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Research Note

Campaigning Online and Offline: Different Ballgames?

Presidentialization, Issue Attention and Negativity in Parties’ Facebook and Newspaper Ads in the 2019 Belgian General Elections

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 3 2020
Keywords political advertising, Belgium, social media, newspapers, campaign
Authors Jonas Lefevere, Peter Van Aelst and Jeroen Peeters
AbstractAuthor's information

    This Research Note investigates party advertising in newspapers and on social media (Facebook) during the 2019 general elections in Flanders, the largest region of Belgium. The 2019 elections saw a marked increase in the use of social media advertising by parties, whereas newspaper advertising saw a decline. Prior research that compares multiple types of advertising, particularly advertising on social and legacy media remains limited. As such, based on a quantitative content analysis we investigate not just the prevalence of party advertising on both types of media, but also compare the level of negativity, presidentialisation, and issue emphasis. Our analysis reveals substantial differences: we find that not only the type of advertisements varies across the platforms, but also that social media ads tend to be more negative. Finally, parties’ issue emphasis varies substantially as well, with different issues being emphasized in newspaper and Facebook advertisements.


Jonas Lefevere
Jonas Lefevere is research professor of political communication at the institute for European Studies (VUB) and assistant professor at Vesalius College, Brussels.

Peter Van Aelst
Peter Van Aelst is a research professor at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.

Jeroen Peeters
Jeroen Peeters is a PhD student at the department of political science at the University of Antwerp.
Article

Access_open Restraint as a Source of Judicial ‘Apoliticality’

A Functional Reconstruction

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Urgenda, Miller v. Secretary of State, Norm of judicial apoliticality, Ronald Dworkin, Judicial restraint
Authors Maurits Helmich
AbstractAuthor's information

    Few legal theorists today would argue that the domain of law exists in isolation from other normative spheres governing society, notably from the domain of ‘politics’. Nevertheless, the implicit norm that judges should not act ‘politically’ remains influential and widespread in the debates surrounding controversial court cases. This article aims to square these two observations. Taking the Miller v. Secretary of State and Urgenda cases as illustrative case studies, the article demonstrates that what it means for judges to adjudicate cases ‘apolitically’ is itself a matter of controversy. In reflecting on their own constitutional role, courts are forced to take a stance on substantive questions of political philosophy. Nevertheless, that does not mean that the ‘norm of judicial apoliticality’ should therefore be rejected. The norm’s coherence lies in its intersocial function: its role in declaring certain modes of judicial interpretation and intervention legitimate (‘legal’/‘judicial’) or illegitimate (‘political’).


Maurits Helmich
Maurits Helmich is promovendus aan de afdeling Sociologie, Theorie en Methodologie van het Recht aan de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
Article

Access_open Ship Recycling Financial Instruments: A Tax or Not a Tax?

Some Brief Reflections

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 2 2020
Keywords Ship Recycling Fund, Ship Recycling License, green ship scrapping, EU concept of tax, earmarked tax
Authors Han Kogels and Ton Stevens
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article the question is reviewed whether two by the EU Commission proposed financial instruments to stimulate ‘green’ ship scrapping, (i) a Ship Recycling Fund (SRF) and (ii) a Ship Recycling License (SRL), might be qualified as a ‘tax’ under Article 192(2) TFEU. Qualification as such a “tax” would mean that the EU Commission can only introduce such a financial instrument with unanimity voting. The authors first explore the concept of ‘tax’ in the TFEU in general and in Article 192(2) TFEU in particular. Based on this analysis, the authors conclude that levies paid to an SRF might be qualified as an ‘earmarked tax’ falling within the definition of a ‘fiscal provision’ in the meaning of Article 192(2) TFEU, which means that levies to such a fund can only be introduced by unanimity voting. The SRL fee consists of two elements: (i) a fee to cover administrative expenses and (ii) a contribution to a savings account. The fee to cover administrative expenses is qualified by the authors as a retribution that should not be qualified as a fiscal provision in the meaning of Article 192(2) TFEU. The contribution to a blocked savings account can neither be qualified as a tax nor as a retribution. Therefore, the SRL fee can be introduced without unanimity voting by the EU Council.


Han Kogels
H.A. Kogels is Emeritus professor of European tax law Erasmus School of Law.

