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Year 2007 x
Article

Coalitiesteun in Antwerpen, Hasselt en Oostkamp

De invloed van politieke ontevredenheid, politiek wantrouwen en etnocentrisme vergeleken

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2007
Authors Marc Swyngedouw, Koen Abts and Jarl Kampen
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this paper we investigate the effects of political dissatisfaction, political distrust and ethnocentrism on support to the incumbent coalition in three different municipalities in Flanders. Theoretically, we define the concept of political trust, at which it is differentiated from political satisfaction and political alienation. At the same time, four dimensions of political distrust are disentangled: competence, integrity, responsiveness and justice. Empirically, four research questions may be distinguished. First, we investigate whether political satisfaction, political trust and ethnocentrism have an independent effect on support to the ruling majority. Second, we check whether there are differential effects of the dimensions of political trust on the dependent variable in the different municipalities.Third, we try to connect the micro-level data with macro-level, by linking the results with the characteristics of the local government and the party system. Fourth, we examine the influence of the presence of extreme right.


Marc Swyngedouw
Hoogleraar aan het Centrum voor Sociologisch Onderzoek (CeSO-K.U.Leuven).

Koen Abts
Wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het CeSO (K.U.Leuven).

Jarl Kampen
Postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen (V.U.Brussel).

    The article analyses the gender balance in local Belgian politics in the aftermath of the 2006 local elections. It offers a comparative perspective on the position of candidates, representatives elected and those holding office including data from the last three decades. The article also discusses the attitude of local party sections towards measures to foster a gender balance. The data show that local party sections more easily agree on parity at the level of candidates than that they support a real sharing of power at the level of the executive power. Local party sections do not support more than a guaranteed minimum presence of wo/men in the councils of eldermen. Furthermore, both at the level of candidates and at that of the executive the data reveal a final glass ceiling. Women have difficulties reaching the top positions on electoral lists as well as the top positions in the local executive power.


Petra Meier
Petra Meier is docente politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoek draait rond de relatie tussen democratie, vertegenwoordiging en gelijkheid, met een speciale klemtoon op de relatie tussen gender en politiek. Recent publiceerde zij ‘De macht van het geslacht. Gender, politiek en beleid’ (samen met Karen Celis, Acco, 2006).

    Official results of local elections are especially interesting when collected at the lowest level possible, to enable analyses of voting behaviour on the smallest social unit. In Antwerp, together with the city-level results, the voting results for the city districts are public too. Yet, still no possibility exists to review the official results at the neighbourhood level. This lack of data makes it difficult to relate specific neighbourhood characteristics to voting behaviour in those neighbourhoods and to compare them. Thus, to collect the data on neighbourhood voting behaviour, we organised an exit-poll in 18 neighbourhoods of seven districts in Antwerp, during the recent county, local and district elections. This article briefly sketches the exit-poll and its organisation and presents the main results. These results will be compared with the formal results on district level, and the neighbourhoods will be compared to one another. The results are – as expected – slightly biased, although in some districts more than in others. Voting behaviour in neighbourhoods turns out to vary strongly. We try to explain the voting behaviour with the help of several neighbourhood characteristics, like the proportion of immigrants and unemployed. The analysis confirms some important correlations, but refutes others.


Lien Warmenbol
Lien Warmenbol werkt na een onderzoeksproject over probleemjongeren in problematische buurten momenteel aan haar doctoraat in de politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Dit onderzoek richt zich op de buurtgerelateerde processen die spelen bij het stemgedrag in Antwerpen.

Marjolein Meijer
Marjolein Meijer werkt aan haar doctoraat in de politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Haar onderzoek richt zich op de Europese Unie, democratie en uitbreidingen. In het afgelopen jaar verzorgde zij met Lien Warmenbol een leeronderzoek over de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen in Antwerpen.

    Together with the city council elections, the citizens of Antwerp elected on 8 October 2006 for the second time their district councils. This new decentralised political level is primarily initiated to restore the confidence of the citizens in the city (and district) government(s). By analysing the results of the city and the district elections we try to find indications whether citizens feel closer to their new district governments or not. Firstly district elections resulted definitely not in less blank votes. Secondly, the number of list votes is higher on the district elections than on the city elections, while we would have expected a higher number of preferential votes. Thirdly, we see that the differences between the electoral results of the city elections and the district elections are becoming more pronounced. Although this last result seems to support the legitimacy of the decentralised district they merely reflect changes in the logic of the city elections. Mainly as a result of media coverage the city elections were direct elections of the mayor. Therefore voters used the district elections to vote for their preferred political party. This was not always possible at city level, because some parties did not have an eligible candidate for mayor. Generally spoken, we can conclude that the district elections do not give much proof of a closer connection between the citizens and the city government.


Peter Thijssen
Peter Thijssen doceert methodologie en politieke sociologie aan de Faculteit Politieke en Sociale Wetenschappen, de Faculteit Rechten en de Managementschool van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek spitst zich toe op politieke attitudes en politieke participatie, in het bijzonder van verschillende leeftijdsgroepen. Recente boeken zijn ‘Van beschrijving naar inzicht’ (Acco, 2006) en ‘Babybom? Draagvlak van de intergenerationele solidariteit’ (Acco, 2006, met De Pauw).
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