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Article

Aan de knoppen maar uit de pas?

Euroscepsis en euro-enthousiasme onder Nederlandse ambtenaren

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Euroscepticism, representative bureaucracy, civil service, public opinion, the Netherlands, public administration
Authors Caspar van den Berg, Sebastiaan Princen and Ellen Mastenbroek
AbstractAuthor's information

    National officials play an important role in all phases of the EU policy process and are often assumed to be more euro-enthusiastic than other citizens. Yet, thus far systematic knowledge on their views on EU integration is lacking. This study fills this gap through recently collected survey data among Dutch officials (N = 3509). We find first that at least for officials, hard and soft euroscepticism are no gradations on the same scale, but separate dimensions. Second, both sociological and rational choice institutionalism help explain bureaucratic euroscepticism, where the latter seems to have a somewhat stronger explanatory power. Third, officials are on average indeed more euro-enthusiastic than other citizens. However, (a) relatively fewer officials are strongly euro-enthusiastic compared to the general population; (b) the total share of eurosceptics among officials is practically the same as the general population, and (c) significantly more officials report to be ‘strongly eurosceptic’ than among the wider population.


Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg is universitair hoofddocent aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde van de Universiteit Leiden.

Sebastiaan Princen
Sebastiaan Princen is hoogleraar bestuur en beleid in de Europese Unie aan het Departement Bestuurs- en Organisatiewetenschap van de Universiteit Utrecht.

Ellen Mastenbroek
Ellen Mastenbroek is hoogleraar European Public Policy aan de Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen van de Radboud Universiteit.
Article

‘A touchstone of consent?’

Euroscepticisme in consensusdemocratieën

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2016
Keywords euroscepticism, consensus democracy, political trust, national institutions
Authors Louise Hoon
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article looks at national political institutions and euroscepticism. Over a timespan of 25 years, I compare values for majoritarian vs consensus democracy for 14 European democracies, with measures for euroscepticism at the levels of party systems, elections and public opinion. Consistent with the thesis that consensus democracy generates more system-opposition at the national level, this regime type is also more sensitive to euroscepticism. This is not the case, however, for France and the UK, two very eurosceptic majoritarian democracies. The study also shows that a context of socio-economic crisis (2008-2014) turns this relationship around, as increased conflict within society demands for more consensus at the elite level. The study essentially argues that euroscepticism still is ‘a touchstone of dissent’ for national politics. However, the extent to which national democracies generate this dissent, and especially, whether it is channelled by eurosceptic parties, depends on the dominance of consensus in the domestic institutional context.


Louise Hoon
Louise Hoon is doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Faculteit Economische en Sociale Wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

Europa in Vlaanderen: een verkennende analyse van de impact van Europese integratie op Vlaamse politieke partijen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2016
Keywords Europeanisation, political parties, party organisation, party programmes, Flanders, Belgium
Authors Gilles Pittoors, Wouter Wolfs, Steven Van Hecke e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses the Europeanisation of Flemish political parties. Based on a dataset spanning the period 1999-2014, the article assesses whether the increase in EU salience at the level of the party (elites) after 2010 resulted in increased Europeanisation, defined as the increased mentioning of the EU in party programmes (i.e. programmatic Europeanisation) and the incorporation of the EU in political party structures (i.e. organisational Europeanisation). Our empirical analysis shows that salience does not adequately explain the level of Europeanisation. Rather, the ideological position of parties seems to provide for a stronger case. The findings therefore call for more in-depth research on intervening variables in order to better explain the varying Europeanisation of (Flemish) political parties.


Gilles Pittoors
Gilles Pittoors is doctoraatsstudent en onderwijsassistent aan GASPAR, Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Wouter Wolfs
Wouter Wolfs is aspirant FWO-Vlaanderen, Instituut voor de Overheid, KU Leuven.

Steven Van Hecke
Steven Van Hecke is docent Europese en vergelijkende politiek, Instituut voor de Overheid, KU Leuven.

Peter Bursens
Peter Bursens is gewoon hoogleraar en Jean Monnet professor, ACIM, Universiteit Antwerpen.
Article

Benadrukken partijen eigen thema’s in verkiezingstijd?

Een onderzoek naar thematische aandacht van Nederlandse partijen rond de verkiezingen van 1994 tot en met 2012

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2016
Keywords issue ownership, elections, Netherlands, political parties, issue convergence
Authors Fleur Vis and Jonas Lefevere
AbstractAuthor's information

    Issue ownership theory argues that the public considers some parties as more capable to handle certain issues. Issue ownership is important, because parties tend to receive more votes if their owned issues dominate the campaign. Consequently, issue ownership theory expects parties to emphasize issues they own, while ignoring issues owned by their competitors. This study investigates to what extent Dutch parties emphasized issues they own, before and after the seven Dutch national elections held between 1994 and 2012. It uses a detailed content analysis of four Dutch newspapers, that tracked parties’ issue attention. The results show that parties tend to emphasize owned issues more, both compared to other issues and compared to their competitors. A surprising finding is that parties tend to emphasize owned issues more during the formation period compared to the campaign. Moreover, government parties emphasize owned issues less than opposition parties.


