Res Publica

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Issue 1, 1998 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Selectieve uitsluiting in het Belgisch politiek systeem

Innovatie en protest door nieuwe sociale bewegingen

Authors Marc Hooghe

    The Belgian political system is generally portrayed as being closed for outsiders. In this article we ascertain how the system responded to the challenge of the new social movements. The Belgian political elite developed a response strategy, based on thematical openness and actorial closure. The issues of the new social movements were admitted on the political agenda, but the movements themselves were excluded from access to the decision making process. Only those actors were allowed which were willing to accomodate themselves to the traditional elite consensus, based on neo-corporatism, pillarisation and a politically passive population. Confronted with this elite strategy, the new social movements were able to fulfil their agenda function (bringing new issues on the political agenda), but they had little opportunity for introducing new cultural codes into the political decision making process. This lack of innovation enhances the legitimation crisis of the Belgian political system.

Marc Hooghe

    Por the last decade, Belgian telecommunication policy has been characterised by a defensive, and sometimes even obstructive, attitude towards the liberalisation program of the European Commission. This paper analyses this policy on the basis of official governmental and administrative sources, corporate documents and insights gained through frequent contacts with the government and corporate representatives. The aim of this analysis is twofold. Firstly, this paper explains the Belgian attitude towards telecommunication as the result of a highly politicised corporatist national system of decision making. Secondly, this paper assesses this policy in terms of its international performance. By means of conclusion, a number of suggestions are made for a more proactive policy.

Pascal Verhoest

    This paper focusses on the Belgian constitutional and legal regulations which are clearly and relatively directly linked to minority protection as welt as their relevance for South Africa by way of analogy, taking into account South Africa's specific circumstances. Generally, what seems to be highly relevant for South Africa is the different kind of solutions in Belgium for its three categories of minorities as related to a different degree of territorial concentration. Going from an emphasis on territorial federalism, providing autonomy, for the highly territorial concentrated linguistic groups, over the use of the relative concentrations of the ideological and philosophical groups in certain federated entities, to a combination of individual human rights and group rights without a territorial connection whatsoever for the religious groups which are highly dispersed throughout the country. An analogous differentiation ofseveral types ofminority protection could bedivised in South Africa as the general lack of territorial concentration of the country's several population groups bas a different degree for the ethnic/linguistic groups as compared to the religious ones.

André Alen

Kristien Henrard

Access_open Wie is de natie?

Een analyse van de betekenis van taal en territorialiteit in België

Authors Anja Detant

    The institutional reform of the Belgian state seems to run parallel with a redefinition of the whole of Belgian society. 'Subnationalism' has overtaken the traditional ethno-linguistic definitions which used to provide a basis for political identification and mobilisation. The territorial demarcation of the regions and the politicisation of cultural life on both sides of the linguistic border constitute basic ingredientsfor 'nationbuilding'projects in Flanders and Wallonia. A number of elements are distinguished to explain why the 'nationalism' of the regions will have repercussions on the political developments in the capital area. Language and territoriality have always played a special role in Brussels. Changes in connection with definitions of territoriality and identity now seem to create opportunities to redefine the relationship between the communities in Brussels. It is not inconceivable that, in the long run, the linguistic divide wilt fade out and wilt be replaced by an identification on the basis of a territorial criterion shared by all the Brussels' inhabitants.

Anja Detant

    Personnel management in localgovernment in Flanders bas undergone some major reforms during recent years. We examine the purposes and the extent of these reforms. Also, the new personnel management in Flemish local government is evaluated in terms of flexibility. The Flemish civil service can be considered as an Internal Labour Market. The rigidity which characterises the Internal Labour Market in local government in Flanders is shown by the fact that local government lacks discretion in elaborating the personnel statute, which still constitutes the basis of personnel management. However, the thesis that the public sector employment policy is too rigid has to be nuanced. The civil service is familiar with irregular forms ofemployment. Infact, in Flemish local government only half of all personnel are employed according to a statute. Despite some constraints on the development of more flexible personnel policies, it is still possible to find opportunities which provide hope for the development of new and modern personnel management strategies in local government.

Trui Steen

Access_open De lokale en provinciale politieke elites in Oost-Vlaanderen na WO II

een verkennend comparatief onderzoek

Authors Herwig Reynaert and Tony Valcke

    From the analysis of the local and provincial elected people in the province of East-Flanders during the period 1946-1991 one can conclude that there are barriers for women, lower social classes and certain age categories preventing them from moving up the local and provincial political elites. Clear differences between local and provincial elected people are present when comparing professional backgrounds with the composition of the total working population in East-Flanders. Workers are neither on the local, nor on the provincial level very numerous. However the large absence with the provincial elected people bhs to be emphazised. Secondly farmers, intellectual and free professions, employees, self-employed and employers are on both levels constantly overrepresented. However the overrepresentation of farmers can mainly be situated on the local level until the mergers of 1976. For intellectual and free professions, till the mid-sixties the overrepresentation can mainly be situated on the provincial level, from then onwards on the local level. The employees' overrepresentation has always been most important on the provincial level white the self-employed and employers are mainly overrepresented on the local level from 1970 onwards. Finally till about 1970 teaching personnel was underrepresented on both levels white from then onwards there is an overrepresentation.

Herwig Reynaert

Tony Valcke

    In Belgium the multiple preferential voting system was for the first time applied to parliamentary elections in 1995. Since then the electorate has the possibility to cast a vote for several candidates figuring on the same party list. As a result of this voting system change, more voters used the possibilities offered by the preferential voting system than during the 1991 elections: almost 57% of the electorate of 1995 cast a multiple vote on candidates for the House of Representatives - this was an increase of 8,6% compared to the 1991 results. For the Senate, the trend is even clearer: 59% of the electorate expressed their preference for one or more candidates of the Senate, resulting in an increase of 18,3% compared to 1991. Though one has to add that the above mentioned increases are only partly due to the election system change. Part of the increase is actually also due to a more accurate handling by the Ministery of Internal Affairs of the multiple preferential voting data figuring on the ballot-papers. Compared to previous elections the use of preferential voting was for the first time higher for the Senate than for the House of Representatives. Furthermore, the analysis showed that the use of the multiple preferential vote is varying from one constituency to another, from Flemings to Walloons and from one political party to another.

Jozef Smits

Inge Thomas