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Journal Res Publica x Year 1994 x Category Article x

    After the disappointments of 1992, however a year that engendered a lot of expectations, it was not difficult for the European Union to perform better in 1993. But even then, the European Union has not been spared from serious difficulties. The economic recession raged through the old continent as never before and the stability and the survival of the ERM came under severe pressure. Only the last three months seemed to provide the first indications of a slow recovery. The Maastricht Treaty came finally into force, monetary stability came back and the first signs of the end of the recession showed-up. In the light of the serious political and institutional burdens of the enlargement of1995, one can only hope that this recovery will continue further.


Bart Kerremans
Article

Belgian politics in 1993

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1994
Authors Kris Deschouwer and Mark Deweerdt

Kris Deschouwer

Mark Deweerdt

    This paper examines the evolving ideological content of the concept of citizenship and particularly the challenges it faces as a consequence of the building of the European Union. From an epistemological point of view it is first argued that citizenship may be described as a dual concept: it is both a legal institution composed of the rights of the citizen as they are fixed at a certain moment of its history, and a normative ideal which embodies their political aspirations. As a result of this dual nature, citizenship is an essentially dynamicnotion, which is permanently evolving between a state of balance and change. The history of this concept in contemporary political thought shows that, from the end of the second World War it had raised a synthesis of democratic, liberal and socialist values on the one hand, and that it was historically and logically bound to the Nation-State on the other hand. This double synthesis now seems to be contested, as the themes of the "crisis of the Nation State" and"crisis of the Welfare state" do indicate. The last part of this paper grapples with recent theoretical proposals of new forms of european citizenship, and argues that the concept of citizenship could be renovated and take its challenges into consideration by insisting on the duties and the procedures it contains.


Paul Magnette

Mark Deweerdt
Article

L'identité Wallonne saisie par l'enquête

Une approche constructiviste de l'identité collective

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1994
Authors Marc Jacquemain, René Doutrelepont and Michel Vandekeere
Abstract

    At first view, the methodology of survey research may seem rather unsuitable to the study of such "holistic" phenomena as collective and social identities. That difficulty vanishes - at least partly - as soon as we consider social identity as the link between the individual and his belongings, as does the "social identity theory", developed from the work of Taffel and Turner. From there on, survey research may prove to be a useful device to cope with some main characteristics of social identity: mainly its variability among groups and classes within a same society and its particular sensitivity to socio-political contexts. Survey research, combined with the social identity theory may help to test historical assumptions at a macro-social level. It may also give some ''flesh" and some additional realism to the micro-theories of social behaviour, which are too often limited by their conception of a strictly rational and interested agent.


Marc Jacquemain

René Doutrelepont

Michel Vandekeere

Peter Janssens

    The State reform is at the root of a deep mutation of institutions in Wallonia. Indeed, the regionalist trend has increased. With this renunciation of the French speakers from Brussels, the two political parties, FDF and PRL, have decided to join their efforts in order to safeguard their interests. A lot of Walloons get worried about federal Belgium Kingdom. Being anxious to demonstrate their attachment to Belgium, they organize a unitary demonstration and thus show their affection to late King Baudouin, symbol of national unity. 1993 is also theyear of "juridical affairs". With the investigations about the murder of André Cools, some socialist politicians are harassed. Misappropriation of stolen securities, corruption, murder are the headlines in the newspaper almost wholeyear. From an economic point ofview, the province of Hainaut region highly reached by the economic crisis gets some help from the European Community being called "Objective I Europe". In the educative field, the French speaking teaching is deeply modified.


Christian Bovy
Article

De profilering van Luc Van Den Brande

Kroniek van het politieke leven in Vlaanderen in 1993

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1994
Authors Guido Tastenhoye
Abstract

    The year 1993 in Flanders will be remembered as the year in which the Flemish prime minister, Luc Van den Brande, builds himself a very sharp profile. He very explicitly occupies the new domains on which the Flemish authorities can now decide on their own policy. He clearly defends the economical interests of Flanders, even if this leads to conflicts with French-speaking Belgians and/or with unitarist Belgians. Van den Brande launches his project for thefuture ("Flanders-Europe 2002'') and promotes Flanders as a good place for economical investments. Within his own party, the CVP, he counterbalances the weight of the federal prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene.


