Zoekresultaat: 21 artikelen

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Article

Is Euroscepticism Contagious?

How Mainstream Parties React to Eurosceptic Challengers in Belgian Parliaments

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering Online First 2021
Trefwoorden Euroscepticism, parliaments, party competition, Belgium, federalism
Auteurs Jordy Weyns en Peter Bursens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Euroscepticism has long been absent among Belgian political parties. However, since the start of the century, some Eurosceptic challengers have risen. This article examines the effect of Eurosceptic competition on the salience other parties give to the EU and on the positions these parties take in parliament. Using a sample of plenary debates in the federal and regional parliaments, we track each party’s evolution from 2000 until 2019. Our findings both contradict and qualify existing theories and findings on Eurosceptic competition. When facing Eurosceptic challengers, all parties raise salience fairly equally, but government and peripheral parties adopted (soft) Euroscepticism more often than other parties.


Jordy Weyns
Jordy Weyns is a recent graduate from Universiteit Antwerpen, and will soon start a PhD program at the European University Institute in Firenze.

Peter Bursens
Peter Bursens is professor of political science at Universiteit Antwerpen, at the research group Politics and Public Governance and the GOVTRUST Centre of Excellence.
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.
Editorial

Explaining Vote Choice in the 2019 Belgian Elections

Democratic, Populist and Emotional Drivers

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 3 2020
Auteurs Patrick van Erkel, Anna Kern en Guillaume Petit
Auteursinformatie

Patrick van Erkel
Patrick van Erkel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, where he is connected to the research group M2P (Media, Movements and Politics). His research interests include electoral behaviour, public opinion, political communication and polarization. He has published in journals such as the European Journal of Political Research, Electoral Studies, European Political Science Review and Political Communication.

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

Guillaume Petit
Guillaume Petit is a researcher in political science. His research focuses on democratic innovations and social inequalities facing political participation. He obtained his PhD at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne. He has been affiliated with the department of political science of the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and with the Institute of Political Science Louvain-Europe (Ispole) at UCLouvain as a postdoctoral researcher, within the EoS-RepResent project that led to the present special issue.
Artikel

Digitaal leiderschap

Verkenning van de veranderende rol van gemeentesecretarissen in de informatiesamenleving

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2020
Auteurs Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Rapid technological change and the information society have consequences for the role and duties of municipal clerks. To increase understanding of the implications of digital technologies for the role of municipal clerk (town clerk), this article presents an exploration of the ‘digital leadership’ of municipal clerks, i.e. leadership that suits a time when digital technologies are growing explosively. By using the four leadership perspectives of Bolman and Deal and the public value thinking of Moore, it was investigated which leadership themes are mentioned in the literature. In this way, this article aims to contribute to the leadership role of the municipal clerk so that he gives shape and direction to the organization from a vision on this change task and leads this transition instead of seeing it as a collection of smart gadgets or an issue concerning the IT department. This means that he will have to be aware of technological developments, can think critically about their significance and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to be able to lead the municipal organization in the information society. This article shows practitioners that: (a) municipal clerks play an important role when it comes to the structure of the municipal organization in the information society; (b) the way in which municipalities innovate digitally has an impact on society and people’s lives; and (c) it is therefore important to shape the leadership of municipal clerks based on public values in order to realize legitimate applications of digital technologies with added social value.


Dr. Martiene Branderhorst
Dr. E.M. Branderhorst is gemeentesecretaris en algemeen directeur in de gemeente Gouda en lid van de Raad voor het openbaar bestuur (Rob).
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).
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

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

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Tijdschrift Politics of the Low Countries, Aflevering 1 2019
Trefwoorden consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Auteurs Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.


Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
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 Van toezicht op kwaliteit naar toezicht op bestuur

Ontwikkeling van bestuursgericht toezicht in semipublieke sectoren

Tijdschrift Bestuurskunde, Aflevering 4 2018
Trefwoorden Inspection, Governance, Semipublic sector, Quality improvement, Opportunities and risks
Auteurs Dr. Meike Bokhorst, Dr. Marieke van Genugten, Dr. Mirjan Oude Vrielink e.a.
Samenvatting

    In Dutch semi-public sectors of education, healthcare, and housing there is a tendency towards governance based inspection. The attention of inspectorates shifts from inspection on minimum quality standards to inspection on governance based quality improvement. The aim of this special issue is to learn more about the opportunities and risks of governance based inspection. The survey and sector articles show that governance based inspection (1) puts the responsibility of governors to stimulate quality on the agenda, (2) makes governors more aware of the quality targets they want to achieve within their organisations, and (3) has a deregulating effect. However, the risks are (1) reregulation via sector norms, (2) a lack of reality checks, and (3) a narrow focus on governors instead of the quality of public services. Consequently, inspectors have to learn new skills and competences. All in all, governance based inspection can complement but not replace other ways of inspection.


