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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

Verandering bewerken in een veranderende context

Lessen uit de transitie van de Nederlandse landbouw

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2014
Keywords paradox of embedded agency, institutional void, governance, transition, agriculture
Authors John Grin
AbstractAuthor's information

    While the Netherlands has been a globally leading country in the area of agrofood for the latter half of the 20th century, its chances to maintain that position will co-depend on its capacity to develop its primary sector into more sustainable directions. This is no trivial task. For a long time, strong institutional arrangements provided guidance to practices of governance, consumption, production and innovation in line with a productivist paradigm. Although these arrangements have been significantly destabilized, and novel ones are emerging, a mature institutional landscape, tailored to a more sustainable development, has not yet fleshed out.
    This article asks the question how innovative practices deal with this ambiguous and dynamic institutional context. It does so through investigating how, over about a decade, two sets of practices to promote more sustainable development (in the fields of livestock systems and greenhouse horticulture), draw on (remains of) incumbent arrangements, and novel institutional elements to provide normative guidance and mobilize resources (money; knowledge; legitimacy). Theoretically, it thus contributes to (1) understanding the emergence of novel modes of governance in an institutional void, (2) taking into account and extending it to a dynamic context, the paradox of embedded agency.


John Grin
John Grin is hoogleraar beleidswetenschap, in het bijzonder systeeminnovaties, aan de Afdeling Politicologie van de Universiteit van Amsterdam. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op beleidsanalyse en governance van maatschappelijke transformaties, in het bijzonder op de gebieden landbouw en voeding, stedelijke innovaties en de curatieve en langdurige zorg.
Article

Welke eurocrisis? Een vergelijkende analyse van de nieuwsverslaggeving in de Lage Landen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2014
Keywords content analysis, euro crisis, newspapers, EU news, framing
Authors Willem Joris and Leen d’Haenens
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article presents a comparative analysis of the news coverage on the euro crisis in Flanders (Dutch-speaking Belgium) and the Netherlands. The aim of the research was to identify how newspapers in the Low Countries have portrayed the roots of the crisis, the main victims, and those held responsible to solve the crisis, and ways to do so. This study also analyzed the differences across geographical contexts and types of newspapers. Furthermore, it examined how the coverage changed as the crisis continued. Research findings include that Flemish newspapers more often reported about the causes of the crisis, whereas the Dutch newspapers published more articles discussing the responses to it. Furthermore, financial newspapers provided more news stories searching for a solution, while popular newspapers usually published short, factual descriptions.


Willem Joris
Willem Joris is wetenschappelijk medewerker aan het Instituut voor Mediastudies, KU Leuven. Hij doet een doctoraatsonderzoek over de ‘eurocrisis in het nieuws’.

Leen d’Haenens
Leen d’Haenens is gewoon hoogleraar aan het Instituut voor Mediastudies, KU Leuven. Haar onderzoeks- en onderwijsinteresses omvatten westers mediabeleid, jongeren en (sociale) media, media en sociale bewegingen, mediadiversiteit, en journalism studies.
Article

Tussen politieke partijen en think tanks

Een verkennende analyse van de Vlaamse partijstudiediensten

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Political party, study centre, think tank, Flanders, policy advice
Authors Valérie Pattyn, Steven Van Hecke, Marleen Brans e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    In Flanders, every political party has its own political foundation or study centre. Although their importance for the party organisation is widely recognised, a systematic and comparative analysis of these study centres is still lacking. This article is the first attempt to address this empirical void. Based on document analysis, interviews and survey material, we analyse the basic characteristics of the study centres of seven Flemish parties, covering all major political families. We compare their size, internal structure and autonomy vis-à-vis the party, explore the advisors’ profile and background and discuss the generation and products of advice. We conclude that despite their heterogeneity Flemish study centres share a common but limited functionality, being more of an extension of political parties than classical think tanks.


