Birds of a Feather or by Note? Ideological Nationalization of Local Electoral Manifestos in Belgium

  • Nicolas Van de Voorde Ghent University, Department of Political Science
  • Nicolas Bouteca Ghent University, Department of Political Science
  • Tom Schamp Ghent University, Department of Political Science
  • Kristof Steyvers Ghent University, Department of Political Science
Keywords: nationalization


Until now, scholars trying to unravel the phenomenon of nationalization have seldom considered the local policy layer or the ideological dimension as their main subject. This paper, however, studies the ideological nationalization of Flemish local party branches. It applies the method of content analysis of electoral manifestos to the local elections and examines the programmatic overlaps between the party headquarter and its local branches. An innovative nationalization measure is introduced and subsequently included in an explanatory regression model. The results show that ideological similarities are ubiquitous and especially prevailing among leftist parties, in majority-participating party branches, and in large municipalities.


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