Guido Tastenhoye

    In spite of its importance in European Union decision making, research on the functioning of the Council is scarce (Wessels, 1991). Based on empirical findings this article gives some new insights in the way Council decision making is institutionalized. The first part focusses on the characteristics of Council working groups and the different positions of actors in the decision making network. Our findings confirm the definition of the Council as a highly bureaucratized institution. Interesting is that the diversity of tasks of the different actors(working groups, Coreper, CSA etc.) strengthens the impact of national administrations in Council decision making. The second part explores the reasons for this impact. This article adds to the functional approach, which over-emphasizes the adaptive character of the Council, the perception of the Council as an intergovernmental component in a supranational system.


Jan Beyers
Article

Démocratie directe

Un moyen pour remédier aux défauts fonctionnels de la démocratie représentative?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1994
Authors Silvano Möckli
Abstract

    Devices of direct democracy are an important structural element in Switzerland's political system. In this article, institutions and functions of Switzerland's direct democracy will be presented. Then the author will pursue whether the direct democracy can be used as a device to prevent a dysfunctional parliamentary system of government. He comes to the conclusion that Switzerland's direct democracy is not an exportable good. We know from the Swiss experience that there is no single model that describes how initiatives and referendums function in every state.


Silvano Möckli
Article

Nationalisme et parlementarisme

La percée complexe du nationalisme flamand au Parlement belge (1873-1914)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1994
Authors Pasal Delfosse
Abstract

    This article is related with the linguistic conflict in Belgium and the role of the parties and parties factions in the Parliament during the period 1873-1914. As a contribution to the history of the belgian Parliament, it illustrates the way the flemish claims for more autonomy were transformed in complex agreements in which non-linguistic matters, related to the system of cleavages of the belgian society, somestimes played a crucial role.


Pasal Delfosse

    The main question of this article is: Which methods ofdesigning a policy are fit to solve or diminish complex and certain, complex and uncertain, simple and certain, simple and uncertain policy problems? On the basis of a contingency approach hypotheses are formulated with regard to this question. These hypotheses are confronted with the field of Dutch municipal policies for marginal adolescents (in the period 1980-1990). This study intends to point out: - that a diagnosis-modelfor designing a policy is appropriate to tackle complex and certain problems; - that a learning-model for designing a policy is appropriate to tackle complex and uncertain problems; - that a fitting policy theory is a necessary, but insufficient condition for an effective policy; - that a lack ofconsensus in the political environment of the process of designing a policy has a negative effect on the goal attainment, if the opponents of the policy have the power to obstruct the process of implementation; - that a lack professional qualities of implementers has a negative effect on the goal attainment.


Oscar Van Heffen

    Given the under-representation of women in the elected assemblies, women politicians argue in favor of a higher representation of their gender in the political realm. Their claim is based on different kinds of arguments. We present and discuss the four following arguments: proportional representation and parity, interest representation, ressource utilisation and the argument of a different women 's voice.


Catherine Degauquier
Article

Het gebruik van de voorkeurstem bij de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Een terreinverkenning in de provincie Limburg

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1994
Authors Johan Ackaert
Abstract

    There is only few information available about the use of preferential votes at local elections, since the Belgian Home Department does not publish that particular statistical material. This article registers the size of preferential voting and discusses its consequences for the local political system, based on statistical data collected in the 43 municipalities of the Limburg province where local elections were held in 1988. Nearly 9 of the 10 voters used the preferential vote to express their choice. This is a much higher level than the one noticed at the general elections. The use of preferential votes is varying according to the size of the municipalities (more preferential votes in the smaller ones) and differs from one party to another (f.e. 92.7 % for the christian-democratic parties to 47.1 % for the radical left). The local election system and the size of preferential votes at local elections explain why nearly 7 of the 10 local councillors broke through the order of the candidate-list. For the comparison, this occured only twice at the 1991 general elections.