Ton Stevens
A.J.A. Stevens is Professor of corporation tax law Tilburg University and of counsel Loyens & Loeff, Rotterdam. He was previously holding the chair of international tax law at Erasmus School of Law and initially involved in the ship recycling financial instrument project but did not participate in the drafting of the final report.
Article

Access_open De blinde vlek in praktijk en discussie rond orgaandonatie

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2020
Keywords organ donation, ethics of organ donation, symbolic nature of the human body, ethics and ritual, symbolic legislation theory
Authors Herman De Dijn
AbstractAuthor's information

    In countries like Belgium and The Netherlands, there seems to be overwhelming public acceptance of transplantation and organ donation. Yet, paradoxically, part of the public refuses post-mortal donation of their own organs or of those of family members. It is customary within the transplantation context to accept the refusal of organ donation by family members “in order to accommodate their feelings”. I argue that this attitude does not take seriously what is really behind the refusal of donation by (at least some) family members. My hypothesis is that even in very secularized societies, this refusal is determined by cultural-symbolic attitudes vis-à-vis the (dead) human body (and some of its parts). The blind spot for this reality, both in the practice of and discussions around organ donation, prevents understanding of what is producing the paradox mentioned.


Herman De Dijn
Herman De Dijn is emeritus hoogleraar wijsbegeerte aan de KU Leuven.

Wilfried Dewachter
Wilfried Dewachter is een Belgisch politicoloog en gewoon hoogleraar emeritus van de KU Leuven. Hij publiceerde decennialang vooral over verkiezingen, politieke partijen en de rol van de elite, leidde generaties politicologen op en was van 1970 tot 1993 en van 1997 tot 2000 hoofdredacteur van Res Publica. Als politicoloog was Dewachter vaak een aanspreekpunt van de media.
Article

Access_open The Integrity of the Tax System after BEPS: A Shared Responsibility

Journal Erasmus Law Review, Issue 1 2017
Keywords flawed legislation, tax privileges, tax planning, corporate social responsibility, tax professionals
Authors Hans Gribnau
AbstractAuthor's information

    The international tax system is the result of the interaction of different actors who share the responsibility for its integrity. States and multinational corporations both enjoy to a certain extent freedom of choice with regard to their tax behaviour – which entails moral responsibility. Making, interpreting and using tax rules therefore is inevitably a matter of exercising responsibility. Both should abstain from viewing tax laws as a bunch of technical rules to be used as a tool without any intrinsic moral or legal value. States bear primary responsibility for the integrity of the international tax system. They should become more reticent in their use of tax as regulatory instrument – competing with one another for multinationals’ investment. They should also act more responsibly by cooperating to make better rules to prevent aggressive tax planning, which entails a shift in tax payments from very expert taxpayers to other taxpayers. Here, the distributive justice of the tax system and a level playing field should be guaranteed. Multinationals should abstain from putting pressure on states and lobbying for favourable tax rules that disproportionally affect other taxpayers – SMEs and individual taxpayers alike. Multinationals and their tax advisers should avoid irresponsible conduct by not aiming to pay a minimalist amount of (corporate income) taxes – merely staying within the boundaries of the letter of the law. Especially CSR-corporations should assume the responsibility for the integrity of the tax system.


Hans Gribnau
Professor of Tax Law, Fiscal Institute and the Center for Company Law, Tilburg University; Professor of Tax Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands.

Thibaut Renson
Thibaut Renson studeerde politieke wetenschappen in Gent, Aix-en-Provence en Londen. Hij is als assistent verbonden aan de vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de UGent. Zijn onderzoeksinteresses liggen in burgerschap en politieke participatie. Hij werkt aan een doctoraat aan het Centrum voor Lokale Politiek, waarin hij het effect van deliberatieve democratie op sociaal leren in kaart brengt. In maart 2017 verschijnt het boek Wie is nog van de partij? Crisis en toekomst van partijleden in Vlaanderen bij Uitgeverij Acco, waarin hij meeschreef aan de hoofdstukken over participatie en democratie.

    This paper interprets the presumption of innocence as a conceptual antidote for sacrificial tendencies in criminal law. Using Girard’s philosophy of scapegoat mechanisms and sacrifice as hermeneutical framework, the consanguinity of legal and sacrificial order is explored. We argue that some legal concepts found in the ius commune’s criminal system (12th-18th century), like torture, infamy, or punishment for mere suspicion, are affiliated with scapegoat dynamics and operate, to some extent, in the spirit of sacrifice. By indicating how these concepts entail more or less flagrant breaches of our contemporary conception of due process molded by the presumption of innocence, an antithesis emerges between the presumption of innocence and sacrificial inclinations in criminal law. Furthermore, when facing fundamental threats like heresy, the ius commune’s due process could be suspended. What emerges in this state of exception allowing for swift and relentless repression, is elucidated as legal order’s sacrificial infrastructure.