Valérie Pattyn
Valérie Pattyn is postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan het Instituut voor de Overheid (KU Leuven) en coördinator van het Steunpunt Bestuurlijke Organisatie Vlaanderen. Haar onderzoek situeert zich op de thema’s evidence-based beleid, beleidsevaluatie, beleidsadviseurs intern en extern aan de overheid, instrumenten van beleidsadvisering, en comparatieve kwalitatieve methoden.

Steven Van Hecke
Steven Van Hecke is docent Europese en vergelijkende politiek aan de KU Leuven. Hij is verbonden aan het Instituut voor de Overheid, waar hij onderzoek verricht naar politieke partijen en EU-instellingen.

Marleen Brans
Marleen Brans is hoogleraar aan het KU Leuven, Instituut voor de Overheid, waar zij onderwijs verstrekt en onderzoek verricht over beleidsontwerp, beleidscapaciteit en beleidsadvisering.

Thijs Libeer
Thijs Libeer studeerde Politieke Wetenschappen en Overheidsmanagement aan de KU Leuven. In het kader van deze laatste opleiding heeft hij in 2012 een thesisonderzoek verricht naar partijstudiediensten.
Article

Hoe tweederangs zijn lokale verkiezingen?

Een analyse van de Nederlandse gemeenteraadsverkiezingen 2010 vanuit het perspectief van second-order elections

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Second-order elections, Netherlands, municipal elections, aggregate studies
Authors Herman Lelieveldt and Ramon van der Does
AbstractAuthor's information

    Studies of second-order elections using aggregate data have predominantly focused on examining the extent to which European parliament elections and regional elections are dominated by the national, first-order arena, and paid scarce attention to the analysis of municipal elections. In addition the study of second-order elections is dominated by looking at the impact of first-order factors whilst ignoring the impact of arena-specific factors. This article addresses these shortcomings by analyzing the impact of national and local factors on the performance of national parties in the Dutch municipal elections of 2010. Our analysis shows that there are significant effects of local factors. Most parties lose votes when having been in local government and in some cases as well when having in addition lost an alderman as a result of a political crisis. Parties also lose vote share as a result of the entrance of new national and local parties in a local election, with the effect of new national entrants being larger than that of new local entrants. Our analysis corroborates earlier findings that point to a dominance of national factors, while at the same time showing that it is vital to include local, arena specific factors in order to get to a better estimation of the second-orderness of non-national elections. We discuss our results with respect to the recurring debate about the nationalisation of the Dutch municipal elections.


Herman Lelieveldt
Herman Lelieveldt doceert politicologie aan het University College Roosevelt, het liberal arts and honours college van de Universiteit Utrecht gevestigd in Middelburg.

Ramon van der Does
Ramon van der Does studeerde in 2014 als BA in de Social Sciences af aan het University College Roosevelt en doet momenteel de onderzoeksmaster politieke wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Leiden.
Article

Het meten van discourscoalities met discoursnetwerkanalyse

Naar een formele analyse van het politieke vertoog

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2014
Keywords Discourse analysis, social network analysis, discourse coalitions, policy conflict, methodology, public policy
Authors Allan Muller
AbstractAuthor's information

    Since the ‘argumentative turn’ in policy analysis scholars have increasingly focused on discourse as an explanatory factor for the analysis policy processes. This has resulted in a proliferation of rich and deep qualitative discourse-analytical studies on a vast range of policy controversies. However, these studies have two important shortcomings: firstly, they offer limited possibilities for comparative research, because they lack an objectified and standardized measuring instrument. Secondly, according to some critics, these studies do not live up to scientific standards.
    This article presents a method based on a combination of content analysis and social network analysis which can be complementary to qualitative approaches, in order to answer to these shortcomings. It is exemplified by a limited case study on two debates within the policy domain of transport-mobility in Flanders. The article concludes with a discussion of a number of possible applications of the method within the broader discipline of political science.


