Res Publica

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Issue 1, 1989 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Het Belgisch beleid inzake de erkenning van China

Authors Jörgen Oosterwaal

    On the basis of a chronological approach of the decision-making process with regard to the recognition of the PRC we concluded in an analytical part that the decision-making process was merely of the "hypo-institutional" type. Afterwards, we examined the effectivity of the Belgian policy in comparison with the international scientific literature on recognition and with the practice of other small European states. We concluded the non-recognition policy had been ineffective. The relation between "hypo-institutional" decision-making on the one hand and ineffective public policy on the other hand is just one element within a broader research-project: "The effectivity of public policy according to type of decisionmaking".

Jörgen Oosterwaal

Access_open Centralisation et décentralisation en Europe de l'Ouest

esquisse d'une problématique

Authors Daniel-Louis Seiler

    The aim of this tentative article is to bring some further empirical evidence in order to validate Stein Rokkan's "Conceptual Map of Europe". Therefore a set of variables are suggested: territorial-cultural (monocephalic unitarism with two possible ways the hegemonie and the authoritarian and polycephalic) and territorial-economic (metropolitan, triangles and conurbations, and polycephalism). Some indicators are proposed to provide some measurement of the variables, such as Beaufays Federalism scale or a new Mediatie centralization scale.

Daniel-Louis Seiler

Access_open Gesprekken tussen federalisten in de jaren zestig

De Vlaamse Volksbeweging op zoek naar bondgenoten in Wallonië

Authors Luc Vandeweyer

    Belgium is a rare example of a centralist state who federalized itself in a peacefull way by several steps since 1970. This process - still going on - is fundamentally provoked by the development of two subnations within the Belgian body: the flemish and the walloon. Within both of these nationalist movements there was a small elite who saw each other as allies in the struggle for federalization. They took contact during the sixties, a decade of heavy nationalistic agitation. Studying these contacts makes clear that the alliance had no fundaments in the broader base of the movements. But still they are necessary to understand the previous history of the federalization process.

Luc Vandeweyer

Access_open Een vaderland om te beminnen?

Het nationale bewustzijn van Vlaamse laatstejaarsscholieren

Authors Bart Maddens

    The political socialization of a sense of national belonging is problematic in a socio-political environment where children are confronted with multiple national identities. A survey was administered to a diversified sample of 1000 Flemish secondary school pupils, aged 17-18. The data show that most Flemish preadults,when asked, hesitate between the Flemish and the Belgian identity, which they moreover hardly consider as contradictory. This lack of a single evident fatherland somehow results in an absence of genuine patriotism. Significant in this respect is the fact that identification with the local community takes preference over allegiance to the nation. In addition, Flemish youth adopt a low-profile attitude towards both Flanders and Belgium. The political socialization process apparently does not effect an emotional attachment to either the Flemish or the Belgian political system. Obviously, respondents who vote fora Flemish-nationalistic party,or whose parents do so, tend to prefer the Flemish identity.

Bart Maddens

Access_open Werkloze jongeren: links, rechts of apathisch?

Een onderzoek naar de invloed van werkloosheid op de politieke en maatschappelijke opvattingen van jongeren

Authors Hans De Witte

    Our review of the literature shows that only a minority of youngsters shifts to a more extreme (leftist or rightist) political position because of their experience with unemployment. Unemployment deepens the political apathy of the majority of the youngsters. Unemployment isolates youngsters, so they cannot develop any involvement in polities. The"learned-helplessness" experience of unemployment also contributes to their political apathy. In 1985, 536 employed and 220 unemployed were surveyed on their political, socio-economical and religious attitudes, and their voting behaviour. Because the majority of the respondents were militants of the Christian Labour Movement, we expected the unemployed to shift to the left, rather than to become politically apathetic. The results confirm this hypothesis: the unemployed described themselves as "center left", were more radical on socio-economical issues and favored a more leftist vote that the employed. Surprisingly, the unemployed were also more sceptical about religion and more permissive in sexual ethics.

Hans De Witte

Access_open Politieke betrokkenheid en activiteit in Nederland 1973-1986

Authors Peter Castenmiller and Paul Dekker

    In 1985 Cleymans showed in this journal that politica! participation in Belgium did not differ much from what was found in international research in other European countries. In this article some pieces of "conventional wisdom" in the international literature about structure and selectivity of political participation are questioned with Dutch data. Furthermore, information about participation in the Netherlands is important in itself. As neighbouring countries with close connections and interrelated histories, Belgium and Holland certainly deserve more attention as objects for comparative study. In a range of ten activities from trying to contact politicians to joining a demonstration it seems to make less and less sense to look for a polarity of conventional and unconventional participation in the Netherlands. The overall political participation since 1973 appears to remain at the same level. This finding questions popular beliefs about shifts from a rebellious beginning of the seventies to a quiet period in the second half of that decade to spectacular outbursts of unconventional political behaviour at the beginning of the eighties (new social movements) and resulting in political apathy at the moment. On a macro-level the stability of participation seems to be combined with a constant or slowly rising passive political involvement. Political involvement and participation in the 1980'sare still related with individual and social background characteristics as education, sex, age, involvement in the Labour force and religion. However, relationships are not very strong in the 1980's. Following political participation of some social categories in the 1973-1986 period, it appeared that education and leftright-selfrating are of most and possibly still growing importance. Besides the higher educated and leftisht people, public employees are the "big participators" during all the years. Students evidently lose position. The gap between the sexes seems to disappear. Whereas in Belgium working outside the home does not seem to be a factor that stimulates the participation of wamen, in the Netherlands it seems to be of an utmost importance. It turns out that there are similarities and differences in political involvement and participation between Belgium and the Netherlands. Same differences may result from the fact that Cleymans used data of 1975, whereas we used data until 1986. It is clear, however, that there have been developments in the structure andselectivity of participation in the Netherlands and it would be interesting to have more recent comparative information about Belgium.

Peter Castenmiller

Paul Dekker

Access_open Fiscaliteit en politiek: het lokaal niveau

Een analyse in de 308 Vlaamse gemeenten

Authors Johan Ackaert

    Due to the financial crisis of the Belgian central administration and the financial difficulties of local government, municipal taxes are gradually taking a higher place in the rank of municipal income sources. One could expect a differentiation between the presence of some political parties in the board ofmayor and aldermen (the local majority) on the one hand and the burden of taxation (and its amount of increase) on the other hand. Concerning this amount of increase, the data showed no evidence to prove that differentiation in the Flemish municipalities. Still we noticed a small variation in the burden of taxation according as to theweight of the socialist group within the local majority. Nevertheless factors as population and the level of mean income in the municipalities were more important to explain the burden of taxation. The results of the municipal-council elections of 1988 are not affected by the increase of the local burden of taxation.

Johan Ackaert

Editor Res Publica