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Article

Access_open De Vlaamse inbreng in de VWR

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2019
Keywords rechtstheorie, rechtsfilosofie, universitair beleid, Vlaanderen, professionalisering
Authors Mark Van Hoecke
AbstractAuthor's information

    Na een beperkte Vlaamse participatie tussen 1935 en 1970, kwam er een geleidelijke verankering van de VWR in Vlaanderen, met een grote bloei in de jaren tachtig en negentig, met jonge professoren die voltijds actief waren op het gebied van de rechtsfilosofie en/of de rechtstheorie. Na 2000 vermindert de inbreng van Vlaanderen echter in belangrijke mate. Er wordt nog vrij veel gepubliceerd in R&R/NJLP, maar nauwelijks nog door professionele rechtsfilosofen of rechtstheoretici. Institutioneel wordt de internationale (Engelstalige) dimensie van de VWR versterkt (redactieraad, sprekers), maar vermindert de Vlaamse aanwezigheid in redactie, redactieraad en bestuur. De Vlaamse aanwezigheden op VWR-vergaderingen zijn vaak eenmalig en steeds minder van professionele rechtsfilosofen of rechtstheoretici. De afbouw van de leerstoelen en zelfs van het onderwijs in deze domeinen in Vlaanderen is de belangrijkste verklaring hiervoor.


Mark Van Hoecke
Mark Van Hoecke is hoogleraar Rechtsvergelijking aan de Queen Mary University of London.
Article

Access_open Belgium and Democratic Constitution-Making: Prospects for the Future?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2017
Keywords constitutional change, democracy, participation, Belgium
Authors Ronald Van Crombrugge
Abstract

    How constitutions are changed – and more importantly: how they should be changed – is the subject of ongoing debate. There seems to be a growing consensus, however, that in order for a constitution to be considered legitimate it is required that it was created through a democratic process. This growing consensus stands in sharp contrast with the Belgian experience of constitutional change as an essentially elite-led process that takes place behind closed doors. This article seeks to explore the possibilities for more democratic forms of constitutional change in Belgium. It does so by evaluating and comparing two examples of democratic constitution-making, namely the constitution-making processes In South Africa (1996) and Iceland (2012). On the basis of these two examples, several concrete suggestions will be made, which are not only relevant for the Belgian case but can be applied more broadly to other countries as well.


Ronald Van Crombrugge

Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is Assistant Professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven.

Nora Timmermans
Nora Timmermans is PhD Research Fellow of the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO) at the Centre for Ethics, Social and Political Philosophy, University of Leuven.
Article

Access_open E pluribus unum? The Manifold Meanings of Sovereignty

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2016
Keywords political sovereignty, power, legislative sovereignty, constitutive power, external sovereignty
Authors Raf Geenens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article investigates and classifies the different meanings of the term sovereignty. What exactly do we try to convey when using the words “sovereign” or “sovereignty”? I will argue that, when saying that X is sovereign, we can mean five different things: it can mean that X holds the capacity to force everyone into obedience, that X makes the laws, that the legal and political order is created by X, that X holds the competence to alter the basic norms of our legal and political order, or that X is independently active on the international stage. These different usages of the term are of course related, but they are distinct and cannot be fully reduced to one another.


Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is an assistant professor of Ethics and Legal Philosophy at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Leuven.

Wouter G. Werner
Wouter G. Werner is co-founder of the Centre for the Politics of Transnational Law, VU University Amsterdam.
Article

Access_open Kelsen, Secular Religion, and the Problem of Transcendence

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2015
Keywords Kelsen, secular religion, Voegelin, Schmitt, transcendence
Authors professor Bert van Roermund
AbstractAuthor's information

    An alleged ‘return to religion’ in contemporary western politics (and science) prompted the Trustees of the Hans Kelsen Institut to posthumously publish Kelsen’s critique of the concept of ‘secular religion’ advanced by his early student Eric Voegelin. This paper identifies, firstly, what concept of transcendence is targeted by Kelsen, and argues that his analysis leaves scope for other conceptions. It does so in two steps: it summarizes the arguments against ‘secular religion’ (section 2) and it gives an account of the differences between Voegelin’s and Schmitt’s conception of transcendence – both under attack from Kelsen (section 3). It then submits an alternative account of the relationship between politics and religion in Modernity, building on the concept of a ‘civil religion’ as found in Rousseau’s Social Contract. Giving a Rousseauist slant to Claude Lefort’s analysis of political theology (section 4) it concludes that a thin concept of transcendence is part and parcel of every, in particular a democratic, account of politics. It should be a stronghold against any resurgence of religion that feeds on hypostatized transcendence. In closing (section 5), it is argued that two key concepts in Kelsen’s legal philosophy may well be understood as paradigms of thin transcendence, namely ‘the people’ and ‘the Grundnorm’.


professor Bert van Roermund
Bert van Roermund is professor (em.) of philosophy at Tilburg Law School and international correspondent of the Hans Kelsen Institute in Vienna.

Bertjan Wolthuis
Bertjan Wolthuis is Assistant Professor at the department of Legal Theory and Legal History at VU University Amsterdam.

Raf Geenens
Raf Geenens is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy of the KU Leuven (Belgium).
Article

Politieke theorie en de Europese Unie: het braakliggend terrein van het normatief programma

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2014
Keywords European Union, political theory, integration theory, European Studies, ideal theory
Authors Erik De Bom
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article it will be argued that the contribution of political theory to European studies is rather one-sided and could be enriched by broadening the spectrum. To make this clear, the first part of this article will offer an overview of the contribution of political theory to European integration studies up to the present day. In the second part, avenues for further research will be presented with special attention to the importance of theories of justice for the EU. In close connection to this program, the value of ideal theory will be highlighted as a means to think about the further development of the EU and to critically assess the present functioning of the EU.


Erik De Bom
Erik De Bom verricht postdoctoraal onderzoek aan het Hoger Instituut voor Wijsbegeerte van de KU Leuven en is als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan het Leuven Centre for Global Governance Studies. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op het vroegmoderne politieke denken (16de-17de eeuw) en contemporaine politieke filosofie met bijzondere aandacht voor de Europese Unie.
Article

Waar en wanneer spreken mannen en vrouwen over politiek?

De sekseverschillen in politieke discussie in hun sociale en politieke context

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2012
Keywords deliberative democracy, political talk, gender differences, Belgium
Authors Didier Caluwaerts
AbstractAuthor's information

    Deliberative democrats claim that political deliberation among citizens increases the legitimacy of and support for democratic decision-making. The question is, however, whether deliberative democracy can realize its added value in the real world of politics where political discussion is characterized by persisting inequalities. This paper tries to contextualize the gender gap in political talk by taking into account the social (i.e., discussion networks) and political context (i.e., campaign effects) in which political debate takes place. Based on previous research we argue that women prefer to discuss politics in relatively like-minded, cohesive networks, while men prefer more confrontational networks. Moreover, we expect the gender gap to depend on the electoral context, in that the gender gap disappears in later campaign phases. These two arguments were tested and confirmed using data gathered in the Partirep Regional Election Survey in 2009.


Didier Caluwaerts
Didier Caluwaerts is postdoctoraal onderzoeker in de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de VUB. Zijn onderzoek gaat over deliberatieve democratie in diep verdeelde samenlevingen.
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