Search result: 32 articles

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Year 1986 x

    The aim of this article is to demonstrate the discussion on neocorporatism with refering to the Belgian socio-economie concertation system. The central thesis is to understand neo-corporatism as a functional specific concertation system alongside or in function of the traditional parliamentary-democratic decision-system. The fact that this neo-corporatist socio-economic concertation system is interwoven with the parliamentary system (and especially with the particracy or compromise democracy in Belgium) stands for its strength and strategie facilities to come to a socio-economic concensus between trade unions, business organizations and the state. Specially the fact that neo-corporatism is not always very structured, and works more or less in an informal way puts our attention to the traditional formal democratic way of decision-making and the informal concertation between workers, employers and the state. This difference between formal and informal, or legally institutionalized and semi-institutionalized concertation plays a major role in the functioning of the Belgian socio-economic concertation system.


Alex Vanderstraeten
Article

Juridische mechanismen van conflictbeheersing in België

het onderwijsprobleem

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1986
Authors Filip Reyntjens
Abstract

    Political and sociological research indicates that the use of consociational techniques has been a major means of ensuring peace and stability in a divided society like Belgium. This paper attempts to cast a first look at another component: what are the legal mechanisms of confiictmanagement in Belgium? This question is studied on the basis of the case of the school-confiict, which is one aspect of the ideological dividing line; this was indeed the first to be institutionalised in Belgium. The drafting of the 1831 Constitution was the first great exercise in consensus-seeking and the same approach prevailed over much of the 19th century. It was interrupted, however, during the first «School War» which was waged from 1879 to 1884. After the First World War a number of issues in the educational dispute were settled by way of package-deals, which were an attempt to replace zero-sum games by more-or-less choices. However a second School War erupted from 1950 to 1958. After the 1958 elections the balance of power was such that compromise showed necessary again: this situation led to the «School Pact» which tried to institutionalise consociational solution-seeking in this field. The Pact system was later applied in numerous other fields where mere majoritarian decision-making was discarded. White in the School issue these solutions were not as yet legalised, in later agreements they were. The paper argues that the main aim of these approaches is to avoid adjudication on these issues by third confiict-solvers, such as courts and tribunals. Instead allocation is arranged between the participants to the deal; these partners are the political parties who claim to represent the whole range of public opinion. In this way «soft law» is created: this development represents a creeping undermining of the Rule of Law.


Filip Reyntjens

    The existing models for the formation of governmental coalitions as far as Belgium is concerned do not score high in predictability. A more complex model, covering three fields, seven vectors and one strong actor among a limited number of decision-makers, fits much better. A prerequisite for a coalition is a majority within the elitist parties in parliament. Favoring coalition formation are the decision-making capabilities of the cabinet, the elitarian consensus on the basic values prominent in and for the Belgian society, the programmatic similarities and affinities of the political parties and their capacity to manipulate issues. Hampering coalition formation are the development of partisan options, the polarization of issues, and the internal dissensions within the political parties. This model stresses the combined action of strong structures and actors, paramount in Belgian society.


Wilfried Dewachter
Article

Management Reforms in Belgian and British Governments

A comparative perspective (1982-1985)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1986
Authors Christian De Visscher
Abstract

    This comparative study of management reforms in the United Kingdom and in Belgium between 1982 and 1985, focuses on the incentives to these reforms, on the objectives pursued by the governments of both countries in undertaking them and on the results which have been already obtained. The need to reduce severely public expenditure by improving efficiency and effectiveness in government is recognized in both countries, but the governments diverse on the contents of the reforms and on the methods used to realize them. The British opted for a radical reform conducted with much political backing, white the Belgians preferred to apply a strategy of gradual improvements of the budgetary process.


Christian De Visscher

    In most referenda, only two alternatives are used («yes» and «no»). In this article, the possibility to find procedures for three and more alternatives is discussed. The Swiss voting system for the revision of the constitution is not logically correct. Most procedures used in Swiss cantons are not either. Voting systems with two rounds, with points, or based on a relative majority are not defendable too. Nevertheless, a workable and logically correct procedure for 3 alternatives exists. Using 4 of more alternatives is only possible in case of single-peakedness or some kinds of value-restrictedness. When this is not the case, systems which are logically correct, are getting too complex to be workable.


Gerrit De Geest
Article

De la logique des passions à la vocation de l'engagement

Georges Bernanos, François Mauriac et Emmanuel Mounier face à la guerre d'Espagne

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1986
Authors Philippe Bradfer
Abstract

    The thirties constituted in many respects a rich and revealing moment of the history of political commitment of the French intellectuals. Within this conjuncture, the Spanish civil war, by its religious and ideological components, assumed for them a very special importance. The public engagements of Georges Bernanos, François Mauriac and Emmanuel Mounier rather clearly illustrate the cristallization of a new vocation of commitment to which the Spanish events conferred an irresistible character. Although they participated, at different levels, to the big passionate movement which the event generated in France in July 1936, all three agreed, from 1937 on, to recognize that totalitarisms and fascisms then constituted the most dangerous agents in an ill Europe. Finally, one can say that by refusing the temptation which leads men to renunciation, fanatism or personal unexistance, their political commitment has certainly illustrated their will to regive a meaning to the human.


