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Issue 3-4, 1996 Expand all abstracts
Article

Het Belgische politieke gebeuren in 1995

Authors Marc Platel

Marc Platel
Article

Belgian politics in 1995

Authors Kris Deschouwer and Marc Platel

Kris Deschouwer

Marc Platel
Article

Een rechtstreeks verkozen parlement voor de Vlamingen

Kroniek van de politiek in Vlaanderen in 1995

Authors Guido Tastenhoye

Guido Tastenhoye
Article

Au Sud, rien de nouveau....

Authors Pierre Verjans

Pierre Verjans
Article

Cognitieve en affectieve motieven van partijkeuze

De nationale verkiezingen van 21 mei 1995

Authors Marc Swyngedouw and Roeland Beerten
Abstract

    The exit-poll survey of May 21, 1995, the day of the national election, contained after the question of the actual voting behaviour for the Chamber, an open-ended question asking the motives of this voting behaviour. 3547 voters were questioned in the Flemish part of Belgium. Because the exit-poll questioning was done on election day, the voters could not be influenced by the election results and the explanations given by experts in the media. Categorisation of the answers was done by content analysis. The categorisation scheme was developed on the basis of the existing theories of voting behaviour. On this basis an overview is given of the cognitive and affective spontaneous motives the voters are given for their voting behaviour. The inter rater reliability is very high (Kappa: 0.82). With a HlCLASS analysis a motive profile for every party is developed. The results indicate that party identification in a broad sense is still one of the most important explanations ofvoting behaviour. But they also make clear that the stability in voting behaviour is very unsure for an important group ofvoters. The two sources of instability are short term ad hoc motives and a-politic or anti-politie motives among a still growing group of voters.


Marc Swyngedouw

Roeland Beerten

Peter Janssens

    In 1995 the newly enlarged European Union has proved to be capable to handle its problems and to take decisions in a large array of issues. The EU tried to cope with unemployment, continued the preparation of the third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union, adopted its 1996 budget decisions relatively smoothly, and intensified its relations with different parts of the world. On the other hand however, enlargement itself is increasingly affecting the Union as it preparing itself for the upcoming accession of some of its Central European and Mediterranean neighbors. The northern member states look with some suspicion at the budgetary consequences and already show a lot of restraint in paying more to the EU-budget, for the sake of their southern counterparts. Some member states are looking for a balanced enlargement in which the eastern enlargement would be counterbalanced by a Mediterranean one, and for a balance in the financial support that is provided by the EU to third countries. The biggest issue is however, the institutional adaptation of the European Union to a new enlargement. The preparations of the 1996 Intergovernmental Conferencethat took place in 1995, have shown however, that this process will be a difficult one. With the 1995 enlargement, the European Union has increased the number ofmember states that perceive the process of European integration primarily as an economic one. This will make institutional adaptations more difficult and risks to paralyze the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the Union even more than it already did in the past few years. Stated differently, 1995 has left a number of question marks on the EU's future. Whether these will disappear soon, 1996 will show.


Bart Kerremans
Article

Culturele deprivatie en politieke aliënatie

Een tussentijds rapport

Authors Guido Dierickx, Caroline Gijselinckx and Peter Thijssen
Abstract

    Following the distinctions proposed by Gamson and Easton the complex phenomenon of political alienation among the young was empirically subdivided in several dimensions. Within the 'input'dimension of political alienation we distinguished between the ability to process information and the ability to participate. Within the 'output'dimension we distinguished between two referents of distrust, political actors and authorities on the one hand, and the political (democratic) system on the other. We succeeded in constructing reliable scales for each of these dimensions which were then used as dependent variables in regression models. When turning to the explanation of the phenomenon our attention was focused first and foremost on the cultural factors. This was amply rewarded. Some of the normative aspects of culture, namely 'presenteism' and 'dionysianism', have a significant influence on various dimensions of political alienation. The impact of cognitive aspects appears to be even more significant. This means that an effective policy to counter the rise of political alienation wilt have to cope with a phenomenon solidly embedded in contemporary culture.


Guido Dierickx

Caroline Gijselinckx

Peter Thijssen
Article

La Citoyenneté dans la pensée politique Européenne

Eléments pour une histoire doctrinale du concept

Authors Paul Magnette
Abstract

    This article tries to describe the conceptual evolution of the concept of citizenship. Following the history of the word, it defines the succeeding meanings of this idea from Aristotle to Marx. It argues that this history shows that the concept is inherent in the republican tradition, which affirms that man's freedom is an illusion without the institution of the State. The modern concept, in particular, brings together the ideas of the Rule ofLaw and Popular Sovereignty and demonstrates that they are conceptually undividable. This, it is concluded, means that opposing "liberal" and "republican" concepts of citizenship is a contradiction in terms.


Paul Magnette

    Since the beginning ofthe 1980s, successive Belgian governments have pursued a social security policy that is a combination of cutting social expenditure on the one hand and improving the plight of lower income categories among benefit recipients on the other. This has been realised by means of a strategy of 'targeting within universalism ', i.e. improving the benefits for the poor and restricting them for the better off, but without abolishing the entitlements oft he latter category completely. The Belgian experience puts inperspective the 'middle class matters' argument, which predicts that, if cuts are made in social expenditure,the middle classes will use their political resources to defend the provisions they benefit from and to diminish the benefits reserved for the poor.


Mark Andries