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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).
Thema-artikel

‘Meedoen is belangrijker dan winnen’

Prijzen als exponent van de positieve bestuurskunde?

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 3 2019
Trefwoorden Positive Public Administration, prizes, successes
Auteurs Dr. Tom Overmans, Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf en Prof. dr. Filip De Rynck
Samenvatting

    Positive Public Administration (PPA) encourages scholars to examine governance success. The appreciation of successes, however, is not new. During previous decades, awards were bestowed for exceptional performance. We analyse whether two important awards in the Netherlands and Flanders are an expression of PPA. Firstly, we find that successes are interpreted differently: in the Netherlands, one-off, trendy performances are rewarded, while in Flanders the focus is on consolidated results of long-term change processes. Secondly, we see that ‘clean’ success criteria promote a suggestion of ‘control’, whilst public settings are ambiguous and unpredictable. Finally, we conclude that prizes are primarily celebrations; little evidence is found of systematic knowledge exchange, learning and professionalisation.


Dr. Tom Overmans

Prof. dr. Mirko Noordegraaf

Prof. dr. Filip De Rynck

    Overheidsbeleid heeft steeds meer te maken met digitalisering en data-ificering van de samenleving en het menselijk gedrag. Dat betekent uitdagingen voor beleidsevaluatoren. In dit artikel gaat het om éen van de daarmee gepaard gaande verschijnselen: Big Data en Artificiële Intelligentie (BD/AI). Het artikel stelt, na erop gewezen te hebben dat de evaluatieprofessie langere tijd niet erg actief op digitaal gebied is geweest, ten eerste de vraag wat BD/AI te bieden hebben aan evaluatieonderzoek van (digitaal) beleid. Vijf toepassingsmogelijkheden worden besproken die de kwaliteit, bruikbaarheid en relevantie van evaluatieonderzoek kunnen bevorderen. De tweede vraag is wat evaluatieonderzoek te bieden heeft, als het gaat om het analyseren/onderzoeken van de betrouwbaarheid, validiteit en enkele andere aspecten van Big Data en AI. Ook daar worden verschillende mogelijkheden (en moeilijkheden) geschetst. Naar het oordeel van de schrijver is het enerzijds dienstig (meer) gebruik te maken van BD/AI in evaluatieonderzoek, maar doen onderzoekers er ook goed aan (meer) aandacht uit te laten gaan naar: de assumpties die aan BD/AI ten grondslag liggen (inclusief het ‘black box’-probleem); de validiteit, veiligheid en geloofwaardigheid van algoritmes; de bedoelde en onbedoelde consequenties van het gebruik ervan; én de vraag of de claims dat digitale interventies die mede gebaseerd zijn op BD/AI effectief (of effectiever zijn dan andere), onderbouwd en valide zijn.


Frans L. Leeuw
Frans L. Leeuw (socioloog) is hoogleraar Recht, Openbaar Bestuur en Sociaalwetenschappelijk onderzoek aan Maastricht University. Eerder was hij o.a. directeur WODC, Hoofdinspecteur Hoger Onderwijs Onderwijsinspectie, hoogleraar evaluatieonderzoek Universiteit Utrecht, directeur doelmatigheidsonderzoek Algemene Rekenkamer en decaan Humanities Open Universiteit. Hij bereidt een boekje voor over 125 jaar empirisch-juridisch onderzoek, inclusief de nieuwste loot: digitaal empirisch-juridisch onderzoek. Eerdere publicaties handelden over diverse onderwerpen met als rode draden evaluatieonderzoek, theorieën, gedragsmechanismen, benutting van onderzoek en juridische thema’s.
Thema-artikel ‘Uitgesproken Bestuurskunde’

Management van stedelijke ontwikkeling

Beleid, sturing en institutionele veranderingen voor duurzame steden

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 2 2019
Trefwoorden sustainable urban development, governance, institutional innovation, socio-technical-ecological system
Auteurs Ellen van Bueren
Samenvatting

    With her chair in urban development management, Ellen van Bueren investigates policy, governance and management issues. Cities, as economic and cultural centres in our society, are major consumers of resources. They not only contribute to problems such as climate change, but also experience the risks and consequences thereof. Technological solutions to these problems are difficult to implement. They require larger-scale system changes, or encounter resistance. Making cities sustainable not only requires technical solutions, but also institutional innovation. A socio-technical-ecological system approach to cities shows the coherence and complexity of issues. Issues play on multiple scales, are cross-sectoral, and require an interaction of citizens, companies, and governments. Moreover, the playing field between these groups of actors is changing rapidly, technological empowerment in particular has made the citizen a much more equal player alongside the government and business. Existing instruments and approaches are not sufficient to approach sustainability issues. To identify and address these issues, cooperation between science and society is necessary. Multi- and transdisciplinary learning environments enable researchers and students to identify issues, to answer questions and to try out solutions together with stakeholders. Such environments are indispensable for the development of sustainable cities.


Ellen van Bueren
Thema-artikel

Access_open De blik naar buiten: bestuurlijke verbouwingen in het buitenland

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden bestuurlijke hervormingen, bestuurlijke ontwikkeling, internationale vergelijking, New Public Management, New Public Governance
Auteurs Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan en Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Samenvatting

    In this special issue, recent public sector reforms in South Africa, Denmark, Belgium, Mexico, Singapore and Denmark are analysed. Reforms in the public sector are by and large explained as a chronological development from traditional bureaucracy, via New Public Management to New Public Governance. This is also the way the many administrative reforms in the Dutch public sector are often explained.
    The articles give insight in the administrative developments in these countries and their background. They also offer the opportunity to make comparisons with administrative developments in the Netherlands, and to draw lessons. The analyses show that the dominant explanation of reforms in the public sector (from traditional bureaucracy, to New Public Management to New Public Governance) is helpful in making sense of administrative developments, but they put this explanation into perspective too.
    For the Dutch situation yet another insight came to light. We often complain that the Dutch processes are cumbersome, take long and involve many -if not all- stakeholders. A close reading of the contributions from abroad must inevitably change this pejorative view on our national sport: the cumbersome process provides valuable checks and balances, that will help to fight the drawbacks and risks that we have seen in the international cases.


Prof. dr. Joop Koppenjan

Dr. Willemijn Dicke
Article

Access_open Do Characteristics of Consociational Democracies Still Apply to Belgian Parties?

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden Belgium, political parties, party membership, political participation, political representation
Auteurs Emilie Van Haute en Bram Wauters
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Belgium has long been described as a typical case of a consociational or consensus democracy. This article aims at identifying whether political parties in Belgium share the internal characteristics of parties in consensus democracies: passive mass memberships, the importance of purposive and material incentives for joining, and representation of a clear subculture in the social and attitudinal profiles of their members and via overlapping memberships with related organizations. We mobilize longitudinal party membership data and party member surveys conducted in three different time periods. We show that pillar parties still exercise their role of mobilization and representation of societal segments, but these segments tend to become smaller over time. New parties offer alternative options of mobilization and representation, although not always in line with the specific institutional arrangements of consociational democracy.


Emilie Van Haute
Emilie Van Haute, Cevipol, Université libre de Bruxelles.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters, Research Group GASPAR, Ghent University.
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