Res Publica

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Issue 3, 1979 Expand all abstracts

Ter herinnering aan Prof. Dr. Alfons W. Vranckx

Authors Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica

Les élections européennes de 1979

Analyse des résultats pour la Belgique

Authors William Fraeys

    This article analyses the results recorded in Belgium in connection with the election of 10 june 1979 for the European Parliament. A first fact that should be brought under the attention is undoubtedly the decrease in the turnout at the poll, in spite of the legal obligation to vote, as well as the considerable augmentation of blank and void votes. One in five of the Belgian electors did not express his opinion. The results in the Walloon part of the country reveal a setback of the Left, votes having swung especially from the Socialists, although also from the Christian Democrat Party to the Enveronmentalists, the «Rassemblement Wallon» (Walloon Federalists) and in a less degree to the Liberals. In the Flemish cantons, the great winner was the Flemish Christian Democrat Party (CVP), partly thanks to Mr. Tindemans' personal success. The Socialists succeeded in interrupting the downward move, started several years before, but the Liberals receded as did the nationalist parties (Volksunie, Vlaamse Volkspartij). The Environmentalists are progressing. In Brussels, the Liberals are strongly moving forward as are the Flemish Christian Democrats, whereas the French-speaking Socialists (PS), Christian Democrats (PSC), Regionalists (FDF) and the Flemish Nationalist parties are losing ground. The election which did not stir much interest was marked by a «personalisation» of the votes, a phenomenon most spectacularly illustrated by Mr. Tindemans who obtained more than one million preference votes, viz. nearly 30 % of the valid votes in the Dutch-language constituency.

William Fraeys

    This article gives a survey of results of research concerning effects of public policy in the Netherlands. This survey is preceded by a summary of some important American projects (Equality of Educational Opportunity, Head Start, the Negative income tax). The Dutch research reported concerns effects of educational and housing policy on income distribution, effects of sururbanization policy, participation policy, and still other policies. In both countries the dominant conclusion is that the goals of public policy are at least partially realized by the means chosen. However, the conclusion that the welf are state is totally failing would go to far. Research concerning effects of public policy is still rare. Moreover, it is clear that some goals are realized at least in part by the chosen means. When public policy appears not to be effective, this can be explained from several factors: the contents of policy and the underlying theory, the policy process, the society, the research, and a view which is toonarrow because it takes only short term effects of one particular policy program into account.

Andries Hoogerwerf

    This theoretical study starts from the observation that nearly any social problem is hierarchically structured. In order to elucidate the importance of this hierarchical aspect for the eventual solution of the problem, the concepts «problem domain» and «context» are introduced. With respect to each problem the nature of the problem defining instance, the problem definition and the problem experience are considered under a double aspect: the three of them can be individual as well as collective. As for the problem itself a distinction is made between a subjective and an objective component. One also examines the elements that make a problem into a real social problem. Eventually one observes that each problem situation leads to the formation of a «field of power» involving various problem defining instances, each with its particular problem definition and problem experience. A valuable solution to any problem can hardly be reached without taking into account each of the forces in this field of power.

Luk Holvoet

    The aim of this article is to provide some historical insights about the origins of the three traditional Belgian politica[ families (the catholic, the liberal and the socialist) from the independance of the country to 1914. It shows the dynamic of a growing institutional stratification, due to the competition between the different families, trying to take the popular masses in charge, or by manipulation or by self representation. By that way, this research does put the historical basis of the problem of the movement for the fusion of the «progressists» and the trade unions fronts.

Pascale Delfosse

De fysiocratie

toonaangevend politiek en sociaal-economisch stelsel in het Frankrijk van de XVIIIde eeuw

Authors Pieter De Meyere

    In France the XVIIIth century was characterized by the Enlightenment as a philosophical phenomenon and Physiocracy as an expression of new economic thinking. But the Physiocrats were not merely a school of economic thought; they were also a school of political action. Kings, princes and high public servants were among their pupils. The great French Revolution itself was influenced by their writings. And the force of their work is still not wholly sprent. In order to appreciate the theory and significance of the Physiocracy it is necessary to take into account the circumstances of its time. Physiocracy is a doctrine which esteems that agriculture is of more importance than industry and commerce. In this article following subjects of the physiocratic doctrine are dealt with: the natural order, property and liberty; the relations between the government and the individual citizen; the theory of the produit net and the Tableau Economique of François Quesnay. The evaluation also includes the question about the expansion of Physiocracy. Indeed, it had many followers in several countries of Europe and was also the first real School of economic thinking. By its systematic approach, Physiocracy established the economy as a science. All the aspects of Physiocracy which have been mentioned above are intimately bound together and are in several aspects the economic precursor of the French Revolution.

Pieter De Meyere

Referendum in Andenne en Tessenderlo

Statistische interpretatie van de uitslagen

Authors Alfons Laporte

    A referendum was held on October 1st, 1978 at Andenne, a municipality in the French-speaking part of Belgium, on the settlement of a nuclear plant. A referendum on the settlement of an ecologically noxiousindustry was held at Tessenderlo, a municipality in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, on March 25th, 1979. These referenda are unique in their kind in Belgium. They show a very large similarity bath in theirset-up and their results. The turn-out can be considered satisfying high, especially since compulsory voting could not be imposed. The votes cast were mainly nays.

Alfons Laporte