Caroline Close

Caroline Close
Université Libre de Bruxelles | ULB · Center for the Study of Politics (CEVIPOL)

PhD in Political Science

About

60
Publications
13,688
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
210
Citations
Introduction
Caroline Close is an Assistant Professor at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) on Charleroi Campus, and researcher at Cevipol. Her research interests include political parties, political participation, election and representation. She has been involved in recent projects, such as the 'Local Party Offer' and the 'RepResent' projects, both aimed at studying election and representation dynamics in Belgium.
Additional affiliations
February 2017 - April 2017
Carleton University
Position
  • Visiting Scholar
September 2016 - December 2016
The University of Sydney
Position
  • Visiting Scholar
October 2015 - October 2018
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (60)
Article
Full-text available
Reforms of intra-party decision-making processes often rest on the idea that citizens want more direct say in these processes, but empirical data to support this claim are scarce. Using original data from the 2014 PartiRep voter survey in Belgium, this article explores the extent to which citizens support alternative intra-party processes. It shows...
Book
Full-text available
This book investigates how liberal parties have evolved over time as a party family, in a comparative perspective. Through a discussion of the applicability of the concept of party family to liberal parties, it gives a better picture of the development, challenges, and opportunities for liberal parties in Europe. The history of liberal parties in...
Article
This article digs into the relationship between voters' political resentment and their electoral choice in 2019 by focusing on the respondents' emotions towards politics. Using the RepResent 2019 voter survey, eight emotions are analysed in their relation to voting behaviour: four negative (anger, bitterness, worry and fear) and four positive (hope...
Article
Full-text available
Scandals that hit political institutions and their actors are likely to contribute to lowering political trust. However, few studies examine the accuracy of such relationship at the local level. This article aims to contribute to the field by assessing the impact of local scandals on trust in local government and the mayor in the context of a feder...
Article
Full-text available
Intra-party cohesion (IPC) is a concept extensively used to assess institutional change and behaviour in legislative and party politics. In spite of its popularity, there is confusion about its meaning mostly derived from its multidimensional nature. This article aims to clarify the understanding of this term across three different fields of resear...
Chapter
Alors que l’extrême droite flamande s’affiche comme une force politique de premier plan et que le Front national français – aujourd’hui Rassemblement national – a réussi à s’imposer comme une force politique relevante ces dernières décennies, l’extrême droite francophone n’est jamais parvenue s’implanter durablement. Les recherches pointent un cert...
Article
Cet article examine les facteurs du soutien à deux types de dispositifs alternatifs à la démocratie représentative : les référendums et les assemblées délibératives, via une enquête menée auprès d’un peu plus de 900 parlementaires nationaux dans 14 pays européens (2009-2012). Les données révèlent au niveau agrégé un soutien moins marqué aux référen...
Chapter
Full-text available
Le scrutin de 2019 a laissé voir d'importants transferts dans les votes exprimés pour les différents partis par rapport à 2014. Un des résultats les plus marquants a été le succès des partis radicaux ou situés aux extrêmes des deux côtés du spectre idéologique. Une faible confiance et une insatisfaction crois-sante des électeurs ont rapidement été...
Conference Paper
Within democratic systems, politicians running for and elected in office may hold different perceptions of their representative roles. Some tend to conceive their role primarily as the delegate of their party, others feel above all tied to their voters, and others ought to exercise their mandate independently from any source of authority-the truste...
Book
Les scrutins communaux du 14 octobre 2018 en Belgique francophone furent organisés dans un contexte de méfiance particulièrement important vis-à-vis des partis politiques traditionnels. Les affaires dites « Publifin » en Wallonie et du « Samusocial » à la ville de Bruxelles – concernant la légalité et la légitimité politique de rémunérations perçue...
Article
This article studies the nationalisation of local party systems in Belgian regions across eight electoral cycles (1976–2018). Our research design assesses the relevance of Rokkan’s structural approach of nationalisation while testing the effect of conjunctural electoral factors. Our empirical results highlight the positive effect of a municipality’...
