Search result: 28 articles

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Year 1991 x

    The democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe, the speedy unification process of the two Germanies, growing economic disarray in the Soviet Union and the Gulf War put great pressure on the European Community - and raised high expectations throughout 1990. The external challenges initially seemed to slow down the internal integration process. But by the end of 1990 the Twelve (including Britain after Mrs. Thatcher's resignation) committed themselves to further European political union (stronger institutions, common foreign and security policy, new competences) and European economic union culminating into a central bank and a common currency. The two intergovernmental constitutional conferences on EPU and EMU were installed on December 15. The execution of the internal market programme is on schedule with 70% of the directives adopted by late 1990, although the Commission expressed concern about timely transposition of the directives into national law. The EC's record on external relations is mixed: appreciation for its stepped-up cooperation with Eastern Europe, criticism for its tough stand on agriculture at the Gatt-conference, weak diplomatie performance during the Gulf War.


Liesbet Hooghe

    In 1990, an unprecedented strike of the French-speaking teachers stirred up political life in Belgium. The conflict started in February, when the unions demanded a two percent wage increase. Such an increase had been promised a couple of months earlier to all civil servants in Belgium. However, the Frenchspeaking community could only implement this decision by cuttingjobs. The anger of the teachers was also rooted in a profound malaise about their profession. In May and June, most schools were on strike. The French-speaking community receives a dotation from the federal government, the amount of which is determined by the law of January 1989. Politicians will eventually agree on the necessity of revising this law, but they did not do so in 1990. As a consequence, the Community had to appeal to the Walloon andBrussels Regions for financial aid, so as to be able to meet the demands of the teachers without having to cut jobs. At the cost of a strike which lasted for about six weeks, the teachers have obtained a four percent wage increase. In addition, politicians have formally promised not to take any measures affecting employment until they have received the conclusions of a large-scale study of the educational system in the French-speaking Community. Those conclusions are expected to be available in 1992.


Pierre Bouillon

    During the last decades Belgium bas undergone a fundamental change in its political structure. lbe state reform of 1970-71 ended the unitary state. Three new territorial divisions were included in the constitution: the linguistic Regions, the Cultural Communities and the Regions. With the state reform of 1980, a further step on the road toward federalization was taken. The Cultural Communities were remodeled into Communities. From that moment on these legislative bodies were also in charge of health and social services. This article looks at the way the Flemish Community has developed its social welf are policy during the last decade. It gives an overview of the legislative work concerning the ten parts of the social welf are sector and of the evolution of the financial means the Flemish Executive has appropriated for it.


Frans Lammertyn

Erwin Das
Article

Belgians and security issues: a trend analysis (1970-1990)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1991
Authors Philippe Manigart and Eric Marlier
Abstract

    This article attempts to assess, in a quantitative way, how security/defense issues have been perceived in Belgium since the early 1970s among the mass public. This period has been characterized by breathtaking changes in the political and military world environment. How have Belgians reacted to these changes? The empirical evidence is based on a secondary analysis of public opinion data from the Eurobarometer series. The picture that emerges from the trend analysis is mixed. On the one hand, orientations towards the peace movement and arms limitations are more positive than before. On the other hand, many other indicators point to an increase in pro-defense orientations. Belgians are also overwhelmingly favorable to the creation of a collective organization for defense.


Philippe Manigart

Eric Marlier
Article

Belgian politics in 1990

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1991
Authors Ivan Couttenier
Abstract

    In 1990, Belgium's domestic political agenda was overshadowed by international events. Developments in Zaire, Rwanda and especially in the Gulf often forced Belgian political leaders to set aside their domestic preoccupations. On the pending constitutional reform issues no substantial progress was made. At the end of 1990, many bills dealing with economic issues awaited parliamentary approval. In the fall, labor and management reached a nationwide inter-industry collective bargaining agreement and a new pension bill was adopted by Parliaiment.


