Search result: 34 articles

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Research Note

Campaigning Online and Offline: Different Ballgames?

Presidentialization, Issue Attention and Negativity in Parties’ Facebook and Newspaper Ads in the 2019 Belgian General Elections

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2020
Keywords political advertising, Belgium, social media, newspapers, campaign
Authors Jonas Lefevere, Peter Van Aelst and Jeroen Peeters
AbstractAuthor's information

    This Research Note investigates party advertising in newspapers and on social media (Facebook) during the 2019 general elections in Flanders, the largest region of Belgium. The 2019 elections saw a marked increase in the use of social media advertising by parties, whereas newspaper advertising saw a decline. Prior research that compares multiple types of advertising, particularly advertising on social and legacy media remains limited. As such, based on a quantitative content analysis we investigate not just the prevalence of party advertising on both types of media, but also compare the level of negativity, presidentialisation, and issue emphasis. Our analysis reveals substantial differences: we find that not only the type of advertisements varies across the platforms, but also that social media ads tend to be more negative. Finally, parties’ issue emphasis varies substantially as well, with different issues being emphasized in newspaper and Facebook advertisements.


Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is research professor of political communication at the institute for European Studies (VUB) and assistant professor at Vesalius College, Brussels.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is a research professor at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.

Jeroen Peeters
Jeroen Peeters is a PhD student at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.
Article

Like Mother, Like Daughter?

Linkage Between Local Branches and Their National Party Headquarters in Belgium

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2020
Keywords local branches, national party headquarters, linkage, integration, multilevel parties
Authors Kristof Steyvers
AbstractAuthor's information

    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

An Actor Approach to Mediatization

Linking Politicians’ Media Perceptions, Communication Behaviour and Appearances in the News

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue Online First 2020
Keywords mediatization, politicians, news media, media perceptions, news management
Authors Pauline Ketelaars and Peter Van Aelst
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the light of the broader debate on the mediatization of politics, this study wants to better understand how the media perceptions and media behaviour of politicians are related to their appearances in the news. We opt for an innovative actor-centred approach to actually measure the views and actions of individual politicians. We combine surveys conducted with 142 Belgian representatives with data on politicians’ external communication behaviour and on their appearances in television news, newspapers and news websites. The results show that media behaviour is not so much related to beliefs of media importance. We do find a significant positive relationship between strategic media behaviour and media attention suggesting that politicians who put in more effort appear more often in various news media. However, this positive relationship depends on the specific form of strategic communication and the political position of the legislator. Our study adds to the mediatization literature by showing how and when politicians are successful in obtaining media attention.


Pauline Ketelaars
Pauline Ketelaars, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst, University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium. Corresponding Author.
Research Note

Campaigning Online and Offline: Different Ballgames?

Presidentialization, Issue Attention and Negativity in Parties’ Facebook and Newspaper Ads in the 2019 Belgian General Elections

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue Online First 2020
Keywords political advertising, Belgium, social media, newspapers, campaign
Authors Jonas Lefevere, Peter Van Aelst and Jeroen Peeters
AbstractAuthor's information

    This Research Note investigates party advertising in newspapers and on social media (Facebook) during the 2019 general elections in Flanders, the largest region of Belgium. The 2019 elections saw a marked increase in the use of social media advertising by parties, whereas newspaper advertising saw a decline. Prior research that compares multiple types of advertising, particularly advertising on social and legacy media remains limited. As such, based on a quantitative content analysis we investigate not just the prevalence of party advertising on both types of media, but also compare the level of negativity, presidentialisation, and issue emphasis. Our analysis reveals substantial differences: we find that not only the type of advertisements varies across the platforms, but also that social media ads tend to be more negative. Finally, parties’ issue emphasis varies substantially as well, with different issues being emphasized in newspaper and Facebook advertisements.


Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is assistant professor of communications at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is a research professor at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.

Jeroen Peeters
Jeroen Peeters is a PhD student at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.
Literature Review

Access_open Preference Voting in the Low Countries

A Research Overview

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2020
Keywords elections, electoral systems, preference voting, candidates, personalization
Authors Bram Wauters, Peter Thijssen and Patrick Van Erkel
AbstractAuthor's information

    Preference votes constitute one of the key features of (open and flexible) PR-list electoral systems. In this article, we give an extensive overview of studies conducted on preference voting in Belgium and the Netherlands. After elaborating on the definition and delineation of preference voting, we scrutinize studies about which voters cast preference votes (demand side) and about which candidates obtain preference votes (supply side). For each of these aspects, both theoretical approaches and empirical results are discussed and compared. At the same time, we also pay attention to methodological issues in these kinds of studies. As such, this research overview reads as an ideal introduction to this topic which has repercussions on many other subfields of political science.


Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is an associate professor at the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University, where he leads the research group GASPAR. His research interests include political representation, elections and political parties, with special attention to diversity. He has recently published in journals such as International Political Science Review, Party Politics, Political Studies, and Political Research Quarterly. He is co-editor (with Knut Heidar) of ‘Do parties still represent?’ (Routledge, 2019).

Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen is a professor at the Department of Political Science of the University of Antwerp, where he is a member the research group M2P (Media, Movements and Politics). His research focuses on political sociology, public opinion and political participation. He has published in such journals as British Journal of Sociology, Electoral Studies, Energy Policy, European Journal of Social Theory, Party Politics and Risk Analysis. He has co-edited ‘New Public Spheres’ (Ashgate, 2013) and ‘Political Engagement of the Young’ (Routledge, 2016).

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 behavior, 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 the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties.
Research Notes

Paid Digital Campaigning During the 2018 Local Elections in Flanders

Which Candidates Jumped on the Bandwagon?

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2019
Keywords local elections, candidates, campaign spending, digital campaigning
Authors Gunther Vanden Eynde, Gert-Jan Put, Bart Maddens e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This research note investigates the role of paid digital campaigning in the 2018 local elections in Flanders. We make use of the official declarations which candidates are legally required to submit. In these declarations, candidates indicate whether and how much they invested in online campaigning tools during the four months preceding the elections. We collected data on a sample of 3,588 individual candidates running in the 30 municipalities of the Leuven Arrondissement. A multilevel logistic regression model shows that the odds of spending on digital campaigning increases among incumbent aldermen and local councillors. The latter finding supports the normalization thesis of digital campaigning. The results also show that scale is important – the more potential voters a candidate has, the higher the odds that the candidate invests in digital tools.


Gunther Vanden Eynde
Gunther Vanden Eynde is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research interests include political finance, campaign spending and the social media campaigns of Belgian political parties and their candidates.

Gert-Jan Put
Gert-Jan Put is a Senior Researcher at the Research Center for Regional Economics, KU Leuven. His research focuses on candidate selection and intra-party competition, and has been published in Political Behavior, Party Politics and Electoral Studies.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is a professor of political science at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute His research interests include political finance, elections and multi-level systems. His work has been published in West European Politics, Party Politics and Electoral Studies.

Gertjan Muyters
Gertjan Muyters is a doctoral researcher at the KU Leuven Public Governance Institute. His research focuses on candidate turnover and political careers.

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.
Article

Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium

The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Keywords (de-)nationalization, voting behaviour, party offer, voter response, methodological nationalism
Authors Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer and Tom Verthé
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is gewoon hoogleraar aan het Instituut voor de Overheid van de KU Leuven en was van 2001 tot en met 2007 lid van de redactie van Res Publica, van 2005 tot en met 2007 als hoofdredacteur.
Article

Het financiële gedrag van politieke partijen

Een verkennend onderzoek op basis van de Belgische case

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2018
Keywords party spending, financial behaviour, spending behaviour, dealignment, professionalisation, Belgium
Authors Jef Smulders and Bart Maddens
AbstractAuthor's information

    In recent decades processes of partisan dealignment and professionalisation have taken place. But how do political parties adapt their financial behaviour to these changes in the political-electoral system? We answer this question by analysing two indicators. First, we examine to what extent parties spend their available financial means (saving versus spending strategy). Secondly, we study how parties spend their available financial means (bureaucratic versus electoral strategy). Based on these two indicators we set up a two-dimensional model describing the financial behaviour of political parties, which we apply to data of Belgian parties in the period 1999-2015. The results illustrate that most parties generally adopt a bureaucratic saving strategy, but that there has not been a linear evolution between 1999 and 2015 towards a specific financial behaviour as a reaction to dealignment and professionalisation.