Article
Full-text available
This note introduces the POLITICIZE dataset which contains information on the characteristics of 105 Deliberative Mini-Publics (DMPs) that took place in Europe between 2000 and 2020. Based on coding of experts regarding cases of real-life deliberative experiments in 18 different European countries, the dataset describes the core features of DMPs in...
Chapter
L’un des paradoxes des scrutins locaux en Europe est qu’il s’agit plus souvent d’une affaire de politique nationale que de politique locale. Depuis la seconde guerre mondiale, les sections locales des partis nationaux ont en effet dominé l’offre politique locale et obtenu le plus grand nombre voix – bien que les listes non-partisanes tendent à croî...
Chapter
Dans une démocratie représentative, on considère classiquement que tout parti politique a pour ambition de conquérir le pouvoir en se présentant à des élections (Sartori, 1976). Chaque parti se caractérisant par la défense d’objectifs prioritaires particuliers, d’un programme et de valeurs spécifiques, il est aussi généralement attendu qu’il se pré...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Cette note apporte quelques éclairages sur les choix des électeurs, principalement à l’élection fédérale, à partir de l’enquête « Sortie des urnes ».
Article
Full-text available
Existing research on intra-party unity and conflict has mostly focused on (dis)unity within the legislative branch of the party at the national level, while neglecting conflict between the different faces or at different levels of the party. Intra-party unity and conflict have also been routinely defined and operationalized through ideological homo...
Chapter
Full-text available
The objective of this comparative chapter is to assess the existence of a Liberal party family on the basis of the parties’ ideological or policy orientation, which constitutes one of Mair and Mudde’s (1998) main approaches to delineate party families. The chapter departs from the criteria of transnational affiliation (belonging to the ALDE or form...
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter summarises the main findings of the book in terms of (1) origins, development, and sociological component, (2) ideological and programmatic positions, (3) participation to power, and (4) organisational structure of Liberal parties. These findings are used to discuss the concept of party family applied to Liberal parties.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter presents the main questions of the book: (1) do Liberal parties constitute a family? and (2) how can we characterize Liberal parties today?. It also discusses the main concept of party family as a framework to analyse Liberal parties. Lastly, it presents the book outline and structure.
Conference Paper
This paper questions the effect of satisfaction on participation by bringing a network-based perspective. We argue that it is not only individuals’ degree of satisfaction per se that matters, but rather individuals’ degree of satisfaction relative to that of their social network, which can take the form of a positive differential (individuals repor...
Article
The literature on morality politics is well-documented, but has mostly taken place at the national level. Yet, morality politics increasingly appears on the European Parliament’s agenda. Abortion has been tackled through parliamentary reports on sexual and reproductive health and rights; while human embryonic stem cell research has been dealt with...
Article
Opening-up processes of candidate selection is often viewed as a means for political parties to regain legitimacy, and perhaps more crucially, members and voters. Despite a widespread belief that citizens want more democracy, including within parties, little research has questioned what sort of opening-up is desired—e.g., open or closed primaries—i...
Article
Full-text available
Party cohesion is a crucial aspect of parliamentary systems, and it varies across time, parties and systems. To explain these variations, scholars have set forth the influence of macro-level and individual-level factors. Although part-level factors have also been considered, the role of party family has been overlooked. This research seeks to fill...
Article
Full-text available
The study of parliamentary party unity has followed several lines of enquiry: describing the variation across political actors, contexts and time; comparing the multidimensional and dynamic aspects of parliamentary party unity; explaining it from a rational-institutional perspective with emphasis on macro-level arrangements and individual rational...
Article
Full-text available
Existing research often suggests that a greater degree of internal democracy within parties could weaken party unity. This article tests this assumption and analyses the relationship between degrees of intra-party democracy (IPD) and legislators’ attitudes towards party unity. The article uses data collected in the framework of the PartiRep Compara...
