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The centre versus periphery cleavage in the Netherlands : How is the centre versus periphery cleavage in the Netherlands influencing the support for independent local political parties and what is the impact of municipal characteristics on local voting behaviour

Elderink, T. (2020) The centre versus periphery cleavage in the Netherlands : How is the centre versus periphery cleavage in the Netherlands influencing the support for independent local political parties and what is the impact of municipal characteristics on local voting behaviour.

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Abstract:Throughout the time the support for independent local political parties in the Netherlands has grown enormously. Scholars have argued that the strong rootedness, the political program of local parties, a missing representation of populistic parties and the focus on solving practical issues on a local level instead of tending to positioning themselves as a leftish or rightist party are important factors of this growing support. Parallel to the growing support of the independent local political parties, the discussion between the centre and periphery in the Netherlands has increased. Eventually leading to feelings of subordination of the periphery among citizens living in the periphery. Knowingly, the centre versus periphery cleavage has a more dominant role in the voting behaviour of citizens nowadays. However, the influence of this cleavage on citizens’ voting behaviour has not been studied so far. Therefore, this paper researched the impact of feelings of subordination of the periphery on the voting behaviour of Dutch citizens. As well as, the impact of municipal characteristics on the feelings of subordination of the periphery and the voting behaviour. Consequently, this paper argues that citizens with a stronger feeling of subordination of the periphery are more likely to support independent local political parties. Additionally, municipal characteristics, such as a lower degree of urbanisation, a longer distance to The Hague and a strong negative demographic change are strengthening the feelings of subordination of the periphery. As a final point, this paper argues that the debate about the centre versus periphery cleavage in the Netherlands is far from finished. In fact, this paper recommends that future research could focus on the correlation between the centre versus periphery cleavage and an expected identity cleavage. Possibly leading to more polarisation in Dutch society which could lead to different voting behaviour as well.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:88 social and public administration
Programme:Public Administration MSc (60020)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/82321
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