Jef Smulders
Jef Smulders is aspirant van het Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), verbonden aan de KU Leuven, Instituut voor de Overheid. Hij verricht voornamelijk onderzoek naar partij- en campagenfinanciering en naar de profielen van verkiezingskandidaten. Zijn doctoraatsproefschrift handelde over de uitgaven van politieke partijen in Europa.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is gewoon hoogleraar in de politieke wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven, Instituut voor de Overheid. Zijn onderzoeksagenda richt zich hoofdzakelijk op partijen campagnefinanciering, politieke carrièrepatronen, de profielen van verkiezingskandidaten en multilevelsystemen.
Article

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

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2017
Keywords Brussels, electoral system, ethnic minorities, political representation
Authors Chloé Janssen, Régis Dandoy and Silvia Erzeel
AbstractAuthor's information

    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.
Article

Verticale politieke cumul in de Lage Landen: evolutie en verklaringen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2017
Keywords Cumul des mandats, Multiple office-holding, Members of parliament, Local representatives, Central-local relations
Authors Nicolas Van de Voorde
AbstractAuthor's information

    Studies have shown that multiple office-holding, a practice that denotes the simultaneous exercise of any directly elected municipal mandate and parliamentary seat, is more commonplace in European national parliaments than expected. However, research in Belgium, and especially in the Netherlands, is scarce and extremely fragmented. Therefore, our analysis provides a systematic comparison between the Low Countries with a longitudinal focus. In the first part of the paper, the frequency of the practice is described and its evolution in the last two decades tracked. In the second part, we provide aggregated explanations for the identified discrepancy. Indeed, our results show that after the most recent elections, more than 80% of all Belgian members of parliament held a local mandate, and this percentage increased by 10% during our reference period. In contrast, 9 out of 150 members of the Dutch Second Chamber were combining several offices at the beginning of their national mandate, while the degree of cumulards remained stable. Unexpectedly, the legislative framework and the party regulations are not the source of this deviation, as they are almost identical in both countries. We argue that the difference can be attributed to the role and position of the local government, the political culture and the electoral system.


Nicolas Van de Voorde
Nicolas Van de Voorde is als FWO-aspirant verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek aan de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoek is gericht op het fenomeen cumul des mandats in de Belgische context.
Article

Domineren Brussel en Den Haag ook de Dorpsstraat?

Nationale en lokale determinanten van het succes van nationale partijen bij de Nederlandse en Vlaamse gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2017
Keywords second-order elections, municipal elections, local politics
Authors Sofie Hennau, Ramon van der Does and Johan Ackaert
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates to what extent national and/or local factors influence the performance of national parties in the most recent Flemish and Dutch municipal elections of, respectively, 2012 and 2014.
    Our analyses underscore the impact of local factors on the municipal election results, both in Flanders and in the Netherlands. The number of parties and previous election results have a negative effect on the vote share of national political parties. Contrary to the expectations, participation in local government does not have any influence on the national lists’ elections results.
    Although local factors have to be taken into account to get a better estimation of the performance of national lists in municipal elections, national factors have significant effects as well. Parties doing well at the national elections, are less successful at the local level.


Sofie Hennau
Sofie Hennau is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de faculteit Rechten van de UHasselt. Zij doet onderzoek naar lokale institutionele hervormingen en lokale politiek.

Ramon van der Does
Ramon van der Does is werkzaam als onderwijs- en onderzoeksassistent aan de Universiteit Leiden. Ook doet hij zelfstandig onderzoek naar deliberatie, politieke participatie en lokale verkiezingen.

Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert is hoogleraar en decaan van de faculteit Rechten van de UHasselt. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op lokaal beleid en lokale politiek.
Article

Het geslacht van de kandidaat als heuristisch stemmotief

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

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2017
Authors Sjifra de Leeuw
AbstractAuthor's information

    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).
Article

Van Volksunie (VU) naar Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie (N-VA)

Een analyse van de ideologische opvattingen van hun partijleden

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2016
Keywords regionalist parties, party ideology, elections, party members, Belgium
Authors Bram Wauters and Nicolas Bouteca
AbstractAuthor's information

    The electoral rise of the Belgian regionalist party New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA) from scratch to the country’s largest party is remarkable. We explore here to what extent the party has shifted in ideological terms compared to its less successful predecessor VU. We make use of party member survey data (a dynamic indicator of a party’s position). We distinguish three factors that impact on parties’ positions: institutional reforms, the influx of new members and changes in the internal power distribution. The results show a clear change: on each of the five policy dimensions (centre-periphery, socio-economic, moral-ethical, post-materialist and migration issues), significant differences could be found.


Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is professor aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij is hoofd van de Ghent Association for the Study of Parties and Representation (GASPAR).

Nicolas Bouteca
Nicolas Bouteca is professor aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de UGent en lid van de Ghent Association for the Study of Parties and Representation (GASPAR). Hij publiceerde eerder over ideologie, politieke partijen, electorale competitie en het Belgisch federalisme.

Gert-Jan Put
Gert-Jan Put is onderzoeker van het FWO-Vlaanderen en verbonden aan het KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid. Zijn onderzoek handelt over kandidatenselectie, parlementaire turnover en campagne-effecten.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is germanist en politicoloog. Hij is als gewoon hoogleraar verbonden aan het KU Leuven Instituut voor de Overheid. Hij publiceerde over partij- en campagnefinanciering, verkiezingen, de staatshervorming, politieke partijen in multilevelsystemen en de monarchie.
Article

Het primacy-effect in proportionele systemen gewikt en gewogen

De casus van de Antwerpse districtsverkiezingen 2012

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2015
Keywords preferential voting, political candidates, primacy effect, media, campaigns
Authors Patrick van Erkel and Peter Thijssen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Previous research shows that the position on the ballot list strongly influences the electoral success of candidates. However, the underlying mechanisms of this effect remain unclear. The list position can have a direct influence through a so-called primacy effect, parties may anticipate on the success of candidates, or the effect can be mediated by factors such as media attention and campaign intensity. Using data from the Antwerp district elections in 2012, this paper disentangles these mechanisms. Our study confirms the direct ballot list position effect, providing evidence for the existence of a primacy effect. However, we find that part of the ballot list position effect is mediated by media attention, especially for the first candidate on the list. Campaign intensity also influences the electoral success of candidates, but does not mediate the list position effect. Finally, we find no evidence that parties successfully anticipate on the electoral success of candidates.


Patrick van Erkel
Patrick van Erkel is medewerker en doctoraatsstudent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Tevens is hij lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Zijn doctoraat richt zich op het verklaren van electoraal succes van individuele kandidaten.

Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Uni versiteit Antwerpen. Hij is lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Zijn onderzoek spitst zich toe op de wisselwerking tussen publieke opinie en politieke participatie.
Article

Van goudwaarde in verkiezingstijden?

Electorale presidentialisering van het burgemeesterschap in Vlaanderen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2015
Keywords mayor, elections, preference votes, personalization, presidentialization
Authors Johannes Rodenbach, Bram Wauters and Kristof Steyvers
AbstractAuthor's information

    Presidentialization involves a shift in focus from collective actors (such as parties) to one person, in this case the mayor. It is a specific form of personalization which focusses on one rather than on several individuals. Electoral presidentialization, which constitutes one of the diverse features of this phenomenon, was studied at the local level in Flanders (Belgium). By formulating hypotheses based on theoretical and empirical insights on personalization (referring to several politicians), we have tried to figure out whether presidentialization differs from personalization. From our results, it appears that mayors indeed attract a huge share of preferential votes, but also that most factors that influence personalization have an impact on presidentialization too. These include both individual variables (such as media attention and incumbency) and municipal variables (such as size of the municipality and number of parties). Although both trends differ in nature, the factors influencing them appear to be similar.


Johannes Rodenbach
Johannes Rodenbach is als doctoraal onderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek, onderdeel van de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij bereidt een scriptie voor rond de presidentialisering van het burgemeesterschap in Vlaanderen en werkt mee aan het ‘European Mayor’-project, een comparatief onderzoek naar burgemeesters in 28 Europese landen.

Bram Wauters
Bram Wauters is als docent verbonden aan de Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen van de UGent, waar hij de onderzoeksgroep GASPAR (www.gaspar.ugent.be) leidt. Zijn onderzoek gaat over verkiezingen, partijen en politieke representatie, met bijzondere aandacht voor ondervertegenwoordigde groepen.

Kristof Steyvers
Kristof Steyvers is hoofddocent aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoek situeert zich daar in de context van het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek. Het is gericht op lokaal politiek leiderschap, verkiezingen en partijen op lokaal niveau, hervormingen aan het lokaal bestuur, de democratische verankering van lokale netwerkverbanden, vergelijkende lokale politiek en stadspolitiek en stedenbeleid.
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