Res Publica

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Issue 4, 2004 Expand all abstracts

Access_open Determinanten van voorkeurstemproporties bij (sub-)lokale verkiezingen

De Antwerpse districtsraadsverkiezingen van 8 oktober 2000

Authors Peter Thijssen and Kristof Jacobs

    In this paper we look for the factors determining the relative share of preferential votes of individual candidates. We focus on the district council elections in Antwerp that were held in October 2000. The unique aspect of this elections is that they are without precedent and because of this there are strictly speaking no incumbency-effects. Unlike other research that is based only on administrative data, we use survey data for 612 candidates. In this way we enlarge the explanatory potential of our models. Hence, we were able for instance to check the extent to which membership of voluntary associations expands the individual vote share. We fi d that social capital does matter but surprisingly this effect disappears as soon as ballot position effects are taken into account.

Peter Thijssen

Kristof Jacobs

Access_open In het belang van vrouwen

Vertegenwoordigers (m/v) en de constructie van de vertegenwoordigde (v)

Authors Karen Celis

    This contributions tests the hypotheses that women MPs have a specific potential to 'construct' the represented female citizen. This ste rns from the combination of two theoretical propositions: the thesis that representatives 'create' the represented in the course of the representational process and the statement that women MPs might contribute in a unique way to the substantive representation of women due to a 'shared' life experience. A detailed reading of the interventions of women and men MPs in favour of women over eighty years of budget debates in the Belgian Lower House (1900-1979), learns that women MPs indeed did broaden the construction of the represented women. Independently from the dominant vision with in the parliament or their parliamentary party, they contributed to the construction of the female citizen as mother and wife, with a female specific role in society, and in particular to the construction of women as individuals with equal rights.

Karen Celis

Access_open L'institutionnalisation de l'évaluation des politiques publiques en Belgique

entre balbutiements et incantations

Authors Steve Jacob

    Since a few decades, policy evaluation is a main topic in Western democracies. It identifies, measures and appreciates effects, outcomes and impacts of a policy. Yet, there is not a common way to institutionalise that policy instrument; one can observe many differences in terms of its intensity and maturity, as well as a diversity of institutional device. Compared to other countries, Belgium is characterized by a low visibility and weak decisional impact of evaluation. Public demand for enlightening state action rarely takes the form of a demand for evaluation. The word 'Evaluation' is frequently pronounced, but most often in a political sense. In this article three types of arguments can be put forward to explain this Jack of evaluation: a lacking commitment of Parliament and political staff, the fragmentation and weak autonomy of the civil service and the domination of political parties upon the Belgian political and administrative system.

Steve Jacob

Access_open Voltooid verleden tijd?

Het verband tussen kennis over de nazi-genocide en democratische attitudes bij adolescenten in Brussel

Authors Dimo Kavadias

    Schools are expected to educate children into democratic citizens by providing "civics" or history courses. It is believed that the formal curriculum affects the amount of cognition of each pupil, which - in its turn - would influence the civic competencies and social attitudes. This supposition is explicitly stated in 'holocaust-education 'programs and in 'civics'-courses. Accordingly, knowledge on the nazi-attrocities would stimulate tolerance, and by this way counter prejudice. The current contribution tests this supposition on survey-data (2002) from 773 Frenchspeakin g and 469 Flemish-speaking last-grade pupils from secondary schools in the Brussels-Capital Region. The survey probed for knowledge on the nazi-genocide and attitudescales (ethnocentrism and anti-democracy). The supposition about the connection between knowledge and tollerance, holds partially for the Flemish, but not for the French-speaking sample. Knowledge may be a necessary, but is certainly nota sufficient condition to foster tolerance.

Dimo Kavadias

Access_open Sterven voor Sarajevo?

De Joegoslavische kwestie in de Belgische politiek, 1991-1995

Authors Patrick Stouthuysen

    This article deals with the question why the war in Yugoslavia (1991-1 995) was hardly an issue in Belgian politics and society. We analyze how the conflict was framed in the newspapers, by opinion-leaders and by the peace movement. We also reconstruct the parliamentary debate: what parliamentary initiatives were taken and which framing of the conflict dominated the discussions. We conclude that the Belgian debate was largely dominated by the realist frame. This was probably a result of the presence of Belgian UN-soldiers in the conflict-zone, of the fact that the peace movement was divided and concentrated on other issues, and of the fact that the interventionist frame was claimed by the extreme rightwing Vlaams Blok party.

Patrick Stouthuysen