. Pieter Welp
Drs. P. Welp is senior wetenschappelijk onderzoeker en strategisch adviseur Wetenschapsagenda Toezicht bij Bureau Inspectieraad.

Dr. Meike Bokhorst
Dr. A.M. Bokhorst is senior onderzoeker bij de Universiteit Utrecht en senior wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid.
Artikel

Ontwikkeling en institutionalisering van een anti-establishmentpartij

De casus Leefbaar Rotterdam

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering Online First 2021
Trefwoorden party institutionalization, political parties, local government, Governance, anti-establishment party
Auteurs Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB en dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    There is much research available about the development and government participation of new political parties (e.g. Pedersen, 1982; Deschouwer, 2008). Scholars show that survival for new political parties is often difficult, as they in general had little time for party building (Bollyer & Bytzek, 2017). Moreover, the expectation for specific types of new parties, mainly anti-establishment parties, is that they pay a high(er) electoral price when participating in government (Van Spanje, 2011). The Dutch case of the local political party of ‘Leefbaar Rotterdam’ (Livable Rotterdam, LR) is a noteworthy exception to this rule. It won the Rotterdam local election in 2002 with almost 35 percent of the votes, only months after its establishment. Until this day, LR remains an electorally large and relevant political party, participating in Rotterdam government twice (2002-2006 and 2014-2018). The article shows that in comparison to some national new political parties, LR succeeded in building a solid party organization and that from a party institutionalization perspective, it can be considered an institutionalized party. Regarding theory, it provides some additions to party building literature, such as the importance of personal relations and the balance between organizational unity and member autonomy.


Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB
Gideon Broekhuizen MSc LLB is werkzaam als beleidsadviseur bij het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport.

dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen is werkzaam als universitair docent bestuurskunde aan Tilburg University en lector recht en veiligheid bij Avans Hogeschool.
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.
Artikel

Access_open Een ontspannen perspectief op residentiële segregatie

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2020
Trefwoorden residential segregation, Framing, welfare regimes, structural factors, individual preferences
Auteurs Prof. dr. Sako Musterd
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In the Netherlands and surrounding countries, there is reason to ask the question whether levels of segregation according to country of origin (mainly non-western) and in terms of socioeconomic position (mainly social arrears) are sufficiently high to legitimate anti-segregation policy. When will segregation become problematic? If segregation is regarded a problem, what, then, would be the best remedy? Spatial intervention? Or broader societal intervention? In this article developments and mechanisms will be discussed that lead to segregation; also political views on segregation and the framing of segregation will be scrutinized. A confrontation of knowledge, insights, visions, and framings offers material for new perspectives on residential segregation and is reason to argue for a more relaxed attitude towards segregation. We should acknowledge that the process of matching households to residential environments results in some – generally unproblematic – segregation. Only if segregation causes problems that pass certain intensity and/or a certain spatial range, non-spatial or spatial interventions are becoming a necessity. Levels of segregation are relatively moderate still. We ought to be more aware of the fact that strong negative framing actually stimulates segregation, social exclusion, division, discrimination, marginalisation, stigmatisation, fear, estrangement, and the development of first- and second-rate citizens.


Prof. dr. Sako Musterd
Prof. dr. Sako Musterd is hoogleraar stadsgeografie aan het Centre for Urban Studies, Universiteit van Amsterdam. www.uva.nl/profiel/s.musterd
Artikel

Access_open Inzet op omgevingsbewust en kwaliteitsbewust werken in beleidsonderzoek

Illustraties uit de lerende evaluatie van het Natuurpact van het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving

