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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 Online First 2020
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, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Jan Beyers
Jan Beyers, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Frederik Heylen
Frederik Heylen, Departement Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium.
Artikel

Hulp bij het vormen van lokale coalities en colleges

De lokale externe (in)formateur in Nederland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2020
Auteurs Dirk Winkelmolen MSc en Dr. Julien van Ostaaijen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In many Dutch municipalities, a ‘local external (in)formateur’ is deployed after the municipal elections. Local (in)formateurs guide the process of coalition formation. They investigate which political parties and political groups want to work together and try to bring them closer together. They can also play a role in the board formation, such as selecting alderman candidates and allocating portfolios. External (in)formateurs come ‘from outside’. They do not have an official political or official position in the municipality where they do their work at the time of their deployment as informateur. In 2014, forty percent of the municipalities made use of such an external (information) officer. However, we still know relatively little about the work of these local external informateurs, their background and results. The authors try to fill that gap on the basis of a literature study, interviews with stakeholders and a survey among 115 local external informateurs. They also consider the added value of local external (in)formateurs for local democracy. The work of local external (in)formal formateurs can contribute to a stable and well-functioning municipal executive. Nonetheless, they tend to have a rather one-sided socio-demographic profile and the desired party political experience and involvement with the municipality can be at odds with the desired independence and objectivity.


Dirk Winkelmolen MSc
D. Winkelmolen MSc deed de master Bestuurskunde aan de Universiteit van Tilburg en is momenteel beleidsmedewerker Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling in de gemeente Roerdalen (Limburg).

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.
Article

Still Consociational? Belgian Democracy, 50 Years After ‘The Politics of Accommodation’

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Belgium, consociational democracy, Lijphart, federalism, ethnolinguistic conflict
Auteurs Didier Caluwaerts en Min Reuchamps
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Despite the enduring importance of Lijphart’s work for understanding democracy in Belgium, the consociational model has come under increasing threat. Owing to deep political crises, decreasing levels of trust in elites, increasing levels of ethnic outbidding and rising demands for democratic reform, it seems as if Lijphart’s model is under siege. Even though the consociational solution proved to be very capable of transforming conflict into cooperation in Belgian politics in the past, the question we raise in this article is whether and to what extent the ‘politics of accommodation’ is still applicable to Belgian democracy. Based on an in-depth analysis of the four institutional (grand coalition, proportionality, mutual veto rights and segmental autonomy) and one cultural (public passivity) criteria, we argue that consociational democracy’s very nature and institutional set-up has largely hollowed out its potential for future conflict management.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is professor of political science at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. His research deals with democratic governance and innovation in deeply divided societies. With Min Reuchamps, he has recently published “The Legitimacy of Citizen-led Deliberative Democracy: The G1000 in Belgium” (Routledge, 2018).

Min Reuchamps
Min Reuchamps is professor of political science at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain). His teaching and research interests are federalism and multi-level 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.
Article

Populism as a Visual Communication Style

An Exploratory Study of Populist Image Usage of Flemish Block/Interest in Belgium (1991-2018)

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2020
Trefwoorden Populism, image use, visual style, campaign, posters, visual, Flanders, populist right, Belgium
Auteurs Kevin Straetemans
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the visual communication of the Flemish populist right-wing party Vlaams Blok/Vlaams Belang, and investigates whether or not the party uses a specific populist communication style in its campaign posters, whether or not its visual style evolves over time and how the party distinguishes itself from other (right-wing) parties in its use of images. To do this, the image use will be compared with the CVP/CD&V and the Volksunie/N-VA. This use of images will be investigated by analysing election posters from 1991 to 2018. The analysis shows that there is indeed a ‘populist visual style’. These items consist mainly of (negative) metaphors, false dilemmas, caricatures and the use of so-called ‘agonic’ visual techniques.


Kevin Straetemans
Kevin Straetemans attained a Master’s degree in Political Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 2018. He is currently pursuing an Educational Master in Social Sciences at the same university. His research interests are political parties, elections, extremism, propaganda and political communication.
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

How to Improve Local Turnout

The Effect of Municipal Efforts to Improve Turnout in Dutch Local Elections

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden turnout, local elections, get out the vote, campaign, the Netherlands
Auteurs Julien van Ostaaijen, Sabine van Zuydam en Martijn Epskamp
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Even though many municipalities use a variety of means to improve turnout in local elections, citizen participation in local elections is a point of concern in many Western countries, including the Netherlands. Our research question is therefore: How effective are municipal efforts to improve turnout in (Dutch) local elections? To this end, we collected data from three sources: (1) a survey sent to the municipal clerks of 389 Dutch municipalities to learn what they do to improve turnout; (2) data from Statistics Netherlands on municipalities’ socio-demographic characteristics; and (3) data on the turnout in local elections from the Dutch Electoral Council database. Using hierarchical multiple regression analysis, we found that the direct impact of local governments’ efforts to improve turnout is low. Nevertheless, some measures seem to be able to make a difference. The relative number of polling stations was especially found to impact turnout.


