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Lisa Merkel-Holguin
Lisa Merkel-Holguin is the Director of the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Pediatrics, Aurora, Colorado, and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, USA. Contact author: lisa.merkel-holguin@cuanschutz.edu.
PhD Review

Pragmatic Citizens – A Bottom-Up Perspective on Participatory Politics

PhD by Hannah Werner (KU Leuven and Universiteit van Amsterdam), supervisors: Sofie Marien, Wouter van der Brug & Marc Hooghe

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2021
Authors Anna Kern
Author's information

Anna Kern
Anna Kern is assistant professor at the Department of Political Science at Ghent University, Belgium.

Gijs van Maanen
Gijs van Maanen is PhD researcher at Tilburg Law School.
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.

Jacques Claessen
Jacques Claessen is an Associate Professor of Criminal Law and an Endowed Professor of Restorative Justice at Maastricht University and Honorary Judge at the District Court of Limburg, the Netherlands.
PhD Review

‘Figurative Framing in Political Discourse’

PhD by Amber Boeynaems (Vrije Universtiteit Amsterdam), supervisors: Elly Konijn, Gerard Steen & Christian Burgers.

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 2 2019
Authors Christ’l De Landtsheer
Author's information

Christ’l De Landtsheer
Political Communication Research Unit, University of Antwerp.
Literature review

Consensualism, Democratic Satisfaction, Political Trust and the Winner-Loser Gap

State of the Art of Two Decades of Research

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2019
Keywords consensualism, majoritarianism, political trust, satisfaction with democracy, Lijphart
Authors Tom van der Meer and Anna Kern
AbstractAuthor's information

    Lijphart (1999) argued that citizens tend to be more satisfied with democracy in consensual democracies than in majoritarian democracies and that the gap in democratic satisfaction between the winners and the losers of elections is smaller under consensualism. Twenty years on since then, this article takes stock of the literature on consensualism and political support. We find considerable ambiguity in the theoretical arguments and empirical evidence provided in this literature. Finally, we speculate on possible reasons for this ambiguity.


Tom van der Meer
Tom van der Meer, University of Amsterdam.

Anna Kern
Anna Kern, Ghent University.

    Medical and societal developments have led to a new family form involving more than two persons who make the conscious decision to have and raise a child together. Before the conception of the child, co-parenting arrangements are made covering the role of each parent in the child’s life and the division of care and financial obligations. These intentional multi-parent families pose new challenges to family law. Both in Belgium and the Netherlands, as in most other legal systems, the number of legal parents vested with custody of the child is limited to two. This two-parent model does not protect the relationship between the child and each of its parents in a multi-parent family. The question arises whether the law should be adjusted to accommodate multi-parent families, and if so, how. The Belgian Senate recently accepted that this question should be subjected to parliamentary debate. In 2014 the Netherlands tasked the Government Committee on the Reassessment of Parenthood with evaluating whether the law should allow more than two persons to be a child's legal parents and share parental responsibilities. In its recently published report, the Government Committee advises legal multi-parenthood be statutorily regulated, subject to certain conditions.The present contribution addresses two questions. The first one concerns the legal position of persons who have entered into multi-parenting arrangements. We answer this question by examining the Belgian rules on legal parentage and parental responsibilities. Second, we explore how family law might accommodate intentional multi-parent families. For this question, we focus on the recommendations the Dutch Government Committee formulated on legal multi-parenthood.
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    Medische en maatschappelijke ontwikkelingen hebben geleid tot het ontstaan van een nieuwe gezinsvorm, waarbij meer dan twee personen bewust ervoor kiezen om samen een kind te krijgen en het op te voeden. Voor de verwekking maken ze afspraken over de rol van elk van hen in het leven van het kind en over de verdeling van zorgtaken en financiële verplichtingen. Deze intentionele meeroudergezinnen vormen een nieuwe uitdaging voor het familierecht. Zoals in de meeste rechtsstelsels, is in België en Nederland het aantal juridische ouders beperkt tot twee. Dit twee-oudermodel verleent geen bescherming aan de relatie tussen het kind en elk van zijn ouders in een meeroudergezin. De vraag rijst of het familierecht deze nieuwe gezinsvorm tegemoet moet komen, en zo ja, hoe. De Belgische Senaat heeft eind 2015 aanvaard dat deze vraag het voorwerp moet uitmaken van toekomstig parlementair debat. De Nederlands regering gaf in 2014 aan de “Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap” de opdracht te onderzoeken of de wet het mogelijk moet maken dat meer dan twee personen de juridische ouders kunnen zijn van een kind en het ouderlijk gezag kunnen delen. In haar recent gepubliceerde rapport beveelt deze commissie aan om juridisch meerouderschap wettelijk te regelen.  Deze bijdrage onderzoekt twee vragen. De eerste vraag is wat de rechtspositie is van de personen die betrokken zijn in meerouderschapsafspraken. We beantwoorden deze vraag aan de hand van de Belgische regels over afstamming en ouderlijk gezag. De tweede vraag is hoe het recht aan intentionele meeroudergezinnen kan tegemoetkomen. De aanbevelingen van de Nederlandse Staatscommissie Herijking Ouderschap staan hierbij centraal.


Prof. dr. Ingrid Boone
Ingrid Boone is an associate professor of Family Law at KU Leuven. She is a member of the Scientific Research Network of the Research Foundation Flanders (2015-2020) RETHINKIN - Rethinking legal kinship and family studies in the Low Countries.

Martin Brink

Tamar de Waal
Tamar de Waal is a PhD candidate legal and political theory at the Paul Scholten Centre, University of Amsterdam (Law Faculty).

Tamas Dezso Ziegler
Research fellow, Hungarian Academy of Sciences – Institute for Legal Studies.

A. Daniel Oliver-Lalana PhD

William Burns

Frank Emmert

Corinne Dr. Widmer
Attorney-at-Law Lecturer at the University of Basel (Switzerland)
Book Review

Eppur si muove: De ontwikkeling van de welvaartsstaat

België en Nederland in vergelijkend perspectief

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2009
Authors Wim Van Lancker
Author's information

Wim Van Lancker
Wim Van Lancker (°1982) is als Research Fellow verbonden aan het Centrum voor Sociaal Beleid Herman Deleeck van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoeksdomeinen situeren zich vooral rond welvaartsstaat en herverdeling, genderbeleid, sociaal Europa en arbeid-gezin combinatie.

Frank Emmert
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