Search result: 26 articles

Year 1990 x

Editor Res Publica

    This article tries to provide a dynamic interest group theory. Using the economic method of the 'homo economicus' demand for and supply of policy catering to the needs of pressure groups are analysed. Central are the notions of information and organisation costs that face latent groups treatened by already existing groups. These notions permit to integrate the existing theories on pressure group into one global dynamic theory. The economists' rent seeking theory and the political scientists' pluralism and neo-corporatism can thus be understood as stages in a continuing process.

Frank Naert

La participation politique en Belgique ...

Essai de mesure des attitudes

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1990
Authors Michel Collinge

    Political participation in Belgium is analysed according to two types of political participation: conventional participation and protestation, measured by a Guttman scale. The study describes the two types of political participation in the different regions in Belgium: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels. A comparaison with some western countries is made. Political participation in Belgium is weak. It depends on the regional division and the sociological characteristics. Moreover, political participation is linked to the Belgian traditionnal clivages.

Michel Collinge

Parlementsleden over het parlement en hun taak

Onderzoek van gepercipieerde en gepropageerde beelden inzake het parlement bij de Vlaamse Kamerleden van 1977 tot 1987

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1990
Authors Peter Weckx

    This article focuses on opinions of 185 Flemish members of Parliament on the functioning of Parliament, the position of Parliament in the decision making process and their task as a member of Parliament. For that purpose, members of Parliament were not interviewed, hut other sources were used, such as (daily and weekly) papers, papers of political parties and parliamentary documents. They all were situated in the period 1977-1987. The study shows that members of Parliament do not wish to affect a revaluation of Parliament because of different opinions of opposition and majority members conceming its position in the decision making process. Nevertheless, they extensively discussed this theme. In this way they want to express their concern for the functioning of parliamentary democracy, in which Parliament constitutionally is focused in the center.

Peter Weckx

De repressie en de politieke agenda

September 1944 - november 1952

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1990
Authors Luc Huyse

    From September 1944 on the military courts that handled matters of wartime collaboration had to scrutinize 350. 000 charges and prosecute 57. 000 suspects white political authorities, parties, the media and public opinion kept a close watch. The aim of this article is to study the place the issue of the purge of the Belgian collaborators took on the political agenda of that time. It was found that the topic in question seldom received a top priority position and that when it attracted major attention interests outside the issue of the purge itself (such as the reconstruction of the economy or the reshuffling of a government) were at stake.

Luc Huyse

Imperiali, D'Hondt en Niemeyer als verdelingstechnieken bij de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen

Een simulatie aan de hand van de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen van 9 oktober 1988

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 1990
Authors Johan Ackaert

    Earlier research pointed out that the processing of the results of the municipal council elections shows a serious distorsion favouring the strongest lists and prejudicing the weaker ones. The Belgian Parliament will discuss at an early date two different proposals of law on that problem. One prefers the "D'Hondt"-method (which is used for all the other elections in Belgium), the other suggests the "Niemeyer"-technique, which is used in Germany. Both systems seem to be more proportional than the "Imperiali"-way (which is used naw). However, the "Niemeyer"-technique is not always able to transform an absolute majority of votes into a majority of seats in the municipal councils. A modification of the seatsdistributionsystem will seriously reduce the number of absolute majorities in the municipal councils. This could pose problems of political and administrative stability in local government. A modification will also produce negative ejfects on the positions of the christian-democrats in Flanders and the socialists and christian-democrats in the Walloons. Nearly all the other parties and particularly the small ones will improve their positions.

Johan Ackaert

    Tbe struggle for the liberalization of the law on abortion began in Belgium in 1970 when the taboo was breached in an initial bill. However, support by pressure groups failed and this led to a long period of nondecision, which may be explained by the disunity in the camp of the supporters on the one hand and the blocking tactics of the Flemish Christian Democrats on the other. In 1986 a compromise between supporters finally emerged, and via a majority which cut right through the governmental coalition an abortion law was approved at the end of March 1990, which closely corresponds to British, French and Dutch legislation. The catholic monarch's refusal to ratify the bill caused a political crisis which was solved by the unanimous signing by the assembled ministers.

Els Witte

    Budgetary austerity has been implemented by all levels of government in Belgium since 1982. The public attention has focussed on the achievements of the centra[ level. However, also at the local level a remarkable budgetary retrenchment has been realised. This study investigates the various aspects of decremental budgeting of the Belgian municipolities, both at the expenditures and the revenues side.