Rafael Van Damme
Rafael Van Damme is PhD-student in philosophy.

Yu Takeuchi
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan / LLM candidate, Institute of Air and Space Law, McGill University, Canada

Olga Volynskaya
Russian Foreign Trade Academy, Russia, o.a.volynskaya@roscosmos.org.

Gennady Zhukov
Russian People’s Friendship University, Russia, zhukovgp@gmail.com.
Article

Access_open Recht als human condition

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2013
Keywords homo faber, homo agens, human condition, participatory judgment, law-linked justice, existence-linked justice
Authors Peter van Schilfgaarde
AbstractAuthor's information

    This paper concentrates on the dynamic tension between law as it is ‘made’ by legal professionals, functioning as homo faber, and law as it is experienced by citizens, functioning as homo agens. In between those two worlds, law develops as a human condition, a term borrowed from Hannah Arendt. It is argued that, in regard to law development and administration of justice, the function of homo agens should have priority over the function of homo faber. The two basic faculties that connect the two worlds are judgment and speech. This leads to further thoughts on the character of judgment as ‘participatory judgment,’ the function of ‘middle terms’ in legal language and the concept of ‘shared responsibility.’


Peter van Schilfgaarde
Peter van Schilfgaarde is an Attorney at Law at the Supreme Court of The Netherlands in The Hague and former Professor of Corporate Law at the Universities of Groningen and Utrecht.
Article

Access_open De Drittwirkung van grondrechten

Retorisch curiosum of vaandel van een paradigmatische omwenteling in ons rechtsbestel?

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2012
Keywords Drittwirkung, horizontal effect of human rights, constitutionalisation of private law
Authors Stefan Somers
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article discusses whether the horizontal effect of human rights marks a new paradigm in legal systems or is merely a new style in legal rhetoric. In doing so, much attention is paid to the differences between direct and indirect horizontal effect. Departing from social contract theory the article explains that the protection of human right values in horizontal relations is an essential feature of modern constitutionalism. It also analyses whether these values in horizontal relations should be protected by private law or by human rights. This question is looked at from a substantial, a methodological and an institutional perspective. In the end, because of institutional power balancing, the article argues in favor of an indirect horizontal effect of human rights.


Stefan Somers
Stefan Somers is a researcher at the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies at the VUB (Free University of Brussels) and prepares a PhD on the relationship between human rights and tort law.
Article

Access_open Hoe neutraal is kerkfinanciering?

Kritische analyse van het Belgische erkennings- en ondersteuningsbeleid

Journal Netherlands Journal of Legal Philosophy, Issue 1 2012
Keywords liberalism, neutrality, church-state policy, (anti)perfectionism, Belgium
Authors Leni Franken and Patrick Loobuyck
AbstractAuthor's information

    In this article, the authors explore how active state support for religions and worldviews could be in accordance with the principle of liberal neutrality. They focus on the Belgian church-state policy because this policy is characterised by an explicit and extended form of active support for recognised worldviews. If this policy is in accordance with liberal neutrality, some other, weaker forms of state support for religions and worldviews may also be in accordance with this neutrality principle. In the light of these considerations, the authors make some suggestions about possible ways to bring the Belgian church-state policy more in accordance with liberal neutrality.


Leni Franken
Leni Franken is a researcher at the Centre Pieter Gillis of the University of Antwerp, where she prepares a PhD on church, state and neutrality.

Patrick Loobuyck
Patrick Loobuyck is Associate Professor at the Centre Pieter Gillis of the University of Antwerp and guest professor at the Department of Philosophy and Moral Science at Ghent University.
Article

Bestuurskracht binnenshuis. Doorwerking van het Gemeentedecreet op bestuurskracht van Vlaamse gemeenten

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2009
Keywords administrative power, municipalities, cooperation, Flemish municipal decree
Authors Filip De Rynck, Ellen Olislagers and Johan Ackaert
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines the impact of the Flemish municipal decree on the administrative power of Flemish municipalities. The general goal of the Flemish municipal decree was the strengthening of administrative power by changing political-political relations, political-administrative relations and the supporting policy and management cycle. This article shows the limited meaning of the political component for this strengthening. Changes in the administrative organization of Flemish municipalities on the other hand are looking more promising, although scale and different types of municipalities continues to stay an important factor.