Fleur Vis
Fleur Vis is student Communicatiewetenschap aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Zij heeft zich tijdens haar afstudeeronderzoek gericht op het domein van de politieke communicatie en doet onderzoek naar issue ownership.

Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is universitair docent aan de Amsterdam School of Communications Research (Universiteit van Amsterdam). Hij doet onderzoek naar de mate waarin verkiezingscampagnes kiezers beïnvloeden en strategische partijcommunicatie. Hij publiceerde over deze onderwerpen in onder meer Party Politics, Political Communication en Communication Research.
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.
Article

De invloed van verkiezingen op politiek vertrouwen

Een analyse van een verkiezingspanel in België, 2009-2014

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2016
Keywords procedural fairness theory, political trust, internal political efficacy, elections, Belgium
Authors Dieter Stiers and Marc Hooghe
AbstractAuthor's information

    Elections are routinely investigated with a focus on the way in which winners or losers of the elections are different in their attitudes towards the political system. There is no previous research on the general impact of participation in the electoral process on support for the political system. In this study, we hypothesize – based on the procedural fairness theory – that participating in elections raises the voter’s political trust, irrespective of the result of the party s/he voted for. Furthermore, we expect this impact to be largest for voters with the lowest level of internal political efficacy. These expectations are investigated using the Belgian election panel (2009-2014) study, observing political trust before and after the elections in two consecutive electoral cycles. The results provide support for all proposed hypotheses, highlighting the importance of general participation in elections for democratic legitimacy.


Dieter Stiers
Dieter Stiers is FWO-aspirant verbonden aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op verkiezingsgedrag en in het bijzonder op de oorzaken en gevolgen van electorale volatiliteit.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen aan het Centrum voor Politicologisch Onderzoek van de KU Leuven. Hij is houder van een ERC Advanced Grant.
Article

Politicologen in het Vlaamse televisienieuws: wetenschappers of commentatoren?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2016
Keywords scientists, media, news sources, television news, experts
Authors Julie Sevenans and Stefaan Walgrave
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper studies how scientists appear as news sources in Flemish television news. The focus lies on (1) which political scientists serve as news source, (2) how they are portrayed, and (3) whether their appearances in the news differ from those of scientists from other disciplines. By means of a content analysis over a three-year period (July 2011 – June 2014), the paper shows that political scientists mainly appear in the news to comment upon topical events. Items featuring scientists from other disciplines – other human sciences and especially natural sciences – are more often related to scientific research. Political scientists use other arguments than natural scientists, whose contributions contain less own opinions, and more concrete data and figures, and human scientists (including political scientists) are less often interviewed in a research environment. In the concluding section, the potential consequences of these media appearances for political science as a discipline are discussed.


Julie Sevenans
Julie Sevenans is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan onderzoeksgroep M2P (Media, Movements and Politics) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar politiek en media.

Stefaan Walgrave
Stefaan Walgrave is als hoogleraar verbonden aan onderzoeksgroep M2P (Media, Movements and Politics) van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar politiek, media en sociale bewegingen.
Article

Links-libertarisme als aantrekkelijke theorie van sociale rechtvaardigheid

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2016
Keywords left-libertarianism, justice, self-ownership, Lockean proviso, liberty, equality
Authors Kasper Ossenblok
AbstractAuthor's information

    Left-libertarianism is a marginal theory in the debate on social justice. In this article, I argue that this peripheral status is a mistake. The two basic principles of left-libertarianism, the full self-ownership principle and an egalitarian interpretation of the worldownership principle, are sufficiently attractive and sound for the theory to be taken seriously. I introduce the two principles, explain their attractiveness and argue for their plausibility by contrasting them to the right-libertarian theory of Robert Nozick and the liberal egalitarian theory of John Rawls. I conclude that left-libertarianism has some considerable advantages over both those theories.


Kasper Ossenblok
Kasper Ossenblok is als doctoraatstudent en onderwijsassistent verbonden aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar normatieve politieke theorie en in het bijzonder naar theorieën van rechtvaardigheid en gelijkheid.
Article

Vragen naar de bekende weg?

