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De 'Stille Revolutie' op straat

Betogen in Belgiƫ in de jaren '90

Authors Peter Van Aelst en Stefaan Walgrave

Peter Van Aelst

Stefaan Walgrave
  • Abstract

      All major post-Worldwar political conflicts that made up the face of Belgian polities, were accompagnied by massive protests and intensive demonstration waves. Analysis of newspapers coverage and of the gendarmerie archives confirms this for the nineties. The 1990-1997 period is marked by an increasing number of demonstrations and demonstrators. The disappearance of the ideological and cultural-linguistical actions was, on the one hand, made up for by the further rising of other issues (environmental, anti-racist, judicial, ...), and on the other hand by the near institutionalisation of very classic issues like education or employment, who both secured their place on the street. There is no ground to call the 1990's dull, on the contrary: the number of demonstrations grew steadily and, especially in Flanders, Inglehart's Silent Revolution of Postmaterialist values took to the streets. The wider acceptance of demonstrations as a means of actions, the growing political alienation, and the greater openness of the political system are presented as plausible explanations.

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