Allan Muller
Allan Muller is verbonden aan de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de formele meting van beleidsposities en beleidscontroverse op basis van discours, alsook op de comparatieve analyse van beleidscontroverses.
Article

Subfederale vertegenwoordiging in federale systemen: de rol van diversiteit en nationale trots

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2014
Keywords democratic representation, federalism, European Union, QCA
Authors Matthias Vileyn
AbstractAuthor's information

    Federal systems are characterised by compound and complex forms of democratic representation. The federal level addresses citizens both as members of the federal polity and as members of a constituent unit. This paper takes into account the existence of these multiple public identities of federal citizens by systematically comparing the degree of subfederal representation in 13 federal systems with QCA. The analysis shows that, apart from the EU, also traditional federal systems have a high degree of subfederal representation. Additionally, the paper looks in which kinds of federal systems we observe this. It shows that a heterogeneous society combined with low national pride or high economic diversity is sufficient to observe a high degree of subfederal representation. From there on conclusions are drawn on the EU and the Low Countries.


Matthias Vileyn
Matthias Vileyn is doctor in de Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Zijn onderzoek focust op democratische legitimiteit in federale politieke systemen, waarbij hij zich enerzijds richt op de vertegenwoordiging van deelstaten en anderzijds op democratische tevredenheid bij burgers. Hij onderzoekt onder meer het effect van institutionele keuzes zoals decentralisering en federalisme.
Article

Fiscale onrechtvaardigheid als argument in het belastingbeleid van de Vlaamse gemeenten

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2014
Keywords tax choice, equity, local public finance
Authors Bram Mahieu, Bruno Heyndels and Benny Geys
AbstractAuthor's information

    We analyze the relation between (horizontal) fairness in the local property tax and municipal tax policy in the 308 Flemish municipalities in 2012. The local property tax is levied on the property’s assessed rental value, and its unfairness is a by-product of the slow reassessment procedure – such that properties of identical value are being taxed (very) differently. Using data for housing sales, we create an indicator for the unfairness of the local property tax. We find clear evidence that this unfairness affects political decision-making: municipalities in which property taxation is more unfair tend to rely systematically less on this tax as a source of municipal revenue. Instead these local governments tend to generate revenue through local income taxation.


Bram Mahieu
Bram Mahieu is als assistent verbonden aan de vakgroep APEC (Applied Economics) van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de interactie tussen bedrijven en non-profitorganisaties. Daarnaast is hij betrokken bij onderzoeksprojecten rond lokale fiscaliteit.

Bruno Heyndels
Bruno Heyndels is als hoogleraar verbonden aan de vakgroep APEC (Applied Economics) van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Zijn onderzoek richt zich op de interactie tussen economie & politiek, economie & cultuur en economie & sport.

Benny Geys
Benny Geys is als onderzoeksprofessor verbonden aan de vakgroep APEC (Applied Economics) van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel en als Associate Professor in Economics aan de Norwegian Business School (BI) in Oslo. Zijn onderzoek richt zich voornamelijk op lokale overheidsfinanciën, de interactie tussen verschillende overheidsniveaus en sociaal kapitaal.
Article

Juridische kwetsbaarheid en onderhandelingen in de Wereldhandelsorganisatie

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2014
Keywords WTO, trade, legal vulnerability, Doha Round, judicialization
Authors Arlo Poletti and Dirk De Bièvre
AbstractAuthor's information

    In the current multilateral trade regime, members often negotiate under the shadow of WTO law. In this article, we develop an explanation of how the legal vulnerability of members’ domestic policies affects ongoing multilateral negotiations in the trade regime. First, we show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, increased enforcement does not necessarily make actors shy away from further cooperation. Legal vulnerability can ignite a positive dynamic of cooperation because it can increase the set of feasible agreements of WTO members. In a second stage, we set out how the nature of the issue at stake, i.e. whether it can be easily disaggregated into negotiable units, affects whether this positive dynamics of cooperation takes place. We illustrate the plausibility of the argument by way of four in-depth case studies of how potential (or actual) defendants and potential (or actual) complainants in WTO disputes responded to the incentives brought about by legal vulnerability and negotiated in the Doha round.


