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Foundation or fragment of local democracy? Empirically assessing the roles of local councillors in Belgian governance

Tom Verhelst UGent, Herwig Reynaert UGent and Kristof Steyvers UGent (2011) LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT. 9(2). p.103-122
abstract
It is often argued that local governance conflicts with the prescribed functioning of local councillors. We could wonder if councillors have become fragments of local democracy, rather than the foundation they are supposed to be. This article empirically assesses the classic role-set (representation, policy, control) of local councillors in Belgian governance. Besides pointing to a gap between theory and practice, it underlines a substantial discrepancy between councillors’ role attitude and subsequent behaviour. This democratic deficit seems mainly due to the informal decision-making culture in Belgian (local) politics, i.e. the dominance of the executive and stringent party discipline.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
NETWORKS, ACCOUNTABILITY, GOVERNMENT, LESSONS, EUROPE, POLICY, local councillors, role-set, governance, democratic deficit, Belgium, POLITICIANS, METAGOVERNANCE, DECISION-MAKING
journal title
LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT
Lex localis.
volume
9
issue
2
pages
103 - 122
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000290082000001
JCR category
POLITICAL SCIENCE
JCR impact factor
0.317 (2011)
JCR rank
111/147 (2011)
JCR quartile
4 (2011)
ISSN
1581-5374
DOI
10.1695/2011002
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
1213308
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1213308
date created
2011-04-27 16:41:40
date last changed
2016-12-19 15:42:50
@article{1213308,
  abstract     = {It is often argued that local governance conflicts with the prescribed functioning of local councillors. We could wonder if councillors have become fragments of local democracy, rather than the foundation they are supposed to be. This article empirically assesses the classic role-set (representation, policy, control) of local councillors in Belgian governance. Besides pointing to a gap between theory and practice, it underlines a substantial discrepancy between councillors{\textquoteright} role attitude and subsequent behaviour. This democratic deficit seems mainly due to the informal decision-making culture in Belgian (local) politics, i.e. the dominance of the executive and stringent party discipline.},
  author       = {Verhelst, Tom and Reynaert, Herwig and Steyvers, Kristof},
  issn         = {1581-5374},
  journal      = {LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT},
  keyword      = {NETWORKS,ACCOUNTABILITY,GOVERNMENT,LESSONS,EUROPE,POLICY,local councillors,role-set,governance,democratic deficit,Belgium,POLITICIANS,METAGOVERNANCE,DECISION-MAKING},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {103--122},
  title        = {Foundation or fragment of local democracy? Empirically assessing the roles of local councillors in Belgian governance},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1695/2011002},
  volume       = {9},
  year         = {2011},
}

Chicago
Verhelst, Tom, Herwig Reynaert, and Kristof Steyvers. 2011. “Foundation or Fragment of Local Democracy? Empirically Assessing the Roles of Local Councillors in Belgian Governance.” Lex Localis-journal of Local Self-government 9 (2): 103–122.
APA
Verhelst, T., Reynaert, H., & Steyvers, K. (2011). Foundation or fragment of local democracy? Empirically assessing the roles of local councillors in Belgian governance. LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, 9(2), 103–122.
Vancouver
1.
Verhelst T, Reynaert H, Steyvers K. Foundation or fragment of local democracy? Empirically assessing the roles of local councillors in Belgian governance. LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT. 2011;9(2):103–22.
MLA
Verhelst, Tom, Herwig Reynaert, and Kristof Steyvers. “Foundation or Fragment of Local Democracy? Empirically Assessing the Roles of Local Councillors in Belgian Governance.” LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT 9.2 (2011): 103–122. Print.