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Article

Ze halen hun slag wel thuis

Over particratie en het aanpassingsvermogen van Belgische partijen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2018
Keywords dealignment, electoral support, federalism, gender, particracy, personalisation
Authors Jean-Benoit Pilet and Petra Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    Particracy has been widely used to describe Belgian politics after World War II. Yet, Belgian politics has changed. We examine five changes – the federalisation of the state architecture, diversification of the demos, erosion of political support, party’s dealignment and personalisation of politics – to evaluate how they have affected particracy in Belgium. The answer is twofold: particracy is still very strong, but it has changed. The three traditional party families that had institutionalised particracy in Belgium (Christian-democrats, socialists and liberals) had to face new challengers. They co-opted the most moderate ones (greens, regionalists), while excluding others (radical right/left). Intraparty democracy/participatory/transparency reforms, or changes to the electoral system, all of them opening the political system, were also implemented, but parties were able to overcome them. Yet, the ever-growing gap between traditional parties and citizens and the growth of new parties building upon voters’ dissatisfaction with traditional parties, may put particracy more radically into question.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is hoogleraar in de Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke partijen, kiessystemen, kiesgedrag, de personalisering van de politiek en democratische vernieuwing. Over die thema’s publiceerde hij boeken bij Oxford University Press en Routledge en artikels in wetenschappelijke tijdschriften zoals European Journal of Political Reform, West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Environmental Politics, Representation, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Res Publica, Revue Française de Science Politique en Comparative European Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier, hoogleraar Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen, focust op de representatie van gender, de reproductie van ongelijkheid en de constructie van normativiteit in politiek/beleid. Zij publiceerde recent een aantal special issues over de ontwikkeling van gender beleid (Journal of Women, Politics and Policies; met Emanuela Lombardo en Mieke Verloo), symbolische vertegenwoordiging (Politics, Groups, and Identities; met Tania Verge) en een boek over de professionalisering van de strijd voor gelijkheid (Academia L’Harmattan; met David Paternotte).
Article

Het zou zomaar een zootje kunnen worden

Een Q-methodologisch onderzoek naar de ideeën van non-participanten over de relatie tussen representatieve en participatieve democratie op lokaal niveau

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2017
Authors Jante Schmidt and Margo Trappenburg
AbstractAuthor's information

    New forms of participatory and deliberative democracy gain popularity alongside traditional representative democracy at the local level in the Netherlands. In this article we look at passive citizens defined as citizens who do not participate in any of the new practices. How do they perceive the shift from traditional to new forms of democracy (defined as stakeholder democracy, deliberative polling and associative or ‘do’ democracy)? We performed a Q-methodological study to find patterns of opinion among passive citizens. We found three patterns. Critical citizens are critical about both traditional representative democracy and new forms of democracy. Loyal citizens support traditional local democracy and do not think the shift to other forms is a change for the better. Distant citizens find that politicians should first and foremost uphold the law and act as referees when citizens disagree. This task has been neglected over the years but this deficiency cannot be remedied by new forms of democracy. All three patterns of opinion are cause for concern for the advocates of more participatory and deliberative democracy. While these new forms may restore faith in politics among active citizens they may simultaneously alienate passive citizens.


Jante Schmidt
Jante Schmidt is socioloog en promovenda aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek. Haar onderzoek gaat over menselijke waardigheid in de ‘participatiesamenleving’: de effecten van de hervorming van de verzorgingsstaat op morele emoties in de context van zorg en ondersteuning.

Margo Trappenburg
Margo Trappenburg is universitair hoofddocent bestuurs- en organisatiewetenschappen aan de Universiteit Utrecht en bijzonder hoogleraar aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek. Haar onderzoek gaat over veranderingen in de verzorgingsstaat en de gevolgen daarvan voor kwetsbare groepen, andere burgers en professionals.
Article

Politieke participatie: Wat doet dat met een mens?

Een panelstudie van Belgische lokale data

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2012
Keywords political participation, political knowledge, political trust, emancipation process, local politics
Authors Peter Thijssen and Didier Dierckx
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper we study both long term and short term individual effects of political participation at the local level. Participatory theorists argue that political participation could lead to individual emancipation in terms of a rise of political knowledge and, in the long term, political trust. Indeed, in the short term the increased political knowledge associated with participation might enable citizens to better define their self-interest, which may be inconsistent with actual policies pursued by the local authorities and thus might be conductive to distrust. In the empirical part we will test these assertions using two-wave panel data for a random sample of 457 individuals in the district of Deurne (Antwerp – Belgium). Our results suggest that in the short term participation leads to more local political knowledge and distrust in the local administration. However, we do not find a significant increase in political trust in the long term.


Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen is hoofddocent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit 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.

Didier Dierckx
Didier Dierckx is wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij werkt aan het beleidsondersteunend onderzoek ‘Focus op Deurne’, alsook aan een proefschrift waarin wordt gezocht naar contextuele verklaringen voor lokale politieke participatie.
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