Philippe Bradfer
Article

Consensus en oppositie in het Belgisch parlement tijdens een verkiezingsjaar

Onderzoek op basis van het stemgedrag in de Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers in 1985

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1986
Authors Mieke Verminck
Abstract

    This article describes the consensus and opposition in the Belgian Parliament (the Chamber) during 1985, a year of general elections. These phenomena are examined through the nature of voting patterns and the cohesion degree in the Chamber itself, between the ruling parties and between the parties in the opposition, as well as in the political parties itselves. The government vs. opposition gap is the dominant voting pattern. Unanimity counts for only 6 %, especially then in the final voting. VU and RAD/UDRT often join the majority vote. The dominant voting pattern is affirmed by the total Chamber cohesion degree: majority vs. opposition. The cohesion between the parties in opposition reaches lower than the majority cohesion degree. Cohesion in the fractions quotes higher in the smaller fractions, as well as in the fractions of the ruling parties.


Mieke Verminck
Article

De regeringsvormingen eind 1985

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1986
Authors Mark Platel

Mark Platel

Mark Deweerdt

Editor Res Publica

Ivo Vanpol

Ivo Vanpol
Article

Belgian Politics in 1985

«No Turning Back»

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 1986
Authors Jozef Smits

Jozef Smits

Mieke Verminck
Article

Clarté du discours et représentation politique

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1986
Authors Henri Capron and Jean-Claude Kruseman
Abstract

    Assuming that the political information provided to the voters directly determines the communication efficiency of the political system in a democratic framework, this paper therefore proposes and tests some hypotheses explaining the politician's behaviour in that respect. Those hypotheses are tested on statements made by major Belgian parties' leaders at the eve of the 1978 and 1981 national elections. Having first related the degree of reserve on the politician's statement with his party's share in the constituency, a positive relationship is found. The second hypothesis states that the degree of reserve in the politician's statement is explained by his reaction either offensive or defensive triggered by the variation in his party's share given the outcome of the precedent election. It is observed that a defensive attitude is adopted by parties having known a reduction of their market share. The third question dealt with examines the infiuence of the size of the party on the abovementioned relationship between the variation of the market share and the degree of reservedness. The results show that apparently the elimination of the size effect does not affect the findings concerning the second hypothesis.


Henri Capron

Jean-Claude Kruseman

    This article is based on a quantitative evaluation of the shifts in voting behaviour of the Flemish population, from the national elections in 1981 to those in 1985. Using the variables sex, age and occupational status a further analysis is made of the voting behaviour of the different subgroups. Firstly the article describes the methodology by which the mobility tables were calculated using statistical information from poll surveys and the results of the elections. In the second part the results of the analysis, using log-linear modelling, correspondence analysis and cluster analysis,are presented. The results indicate significant shifts between the different parties. Furthermore they indicate that the sex of the voter has no significant influence on his voting behaviour. Finally, the odds ratios are calculated for the different subgroups with regard to the likehood of a voter moving (changing his voting behaviour) or staying.


Marc Swyngedouw

    At the provincial council elections of the 13th of October 1985 in Belgium two of the three traditional politie al families made a general progress, namely the socialists and the christian democrats. The liberals had a serious decline in Flanders, but for the greater part this was counterbalanced by the liberal progress in Wallonia. The ecologists also made progress, mostly in the Flemish part of the country. Beside the Flemish liberals, the big losers of these elections were the regional parties, namely the Flemish nationalists and for sure the Walloon Rally who disappeared from the electoral scene.


Danny Toelen

    During the Belgian legislative elections on 13 october 1985, the Centre Liégeois d'Etudes de l'Opinion (CLEO), University of Liège, polled voters leaving the voting booths. The objective was to determine the characteristics of electors of the various parties according to the usual criteria of identification (sex, age, socio-economic status, education, religion, revenue, previous votes). The motives and wishes of the voters were also recorded (problems influencing the final vote decision, timing of the decision, attitude toward the incumbent government, type of coalition desired for the new government). The poll consisted of a representative sample of one thousand French speaking voters in the province of Liège. Most of the article presents the results obtained by cross-tabulating various identifying and motive variables with the political parties. In this way, we measure and demonstrate the relative importance of all the independent variables on the distribution of votes, except for sex which seems have little influence.


René Doutrelepont

Editor Res Publica

    Our research concerns political knowledge among eighteen-year-old pupils (last year secondary school) in Belgium (sample size: 600) and the variables that may cause a differential level of political knowledge. The results point out that the average level of political knowledge is really low (54 %), though some elementary items (like the prime minister, Mitterrand and Greenpeace) score up to 98 %. The studyreveals as the most significant independent variables: the sex (boys score better than girls), political participation of the parents, mass media, and (in a negative way) school. Mass media are most frequently mentioned as the most important sources of political information. Moreover, respondents with a high level of newsmedia exposure do indeed score best. Political education at school shows to have low impact, on the contrary, respondents that mention school as their most important source of political information tend to score worst.


Hilde Pattyn
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