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Article

Omzetting van Europese richtlijnen

Een balans van de omzettings- en nalevingsachterstand in Vlaanderen (2009-2013)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2015
Keywords transposition, EU Directives, Flanders, Internal Market Scoreboard
Authors Isabelle De Coninck
AbstractAuthor's information

    The European Commission publishes bi-annual internal market scoreboards which show the member states’ performance in realizing internal market rules. Timely and correct transposition of internal market directives is a crucial part hereof. Member states are regarded as unitary actors. Consequently the Commission does not differentiate the performances of their constituent sub-national entities. This article constructs the internal market scoreboards for Flanders (2009-2013) and holds these against the Belgian performance. In order to frame the fluctuations in the Flemish performance per scoreboard, external and internal factors that help explain maltransposition are pretested in the Flemish case. Flanders struggles with transposition, transposing barely a fourth of the directives under its competence timely and correctly, with timeliness being most problematic. The factors that seem to be connected to this performance, however, are structural and cannot easily be influenced. Further research is needed to go from this exploration toward explaining maltransposition in Flanders.


Isabelle De Coninck
Isabelle De Coninck is bachelor European Studies (Universiteit Maastricht) en master vergelijkende en internationale politiek (KU Leuven). Ze is wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het Instituut voor de Overheid van de KU Leuven, waar ze onderzoek voert naar de omzetting van EU-richtlijnen in subnationale entiteiten in het kader van SBOV III.
Article

Van de krant naar de Kamer en terug?

Een studie naar media-aandacht als inspiratie voor en resultaat van het Nederlandse vragenuur

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2015
Keywords Question hour, media attention, parliamentary questions, newspaper coverage, content analysis
Authors Peter Van Aelst, Rosa van Santen, Lotte Melenhorst e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This study on the role of media attention for the Dutch question hour answers these questions: to what extent is media attention a source of inspiration for oral parliamentary questions? What explains the newsworthiness of these questions? And what explains the extent of media coverage for the questions posed during the question hour? To address this, we present a content analysis of oral parliamentary questions and related press coverage in five recent years. Results show first that oral questions are usually based on media attention for a topic. Concerns about media influence should however be nuanced: it is not necessarily the coverage itself, but also regularly a political statement that is the actual source of a parliamentary question. The media are thus an important ‘channel’ for the interaction between politicians. Second, our analysis shows that oral questions do not receive media attention naturally. Several news values help to explain the amount of news coverage that questions receive. ‘Surfing the wave’ of news attention for a topic in the days previous to the question hour seems to be the best way to generate media attention.


Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Daarnaast is hij deeltijds verbonden aan de Universiteit Leiden als coördinator van een VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’, een vergelijkende studie naar de wederkerige relatie tussen media en politiek.

Rosa van Santen
Rosa van Santen is projectleider bij het Commissariaat voor de Media. Daarvoor werkte zij als postdoc bij het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden op het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’. Ze promoveerde in 2012 bij de Amsterdam School of Communication Research van de Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Lotte Melenhorst
Lotte Melenhorst is promovenda bij de Instituten voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden en de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). Haar onderzoek maakt deel uit van het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agenda-setting’ en concentreert zich op de rol van de media bij de totstandkoming van wetgeving.

Luzia Helfer
Luzia Helfer is promovenda bij de Instituten voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden en de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep Media, Middenveld en Politiek (M2P). In haar onderzoek bij het VIDI-project ‘Beyond Agendasetting’ bestudeert zij mechanismes in de wederkerige relatie tussen politiek en media, onder andere door middel van experimenteel onderzoek.
Article

Ideologische inertie op links, flexibiliteit op rechts?

Een onderzoek naar de mate van programmatische flexibiliteit bij liberalen en socialisten in België

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2015
Keywords ideology, manifestos, party change, Belgium
Authors Nicolas Bouteca
AbstractAuthor's information

    In order to win elections political parties sometimes adapt their policy platforms to a changing society. But according to some scholars left-wing parties are in this regard more reluctant than right-wing parties. The former would show less programmatic flexibility than the latter. Other authors nuance this difference and state that leftist parties are ideologically more volatile at one moment and rightist parties at another time. In this article we empirically test whether rightist parties show more programmatic flexibility than leftist parties. We make use of an in depth quantitative analysis of the socio-economic policy proposals of the Belgian liberal and social-democratic parties between 1961 and 2010. We find that the right-wing liberal party indeed makes larger programmatic changes. The intensity of the ties with social groups such as trade unions is probably the most important variable to explain this difference.