Julien van Ostaaijen
Julien van Ostaaijen is assistant professor of public administration at the Tilburg Institute of Governance (Tilburg University).

Sabine van Zuydam
Sabine van Zuydam is assistant professor of public administration at the Tilburg Institute of Governance (Tilburg University) and researcher at Necker van Naem.

Martijn Epskamp
Martijn Epskamp is a researcher of the municipality of Rotterdam (Research and Business Intelligence department)
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).
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden (de-)nationalization, voting behaviour, party offer, voter response, methodological nationalism
Auteurs Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer en Tom Verthé
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    By examining the Belgian case, this article aims to show that methodological nationalism is strongly present in the literature on nationalization of party offer and voting behaviour. In nationalization studies, Belgium is often presented as a typical example of a denationalized country. This is true for the party offer, as it is de facto split between the two language groups since the 1980s, and therefore also voter response at the national level. However, voter response within each separate subnational party system is very homogeneous and shows interesting differences between these party systems that inform us about important electoral dynamics. We argue, on the basis of our results, that rather than stretching the concept of nationalization, it is preferable and justified to treat the concepts of nationalization of the party offer and homogenization of voter response as analytically distinct and not as two sides of the same coin.


Luana Russo
Luana Russo, Maastricht University.

Kris Deschouwer
Kris Deschouwer, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Tom Verthé
Tom Verthé, Ghent University & Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Access_open What Is Left of the Radical Right?

The Economic Agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party 2006-2017

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden radical right-wing populist parties, economic policies, welfare chauvinism, populism, deserving poor
Auteurs Simon Otjes
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article examines the economic agenda of the Dutch Freedom Party. It finds that this party mixes left-wing and right-wing policy positions. This inconsistency can be understood through the group-based account of Ennser-Jedenastik (2016), which proposes that the welfare state agenda of radical right-wing populist parties can be understood in terms of populism, nativism and authoritarianism. Each of these elements is linked to a particular economic policy: economic nativism, which sees the economic interest of natives and foreigners as opposed; economic populism, which seeks to limit economic privileges for the elite; and economic authoritarianism, which sees the interests of deserving and undeserving poor as opposed. By using these different oppositions, radical right-wing populist parties can reconcile left-wing and right-wing positions.


Simon Otjes
Assistant professor of political science at Leiden University and researcher at the Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties of Groningen University.
Article

Transformative Welfare Reform in Consensus Democracies

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, welfare state, social investment, transformative reform, Belgium and the Netherlands
Auteurs Anton Hemerijck en Kees van Kersbergen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article takes up Lijphart’s claim that consensus democracy is a ‘kinder, gentler’ form of democracy than majoritarian democracy. We zoom in on contemporary welfare state change, particularly the shift towards social investment, and argue that the kinder, gentler hypothesis remains relevant. Consensus democracies stand out in regard to the extent to which their political institutions help to overcome the politically delicate intricacies of governing for the long term. We theorize the features that can help to solve the problem of temporal commitment in democracy through processual mechanisms and illustrate these with short case studies of the contrasting welfare state reform experiences in the Netherlands and Belgium.


Anton Hemerijck
Anton Hemerijck is Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the European University Institute (EUI) in Florence, Italy.

Kees van Kersbergen
Kees van Kersbergen is Professor of Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science of Aarhus University, Denmark.
Artikel

