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Position or preference? Explaining parliamentary party group leaders’ role orientations in Belgium

Benjamin de Vet (UGent)
(2021) PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS. 74(1). p.1-26
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Abstract
Parliamentary party group leaders (PPG leaders) are understudied but important actors in contemporary parliaments. This article examines the role orientations of PPG leaders in Belgium, using data from 66 semi-structured elite interviews. Contradictory to theoretical views on frontbench roles as institutionally determined ‘position roles’ and despite Belgian PPG leaders’ comparatively limited intra-party authority, the findings indicate role variation on two dimensions, resulting in five distinct PPG leader role types. These are explained using multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (mvQCA). We find that, while some roles are indeed heavily shaped by contextual factors such as parties’ government status, size or electoral performance, others are more clearly driven by individual-level factors such as prior experience or progressive ambitions. As such, this article provides substantial insights into an underexposed aspect of legislative organisation, introduces QCA as a novel method to explain parliamentary roles and makes a theoretical case that also among frontbenchers preference-driven roles are possible.
Keywords
Belgium, elite interviews, leaders, parliamentary party groups, parliamentary roles, QCA

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MLA
de Vet, Benjamin. “Position or Preference? Explaining Parliamentary Party Group Leaders’ Role Orientations in Belgium.” PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, vol. 74, no. 1, 2021, pp. 1–26, doi:10.1093/pa/gsz023.
APA
de Vet, B. (2021). Position or preference? Explaining parliamentary party group leaders’ role orientations in Belgium. PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, 74(1), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsz023
Chicago author-date
Vet, Benjamin de. 2021. “Position or Preference? Explaining Parliamentary Party Group Leaders’ Role Orientations in Belgium.” PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS 74 (1): 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsz023.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
de Vet, Benjamin. 2021. “Position or Preference? Explaining Parliamentary Party Group Leaders’ Role Orientations in Belgium.” PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS 74 (1): 1–26. doi:10.1093/pa/gsz023.
Vancouver
1.
de Vet B. Position or preference? Explaining parliamentary party group leaders’ role orientations in Belgium. PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS. 2021;74(1):1–26.
IEEE
[1]
B. de Vet, “Position or preference? Explaining parliamentary party group leaders’ role orientations in Belgium,” PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 1–26, 2021.
@article{8623793,
  abstract     = {{Parliamentary party group leaders (PPG leaders) are understudied but important actors in contemporary parliaments. This article examines the role orientations of PPG leaders in Belgium, using data from 66 semi-structured elite interviews. Contradictory to theoretical views on frontbench roles as institutionally determined ‘position roles’ and despite Belgian PPG leaders’ comparatively limited intra-party authority, the findings indicate role variation on two dimensions, resulting in five distinct PPG leader role types. These are explained using multi-value Qualitative Comparative Analysis (mvQCA). We find that, while some roles are indeed heavily shaped by contextual factors such as parties’ government status, size or electoral performance, others are more clearly driven by individual-level factors such as prior experience or progressive ambitions. As such, this article provides substantial insights into an underexposed aspect of legislative organisation, introduces QCA as a novel method to explain parliamentary roles and makes a theoretical case that also among frontbenchers preference-driven roles are possible.}},
  author       = {{de Vet, Benjamin}},
  issn         = {{0031-2290}},
  journal      = {{PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS}},
  keywords     = {{Belgium,elite interviews,leaders,parliamentary party groups,parliamentary roles,QCA}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{1--26}},
  title        = {{Position or preference? Explaining parliamentary party group leaders’ role orientations in Belgium}},
  url          = {{http://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsz023}},
  volume       = {{74}},
  year         = {{2021}},
}

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