Ivan Couttenier
Article

Bibliographie de l'année politique 1990

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1991
Authors Wladimir S. Plavsic

Wladimir S. Plavsic

Mieke Verminck
Article

Political opinion polls in Belgium 1974-1989

Index of keywords and references

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1991
Authors Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica

Mieke Verminck
Article

Overzicht van het Belgische politiek gebeuren in 1990

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1991
Authors Reinoud D'Haese and Pol Van Den Driessche

Reinoud D'Haese

Pol Van Den Driessche

    Three decades after their political independence, Black-African republics still search for stability. One-party states and military regimes have failed, but while both systems seem to retreat, presidentialism, the third branch of Negro-African governmentality, is likely to become a permanent phenomenon within post-colonial Central-African politics. Constitutionally rooted in presidential institutions, the single executive disposes of many instruments to establish presidentialist practices. Presidentialism itself refers to such historical precedents as the rule of traditional kings, colonial governors and nationalist leaders. Its legitimacy leans on the need for comprehensible government, political stability, economic development and effective direction. Different kinds of presidentialism exist, but their classification depends on numerous criteria which are aften incompatible, and many characteristics of presidentialism can be indicated, of which the most important are patriarchy, wealth, charisma, sacralisation and historicity. Although presidentialism appears as an important aspect of the contemporary African political systems, few research has been done to explain the emergence and persistence of this phenomenon.


Sam De Smedt

    During the eighties, the Flemish christian democratic party (CVP) has elected a new president after every legislative election. These party leaders have to fit in the political and electoral strategy for the next years. In the three cases which are examined here, several candidates were running for the party leadership, but only one was admitted to the election. This indicates that the CVP avoids any form of discord. The chairman bas to be familiar with the party and he is selected in accordance with the equilibrium between the various tendencies and social organizations ("standen") within the party. This selection takes place in a limited, informal group of influential party members, such as the most important ministers, the resigning chairman and the leaders of the "standen". The general party members are not involved in this process; they can only confirmthe choice of the party elite.


Luk Vanmaercke

    Although the knowledge of war and international conflict has definitely increased, we do not as yet have much insight into why and how wars come about, and especially how war as a certain and comparably rare form of conflict regulation is connected to conflict behavior at lower levels of intensity as military disputes and international conflict behavior in general. Theoretical progress in the study of war demands a significant effort at the level of basic research. It is imperative to spend more energy at the rigorous deduction of testable propositions from general explanatory principles or mechanisms. For the success of such an endeavour it is essential to adopt both a dynamic and systems-theoretic perspective. This implies a vision of war as a certain and one of possible phases in the international political process, concurrently with other injuriousforms of interaction as serious disputes and low level conflict behavior, but also supportive behavior like trade and cooperation. Yet, if we are to analyze and understand the war phenomenon from this perspective, clearly more formalized approaches and techniques are imperative.


Gustaaf Geeraerst

    Results of Belgian municipal elections of 1988 and socio-economic characteristics of municipalities are used to estimate quantitatively (by multivariate regression analysis) the relationship between municipal election outcomes and these socio-economic characteristics. A higher average income bas a negative effect on election results for the Christian-democratic party and for the socialist party and a positive effect for the liberal party. A higher proportion of citizens who depend on public assistance has a negative effect for the Christian-democrats and a positive effect for the socialist party. A higher proportion of citizens with a university degree has a negative effect on election results for the socialist party and a positive effect for the green party. A higher proportion of younger citizens has a positive effect for the Christian-democrats and the green party and a negative effect for the socialist, the liberal and the extreme right wing Flemishparty. A higher degree of urbanisation has a negative effect for the Christiandemocratsand a positive effect for the socialist, the green and the extreme rightwing Flemish party. A higher proportion of Northern-African immigrants in the population has a positive effect for the socialist and the extreme Flemish party and a negative effect for the green party. The explanatory values of the estimated equations are moderate and results have to be interpreted with caution. Closer examination of the data show that the participation at the elections by the extreme right wing Flemish party leads to a proportional decline in votes for the socialist party.


