Born again, or born anew: Assessing the newness of the Belgian New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA)

Stefanie Beyens, Kris Deschouwer, Emilie van Haute, Tom Verthé

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

New-Flemish Alliance (N-VA) burst on the scene barely a decade ago and is now Belgium’s largest political party. One explanation for this success is that N-VA is not brand new but rose from the ashes of a dissolved party. How exactly should we differentiate between new and old parties? We use Barnea and Rahat’s (2011) analytical framework to assess dimensions of N-VA’s newness and capture the party at two stages – start-up and more developed. This shows that N-VA is a successor party, building on its predecessor’s ideology and programme, its electorate, activists and organization. However, we also find indicators that the party actively renewed in terms of ideology and party organization. The empirical evidence illustrates that newness of political parties should be conceived of as multi- dimensional, which allows for a more subtle approach to questions about the origin and varying success of new political parties.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-399
Number of pages11
JournalParty Politics
Volume23
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2017

Keywords

  • New political parties
  • party change
  • party organization
  • successor parties

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