Nicolas Bouteca
Nicolas Bouteca promoveerde in 2011 op een proefschrift over ideologische convergentie. Momenteel werkt hij als docent aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent en is hij lid van de onderzoeksgroep GASPAR. Zijn interesses zijn: ideologie, politieke partijen, electorale competitie en het Belgisch federalisme.
Article

Angels gedoopt in honing: politieke tekeningen en hun betekenis

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2015
Keywords political cartoons, visual (mis)communication, psychological defense mechanism, Dutch politics
Authors Joop van Holsteyn
AbstractAuthor's information

    Over the years, political cartoons have triggered debate and fierce and violent reactions. Apparently, cartoonists are able to get their critical, ‘negative’ message across both to the political elite and the general public at large. This line of reasoning, however, assumes that the communication between cartoonists and their mass public is successful, i.e., that the message that the cartoonist intends to send is correctly interpreted and received as intended. This is not obvious, since the decoding of the encrypted message of a cartoon is a complicated process that can easily go wrong, as the scarce research on the topic suggests. This study explores the idea that cartoons are correctly understood on the basis of a unique large scale survey in which over 24,000 respondents were asked via multiple-choice questions to identify the original, intended message of 11 cartoons of two Dutch cartoonists. The results show that overall it is extremely hard to correctly understand the meaning of cartoons. Moreover, among the few factors that help explain the difference in the capability to correctly understand cartoons, political preference is prominent and intriguing. People tend to ascribe a meaning to cartoons/cartoonists that fits their own political stand, and this suggests that psychological mechanisms are at work that may explain that more often than not the communication between the cartoonist and his public should likely be labelled miscommunication.


Joop van Holsteyn
Joop van Holsteyn is neerlandicus en politicoloog en is verbonden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. In zijn onderzoek houdt hij zich onder meer bezig met verkiezingen en kiesgedrag, publieke opinie en opiniepeilingen, politieke partijen en partijlidmaatschap, en politieke tekeningen en hun betekenis.
Article

Mondiale standaarden of race-to-the-bottom?

Een analyse van regelgevende samenwerking in de onderhandelingen over een Trans-Atlantisch Vrijhandels- en Investeringsakkoord (TTIP)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2015
Keywords trade, European Union, TTIP, regulatory convergence, global standards, race-to-the-bottom
Authors Ferdi De Ville and Niels Gheyle
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since the summer of 2013, the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) are negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Especially for the EU, this is one of the policy priorities for the present term. TTIP is supposed to bring much-needed growth and jobs and to enable the EU to remain a global standardsetter, all without lowering EU levels of regulatory protection. Opponents of the agreement, however, fear that TTIP would lead to a regulatory race-to-the-bottom. This article scrutinizes these claims through a detailed document analysis complemented with a number of interviews. It is embedded in the political-economic literature on the trade-regulation nexus as well as on exporting standards and secondary literature on past EU-US regulatory cooperation attempts. We argue that the effects of TTIP are dependent on the concrete mode of regulatory convergence chosen in the agreement. If, as seems presently most plausible, the negotiators opt for bilateral mutual recognition as their preferred mode for regulatory convergence, the plausibility that TTIP would lead to global standards is reduced. The risk of running into a regulatory race-to-the-bottom increases in that case, but will ultimately depend on the number of sectors where this mode is applicable and under which conditions this is applied. We conclude that the probability is low that the TTIP agreement being negotiated will lead either to a significant increase in global standards or to a direct large-scale race-to-the-bottom.


Ferdi De Ville
Ferdi De Ville is docent Europese Politiek aan het Centrum voor EU-Studies van de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoeksbelangstelling gaat voornamelijk uit naar Europees handelsbeleid en de politiek-economische gevolgen van de eurocrisis.

Niels Gheyle
Niels Gheyle is als doctoraatsonderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor EU-Studies. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de politisering van Europees handelsbeleid, met een specifieke focus op het vrijhandelsverdrag tussen de VS en de EU (TTIP).
Article

De multiculturele herverdelingsstaat

Over gelijkheid en solidariteit in de multiculturele samenleving

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2015
Keywords multiculturalism, socio-economic equality, social cohesion, solidarity, welfare state
Authors François Levrau
AbstractAuthor's information

    For many reasons multiculturalism has become a convenient punching bag. One of the criticisms is that multiculturalism undermines social cohesion and therefore erodes the basis for a redistribution policy. Closely related to this critique is that multiculturalism pushes immigrants into unemployment and makes them dependent on the welfare state. In this article, both criticisms are evaluated. We clarify why multiculturalism does not necessarily undermine the (support for) welfare state nor impede the socioeconomic equality of immigrants. What is needed and what remains necessary is the outline of a multicultural welfare state.


François Levrau
François Levrau is doctor in de Sociale Wetenschappen en als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan het Centrum voor Migratie en Interculturele Studies van de Universiteit Antwerpen.
Article

Hervormen en herverdelen

Is de links-rechtslijn de enige conflictlijn op het sociaaleconomisch terrein?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2015
Keywords policy positions, economic issues, left-right politics, political space, the Netherlands, scaling
Authors Simon Otjes
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article shows that the economic left/right dimension does not always suffice to understand the social-economic policy positions of political parties. It focuses on social-economic decision-making in the Netherlands in 2012. The increase of the government pension age, which was championed by parties of the left and the right and opposed by parties of the left and the right, is taken as a prime example of an issue where decision-making did not follow the left-right line of conflict. The article continues to show that party policy positions on a number of more important welfare state reforms do not follow the left/right line of conflict, but rather a reform line of conflict that divides parties from the left and the right into pro-European reformers and Eurosceptic defenders of the existing welfare state.


