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Research Note

Caretaker Cabinets in Belgium: A New Measurement and Typology

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue Online First 2020
Keywords caretaker government, Belgium, cabinets, political crisis
Authors Régis Dandoy and Lorenzo Terrière
AbstractAuthor's information

    Belgium is probably the world’s best known case of where caretaker governments reside. Yet a clear scholarly definition and measurement of this concept is missing. Based on a detailed analysis of the Belgian federal cabinets, this research note explores the main characteristics and measures the length of the various caretaker periods. We find that Belgium was governed for no less than 1,485 days by a caretaker government between 2007 and 2020, which equals more than four full calendar years. This research note also presents a novel typology of caretaker periods based on the institutional and political practice within the Belgian legislative and executive branches. This typology can be used to assess caretaker periods at other levels of government as well as in other countries in order to improve our understanding of the many ‘faces’ that a caretaker government can take on.


Régis Dandoy
Université Libre de Bruxelles

Lorenzo Terrière
Universiteit Gent
Article

Als je wint, heb je vrienden

Een verkenning van de pre-electorale aantrekkelijkheid van politieke partijen aan de hand van de verspreiding van verkiezingsmemoranda van belangengroepen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2018
Keywords political parties, interest groups, election memoranda, rational choice, political effectiveness
Authors Tom Schamp and Nicolas Bouteca
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper we look at the way in which a wide range of interest groups have tried to influence political parties in Flanders. In order to test both aspects of the historic-institutional perspective and the rational choice perspective on party-group relations, we have analyzed the dissemination of in total 1569 memoranda by 616 interest groups over the six represented Flemish political parties in the 2013-2014 election year. We find that interest groups are very selective in the distribution of their memoranda to the different parties. Traditional parties seem more popular than new parties and political effectiveness seems to be the driver behind the selectivity of the large majority of the interest groups studied in this paper.


Tom Schamp
Tom Schamp is als doctoraatsstudent betrokken bij 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 het effect van kiessystemen op de vertegenwoordiging van politieke partijen en over de relatie tussen politieke partijen en belangengroepen in Vlaanderen.

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 Belgische federalisme.
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