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Op zoek naar de ‘monitorial citizen’

Een empirisch onderzoek naar de prevalentie van postmodern burgerschap in België

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 4 2006
Auteurs Yves Dejaeghere en Marc Hooghe
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Various authors have claimed that postmodern concepts of citizenship have become more important in contemporary Western societies. The new generation of citizens are said to be more critical toward the political system, less likely to participate in conventional politics, but they remain strongly interested in politics and social life (Norris, Inglehart, Dalton). Michael Schudson developed the concept of a ‘monitorial citizen’, who is interested in politics, with high levels of political efficacy and who turns to political action if needed, but does not participate in traditional political organizations. Based on the European Social Survey (2004) we investigate whether this type of citizenship actually occurs in Belgium, and found that approx. 9 per cent of all respondents can be labeled as ‘monitorial citizens’. In accordance with the theoretical expectations, most of them are young and highly-educated citizens. A multivariate analysis shows that, controlling for education, ‘monitorial citizens’ also score relatively high on political trust.


Yves Dejaeghere
Licentiaat politieke wetenschappen, Centrum voor Politicologie K.U.Leuven.

Marc Hooghe
Hoofddocent politieke wetenschappen, Centrum voor Politicologie K.U.Leuven.

    At least four criterions/methods to measure mechanical effects of electoral systems can be distinguished: measuring disproportionality, the reduction in number of parties, the party advantages and the threshold percentages. In this manuscript we focus on the thresholds. We first concentrate on a description of legal, theoretical, and empirical thresholds as measures of mechanical effects. Further, we analyse the relationship between (the natural logarithm) of district magnitude and the empirical threshold and between the empirical threshold and the effective number of parties. As starting point we take districts in Spain, Portugal and Hungary as the level of analysis. We clearly show that there is a negative causal connection between district magnitude and the threshold percentage and between threshold percentage and the number of parties.


Patrick Vander Weyden
Doctor-assistent aan de K.U.Brussel en Vice-directeur van het Instituut voor Politieke Sociologie en Methodologie (IPSoM).
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