Article
Full-text available
Nés dans les années 1980, les partis verts européens se profilent comme des acteurs électoraux aux destins très divers. Dans les démocraties consociatives, ils se sont imposés comme des partis politiques pertinents. Pour autant, ils sont confrontés au plafond de verre électoral des 10%. S’ils s’affirment également dans certains pays d’Europe du Nor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While legislative parties usually work as united bloc in parliamentary democracies, individual legislators have different perceptions of their representative role. Some legislators tend to exercise their mandate primarily as the delegates of their party, while others feel above all tied to their voters; and others rather exercise their mandate as t...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
While legislative parties usually work as united bloc in parliamentary democracies, individual legislators have different perceptions of their role of representatives. Some legislators tend to exercise their mandate primarily as the delegates of their party, while others feel above all tied to their voters; and others rather exercise their mandate...
Article
Full-text available
There is a widespread belief that in order to cure the so-called crisis of democracy, citizens’ involvement in decision-making processes needs to be fostered. However, despite the fact that there is a move towards more inclusive institutions in Europe, changes implementing democratic innovations at the national level remain rare. Why are democratic...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Given the centrality of intra-party cohesion (IPC) in parliamentary democracies, and given its multiple effects on many aspects of the polity –government stability and survival, electoral performances of the party, party change–, it is regularly included in many research designs. However, confusion abounds about the proper definition and measuremen...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Party cohesion is a crucial aspect of parliamentary systems, and it varies across time, parties and countries. Among the factors affecting this degree of cohesion, scholars have set forth the influence of macro-level institutional factors and individual-level factors. Party-level factors have also been considered, and have pertained to the characte...
Article
Full-text available
This research note focuses on two specific dimensions of legislative cohesion: the homogeneity of preferences within a party and party agreement. Although these two dimensions have often been considered as synonyms, it is argued that these two concepts refer to different realities. The authors therefore develop distinct measurements for these two c...
Chapter
Full-text available
La sociologie électorale vise à analyser les comportements de vote. Elle tend principalement à comprendre comment les électeurs effectuent leur choix : en fonction de leurs caractéristiques sociales , de leur appartenance à certains groupes ou segments de la société , de leur sentiment de proximité à un parti , de leurs opinions sur des enjeux liés...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Responsible Party Model (RPM) rests on the assumption that party representatives act uniformly, and always follow their party policies (White, 1992; Thomassen, 1994). However, the preferences of elected representatives may at times diverge from those of their party or voters, to which they are both accountable. In case of such disagreement, MPs...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Distinct fields of research have talked the issue of intra-party cohesion: the literature on party factionalism, based on structural approaches of party organizations; legislative studies, stimulated by new institutional approaches; and studies applying Hirschman's (1970) trilogy of 'exit, voice and loyalty' at the intra-party level. Using a networ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Legislative cohesion is a central aspect of parliamentary systems, and it varies across time, parties and countries. Individual and institutional explanations for these variations have been studied extensively. If the effect of the parliamentary party characteristics and functioning has also been examined, the role of extra-parliamentary organizati...
Research
Full-text available
Intra-party cohesion is a crucial feature of parliamentary democracies. Indeed, government’s stability and survival as well as legislative activity greatly depend on the capacity of political parties to work as unified entities. However, parties are not monolithic organizations: they aggregate more or less divergent views; include amateurs and prof...
Chapter
Full-text available
30 years after the emergence of Green parties in several European states, this chapter aims to assess whether this party family has succeeded or failed in establishing itself as a relevant political actor in European democracies. In this chapter, we first examine the electoral performances of green parties in Europe; then, we turn to a sociological...
Article
Full-text available
Party cohesion is a central issue in legislative studies. The way cohesion is reached in parliamentary parties has therefore attracted a lot of attention. A frequent assumption states that party cohesion stems from party agreement measured as the homogeneity of preferences among MPs. This paper argues that the two concepts –agreement and homogeneit...
