Search result: 78 articles

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Year 1993 x

Mieck Vos
Article

Belgian politics in 1992

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1993
Authors Ivan Cottenier
Abstract

    After unsuccessful attempts to form Liberal-Socialist and tripartite cabinets, another center-left cabinet was made. It was the first cabinet headed by Flemish Christian-Democratjean-Luc Dehaene. Not commanding a two-thirds majority in Parliament, the constitutional reform agenda was referred to a community-to-community dialogue which resulted in an overall constitutional reform agreement concluded in the fall. Not much action was taken on the budget deficit, and the cabinet's reliance on new taxes led to tension inside the coalition, with the CVP insisting on additional spending cuts. Labor and management reached agreement on a 1993-94 national inter-industry accord for the private sector. The cabinet decided to abolish conscription, and the armed farces were involved in UN-sponsored peacekeeping missions in ex-Yugoslavia and Somalia. In Parliament, there was a large majority in favor of the Maastricht Treaty.


Ivan Cottenier
Article

European Community Politics and Policies in 1992

A Review

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1993
Authors Liesbet Hooghe

Liesbet Hooghe
Article

De politieke strijd rond de invoering van de ecotaks

Een getuigenis

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1993
Authors Magda Aelvoet and Chris Steenwegen
Abstract

    Agalev and Ecolo (the green parties in Flanders and Wallonia) consented to supporting the institutional reform of Belgium. Product-policy will be assigned to the federal government. Ecotaxes, fiscal instruments that fit in a product policy, are introduced. Three criteria are defined: 1) the primary goal is to bring about a change of behaviour, 2) the revenues are allocated towards environmental policy and 3) alternative products should be available. Whoever wants to know society, must try to change it. The enormous resistance of industry cannot only be explained by economic considerations. Much more, it is a matter of pure power: who has something to say about what. But resistance and desinformaton also came from consumers' organisations, thewritten press in its comments and even from some 'environmental scientists'. Authors wonder what farces will be unleashed when the discussion on 'reducing consumption ' starts.


Magda Aelvoet

Chris Steenwegen

Peter Janssens

    The end of the Cold War, technological changes and social-cultural evolution have brought about the end of the mass army. In most of the countries where there still exists a conscription system, i.e. almost everywhere in continental Europe, the debate on the end of the draft is now open. Among these nations, Belgium was the first to decide to adopt an all-volunteer force (AVF). It is also the country where the transition to an AVF will be the quickest. The article first describes the content of the present reform of the Belgian military organization (the so-called Delcroix plan) and its various aspects. It then analyzes its structural and internal causes.


Philippe Manigart
Article

Morfologie van de Vlaamse politieke partijen in 199 1 en 1992

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1993
Authors Peter Janssens, Stefaan Fiers and Mieck Vos

Peter Janssens

Stefaan Fiers

Mieck Vos
Article

Overzicht van het Belgische politiek gebeuren in 1992

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3-4 1993
Authors Mark Deweerdt and Rolf Falter

Mark Deweerdt

Rolf Falter

    In January 1990, the Parti Réformateur Libéral (PRL) inaugurated a brand new management, called "bicephalism ": instead of the traditional presidentialsystem, one "ticket" with a president (Antoine Duquesne) and a vice-president (Daniel Ducarme) was commissioned to ensure the leadership of the party. The bicephalism was only the result of a tricky internal compromise, stemming from the discontent following the return of the party in the opposition (May 1988) and strengthened after the defeat at the European polls (fune 1989). The "two-headed" system wanted to restore the credibility and to reinforce the cohesion of the PRL. In fact, this genuine political "curiosity" mainly revealed the structural and ideological deficiency which made its coming possible. Its ultimate defeat - at the 24 November 1991 polls - caused itsfalling down. The bicephalism was bound to an identity problem of the french Belgian liberalism but also some features of the experience refer to a more general crisis of the values carried by the old traditional political movements.


Marc D'Hoore
Article

Nieuwe sociale bewegingen in de Belgische politiek

Een impressie

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1993
Authors Staf Hellemans
Abstract

    In overviewing the (scant) empirical evidence gathered on and the literature written about New Social Movements (NSM's) in Belgium this article tries to buttress three general propositions. First, the NSM' highlight a general tendency among social movements today of a thoroughgoing dissociation of the mobilizational potential on the one hand and organizational (decision making) power on the other hand. Second, the NSM's in Belgium have helped substantially in raising participation levels, broadening the action repertoire of the citizens and changing the nature ofparticipation. Third, although participation levels in Belgium are still beneath the West-European averages, the NSM's consitute in Belgium - with the New Right as their direct opponent - a new cleavage line in an altogether weakening system of cleavages.


