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Introduction

Subsidiariteit in de EU en verder

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2012
Keywords European Union, subsidiarity, multilevel governance, complexity, power
Authors Ferdi De Ville and Jan Loisen
AbstractAuthor's information

    This introductory article sketches the problématique of this special issue on ‘Subsidiarity in the European Union and beyond’. It starts with a short historical overview of the origins, meanings and implementation of the subsidiarity principle within the EU. Subsequently, it problematizes the concept and application of subsidiarity in a multilevel governance context by examining two fundamental characteristics of this essentially contested concept that render it fascinating to study: its complexity and power-relevance. The relatively new concept of global subsidiarity is briefly discussed to situate the intra-EU discussion in a wider context. This introduction ends by discussing some of the findings of the special issue’s two substantial articles – that both deal with policy topics in which different competence regimes meet – in light of the subsidiarity problématique.


Ferdi De Ville
Ferdi De Ville is als doctor-assistent verbonden aan het Centrum voor EU-Studies, Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent. Hij doceert over en doet onderzoek naar Europese economische en monetaire integratie en Europees handelsbeleid.

Jan Loisen
Jan Loisen is als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan IBBT-SMIT, een onderzoekscentrum van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel, en als docent aan de vakgroep communicatiewetenschappen van dezelfde universiteit. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de vormgeving van media- en cultuurbeleid in internationale instellingen en de Europese Unie en op vraagstukken over handels- en mediabeleid in het bijzonder.

    At least four criterions/methods to measure mechanical effects of electoral systems can be distinguished: measuring disproportionality, the reduction in number of parties, the party advantages and the threshold percentages. In this manuscript we focus on the thresholds. We first concentrate on a description of legal, theoretical, and empirical thresholds as measures of mechanical effects. Further, we analyse the relationship between (the natural logarithm) of district magnitude and the empirical threshold and between the empirical threshold and the effective number of parties. As starting point we take districts in Spain, Portugal and Hungary as the level of analysis. We clearly show that there is a negative causal connection between district magnitude and the threshold percentage and between threshold percentage and the number of parties.


Patrick Vander Weyden
Doctor-assistent aan de K.U.Brussel en Vice-directeur van het Instituut voor Politieke Sociologie en Methodologie (IPSoM).
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