Access_open In de schaduw, uit de schaduw

Oorsprong, aard en mogelijkheden van schaduwverkiezingen of exit polls

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2018
Auteurs Prof. dr. Jelke Bethlehem en Prof. dr. Joop van Holsteyn
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    There is a lot of polling in the Netherlands, especially in the run-up to elections. The assessment of future voting behavior in the run-up to elections is inherently difficult, because many voters do not know in advance whether they will vote, let alone for which party. There is therefore constant debate about the quality of these surveys. However, there are also polls that are not held prior to elections, but on election day instead. They are called exit polls or shadow elections. The sample consists of voters who actually visited the polling station and cast their vote. In this article the authors emphasize the nature and useful and interesting role of exit polls. Exit polls are an important tool for making an accurate prognosis of the results shortly after the closing of the ballot boxes. Secondly, an exit poll can provide further insight into electoral gains and losses, and thus counteract unfounded speculation. After all, the data collected form an empirical source for a first analysis of the outcome and electoral behavior. All in all, the exit poll is a relatively easy-to-organize and attractive ingredient for a results evening. Confusing pre-election polls with exit polls probably does not do justice to the higher quality of exit polls in terms of prognosis. The article explains where exit polls differ from pre-election polls and what the most important choices are when setting up such a poll; it also shows that a well-designed exit poll is accurate and has adds value to a results evening. The authors give practical examples in their argument and discuss the exit poll that was organized in Leiden at the council elections of 21 March 2018.


Prof. dr. Jelke Bethlehem
Prof. dr. J.G. Bethlehem is bijzonder hoogleraar in de survey-methodologie aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Hij was tevens senior methodologisch adviseur bij het Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek in Den Haag.

Prof. dr. Joop van Holsteyn
Prof. dr. J.J.M. van Holsteyn is hoogleraar politiek gedrag en onderzoeksmethoden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Het electorale succes van etnische minderheden in Brussel: de rol van kiezers en partijen

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2017
Trefwoorden Brussels, electoral system, ethnic minorities, political representation
Auteurs Chloé Janssen, Régis Dandoy en Silvia Erzeel
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    European democracies have grown ethnically diverse in the recent years. Yet, ethnic minorities remain underrepresented in politics. Despite the theoretical argument asserting that ethnic minorities should perform better in systems allowing voters to cast intra party preferences, empirical studies bring mixed results. In particular, scholars highlight the role of both parties and voters in explaining the electoral success or failure of ethnic minority candidates. Using data on regional elections between 1995 and 2014 in Brussels, our study shows that even though parties have made gradual efforts to include ethnic minorities on their lists, voters appear to be an important force behind the election of ethnic minorities. We find variations according to party ideology, with socialist and – to a lesser extent – Christian democratic candidates benefiting the most from preferential voting. However, the positive impact of preference votes seems to decrease over time, as parties themselves become more inclusive and tend to allocate more realistic positions to their ethnic minority candidates in recent elections.


Chloé Janssen
Chloé Janssen is als doctoraal onderzoekster verbonden aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Daarvoor werkte ze als FNRS research fellow aan de Université catholique de Louvain. Haar onderzoek handelt over de politieke vertegenwoordiging van etnische minderheden en vrouwen, en focust in het bijzonder op het effect van het kiessysteem en de rol van politieke partijen.

Régis Dandoy
Régis Dandoy is docent aan de Waseda University (Tokio, Japan) en gastdocent aan de Université catholique de Louvain. Zijn belangrijkste onderzoeksinteresses zijn Belgische politiek, vergelijkend federalisme, regionale politiek en party manifestos. Hij publiceerde hierover in internationale tijdschriften en is tevens coredacteur van verschillende boeken over Belgische politiek.

Silvia Erzeel
Silvia Erzeel doceert politieke wetenschappen aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Haar onderzoek en recente publicaties spitsen zich toe op gender en politieke vertegenwoordiging, rechts populisme, intersectionaliteit in politieke partijen, en economische ongelijkheid. Haar onderzoek is vaak vergelijkend, met een geografische focus op West-Europa.

    The increased complexity of multilevel democracies makes the evaluation of the performances of the government an increasingly difficult task for citizens. Multilevel governance involves information costs, which makes it more difficult for citizens to give clear responsibility for government tasks to the correct level of government. This article contains the first study that is focussing on the responsibility perceptions in the Netherlands. The authors do not just look at who citizens hold responsible for certain government tasks, but they also look at the consequences of these perceptions for the mechanism of accountability. The satisfaction of citizens are with the policy in a particular area should only influence the political support for the level of government they hold responsible. Results of the research are that in line with this perspective a strong correlation exists between satisfaction with the pursued policy and trust of the citizens in this government, in proportion as they hold a level of government more responsible. On the other hand there are large differences between citizens, that correlate with their level of education. So there are also large groups of citizens for whom it is not possible to keep governments responsible for the policy pursued, because they simply do not know which government is responsible.


Lisanne de Blok MSc
E.A. de Blok MSc is promovendus aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Hiervoor deed ze een research master sociale wetenschappen aan dezelfde universiteit en liep ze stage bij de Raad voor het openbaar bestuur (Rob).

