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Article

How to Improve Local Turnout

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

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2019
Keywords turnout, local elections, get out the vote, campaign, the Netherlands
Authors Julien van Ostaaijen, Sabine van Zuydam and Martijn Epskamp
AbstractAuthor's information

    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)

Sofie Hennau
Sofie Hennau is a postdoctoral research at the Center for Government and Law, Hasselt University. Her research focuses on local elections and on the relationship between politics and administration at the local level.

Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert is professor at the Center for Government and Law, Hasselt University. His research interests are local government and local governance.
Article

Split-Ticket Voting in Belgium

An Analysis of the Presence and Determinants of Differentiated Voting in the Municipal and Provincial Elections of 2018

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2019
Keywords split-ticket voting, local elections, voting motives, Belgium, PR-system
Authors Tony Valcke and Tom Verhelst
AbstractAuthor's information

    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).
Research Notes

Sub-Constituency Campaigning in PR Systems

Evidence from the 2014 General Elections in Belgium

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2019
Keywords Sub-constituency campaigning, PR system, political advertisements, election campaign, content analysis
Authors Jonas Lefevere, Knut De Swert and Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi
AbstractAuthor's information

    Sub-constituency campaigning occurs when parties focus their campaign resources on specific geographical areas within an electoral district. This behaviour was traditionally thought to occur only in single-member plurality elections, but recent research demonstrates that proportional systems with multi-member districts can also elicit sub-constituency campaigning. However, most studies of sub-constituency campaigning rely on self-reported measures of campaigning, not direct measures of campaign intensity in different regions and communities. We present novel data on geographical variations in the intensity of Flemish parties’ campaign advertising during the 2014 general elections in Belgium, which provides a direct measure of sub-constituency campaigning. Our findings show clear evidence of sub-constituency campaigning: parties campaign more intensely in municipalities where they have stronger electoral support and in municipalities with greater population density.


Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is assistant professor at Vesalius College and the Institute for European Studies (VUB). His research interests include the strategic communication of political elites, the effects of campaign communication on political attitudes and electoral choice and the role of issue perceptions in electoral behavior.

Knut De Swert
Knut De Swert is Assistant Professor, Political Communication and Journalism, at the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands). His research is situated in the field of media and politics, and mainly focuses on the quality of (political) journalism and foreign news in a comparative perspective.

Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi
Artemis Tsoulou-Malakoudi is a student research assistant for the EOS research project RepResent which focuses on representation and democratic resentment. She is currently following a Research Master’s at the University of Amsterdam with an interest in political communication research.

    Piketmediation is een vorm van mediation naast rechtspraak maar dan in de vorm van een pressure-cooker. Typerend voor piketmediation is dat de mediation plaatsvindt in het gerechtsgebouw en dat in beginsel direct na het eerste gesprek een terugkoppeling plaatsvindt aan de rechter. Het doel van piketmediation is om een verdere escalatie van het conflict te beperken en partijen een dienst te bieden waardoor zij snel tot een oplossing kunnen komen. Piketmediation wordt veelal aangeboden in de voorlopige voorzieningenprocedure.
    In opdracht van de Raad voor de rechtspraak is empirisch onderzoek uitgevoerd binnen het Amsterdams Centrum voor Familie & Recht (ACFL) van de Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In dit onderzoek zijn verschillende aanbiedingsvormen van piketmediation geëvalueerd die worden aangeboden door zeven gerechten: in een aantal gerechten zijn piketmediation pilots uitgevoerd en in andere is piketmediation reeds een reguliere werkwijze is geworden. In totaal zijn er 120 dossiers gescoord, 39 interviews afgenomen en een expertmeeting gehouden met 14 professionals. De bevindingen uit het dossieronderzoek, de interviews en de expertmeeting tezamen hebben geleid tot een algemeen rapport over de best practices en knelpunten van piketmediation met enkele aanbevelingen betreffende vormen van piketmediation die goed blijken te werken in de praktijk.
    ---
    Picket mediation (in Dutch: piketmediation) is a form of mediation which runs alongside normal court procedures, and is held in a pressure-cooker-like environment. It typically takes place in the courthouse and in principle, the outcome of the mediation is reported back to the judge after the first session. Such mediation is intended to limit any further escalation of a conflict and also to offer parties a service with which they can quickly resolve a situation themselves. Picket mediation is often offered in the provisional provisions procedure.
    At the request of The Council for the Judiciary, an empirical study of picket mediation was conducted by the Amsterdam Center for Family & Law (ACFL) of the VU University Amsterdam. Various forms of picket mediation as offered by seven courts were evaluated in this study. While some courts are conducting picket mediation pilots, others already have implemented picket mediation as a regular procedure. For this study a total of 120 files were scored, 39 interviews were conducted and an expert meeting was held with 14 professionals. The combined findings from these events have led to a general report on the best practices and challenges of picket mediation. A number of recommendations regarding forms of picket mediation that appear to work well in practice are additionally included.


mr. Daniëlle Brouwer
Daniëlle Brouwer is advocate bij bureau Brandeis.

mr. Eva de Jong
Eva de Jong is advocate bij SmeetsGijbels advocaten.

prof. mr. Lieke Coenraad
Lieke Coenraad, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

prof. mr. Masha Antokolskaia
Masha Antokolskaia, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Control in International Law