Dr. Meike Bokhorst

Dr. Marieke van Genugten

Dr. Mirjan Oude Vrielink

Prof. dr. Thomas Schillemans
Artikel

Access_open De griffier in gemeenteland

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 1 2018
Auteurs Linze Schaap, Peter Kruyen, Merlijn van Hulst e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The introduction of dualistic administration in the municipal government in the Netherlands in 2002 created the profession of the registrar. This article contains a description of the way Dutch municipal registrars fill in their office nowadays. The research shows that registrars deal with a wide range of tasks, that can be divided in four task fields: secretarial tasks, facilitating, representing and advising councillors. In the filling in of these task fields several profiles of registrars arise. So the basic registrar mainly organizes council meetings and reports on these meetings. The basic registrar plus performs the same tasks, but is also active in a few other task fields. The strategic advisor is the most active on all task fields. There are some significant differences between the three profiles when it comes to the importance of registrars to their activities, their value orientations and their competences. Contextual factors are hardly important, except the size of the municipality. It is also remarkable that the registrar has shown little activity with respect to two developments that are becoming increasingly important for municipal councils: regionalization and socialization of local government.


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

Peter Kruyen
Dr. P.M. Kruyen is universitair docent bestuurskunde aan de Faculteit Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.

Merlijn van Hulst
Dr. M.J. van Hulst is universitair hoofddocent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van de Universiteit van Tilburg.

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.
Discussie

Onvermijdelijke verdragswijziging vereist een ander EU-referendum

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 1 2016
Auteurs Adriaan Schout, Jan-Marinus Wiersma en David Bokhorst PhD
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie


Adriaan Schout
Europa Coördinator bij het Clingendael Instituut

Jan-Marinus Wiersma
Senior Visiting Fellow bij het Clingendael Instituut

David Bokhorst PhD
PhD Candidate - Universiteit van Amsterdam
Artikel

Spanningsvolle verbindingen tussen verticale en horizontale sturing

Een empirische analyse van de Dialoogtafel in Groningen

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 3 2015
Auteurs Drs. Arnout Ponsioen, Drs. Mildo van Staden en Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article analyses the Dialogue Table (‘Dialoogtafel’ in Dutch) in Groningen, the most northern province in the Netherlands, as an example of connecting vertical and horizontal steering. The Dialogue Table was set up to supervise the spending of compensation money for the damage from the earthquakes caused by gas extraction in this province. The Dialogue Table combines vertical forms of governance, such as a unilateral imposition of the budget and the presidency of the Dialogue Table, and more horizontal forms such as equal deliberation between administrative bodies and stakeholders. The central questions are which tensions will occur in these two different logics of steering, how one deals with these tensions and which competences this requires from civil servants. An exploratory analysis of the case shows that tensions occur around (1) the starting conditions (costs, presidency, selection and representation), (2) the progress of the process (desired results, openness, inequality) and (3) the outcomes of the process (influence). On the basis of their research, the authors offer recommendations about the organization of such hybrid steering processes and indicate which competences are required in this respect from civil servants.


Drs. Arnout Ponsioen
Drs. A. Ponsioen heeft bijna twintig jaar ervaring in het advieswerk. Hij is sinds 2014 eigenaar van bureau DuiDT, dat advies, onderzoek en inspiratie biedt voor organisaties in de publieke sector die aansluiting zoeken bij de (online) netwerksamenleving.

Drs. Mildo van Staden
Drs. M. van Staden is senior-adviseur op het terrein van sturing, ICT en sociale media bij het Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken.

Prof. dr. Albert Meijer
Prof. dr. A.J. Meijer is hoogleraar Publieke Innovatie aan de Universiteit Utrecht en redacteur van Bestuurswetenschappen.
Praktijk

Hij begrijpt er dus helemaal niets van!

Botsende rationaliteiten als perspectief om samenwerking te verbeteren

Tijdschrift Bestuurs­wetenschappen, Aflevering 4 2014
Auteurs Dr. Albert Jan Kruiter en Prof. dr. Roel in ‘t Veld
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This contribution addresses the question of competences and skills for public professionals to improve collaboration. The authors start their search by looking for a conceptual focus. Poor collaboration is conceptualized as ‘colliding rationalities’. Herbert Simon has introduced the concept of ‘bounded rationalities’ to oppose scientists who think that improvement of public administration is possible through ex ante theorizing. Human beings not only have a limited capacity for rational thinking, but there also multiple rationalities that restrict each other. A classic distinction is made by Ig Snellen: a) legal rationality, b) political rationality, c) financial/economic rationality, d) scientific rationality. Not only are rationalities restricted, but also collisions can occur between professionals who adhere to different rationalities. These collisions have to do with their relational network, with the nature of their tasks and with their way of thinking and communicating. Therefore the authors have worked with different groups of professionals to find out which competences they need to deal with these collisions or make them productive. They did so on the basis of specific cases in their daily working practice. Jan Fraanje comments on this contribution as a practitioner in a Dutch municipality.