Prof. dr. Wouter van der Brug
Prof. dr. W. van der Brug is hoogleraar Politicologie aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam.
Artikel

Lokale verkiezingen: een lokaal of nationaal feest der democratie?

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2017
Auteurs Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden, Babs Broekema MSc en Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The term ‘second-order election’ indicates some elections are less important for citizens than national elections. This article investigates to what extent that applies for the Dutch elections of the municipal council. The research builds on literature about the second-order nature of the local elections in the Netherlands. The authors focus on the question to what extent the Dutch elections of the municipal council are second-order elections, by comparing voting at local and national elections in different ways. They compare four aspects of local and national voting: the turnout, the underlying factors that explain the turnout, the factors that explain voting for local parties, and the national or local character of the voting motives at the municipal elections in 2014. The results do not give a clear answer to the question to which extent municipal elections are locally oriented. The four different angles all deliver ambiguous patterns. So municipal elections indeed partly have a second-order nature as previously argued and shown. Nevertheless, we must not underestimate local affinity and political involvement. The fact that some of the citizens are interested in local politics, local parties and in local election electoral programmes is pointing out a local political dynamics.


Dr. Eefje Steenvoorden
Dr. E.H. Steenvoorden is universitair docent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Babs Broekema MSc
B. Broekema MSc is promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Aan dezelfde universiteit deed ze een master Bestuurskunde, Beleid en Politiek.

Dr. Jeroen van der Waal
Dr. J. van der Waal is universitair hoofddocent politieke sociologie bij de vakgroep Sociologie aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Artikel

Campagneactiviteiten en -financiering van lokale partijen in Nederland

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 3 2017
Trefwoorden electoral campaigns, campaign financing, independent local lists, party subsidies, local elections
Auteurs Justin Bergwerff MSc en Dr. Hans Vollaard
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Electoral campaigning and its financing at the local level have been hardly studied in spite of the growing political significance of municipalities in the Netherlands. Local parties have been barely studied either, even though they gained more than 30 percent of the seats in the local elections of 2014. They have done so without any public subsidy, whereas subsidized national parties can and do support their local branches. This article examines which campaign activities local parties used to attract voters, how these activities were funded, and whether local parties perceived subsidies necessary and desirable. A survey among local parties held just after the local elections of 2014, indicates that their campaigns are by and large a traditional, low-cost affair. They are often not labor-intensive nor technology-intensive, despite the electoral effectiveness of micro-targeting and canvassing. Contributions from local councilors constitute the main source of finance. The survey also shows that transparency of campaign financing can count on widespread support among local parties. They also prefer a level playing field between local parties and local branches of national parties by providing both public subsidies or none, which is an important contribution to the discussion on the current legislative proposals on party financing at the local level.


Justin Bergwerff MSc
Justin Bergwerff MSc is financieel beleidsmedewerker aan het ministerie van Onderwijs, Cultuur en Wetenschap.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. Hans Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek, Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap, Universiteit Utrecht.
Article

Het geslacht van de kandidaat als heuristisch stemmotief

Een onderzoek naar het effect van politieke sofisticatie en electorale context op gender-based stemgedrag

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2 2017
Auteurs Sjifra de Leeuw
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper, I study gender-based voting behavior in the Belgian proportional electoral system. In particular, I investigate two possible causes for why voters experience the need to simplify their voting decision by using a gender-cue. First, in line with the findings of previous studies, I find that voters with lower levels of political sophistication who are less able to collect and process political information, are consequently more likely to use the sex of a candidate as a shortcut. However, the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting behavior is limited. Second, based on the literature, I expect that the low information context of the second-order European elections would cause both high and low information voters to become more reliant on gendercues to simplify their voting decision and by extent would cause the effect of political sophistication on gender-based voting to diminish. Against theoretical expectations, I find that the effect of the electoral context is negligible.


Sjifra de Leeuw
Sjifra de Leeuw is masterstudente Politieke Wetenschappen, Statistiek en Sociologie aan de KU Leuven. Vanaf september 2017 is zij doctoraatsstudent politieke communicatie aan de Amsterdam School of Communication Research (Universiteit van Amsterdam).
Artikel

De parlementarisatie van Europees economisch beleid

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2016
Trefwoorden European Parliament, politicisation, economic policy, democratic deficit
Auteurs Dr. Adriaan Schout, Jan Marinus Wiersma, Mariana Gomes Neto e.a.
Samenvatting

    Since the euro crisis the EU has seen a deepening of integration with a new framework for economic and budgetary coordination. With the new framework reforms in pension or housing market are coordinated at the European level. This comprehensive set of rules and monitoring mechanisms has revived the debate on Europe’s democratic deficit. This article describes how the European Parliament (EP) tries to fill the democratic void in economic governance. The EP’s formal role is limited, but by using mostly informal mechanisms the EP is setting in motion an incremental process towards further control. This development should be seen in light of a political battle on the interpretation of the new rules, which has accordingly become increasingly politicized. The Dutch have always wanted a European economic policy on the basis of technocracy and rules, but at the same time Europe’s political union draws ever closer.


