ECPR Joint Sessions
University of Nottingham, Nottingham
25 - 30 April 2017




Party Cohesion at Three Levels of Government in the Netherlands

Comparative Perspective
 
Comparative Politics
 
Parliaments
 
Political Parties
 
Quantitative
 
Survey Research
 
Presenter
Cynthia Van Vonno
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden
Authors
Cynthia Van Vonno
Departments of Political Science and Public Administration, Universiteit Leiden

Abstract
This empirical Paper seeks to explain variations in party cohesion (as one of the pathways to parliamentary party group unity) at three levels of government (national, provincial and municipal) in the Netherlands, based on attitudinal survey data collected in the context of the international-comparative PartiRep project. The fact that many of the formal (electoral and legislative) institutions that are deemed to influence party group unity are very similar at all three levels of government makes the Netherlands an ideal case for cross-level comparison, allowing one to focus on the impact of government level, party group characteristics, and individual legislator (party career) backgrounds and attitudes, all of which are deemed relevant by existing comparative literature. In particular, the proposed study offers a unique test of Carey’s Theory of Competing Principals (2009), and also deals with party group solidarity and representatives’ internalization of norms of party unity. This is made possible by the fact that the Dutch version of the PartiRep survey included additional questions that allow us to gauge these party group and individual level factors. In doing so, the paper also indirectly contributes to the discussion of the means of measuring cohesion and its determinants.
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