Affect Citizens’ Satisfaction with Councillors?

  • Bas Denters University of Twente, Department of Public Administration
Keywords: local democracy, political representation, municipal council, political confidence

Abstract

Scholarly knowledge about considerations underlying citizens’ evaluations of the role of municipal councillors as democratic representatives is scant. In this paper we begin filling this gap. On the basis of a representative survey amongst 500 Dutch citizens we first establish what citizens feel that representatives should do (normative expectations). Subsequently, we analyse how such expectations affect citizens’ satisfaction with the actual performance of councillors as representatives. This paper’s results help in understanding the reasons why people are (dis)satisfied with their local democratic representatives and the backgrounds of confidence in municipal councils.

Author Biography

Bas Denters, University of Twente, Department of Public Administration

Professor

References

Bovens, M., & Wille. A. (2009) Diploma Democracy : On the Tensions between Meritocracy and Democracy Leiden (Utrecht: Univeriteit Leiden / Universiteit Utrecht).
Burke, E. (1999) Speech at Mr. Burke's Arrival in Bristol, In: Kramnick, I. (ed.) The Portable Edmund Burke (Harmondsworth: Penguin Books).
Bützer, M. (2007) Direkte Demokratie in Schweizer Städten. Ursprung, Ausgestaltung Und Gebrauch Im Vergleich (Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag).
Converse, P. E. Attitudes and Non-Attitudes: Continuation of a Dialogue, In: Tufte, E. R. (ed.) The Quantitative Analysis of Social Problems (Reading: Addison-Wesley), pp. 168-189.
Dalton, R. (2004) Democratic Choices, Democratic Challenges: The Erosion of Political Support in Advanced Industrial Democracies (Oxford: OUP).
Dekker, L. & Brahim, F. (2006) Meer Diversiteit in De Gemeenteraden (Amsterdam: Instituut Voor Publiek En Politiek).
Denters, B. (2002) Size and Political Trust: Evidence from Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom, Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 20(6), pp. 793-812.
Denters, B. (2005) Squandering Away Thorbecke’s Legacy? Some Considerations on Recent Dutch Local Government Reforms, In: Reynaert, H., Delwit, P., Steyvers, K. & Pilet, J.-B. (eds.) Revolution or Renovation? Reforming Local Politics in Europe (Brugge: Vanden Broele), pp. 421-444..
Denters, B. (2012) A Dirty Job That Needs to Be Done! De Rol Van Het Raadslid in De Ogen Van Nederlandse Burgers, Bestuurswetenschappen, 66(3), pp. 14-34.
Denters, B. (2006) Duo or Duel? The Relations between Mayors and Councils in Democratic Local Government , In: Bäck, H., Heinelt, H. & Magnier, A. (eds.) The European Mayor: Political Leaders in the Changing Context of Local Democracy (Wiesbaden: Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften), pp. 271-285.
Denters, B., Gabriel, O. & Torcal, M. (2007) Political Confidence in Representative Democracies. Socio-Cultural Vs. Political Explanations, In: van Deth, J. V., Montero, R. J. & Westholm, A. (2007) Citizenship and Involvement in European Democracies. A Comparative Analysis (London and New York: Routledge), pp. 66-87.
Denters, B., Goldsmith, M., Ladner, A., Mouritzen, P. E. & Rose, L.E. (2014) Size and Local Democracy (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar).
Denters, B., Groot, M. de, & Klok, P.-J. (2008) 'Een wezenlijke vertegenwoordiging der burgerij’. Over de rollen van de gemeenteraad na de dualisering van het gemeentebestuur, In: BZK (ed.) Congresuitgave Staat van de Dualisering (Den Haag: Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties).
Denters, B., Groot, M. de, & Klok, P.-J. (2011) "Staan voor” en “gaan voor”: vertegenwoordiging in de lokale democratie, In: Andeweg, R. & Thomassen, J. (eds.) Democratie doorgelicht. Het functioneren van de Nederlandse democratie (Leiden: Leiden University Press), pp. 369 - 383.