Filip De Rynck
Filip De Rynck (1956) werkte voor een reeks publieke en non-profitorganisaties, werd doctor in de sociale wetenschappen (KULeuven, 1995) en is nu hoogleraar bestuurskunde aan de Hogeschool Gent. Hij is gespecialiseerd in en publiceert over lokaal bestuur, binnenlandse bestuursorganisatie en beleidsnetwerken. Hij was voorzitter van de Commissie Bestuurlijke Organisatie, de Hoge Raad voor Binnenlands Bestuur en de visitatiecommissie voor de Vlaamse Steden. Hij voerde vele opdrachten uit voor lokale besturen, de Vlaamse, federale en Europese overheid.

Ellen Olislagers
Ellen Olislagers (1985) is sinds 2008 verbonden aan het Centrum Overheid en Recht van de Universiteit Hasselt. Daar voert zij het onderzoeksproject ‘Evaluatie van de innovaties in het gemeentedecreet op de lokale politieke en administratieve werking (2008-2009)' uit. Dit is een onderzoeksproject van het Steunpunt Bestuurlijke Organisatie Vlaanderen.

Johan Ackaert
Johan Ackaert (1957) is licentiaat in de politieke en sociale wetenschappen en doctor in de sociale wetenschappen. Hij is docent aan de Universiteit Hasselt waar hij sociologie en onderzoeksmethoden doceert. Zijn onderzoek situeert zich vooral op het gebied van politieke participatie en lokale politiek (lokale verkiezingen, rolgedrag van lokale politici, vernieuwingen in het lokaal bestuur) enerzijds en integratie en participatie van etnische minderheden in Vlaamse steden anderzijds.
Article

Volksraadplegingen: kan België wat leren van Nederland?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2009
Keywords referendum, local referenda, local politics
Authors Jo Buelens
AbstractAuthor's information

    Belgium did not organise a referendum on the European Constitution, like the Netherlands, even though there were some initiatives to make it legally possible. In the Netherlands there is also more experience with referenda at the local level. For decades there has been a debate about how to make it legal at the national level, but after many attempts, there is still no law that makes referenda possible at that level. The aim of this article is to compare Belgium and the Netherlands in order to identify similarities and differences. Some explanation can be found in the past, which clarifies why Belgium is reluctant to referenda and why at the local level this tool is not as often used as in the Netherlands. The main conclusion is that in spite of the referendum on the European Constitution in the Netherlands and the more frequent use of local referenda in that country, the political classes in Belgium and the Netherlands are comparable in their reluctant attitude towards this consultation of their citizens. Both countries continue to evaluate referenda as not in accordance with the system of representative democracy.


Jo Buelens
Jo Buelens (°1954) is verbonden aan de vakgroep politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn belangstelling gaat met name uit naar politieke partijen, verkiezingen en lokale politiek. Hij doceert tevens aan de Erasmus Hogeschool Brussel.
Essay

Naar een nieuw malgoverno?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2009
Authors Steven Van Hecke and Wim Heylen
Author's information

Steven Van Hecke
Steven Van Hecke (°1974) promoveerde tot doctor in de sociale wetenschappen aan de K.U.Leuven. Momenteel is hij verbonden aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij doceert vergelijkende en Europese politiek aan de Universiteit Antwerpen en de K.U.Leuven en doet onderzoek op het raakvlak tussen beide subdomeinen van de politieke wetenschap, in het bijzonder Europese politieke partijen.

Wim Heylen
Wim Heylen (°1984) is licentiaat geschiedenis en volgde de lerarenopleiding aan de K.U.Leuven. Hij werkt momenteel als leerkracht geschiedenis in het Paridaensinstituut te Leuven.

D. Parkinson

S. Hatton

Jo Noppe
Vrij medewerker van het Centrum voor Politicologie van de KU Leuven in samenwerking met de secretariaten van de politieke partijen.

Bart Haeck
Licentiaat in de Rechten Politiek redacteur bij De Tijd.

Bart Haeck
Licentiaat in de Rechten. Politiek redacteur bij De Tijd.
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