Een analyse van informatiebronnen waarop schriftelijke vragen over Europese zaken in de Nederlandse Tweede Kamer zijn gebaseerd

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2016
Keywords national parliaments, European Union, parliamentary questions, the Netherlands
Authors Rik de Ruiter, Jelmer Schalk and Yorick van Rijthoven
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper analyses the information sources members of the Dutch Lower House base their questions on with regard to EU affairs in the period 1995-2013. Knowledge of the type of information sources to base questions on is vital for determining what the conditions are under which members of national parliaments can scrutinize the decisions taken by the national government at the EU level. The involvement of national parliaments in EU affairs is according to many scholars a necessary condition for closing the democratic deficit of the European Union, especially when the turnout in elections for the European Parliament remains low and for national parliaments remains stable and relatively high. An original dataset is constructed including all sets of written parliamentary questions on EU affairs asked by Dutch MPs in the period 1995-2013, categorized by different types of information sources on which the question is based. These different categories of information sources are regressed with a variable measuring the Treaty changes impacting on the intensity of contact between MPs of different national parliaments and several variables measuring the characteristics of Dutch MPs and their parties. The findings indicate that Dutch MPs base their written questions primarily on coverage on EU affairs by national newspapers. Moreover, MPs are more likely to use sources rooted in a national context for asking questions when they are a member of a party with a negative attitude towards European integration. These findings imply that parliamentary control via written questions over the decisions of the national executive at the EU level can be strengthened by increasing national media coverage on EU affairs, allowing the EU public sphere to develop further in the future.


Rik de Ruiter
Rik de Ruiter is als universitair docent Bestuurskunde verbonden aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde van de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar politiek, beleid en bestuur van de Europese Unie.

Jelmer Schalk
Jelmer Schalk is als universitair docent bestuurskunde verbonden aan het Instituut Bestuurskunde van de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar publiek management, interorganisationele netwerken en sociale netwerkanalyse.

Yorick van Rijthoven
Yorick van Rijthoven (MSc.) is een recent afgestudeerd bestuurskundige aan de Universiteit Leiden en heeft zich gespecialiseerd in internationale en Europese bestuurskunde. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar o.a. interparlementaire samenwerking over EU-aangelegenheden, het EU-besluitvormingsproces en (internationaal) publiek management.
Article

Naar een voorwaardelijk model van ongelijkheid in vertegenwoordiging

Een onderzoek naar het moderatie-effect van beleidsdomeinen op ongelijkheid in beleidscongruentie

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2016
Keywords Policy congruence, inequality, education, policy domains
Authors Christophe Lesschaeve
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article studies the extent to which differences or inequality in policy congruence between higher and lower educated voters are moderated by policy domains. Instead of measuring inequality across all areas of policy, this study takes a policy domain-specific approach. The analyses are based on a dataset containing voters and party positions on 50 policy statements, gathered in the run-up to the 2009 regional election in Belgium largest region, Flanders. We find, overall, only small and unsubstantial, though significant, differences, in policy congruence between higher and lower educated voters, in favor of the former. However, we find a much larger representational bias towards higher educated when we look at transportation, culture and media, immigration, taxand budgetary policy, and economic policy. At the same time, differences in policy congruence are lower as regards spatial planning. Studying inequality in policy congruence across policy domains thus hides more complex patterns of representational bias.


Christophe Lesschaeve
Christophe Lesschaeve is als doctoraatsstudent verbonden aan de faculteit sociale wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoeksinteresse gaat uit naar beleidscongruentie en ongelijkheid in vertegenwoordiging.

    In this paper we investigate the effect of political sophistication on turnout and whether this effect differs in second-order national elections. Political sophistication is thought to influence turnout because the more sophisticated voters have access to more information about the electoral and the party system. In this paper, we start from the expectation that these effects should be even stronger in the context of secondorder national elections, where information about the stakes of the election is not readily available. We analyse citizens’ willingness to turn out to vote at different levels of government in Belgium and the Netherlands. The results show that a higher degree of political sophistication increases the probability to turn out at the national as well as the European level. Our expectation that this effect would be larger at the European level, however, is not supported by these results.


Dieter Stiers
Dieter Stiers werkt als doctoraatsstudent aan het Centre for Citizenship and Democracy van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op verkiezingsgedrag en in het bijzonder op de oorzaken en gevolgen van electorale volatiliteit.
Article

Impact en haalbaarheid in politieke theorieën

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2016
Keywords feasibility, impact, theory parts, practical application of theory
Authors Stijn Koenraads
AbstractAuthor's information

    Feasibility considerations are important for political theories. An infeasible theory may contain valuable ideals, but is not suited to reality. Utilizing a precise and complete conceptualization of feasibility is essential to considering the feasibility of theories. An existing definition of feasibility is presented here. It is argued that this conception of feasibility is incomplete. The impact of parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the parts of a theory themselves should be considered as well – something that has not been addressed in the literature thus far. A new feasibility framework is developed, in which the impact of parts of a theory, the feasibility of the parts of a theory as well as the feasibility of the preferred outcome of a theory have a place. Thus, the notion of feasibility is conceptualized in a more complete way.


Stijn Koenraads
Stijn Koenraads heeft aan de Radboud Universiteit een BSc in de Politicologie en een MSc in Political Science/Political Theory behaald. Zijn onderzoeksinteressen zijn politieke haalbaarheid en milieuethiek.
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