Simon Otjes
Simon Otjes is onderzoeker bij het Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen in Groningen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op politieke partijen, partijsystemen en politieke ruimte in Nederland en in Europa.
Article

Aandacht trekken of advies verstrekken?

De aanwezigheid van middenveldorganisaties in adviesraad- en beeldbuispolitiek

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2015
Keywords advocacy groups, political arena, media arena, access, Flanders
Authors Bert Fraussen and Ruud Wouters
AbstractAuthor's information

    Advocacy groups can contribute to the public debate in many different ways. In this contribution we compare the presence of Belgian advocacy groups in two crucial arenas: the media arena and the political arena. We analyze the presence of advocacy groups in the 12 strategic advisory councils of the Flemish government (political arena) and the 19 o’clock newscasts of the most important public and commercial television stations in Flanders. We argue that while each arena has its own logic, elements of the political logic are echoed in the media logic. Our results show that access to both arenas is cumulative: the same organizations dominate both arenas. Both arenas are not perfect reflections of each other though. Organizations lacking access to the political arena can rise in the media arena by offering conflict and spectacle. However, this is the exception rather than the rule, as most ‘political outsiders’ gain little attention from journalists. We conclude that mass media tend to follow and reinforce political power, rather than offering challengers a level playing field.


Bert Fraussen
Bert Fraussen is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Research School of the Social Sciences, Australian National University (ANU). Daarnaast is hij ook lid van de onderzoeksgroep ACIM (Antwerp Centre for Institutions and Multilevel Politics) aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek focust op belangengroepen en lobbying, meer specifiek op de ontwikkeling van belangenorganisaties en hun interactie met beleidsmakers.

Ruud Wouters
Ruud Wouters is postdoctoraal onderzoeker bij het Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO) en lid van onderzoeksgroep M2P (Media, Middenveld & Politiek; Universiteit Antwerpen).
Article

Tussen partij en parlement: het profiel van de fractievoorzitter in België

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2015
Keywords political party, parliament, parliamentary party, leader, political elites, Belgium
Authors Benjamin de Vet and Bram Wauters
AbstractAuthor's information

    The leader of the parliamentary party in Belgium occupies a very specific position, which differs from that of the political leader and that of the organizational leader of a party. This person acts as a crucial linking pin between ‘the party in central office’ and ‘the party in public office’. Owing to an increase in power of ‘the party in central office’ in modern ‘cartel parties’, we expect repercussions on the profile, selection and functioning of parliamentary party leaders. In this first, exploratory analysis based on a new dataset, we sketch the profile of these leaders in terms of experience and career, and based on these characteristics, we develop a typology. We also investigate whether these variables vary over time and by government status.
    Our results show for most of the indicators a weakening of the parliamentary party leader over time, whereas government parties appear to prefer a stronger parliamentary party leader than opposition parties.


Benjamin de Vet
Benjamin de Vet is masterstudent Politieke Wetenschappen (nationale politiek) aan de UGent, en schrijft zijn masterproef over de selectie van fractieleiders in het Belgisch federaal en Vlaams Parlement.

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.
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

De impact van digitale campagnemiddelen op de personalisering van politieke partijen in Nederland (2010-2014)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2015
Keywords personalization, social media, election campaigns, party politics
Authors Kristof Jacobs and Niels Spierings
AbstractAuthor's information

    Politicians have started to use social media more often. As such media induce personal campaigning, one might expect more personalization to follow. We explore what type of personalization social media stimulate, whether this is different for Twitter and Facebook and analyze the role of parties. We make use of quantitative and qualitative data about the Netherlands (2010-2014). We find that while theoretically the impact of social media may be big, in practice it is fairly limited: more presidentialization but not more individualization (though Twitter might increase the focus on other candidates slightly). The difference between theory and practice seems largely due to the parties. They adopt a very ambiguous stance: though they often stimulate candidates to use social media, they want to keep control nonetheless.


Kristof Jacobs
Kristof Jacobs is als universitair docent verbonden aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op politieke partijen, sociale media, kiesstelsels en uitdagingen van de democratie.

Niels Spierings
Niels Spierings is universitair docent bij de Afdeling Sociologie aan de Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen. Zijn specialismen zijn politieke en gendersociologie en onderzoeksmethoden. Thematisch focust hij op sociale media, politieke participatie en democratisering, genderongelijkheid, de politieke en economische positie van vrouwen, migratie, islam, en intersectionaliteit. Samen met Kristof Jacobs coördineert hij het project VIRAL (www.ru.nl/VIRAL).
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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