Arlo Poletti
Arlo Poletti geeft les aan de LUISS School of Government in Rome en is verbonden aan de onderzoeksgroep ACIM van het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen. Hij is de auteur van The European Union and Multilateral Trade Governance: The Politics of the Doha Round, London: Routledge.

Dirk De Bièvre
Dirk De Bièvre is professor internationale politiek en internationale politieke economie aan het departement politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen en lid van de onderzoeksgroep ACIM. Zijn onderzoek concentreert zich op de Wereldhandelsorganisatie, de Europese handelspolitiek, en de invloed van belangengroepen.
Article

China en de bescherming van burgers in conflictsituaties

Opkomende macht zoekt rol

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2014
Keywords China, internal conflicts, non-interference, R2P, sovereignty, Africa
Authors Sara Van Hoeymissen
AbstractAuthor's information

    Contemporary violent conflicts are mostly internal in nature. The serious humanitarian consequences that they often cause belong in principle to the internal affairs of the sovereign state in which they occur. Since the 90s, however, the international community is playing an increasingly important role in addressing the humanitarian consequences of internal conflicts. What kind of a partner is the West, meeting in this field with China? From the perspective of identities and role conceptions, this article highlights the Chinese debate on the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. This decades old cornerstone of China’s foreign policy is under discussion as a result of China’s rise, which is raising expectations of a more active role of China, including conflict management. This article examines the changing self-images that lead to the search for a new Chinese role but also points to the enduring influence of older role conceptions. The empirical focus is on Africa, with examples from Chinese policy toward some recent african complex crises.


Sara Van Hoeymissen
Sara Van Hoeymissen is research fellow aan het “Peace, Leadership and Conflict Transformation” Programma van National University of Science and Technology (NUST) in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Haar onderzoek concentreert zich momenteel voornamelijk op de rol van opkomende machten inzake vrede en veiligheidskwesties in Afrika.
Article

China’s uitgaande investeringen

Instituties, beperkingen en uitdagingen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2014
Keywords China, outward direct investment, investment policy, institutions
Authors Duncan Freeman
AbstractAuthor's information

    China’s outward investment policy has attracted attention not only for policy reasons, but also in academic debate on the role of source-country institutions in foreign investment. Formal institutions in the form of government policy and regulations have been central to China’s outward investment. This paper is based on a detailed analysis of Chinese policy and regulatory documents, which provide evidence of the motivations, substance and outcomes of investment policy. The paper argues that the factors determining investment policy are complex and evolving, and that elements of the policy may not be coherent and can be conflicting. It also argues that unintended outcomes are frequent, and that enterprises, including state-owned enterprises, attempt to escape the constraints of government policy and regulation. Thus, the relationship between institutions in China and enterprise behaviour is complex, and is not simply one of restriction or promotion of outward investment.


Duncan Freeman
Duncan Freeman is senior research fellow aan het Brussels Institute of Contemporary China Studies (BICCS), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Hij doet onderzoek naar China’s uitgaande investeringen.
Article

De Sino-Europese relaties inzake schone energie: partners of rivalen?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 2014
Keywords EU-China, renewable energy, trade disputes
Authors Thijs Van de Graaf
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article examines EU-China relations with regard to two key renewable energy sectors, wind and solar. It finds that, although there have been sources for trade disputes in both sectors, trade frictions have surfaced most prominently in the solar sector. The reason is a double imbalance between the manufacturing and deployment of solar panels, both geographically (with China producing the bulk of solar panels almost exclusively for export) and numerically (with structural overcapacity). Yet, the image of a zero-sum bilateral trade war over solar panels is exaggerated, because there are both opponents and proponents of trade defense measures in China and the EU. The study further argues that the solar dispute is part and parcel of a global wave of clean energy trade frictions and it explores pathways to settle the issue through the negotiation of a multilateral agreement on environmental goods and services.


Thijs Van de Graaf
Thijs Van de Graaf is doctor-assistent aan de Vakgroep Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Hij voert onderzoek naar internationale energiepolitiek.
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