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords Effective / overall control, international human rights law, international criminal law, responsibility of states, statehood
Authors Joseph Rikhof and Silviana Cocan
AbstractAuthor's information

    The concept of control has permeated various disciplines of public international law, most notable international criminal law, international humanitarian law, international human rights law and the law of statehood as well as the law of responsibility for states and international organizations. Often this notion of control has been used to extend the regular parameters in these disciplines to capture more extraordinary situations and apply the same rules originally developed within areas of law, such as the application of the laws of war to occupation, the rules of human rights treaties to extraterritorial situations or state responsibility to non-state actors. This article will examine this notion of control in all its facets in international law while also addressing some of its controversies and disagreements in the jurisprudence of international institutions, which have utilized this concept. The article will then provide an overview of its uses in international law as well as its overlap from one discipline to another with a view of providing some overarching observations and conclusions.


Joseph Rikhof
Joseph Rikhof is an adjunct professor at the Common Law Faculty of the University of Ottawa.

Silviana Cocan
Silviana Cocan holds a double doctoral degree in international law from the Faculty of Law of Laval University and from the Faculty of Law and Political Science of the University of Bordeaux.
Article

Delimiting Deportation, Unlawful Transfer, Forcible Transfer and Forcible Displacement in International Criminal Law

A Jurisprudential History

Journal African Journal of International Criminal Justice, Issue 1 2019
Keywords International criminal law, theory of international law, crimes against humanity, deportation, unlawful or forcible transfer
Authors Ken Roberts and James G. Stewart
AbstractAuthor's information

    The forced displacement of civilian populations is an issue of significant global concern and a subject of extensive legal debate. In international criminal law, forced displacement is criminalized by a complex network of distinct but overlapping offences. These include the Crimes Against Humanity of deportation, forcible transfer, persecution and other inhumane acts, and the grave breach of the Geneva Conventions of ‘unlawful deportation or transfer’. International courts and tribunals have been inconsistent in the adoption of these crimes in their statues and in their subsequent interpretation, making it all the more difficult to distinguish between them. The jurisprudential history of these crimes is lengthy and not without controversy, highlighted by inconsistent judicial approaches. In this article, we offer a critical jurisprudential history of these displacement crimes in international criminal law.
    In particular, we focus on the case law emanating from the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, a court that comprehensively addressed crimes associated with ethnic cleansing, a characteristic feature of that conflict, with the result that displacement was a central focus of that court. We set out our jurisprudential history in chronological order, beginning with the earliest inceptions of displacement crimes at the ICTY and then tracing their development toward the establishment of a consensus. Our hope is that the article sheds light on the development of these offences, informs future debate, and acts as a useful template for those seeking to understand how these crimes may have a role to play in future international jurisprudence.


Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts is Senior Legal Officer, International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (Syria).

James G. Stewart
James G. Stewart is Associate Professor, Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia.
Article

Access_open Het 100-jarige bestaan van de Vereeniging voor Wijsbegeerte des Rechts

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords oprichting, doelstelling, band met de rechtspraktijk, rechtsfilosofie en rechtstheorie, internationalisering (van Duits naar Engels)
Authors Corjo Jansen
AbstractAuthor's information

    De Vereeniging voor Wijsbegeerte des Rechts (VWR) is opgericht op 28 december 1918. Zij had tot doel de studie van de rechtsfilosofie en het maatschappelijk leven. Deze studie moest tevens relevant zijn voor de rechtspraktijk. Vanaf haar oprichting kende de VWR een sterke internationale oriëntatie, aanvankelijk gericht op Duitsland, later vooral op het Verenigd Koninkrijk en de VS. In de jaren zeventig en tachtig van de vorige eeuw beleefde de VWR wat betreft belangstelling en ledenaantal haar hoogtepunt. In 2016 besloot zij – na een gestage neergang – de band met de Nederlandstalige (praktijk)jurist weer aan te halen.


Corjo Jansen
Corjo Jansen is hoogleraar Rechtsgeschiedenis en Burgerlijk recht en voorzitter van het Onderzoekcentrum Onderneming & Recht van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen.
Editorial

Access_open Quo vadis?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords rechtsfilosofie, Vereniging voor Wijsbegeerte van het Recht, rechtspraktijk
Authors Hans Lindahl
Author's information

Hans Lindahl
Hans Lindahl is hoogleraar Rechtsfilosofie aan Tilburg University en hoogleraar Global Law aan de Queen Mary University of London.

    In dit artikel wordt de waarde van het instituut parlement verkend. Daartoe analyseert de auteur eerst een lezing die de Nederlandse staatsrechtsgeleerde C.W. van der Pot in 1925 over dit thema hield bij de VWR. Vervolgens wordt Van der Pots opvatting gecontrasteerd met de diametraal tegengestelde benadering van Carl Schmitt, die zich, rond dezelfde tijd, over dit vraagstuk boog in Duitsland. Tot slot schetst de auteur, via een alternatieve, wellicht excentrieke, interpretatie van Schmitt waar een belangrijke waarde van het moderne parlement zou kunnen liggen.


Bastiaan Rijpkema
Bastiaan Rijpkema is universitair docent aan de afdeling Encyclopedie van de Rechtswetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.
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