Tijdschrift Beleidsonderzoek Online, november 2020
Auteurs Eva Kunseler, Lisa Verwoerd en Femke Verwest
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Een reflexieve kijk op beleidsonderzoek gaat uit van continue dynamiek tussen kennisontwikkeling en beleids- en uitvoeringspraktijken. Beleidsonderzoekers zoeken naar houvast om gedegen en relevant onderzoek te blijven doen, onderwijl inspelend op onzekerheden, onvoorspelbaarheid en kritische geluiden die kenmerkend zijn voor de huidige kennissamenleving. Via omgevingsbewust werken kunnen zij hun onderzoeksaanpak leren afstemmen op de kenmerken en maatschappelijke context van beleidsdossiers. Via kwaliteitsbewust werken kunnen zij leren inspelen op de verwachtingen rondom een bepaalde expertrol en onderzoeksaanpak binnen de eigen contexten van onafhankelijkheid en wetenschappelijke verantwoording.
    Aan de hand van een casus – de lerende evaluatie van het Natuurpact, een innovatieve evaluatiestudie bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving – laten we zien hoe een reflexieve aanpak helpt om onderzoek in de nabijheid van de dynamische beleidspraktijk uit te voeren. Doordat deze aanpak buiten de comfortzone van onderzoekers ligt, is omgevingsbewust en kwaliteitsbewust werken voor onderzoekers geen vanzelfsprekendheid. We roepen beleidsonderzoekers zelf, de organisaties waar ze werkzaam zijn en beleidsmedewerkers op om hun reflexieve vaardigheden verder te ontwikkelen via het inrichten van lerende processen, effectieve kennisdeling via Communities of Practice en leerwerktrajecten, en open en adaptieve kennis-beleidsarrangementen.


Eva Kunseler
Eva Kunseler is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving.

Lisa Verwoerd
Lisa Verwoerd is wetenschappelijk medewerker bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving en onderzoeker bij het Athena Instituut, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Femke Verwest
Femke Verwest is plaatsvervangend sectorhoofd Natuur en Landelijk Gebied bij het Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving.
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

Access_open Decentraliseren en experimenteren

De ontwikkeling van sociaal beleid voor asielmigranten door gemeenten

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2020
Trefwoorden decentralization, migrant integration, social contact, mainstreaming, living labs
Auteurs Dr. Rianne Dekker en Dr. Meike Bokhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    After the European refugee crisis of 2015-2016, many Dutch municipalities took initiative in (re)shaping policies of asylum seeker reception and refugee integration in their own ways. We are witnessing a ‘local turn’ of integration policies with decentralization of responsibilities to the local level of governance. Besides civic integration and socioeconomic integration, social integration of asylum seekers and refugees has been a concern as these groups are often housed in superdiverse and vulnerable neighborhoods. How can municipalities best address the specific problems in their cities? This editorial introduces the four articles that are part of this special issue. We discuss three overarching topics. First, we argue that aside from targeting specific groups and issues, cities should develop mainstreamed policies and provisions to be able to handle future fluctuations and changes in their populations. Second, we observe that in policies aimed at enhancing inter-group contact, earlier immigrant groups are often overlooked. They can play a bridging role in establishing social connections. Third, we highlight the role of urban experiments and living labs in transfer and upscaling of innovative policies.


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. Meike Bokhorst
Dr. A.M. Bokhorst is senior wetenschappelijk medewerker bij de Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid en onderzoeker bij de Universiteit Utrecht. Zij is als projectcoördinator migratiediversiteit en auteur betrokken bij WRR-publicaties over de immigratiesamenleving.
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

Access_open The Feminisation of Belgian Local Party Politics

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local politics, local party branches, local elections, gender quotas, Belgium
Auteurs Robin Devroe, Silvia Erzeel en Petra Meier
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates the feminisation of local politics. Starting from the observation that the representation of women in local electoral politics lags behind the regional and federal level, and taking into account the relevance of local party branches in the recruitment and selection of candidates for elections, we examine the extent to which there is an ‘internal’ feminisation of local party branches and how this links to the ‘external’ feminisation of local electoral politics. Based on surveys among local party chairs, the article maps patterns of feminisation over time and across parties, investigates problems local branches encounter in the recruitment of candidates for local elections, and analyses the (attitudes towards the) measures taken to further the integration of women in local electoral politics. We conclude that internal and external feminisation do not always go hand in hand and that local politics continues to be a male-dominated political biotope.