Denters, B. & Klok, P.-J. (2013) Citizen Democracy and the Responsiveness of Councillors: The Effects of Democratic Institutionalisation on the Role Orientations and Role Behaviour of Councillors, Local Government Studies, 39(5), pp. 661-680.
Denters, B., Kolk, H. v. d. & Klok, P.-J. (2005) The reform of the political executive in Dutch local government, In: Berg, R. & Rao, N. (eds.) Transforming political leadership in local government (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan).
Denters, S.A.H. (1993) Raadsleden En Partijendemocratie, In: Denters, S.A.H. & van der Kolk, H. (eds.) Leden Van De Raad, Hoe Zien Raadsleden Uit Zeven Grote Gemeenten Het Raadslidmaatschap? (Delft: Eburon), pp. 69-95.
Denters, S. A. H. & Jong, H. M. de. (1996) De staatsvorm van het koninkrijk, In: Derksen, W. & Salet, W. G. M. (ed.) Bouwen aan het binnenlands bestuur (Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers), pp. 15-48.
Denters, S.A.H. (1995) Burgers, Representatie En Verantwoordelijkheid, In: de Jong, P. e.a. (ed.) Verantwoordelijkheid En Verantwoording in Het Openbaar Bestuur (Gravenhage: VUGA), pp. 119-131.
Denters, S.A.H., Klok, P. J. & Visser, M. A. (2001) De Raad Beoordeeld! Oordelen Van Lokale Opinieleiders En Bestuurders over De Raad Als Volksvertegenwoordiging, Bestuurswetenschappen, 55(6), pp. 441-453.
Egner, B., Sweeting, D. & Klok, P.-J. (eds.) Local Councillors in Europe (Wiesbaden: Springer VS).
Groot, M. de. (2009) Democratic Effects of Institutional Reform in Local Government. The Case of the Dutch Local Government Act 2002, PhD (Enschede: University of Twente).
Groot, M. de, Denters, B. & Klok, P. J. (2010) Strengthening the Councillor as a Representative and Scrutiniser: The Effects of Institutional Change on Councillors' Role Orientations in the Netherlands, Local Government Studies, 36(3), pp. 401-423.
Heinelt, H. (2013a) The Role Perception and Behaviour of Municipal Councillors in the Changing Context of Local Democracy, Local Government Studies, 39(5), pp. 633-639.
Heinelt, H. (2013b) Councillors’ Notions of Democracy, and Their Role Perception and Behaviour in the Changing Context of Local Democracy, Local Government Studies, 39(5), pp. 640-660.
Judge, D. (1999) Representation: Theory and Practice in Britain (London: Routledge).
Klok, P.-J. & Denters, B. (2013) The Roles Councillors Play, In: Egner, B., Sweeting, D. & Klok, P.-J. (2013) Local Councillors in Europe (Wiesbaden: Springer VS), pp. 63-83.
Kolk, H. van der. (1997) Electorale Controle: Lokale Verkieizningen En Responsiviteit Van Politici (Enschede: Twente University Press).
Ladner, A. (2005) Switzerland: Reforming Small Autonomous Municipalities, In: Denters, B. & Lawrence, E. R. (2005) Comparing Local Governance: Trends and Developments (Houndmills: Palgrave), pp. 139-154.
Leijenaar, M. H. & Niemöller, B. Politieke Betrokkenheid Van Vrouwen En Mannen Op Lokaal Niveau, In: Denters, S.A.H. & Geurts, P.A.Th.M. (eds.) Lokale Democratie in Nederland: Burgers En Hun Gemeentebestuur (Bussum: Coutinho), pp. 193-218.
Merens, A. & Hermans, B. (2008) Emancipatiemonitor 2008 (Den Haag: SCP / CBS).
Mishler, W. & Rose, R. (2001) What Are the Origins of Political Trust? Testing Institutional and Cultural Theories in Post-Communist Societies, Comparative Political Studies, 34(1), pp. 30-62.
Norris, P. (ed.) (1999) Critical Citizens: Global Support for Democratic Governance (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
Pitkin, H. F. (1967) The Concept of Representation (Berkeley: University of California Press).
Thomassen, J. J. A. Politieke Representatie, In: Thomassen, J. J. A. (1991) Hedendaagse Democratie (Alphen aan den Rijn: Samsom), pp. 165-186.
Weßels, B. (2007) Political Representation and Democracy, In: Dalton, R. J. & Klingemann, H. D. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Political Behavior (New York: Oxford University Press), pp. 833-849.
Published
2017-10-25
Section
Articles