Koen Torfs
Article

"België erkent geen regeringen, enkel staten"

Het geval Cambodja 1979-1991

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1991
Authors Marc Maes
Abstract

    Since 1965 Belgian has stopped recognizing governments confining itself to the recognition of states only and maintaining diplomatie relations with the recognized states through wathever government able of exercising effective controle of those states' territory. Nota single exception to this doctrine was made untill 1979. In 1979 however Belgium refused to recognize the government installed in Phnom Penh following the Vietnamese intervention. One year later it also stopped recognizing the Khmer Rouge. In the UN however Belgium went on to accept the Khmer Rouge delegation as the representatives of Cambodia, a state thus being represented by a delegation accredited by an entity that Belgium did not consider to be a government. This contradiction was maintained untill present since neither the coalition between the Khmer Rouge, Sihanouk and Son Sann (created in 1982) nor the Supreme National Council (created in 1990) were regarded by Belgium as governments. The article reconstructs the Belgium position out of the many statements and arguments the government bas put forward in the UN and the Belgian Parliament. The Belgian position is than examined in the light of international law, its own recognition doctrine and the international and domestic political context. This led to the conclusion that the legal grounds for the Belgian policy were rather weak and that its position almost completly differred from its traditional doctrine. In the Cambodian case however political considerations appeared to have prevailed Belgium chose to join the US, China and Asean and manoeuvred as to follow them in their condemnation of the Vietnamese intervention. Acting even as one of the most faithfull followers of the Asean policy towards Cambodia, Belgium enjoyed the improvement of its own relations with Asean, also in the commercial field. The continuous domestic opposition in and out of the Parliament was not able to change this policy. Even the present Minister of Foreign Alf airs who declared to be inclined to adjust the Belgian position had to hold back in order not to affect the esthablised relations.


Marc Maes

    The level of political alienation is high among higher civil servants in Belgium, at least when we compare them to their colleagues in Germany. Explanatory factors should, then, have a noticeable impact on both the intra- and the inter-country variance. Early academie and political socialization seems to matter little except for the socialisation in ideological and general culture: Belgian higher civil servants are less egalitarian and more "materialistic" and therefore, it seems, more politically alienated. Another promising factor appears to be the opportunity to participate in actual policy making: in this respect too the Belgian officials are not well served. However, the most striking factor is the degree of technocratism which breeds an attitude of disrespect for politicians. But how to explain that the Belgian higher civil servants grew up to be such technocrats?


Guido Dierickx
Article

International Political Science Association

XV World Congress - Buenos Aires August 1991

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1991
Authors Editor Res Publica

Editor Res Publica
Article

Le Roi d'Espagne: symbole et arbitre

Journal Res Publica, Issue 1 1991
Authors Manuel Jimenez de Parga
Abstract

    Since the instauration of the parliamentary democracy in Spain in the second half of the seventies, the monarchy is an essential part of the system. As both the attitude and the behaviour of Juan Carlos I in the dramatic events of February 23th, 1981 and the Constitution as well, point out, the king has to watch attentively over public affairs and has to protect the basic values of the system. He is also the arbitrator who has to handle cleverly, inventively and carefully the marginal cases which the legislator cannot foresee. The king furthermore, is a symbol. Both the function of arbitrator and the symbolic function have to be taken into account to fully understand the monarchy in the Spanish parliamentary system.


Manuel Jimenez de Parga

    A sample survey of 3000 Belgians shows that a large majority in both Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels is in favour of the monarchy. This support is based mainly on an attachment to tradition and a belief that the monarchy is the only institution capable of holding the nation together. Comparison with earlier research indicates that the influence of the king, as perceived by the population, has increased during the last 15 years. Older generations and catholics tend to be more royalistic. Opposition against the monarchy is strongest amongst non-religious groups, younger generations, ecologists and - in Flanders - socialists and Flemish nationalists.


Bart Maddens
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