Robin Devroe
Robin Devroe is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University and member of the research group GASPAR. Her main research interest is the study of the political representation of diverse social groups and voting behaviour, with a specific focus on the descriptive representation of women, and she has a fascination for experimental methods. Her doctoral work (2019, Ghent University) focused on the prevalence of political gender stereotypes among Flemish voters. In the past, Robin was a visiting scholar at Texas A&M University (2018, US). Since 2020, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Group on Gender and Politics.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel is Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her research interests include party politics, political representation, gender and intersectionality, and comparative politics. Her current research focuses on three main areas: the integration of gender equality in political parties, intersectionality and political representation in Europe, and the consequences of economic and social inequality for representative democracy. Since 2018, she has been co-convenor of the European Consortium for Political Research’s (ECPR’s) Standing Group on Gender and Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier is Professor of Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Antwerp. Her research focuses on the (re)presentation of gender+ in politics and policies. Late work focused on the conceptualisation of symbolic representation, how it operates and the issues at stake from an inclusive perspective. Recently, she turned to study democratic deficits in federal systems, especially Belgium, and processes of de-democratisation in general. She is particularly interested in understanding how such processes affect the demos, more particularly from a gender, an LGBTQI or an ethnic perspective, and what dynamics of marginalisation and exclusion they generate.
Article

Introduction: Parties at the Grassroots

Local Party Branches in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Auteurs Bram Wauters, Simon Otjes en Emilie van Haute
Auteursinformatie

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University, where he leads the research group GASPAR. His research interests include political representation, elections and political parties, with specific attention for diversity. He has recently published on these topics in journals such as Party Politics, Political Studies, Politics & Gender and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

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 research has appeared in various journals, including American Journal of Political Science and European Journal of Political Research.

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 or European Political Science. She is co-editor of Acta Politica.
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.
Article

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Linkage Between Local Branches and Their National Party Headquarters in Belgium

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden local branches, national party headquarters, linkage, integration, multilevel parties
Auteurs Kristof Steyvers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article scrutinises local-national linkage in Belgium to better understand territorial power relations in multilevel parties. Drawing on a survey of local chairs of national parties, it adopts an innovative, informal and bottom-up approach. The descriptive analysis reveals two central axes in the morphology of linkage: scope (downward support and upward influence) and surplus (benefits versus costs). However, (the valuation of) this interdependence appears as a matter of degree. The explanatory analysis therefore probes into the effect of macro- (between environments), meso- (between parties) and micro- (within parties) level factors. It demonstrates that variance is explained by different parameters. For scope, differences between parties trump those within them. For surplus, specific differences between parties as well as within them matter. The answer to our guiding question is therefore variegated: it depends on for what and for whom.


Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science of Ghent University (Belgium). His research is conducted in the Centre for Local Politics, where he focuses on topics such as local political leadership, parties and elections at the local level, local government in multilevel governance and local government reforms (often from a comparative perspective).
Vrij artikel

Autonomie ontrafeld. De casus van de Nederlandse Kinderombudsman

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2020
Trefwoorden autonomy, ombudsperson, children’s ombudsman, national ombudsman, Paris Principles
Auteurs Marjolein Bouterse MSc en Dr. Valérie Pattyn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    A key factor to a well-functioning ombudsman’s office is autonomy, which can also be derived from the public turmoil surrounding the appointment of Dutch Children’s ombudsman in 2016. Organization-wise, the Dutch Children’s ombudsman is embedded within an existing autonomous institution: the National ombudsman. This triggers the question to what extent such nested constructions can guarantee sufficient autonomy. Viewing the statutory and de facto autonomy of the Children’s ombudsman, we find that the autonomy of the Children’s ombudsman depends to a large extent on the position of the National ombudsman and on the relationship between the National ombudsman and the Children’s ombudsman. Our findings point out that it is necessary to determine and codify the degree of autonomy at the start of an ombudsman’s office.


Marjolein Bouterse MSc
M. Bouterse, MSc werkte na haar studie Bestuurskunde bij de Universiteit Leiden mee aan de Wetsevaluatie Kinderombudsman. Momenteel werkt zij als beleidsonderzoeker bij Regioplan Beleidsonderzoek, waar zij zich focust op arbeidsre-integratie en schuldhulpverlening.

Dr. Valérie Pattyn
Dr. V.E. Pattyn is universitair docent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde van Universiteit Leiden, en is deeltijds verbonden aan KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid. Ze specialiseert zich in thema’s als het gebruik van kennis door overheden, beleidsevaluatie, beleidswerk, beleidsadvisering en beleidscapaciteit.
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