Chapter
Full-text available
The literature on political parties has been prolific in the last decades. At the same time, it is dominated by a party decline thesis which could lead to a “party research decline” due to the progressive irrelevance of the topic. As political parties seem to lose their relevance in contemporary democracies, party research would be doomed to an ine...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Representative democracy seems to be in crisis in Western political systems. Of-cited symptoms of this crisis include citizens' distrust towards political institutions and decreasing participation in conventional politics. In order to cure that democratic malaise and increase citizens' involvement in decision-making processes, democratic innovation...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In most Western democracies, the system of representation is undergoing growing discontent and disaffection. As major links between the polity and the society, political parties directly suffer from these phenomena, not least through electoral volatility and declining membership. Remedies have been put forward to cure the democratic malaise, among...
Chapter
Full-text available
In most Western democracies, the system of representation is undergoing growing discontent and disaffection. As major links between the polity and the society, political parties directly suffer from these phenomena, not least through electoral volatility and declining membership. Remedies have been put forward to cure the democratic malaise, among...
Conference Paper
Political parties have for a long time been considered as essential for the functioning of democratic government. But nowadays, representative democracy seems to be in crisis in Western political systems. Voter turnout is decreasing, levels of political trust are fading, and citizens' dissatisfaction with the current system is growing. In order to...
Thesis
Full-text available
Whereas in the context of the literature devoted to phenomena of organization and competition for power much attention has been dedicated to political parties as unitary actors, the PhD research aims at directing more attention towards intra-party dynamics. Pulling out the ‘party as a unitary actor’ assumption, the PhD dissertation examines politic...
Article
Full-text available
La reproduction ou représentation de cet article, notamment par photocopie, n'est autorisée que dans les limites des conditions générales d'utilisation du site ou, le cas échéant, des conditions générales de la licence souscrite par votre établissement. Toute autre reproduction ou représentation, en tout ou partie, sous quelque forme et de quelque...
Article
This study examines the pillarised and partitocratic nature of Belgian political parties via an empirical overview of their party on the ground. Two main research questions guide the study: To what extent can party membership figures in Belgium be considered as ideal-typical of pillarised or partitocratic parties? And how does the social and politi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Most legislative studies based on roll-call voting analysis describe European parliamentary parties as highly unified actors. However, this unity in voting behavior does not mean that parliamentary parties are homogeneous entities: 'pre-floor' disagreements can be frequent, and MPs might display varying degrees of party loyalty. This paper views pa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Within the literature devoted to the study of political parties, scholars have recently directed more attention towards intraparty dynamics. The ‘party as a unitary actor’ assumption seems to have withered away in the last decades. The party is increasingly viewed as a heterogeneous entity, in which dissenting attitudes are frequent. Yet the causes...
Article
Ce travail1 s'inscrit à la suite des réflexions scientifiques sur les conséquences des formes contemporaines de mobilité, et dans le prolongement des études européennes s'intéressant aux fondements de la citoyenneté européenne. Adoptant une perspective constructiviste, cette étude, via la réalisation d'entretiens auprès d'anciens étudiants Erasmus,...
Conference Paper
In the context of the literature devoted to phenomena of organization and competition for power, much attention has been dedicated to political parties, since they were generally recognized as discernible organizations performing legitimate function for the polity. However, parties “are not monolithic structures but collective entities in which com...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Si la science politique s’est abondamment intéressée aux phénomènes de compétition entre partis politiques, très peu d’analyses se sont focalisées sur ce qu’il se passe à l’interne des organisations partisanes. Or, comme toute organisation, les partis ne sont pas des structures monolithiques et unitaires. Ce sont des systèmes politiques miniatures...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Studying Belgian Political Parties and Elections in a historical perspective
Project
The project intends to analyze the effect of intra-party organizational structures and procedures on intra-party divisions in the different faces of the party organization (on the ground, in central and public office). The research relies on a comparative, large N statistical analysis of data collected through various comparative projects on party members (MAPP), legislators (PartiRep) and party organization (PPDB).