Dr. Albert Jan Kruiter
Dr. A.J. Kruiter is medeoprichter van het Instituut voor Publieke Waarden (IPW). Samen met Clara Pels schreef hij de beleidsthriller ‘De dag dat Peter de deur dichttimmerde’.

Prof. dr. Roel in ‘t Veld
Prof. dr. R.J. in ’t Veld is hoogleraar management van hybride organisaties aan de Open Universiteit en UNESCO-hoogleraar ‘Governance and Sustainability’ aan de Universiteit van Tilburg.
Artikel

Veranderend lokaal gezag

De gezagsbronnen van burgemeesters en wethouders verkend

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2013
Trefwoorden authority, political leadership, mayors, aldermen
Auteurs Dr. Niels Karsten MSc MA en Drs. Thijs Jansen
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The traditional authority of mayors and aldermen is readily challenged. Formal positions do no longer constitute authority. For that reason, new political repertoires are being sought after and are being developed by local political-executive leaders. This article analyses and compares the sources of authority for mayors and aldermen: how can they develop, maintain, and strengthen their authority? It develops an innovative typology of sources of authority. A distinction is made between institutional, positional, and personal sources of authority. The model is applied to the mayors and aldermen in relation to relevant socio-political developments that affect the two offices. It is found that the authority of mayors rests on institutional sources of authority more so than that of aldermen. For the latter, positional and personal sources of authority are more important. At the same time, personal sources of authority have become very important for mayors as well as aldermen. The results call upon mayors and aldermen’s skills and competences to develop personal authority through persuasion.


Dr. Niels Karsten MSc MA
Niels Karsten is universitair docent aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van Tilburg University, e-mail: n.karsten@uvt.nl.

Drs. Thijs Jansen
Thijs Janssen is onderzoeker aan de Tilburgse School voor Politiek en Bestuur van Tilburg University, e-mail: thijs.jansen@uvt.nl.
Article

Weinig speelruimte, onmiskenbare invloed: het Belgisch EU-Voorzitterschap en de Europese sociale agenda

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 3 2011
Trefwoorden EU Presidency, Belgium, social policy, agenda-shaping, influence
Auteurs Olivier Pintelon en Wim Van Lancker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    Traditionally, Belgian EU Presidencies are characterized by an ambitious social agenda. It is, however, unclear to what extent these ambitions are translated into real policy accomplishments. In this article we aim to disentangle the genuine influence of the Belgian 2010 EU Presidency on the European social policy agenda by applying the agenda-shaping framework developed by Jonas Tallberg. Making use of elite interviews and by studying policy documents, we reach a twofold conclusion. First of all, the Belgian Presidency has left its footprints in some specific social policy topics, especially with regard to social impact assessment and child poverty. However, – in line with theoretical expectations – agenda-setting initiatives were less successful than agenda-structuring techniques. Secondly, our findings also shed preliminary light on the determinants of Presidency influence as identified by Simone Bunse. We find that the Belgian social ambitions were curtailed by political and economic constraints, policy preferences in the Council, the difficult inter-institutional dialogue (especially with the European Commission), and the limited Presidency skills of certain Belgian policy actors.


Olivier Pintelon
Olivier Pintelon is onderzoeker aan het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck (CSB) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek handelt over het verdelingsvraagstuk in de welvaartstaat, met bijzondere aandacht voor armoede en inkomensongelijkheid.

Wim Van Lancker
Wim Van Lancker is onderzoeker aan het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck (CSB) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de sociale verdeling van gezinsbeleid (kinderbijslag, ouderschapsverlof en kinderopvang) in een Europees vergelijkende context en de relatie van gezinsbeleid met armoede, ongelijkheid en vrouwelijke arbeidsmarktparticipatie.
Artikel