Dr. Adriaan Schout

Jan Marinus Wiersma

Mariana Gomes Neto

David Bokhorst

    The recruitment and selection of candidate (municipal) councillors by political parties at the local level is an underexposed area of research. This is noteworthy because of the explicit worries about the lack of suitable candidates and about the underrepresentation of certain groups in society. These kinds of nomination problems may also arise from the manner in which parties recruit and which requirements they have for potential candidates. Therefore this article explores recruitment and selection processes at the local level in order to be able to designate possible causes of these nomination problems. The exploratory research involves case studies of the selectors, candidates and the nomination procedure of seven political parties that took part in the municipal elections of 2014 in a typical, average Dutch municipality in the west of the Netherlands: Voorschoten (25,000 inhabitants). The local party elite mainly recruited party members and some non-party members from their own networks, such as local associations. Thus groups in society that are not part of these networks, are less likely to appear in the picture. Active party membership and the willingness to invest a lot of time in their council work appeared to be the highest appreciated characteristics of the ideal councillor according to interviews with the local party elite and a survey amongst the candidate councillors. With a declining number of party members and other ways to spend their time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit non-pensioners as candidates.


Maurits Grimberg MSc
M.R. Grimberg MSc is als militair werkzaam bij de Kernstaf van het Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten, binnen de sectie Coördinatie en Investeringsplannen. In april 2014 studeerde hij af aan de Universiteit Leiden in de Politieke Wetenschap bij Hans Vollaard op een masterthesis over de totstandkoming van een kandidatenlijst in de gemeente Voorschoten.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. J.P. Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.
Artikel

De slagkracht van populisme. Een onderzoek naar de houding tegenover populisme bij jongeren en jongvolwassenen in Vlaanderen

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden public opinion, Populism, Democracy, adolescents and young adults, political attitudes
Auteurs Gil Keppens, Dr. Jessy Siongers, Dr. Bram Spruyt e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Populism is usually studied by investigating the political discourses of parties considered to be populist. In contrast, this paper attempts to measure the support for a populist attitude among adolescents and young adults (age 14 to 30) in Flanders (N = 2618), the Dutch speaking part of Belgium. This paper answers two research questions: (1) Which adolescents and young adults support the populist attitude and which are the core elements of populism that get the most support? (2) To what extent are adolescents and young adults who support the core elements of populism willing to be politically engaged? The results show that: (1) the support for the populist attitude is widespread among young people in Flanders, and (2) the relationship between a support for populism and political engagement is nuanced. Implications of the support of the populist attitude for democratic participation are discussed.


Gil Keppens
Gil Keppens is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Dr. Jessy Siongers
Dr. Jessy Siongers is als doctoraal assistente verbonden aan de vakgroep Sociologie van de Universiteit Gent.

Dr. Bram Spruyt
Dr. Bram Spruyt is docent bij de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Lauren Vandenbossche
Lauren Vandenbossche is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Filip Van Droogenbroeck
Filip Van Droogenbroeck is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep TOR van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Het effect van politieke sofisticatie op de (intentie tot) opkomst bij eerste- en tweederangsverkiezingen in België en Nederland

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 1 2016
Trefwoorden political sophistication, first- and second-order elections, turnout
Auteurs Dieter Stiers
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this paper we investigate the effect of political sophistication on turnout and whether this effect differs in second-order national elections. Political sophistication is thought to influence turnout because the more sophisticated voters have access to more information about the electoral and the party system. In this paper, we start from the expectation that these effects should be even stronger in the context of secondorder national elections, where information about the stakes of the election is not readily available. We analyse citizens’ willingness to turn out to vote at different levels of government in Belgium and the Netherlands. The results show that a higher degree of political sophistication increases the probability to turn out at the national as well as the European level. Our expectation that this effect would be larger at the European level, however, is not supported by these results.


Dieter Stiers
Dieter Stiers werkt als doctoraatsstudent aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op verkiezingsgedrag en in het bijzonder op de oorzaken en gevolgen van electorale volatiliteit.
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