DOI: 10.5553/RP/048647001999041004499

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Leven en werk van de kabinetsleden

Wie zijn de mannen achter de minister en wat doen ze?

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Mik Suetens and Stefaan Walgraeve, "Leven en werk van de kabinetsleden", Res Publica, 4, (1999):499-528

    For many journalists, politicians and political scientists ministerial cabinets in Belgium equal political power. Moreover they argue that this power is, if not illegitimate, at least problematic, and so ministerial cabinets have become one of the most criticised institutions in the Belgian political system. Yet, the lack of empirical data on this controversial topic is striking, certainly when compared to the vast academic attention given to other political agents. There is an urgent need for empirical substance to the debate. This incited us to set up an extensive political-sociological study on the Belgian and Flemish ministerial cabinets. In this article we present the first stage of our study: a classic insight in the (socio-demographic) composition of ministerial cabinets and - to a lesser extent - in the work environment offered by ministerial cabinets of the former government (1995-1999). A first descriptive analysis seems to underpin the commonly held idea of cabinets as networking, loyal, and flexible brain trusts.

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