Johan Ackaert

    In this article a typology of respondent's ability to participate in a survey interview is created by means of a latent class analysis. The indicators in the analysis are: the interviewer's evaluation of the respondent's ability, the use of the "don't know" response category and inconsistent answers. It was possible to fit a latent class model with three classes or types of respondents. The three types are clearly differentiated concerning ability. As expected, this typology is related to respondent's education and age. Ability to participate is higher for better educated and younger respondents. Given the fact that political preference is also related to these two background characteristics, there is a relationship between the respondent's typology and the political preference of the respondents.


Geert Loosveldt
Article

Relativiteit en succes van een Europees voorzitterschap

Het Belgisch voorzitterschap van naderbij bekeken

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1994
Authors Jan Beyers and Bart Kerremans
Abstract

    The Belgian Presidency is generally seen as being a success. On many difficult questions, the Belgians succeeded in forging compromises between the member states. There is a risk however, that the apparent successes of this Presidency will lead to an over-estimation of the role which a EU-president can play. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to its limits and possibilities. It can help to relativize the Belgian presidency and to improve insights into the potential role of EU-presidents within the decision-making of the European Union.


Jan Beyers

Bart Kerremans

    Not much has been written on the foreign assistance policy of Belgium, but work that focuses on it singly or in comparison with other cases tends to charge that Belgium lacks a coherent foreign assistance policy. This study examines the rhetoric of Belgian decision makers and the policy behavior of the state, utilizing a framework of four national role conception profiles, each bringing together a set of perceptions regarding the role decision makers perceive their state to play in this issue area. Parliamentary debates for the period 1975-90 are coded for mention of themes associated with these profiles, white OECD data regarding the foreign aid expenditures for the same period provide insight into the policy behavior. It concludes that Belgian decision makers do not perceive foreign assistance as a separate issue area, but as inextricably linked with foreign (economie) policy.


Marijke Breuning

    Coalitions have a limited life-span. There has been quite some research on the duration of coalitions and on the factors explaining variations in duration. But there is so far no solid theory on the mechanics of the termination of coalitions. This article gives an overview of the mechanics of termination in Belgian politics. By using the contextual approach (Pridham), that has originally been produced to analyse coalition formation, this overview might be a first step in the construction of a comparative explanatory model. The historical context, the institutional setting, the international context and the economical situation are described as elements that affect the termination of coalitions. The Belgian ethno-linguistic cleavage proves to be a very effective coalition-killer.


Kris Deschouwer

    The joint international action against Iraq and the search for a new security doctrine following the end of the Cold War, led, in the early '90s, to a revival of the notion of collective security embodied in several international agreements. This notion is based on the assumption of responding collectively to international aggression. However, the international guagmires of recent years and especially the case of former Yugoslavia where international organizations have played the role of alibi to agression, has once more, dealt a major blow to the illusion of the implementation of the principles of collective security. In a way similar to the 1930s and the bipolar balance of power of the Cold War, collective security seems ephemeral today. We can therefore safelypredict that in the foreseeable future, international relations will continue to be shaped by the balance of specific state interests and not by universally applied principles of collective security.


Huri Türsan
Article

L'engagement des intellectuels dans la France des années trente

entre culture et politique

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 1994
Authors Philippe Bradfer
Abstract

    Because of the extent and evidence of political participation of intellectuals in France of the thirties, the latter may be considered as full actors of the political life and debates of these years. The historical circumstances are however not sufficient to explain the political role they then assumed. More precisely, the article is intended to show that in order to explain the peculiarity of the phenomenon, one must necessarily turn to the cultural data, i.e. the set of values and representations that found the social recognition of intellectuals in France and that account for the believe according to which those who, because of their intellectual activity, arenotorious, have an authorized opinion on political matters. In this perspective, one may conclude that the commitment of intellectuals in France of the thirties may not be reduced to a political fact. It also constitutes a cultural fact, resulting from the combination of a value crisis and the system of political attitudes attached, in this country, to the status of intellectuals.


Philippe Bradfer
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