Wim Moesen

Jacques Vanneste

Yolande Vansina

    In the spring of 1990, Belgian Parliament adopted a partial liberalization of abortion. Belgium is one of the last western countries to take such action. Public awareness on the issue fully developed in the early seventies, as abortion came to be regarded as a life-style issue. The rift between opponents and advocates of legal change coincides with the cleavage between catholics and non-believers in Belgian society, and this makes abortion a potentially disruptive issue for the political system. Therefore, Government avoided taking any decisions, and refered the question to a special commission, and later to Parliament. This resulted in a process of non-decisionmaking, which seems typical for the way a consensus democracy, like Belgium, tries to defuse highly disputed issues. The fact that abortion ultimately was partially liberalized, seems to reflect the dramatic changes that secularization bas brought to Belgian society the past decades.

Marc Hooghe

Erwin Das

    The European internal market presents an enormous challenge for business firms in a small open economy. Major adjustments may be in order in certain business sectors, as the success of 1992 will in first instance depend upon the dynamism of the Belgian firms themselves. Whithin the federal context of a simultaneous devolution of powers towards the European level and towards lower-level jurisdictions in Belgium, the functions of governments have to be redefined. The process of translating European directives into national law and of further adapting the legal and economic framework, especially in the financial field, has just taken off in Belgium. However, a more continuous effort of modernising the institutional and economic environment will be in order for the years to come.

Dirk Heremans

Jo Guldemont

Mieke Verminck

Belgian politics in 1989

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2-3 1990
Authors Ivan Couttenier

    The center-left Martens VIII cabinet, which had taken office in May 1988 following the longest political cricis in Belgian history, continued in 1989 implementation of its constitutional reform program. The European elections had no domestic impact, but during the campaign the focus was once again on the burning immigration issue. Meanwhile, abortion liberalization caused tension inside the majority. In foreign affairs, the focus was on normalization of relations with Zaire.

Ivan Couttenier

Editor Res Publica

Mieke Verminck

    During recent years, the audiovisual landscape in Belgium has been going through a number of drastic changes. The monopoly of the public broadcasting system, standing for over 40 years, was breached. Several hundreds of private radio stations, two new commercial television stations and a number of private local television stations saw the light. The advent of all these newcomers has created a competitive media system. Therivalry between the public broadcasting companies and the commercial stations is very severe and unfortunately the PBS are imitating the commercial model: they sacrifice more time for fiction and entertainment. Moreover, the Belgian media policy is very permissive and favours commercialisation.

Els De Bens

    From the independence (1960), the relations between Zaïre and Belgium have known many difficulties. The most serious crisis took place from november 1988 to july 1989 (march 1990). A lot of questions were brought up: cooperation, debt, human rights... The agreement of Rabat provides for the future. Behind these events, it is possible to find some explanations of the crises: the past (relations colony-colonizing nation), the nature of power (differences between democracy and personal power) and the international surroundings.

Claude Roossens

    This paper aims to determine the major axes of the economic policy implemented by the Walloon Region since it acquired significant powers in january 1989. A brief summary of the mechanisms introduced by the Special Financing Law demonstrates how much federal entities suffer from financial constraints imposed by the budgetary sourcing from the National Government. As a result the resources made available are lower than 1988 expenditure on items which have since been 'federalized". The balance will have to be financed by Regional borrowing. We discuss several budgetary policies scenarios and their effects. The Walloon Region has chosen a middle way between two extremes. It has avoided an unchanged expenditure policy, which would have led to an undesirable increase in the debt of the Region, followed by a chronic budgetary shortage. neither has it introduced an excessively strict policy - obtaining a balanced budget by 1996 would have meant a 20% cut in current expenditures. The Walloon Region has opted for a policy of distributing growth between the present and the future by accepting a reasonable level of debt with borrowing limited to the financing of investments which increase the Region's earning assets. When it comes to the budgetary policy of the French Community, we confine ourselves to a brief presentation of the budget because of uncertainty about how it will be made up.

Jean-Pierre Dawance

Mark Deweerdt

Agalev en Ecolo als links-libertaire partijen

Of de partijpolitieke vertaling van een nieuwe breuklijn

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 1990
Authors Staf Hellemans and Herbert Kitschelt

    A survey conducted in 1985 at the party conferences of the Belgian ecology parties Agalev and Ecolo, allows to brush an empirically based picture of the militants and the internal functioning of these parties. The "new middle class" background of the militants, the stratarchic order in the cadre party, the manifest links with the socalled "new social movements" and the specific brand of a new left-libertarian ideology all point to the new and different character of these parties, in comparison tothe established Belgian parties.

Staf Hellemans

Herbert Kitschelt
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