Bewonersinitiatieven: partnerschap tussen burgers en overheid

Tijdschrift Beleid en Maatschappij, Aflevering 4 2011
Trefwoorden citizen’s initiatives, activation policy, representativeness, partnership relation, competences
Auteurs Dr. Imrat Verhoeven en Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In recent years the Dutch welfare state has invested substantial sums of money in activation of citizen’s initiatives in deprived neighbourhoods. As a policy concept citizen’s initiatives refers to enhancements by citizens to the quality of life in their neighbourhood. Is this activation policy productive or counterproductive for citizen participation? This question is answered by analyzing the representativeness of the activated citizens, the nature of their initiatives, the type of relations they develop with institutions, and whether they develop more competences due to their initiative(s). Our findings indicate that the activated citizens are more often female, below 50, lower educated, and 40 percent is migrant, which makes them more representative than the participation elite (male, 50+, white, and higher educated). They form a new vanguard that activates many participants through initiatives that focus on connecting people and on social problems such as anonymity, isolation and nuisance. Many contacts with professionals contribute for them to a partnership relation geared toward cooperation instead of consumerism or dissatisfaction. Also these citizens develop democratic, bureaucratic and social competences as well as social reflexivity and empathy for other citizens and institutions. We conclude that activation of citizen’s initiatives has positive effects on citizen participation.


Dr. Imrat Verhoeven
Imrat Verhoeven is postdoc onderzoeker aan de afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam/AISSR. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. I. Verhoeven, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, i.verhoeven@uva.nl.

Prof. dr. Evelien Tonkens
Evelien Tonkens is hoogleraar actief burgerschap aan de afdeling Sociologie en Antropologie, Universiteit van Amsterdam/AISSR. Correspondentiegegevens: Prof. dr. E. Tonkens, Oudezijds Achterburgwal 185, 1012 DK Amsterdam, e.h.tonkens@uva.nl.
Article

De gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Evolutie sinds 1976

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Johan Ackaert, Herwig Reynaert, Koenraad De Ceuninck e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 local elections in Belgium were the first one organised after the transfer of the local authorities competences from the federal to the regional level. This means by consequence that the different regions have as well the competence in designing the institutional framework of local government as the competence of changing electoral rules. The same elections were also the first ones after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (eg., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and particularly in the Flemish part of the country, different kinds of alliances between parties emerged).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats made progress and the ecologists suffered a declining trend. For the other parties, results depend from one region to another.
    In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists and the extreme right wing joined the Christian democrats as winners of the elections. The other parties lost votes. This was particularly the case for the liberals and ecologists (the winners of the 2000 local elections). Liberals are however the winners in the Walloon part of the country, together with again the Christian democrats. In this region, socialists and ecologists were set back. In the Brussels region, we noticed progress for socialists and Christian democrats and declining figures for liberals and ecologists.
    Analyses of political competition, number of groups in local councils and single party majorities point out that the fragmentation of local politics is not growing. The local political landscape seems to be more stable in the Walloons compared with the Flemish region.


Johan Ackaert
Docent aan de Universiteit Hasselt.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Koenraad De Ceuninck
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Tony Valcke
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.
Article

De provincieraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2006

Electorale tendensen in Vlaanderen en Wallonië

Tijdschrift Res Publica, Aflevering 2-3 2007
Auteurs Tony Valcke, Herwig Reynaert, Kristof Steyvers e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The 2006 provincial elections in Belgium were the first organised after the transfer of the bulk of competences on local and provincial government from the federal to the regional level. This means that the different regions have both the competence to redesign the institutional framework on provincial government and to change the electoral rules. The government has exercised its competence: some institutional and electoral rules are now different in the two regions. These elections were also the first after drastic reforms in the national political landscape (e.g., the democratic Flemish nationalist party split in different groups, nearly all the parties changed their name and different kinds of cartels and alliances between parties emerged, especially in the Flemish part of the country).
    All over the country, the Christian democrats and the extreme right parties were the winners of the elections, while the ecologists suffered from a declining trend. For the other parties, results differ according to region. In the Flemish part of the country, the socialists joined the Christian democrats as winners, where in the Walloon provinces they lost votes. The Liberals however noticed declining vote shares in the Flemish provinces, while winning in the Walloon part of the country.
    Because of the electoral design the evolution of the provincial political landscape offers an interesting electoral barometer of the upcoming federal elections. Provincial elections do not only ‘predict’ the political future of other levels however, they are path dependent in their own right as well. Historical, institutional, political and electoral forces all codetermine the actual outlook of current provincial events. The analysis for 2006 has once again confirmed this.


Tony Valcke
Assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Johan Ackaert
Docent Universiteit Hasselt.

Jean-Benoit Pilet
Docteur en science politique. Chercheur au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles, en collaboration avec les secrétariats des partis politiques.

Emilie van Haute
Assistante en science politique au Centre d’étude de la vie politique (CEVIPOL) de l’Université Libre de Bruxelles.
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