Staf Hellemans
Article

Protest, ongenoegen en onverschilligheid op 24 november... en nadien

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1993
Authors Jaak Billiet, Marc Swyngedouw and Ann Carton
Abstract

    The General Elections of November 24 1991 will secure a place in Belgian political history. On this 'Black Sunday' one third of the electorate changed party. The traditional parties were heavy losers and the swing was wholly to the advantage of 'Vlaams Blok' and 'Rossem' (a party participating for the first time). Since the election a never ending stream of explanations has appeared. Immediately after the elections the Interuniversity Center of Political Opinion research, located at the Catholic University of Leuven, began a national survey of political attitudes and beliefs among 2,691 Flemish voters. This article explores the reasons for voting for the winning parties. Is it appropriated to speak of protest, disappointment and apathy? The authors expect stable, traditional voting behaviour to continue to decrease in future as a result of loosening ties with the "pillars", the decline of church involvement and the process of individualisation. The article ends with some critical comments on the role of the media as a producer of explanations andlegitimations.


Jaak Billiet

Marc Swyngedouw

Ann Carton

Wivina De Meester-De Meyer

    An obsession with constitutional reform characterized Canadian politics between 1987 and 1992. This reflected the failure of traditional mechanisms for bridging linguistic and regional differences in Canada, and the spirit of contentiousness and rightsconsciousness that has been encouraged since the passage of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982. These efforts to reform the constitution failed. In the 1992 referendum a majority of both French- and English-speaking Canadians, and majorities in 6 of the 10 provinces, rejected proposals supported by the country's political and economic elites. Support for the reform proposals was greatest among the more affluent parts of Canadian society. Despite the fact that both French and English Canada rejected the proposed reforms, their reasons for doing so were quite different. In the wake of this failure, the terms of a reconciliation between the aspirations of French and English Canada are elusive as ever.


Stephen Brooks

Herman De Croo

    Each day, the political world - parliament, government, parties, pressure groups - procuces a lot of information. Compared with other European countries, the Belgian authorities inform their citizens rather parsimoniously. Political information is also available in the media, but only apart of the information produced by the political system is reaching the citizen. The media make a first selection. The citizen too selects: he buys a newspaper or not, and if he buys a paper, he reads the political information entirely, partly or not.


Mark Deweerdt

    This article deals with the differences that exist between the profile of Flemish male and female political candidates placed on election-lists. The survey, held amongst all female and male political candidates, shows that male candidates find themselves in a more favourable position due to the accumulation of small gender differences in education, professional and domestic life. Male candidates more often have university degrees and leading functions resulting in more important relations. They are better represented both in the party structure and in corporate life. Child care and domestic tasks seem to be (usually) their partner's responsability. Female political underrepresentation is a result of a generally weaker position of women in society. Notwithstanding the enormous progress made over the last five decades, the problem of female underrepresentation in politics remains a structural one. Hence, the question is wether a solution should ask for structural measures by the government.


Mieke Van Haegendoren
Article

Politieke participatie van partijmilitanten

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1993
Authors Kris Deschouwer and Marina Opsomer
Abstract

    The generally accepted idea of the "decline ofparties" leads to an obvious assumption on the evolution of party activism: it must be declining. There is however only little empirical research on this topic. We conduct a survey among party members in Belgium, in order to test the decline hypothesis. Four dimensions of membership wilt be measured: the numbers, the intensity of participation, the kind of participation (motivation and incentives) and the turnover.


Kris Deschouwer

Marina Opsomer

    Given the two important functions of the media, offering a world image and setting the public agenda, the main question in this article is: "What is the image of society offered by the media?" For that purpose three years of the radio programme "BRT-Aktueel" are analyzed on the basis of a printed index. A distinction is made between home news, news on states, news on groups of countries and international organizations. The main conclusions are: 1. Most of the coverage concerns foreign issues; 2. Within each category there is a clear influence of temporary events. This influence seems more important for foreign topics; 3. The news coverage is strongly concentrated on a relatively small number of issues. This conclusion applies on all categories; 4. Social and domestic policy dominate the home news; 5. The coverage of international issues deals mostly with Europe, then with the USSR, and the United States. Other countries are part of the periphery and get attention when a major crisis occurs. The question rises which factors determinate the selection of issues. Within the limits of this research a few factors can be mentioned: geographical proximity, the structure of the media, the role of press agencies, the international status of a country, the selection by the journalist. It is quite clear that this problem of objectivity ofthe media is a major problem which is linked to the role of the media in a democratie society.


Peter Janssens

    The available studies and opinion polls are examined for indications of the degree and the content of political knowledge of the Belgian citizens. Political knowledge differs strikingly depending on the components of decision making: political parties, office bolders and their competence, power relations, institutional settings, pressure groups, corporatism and policy measures. Proceeding from personification to content and from more important to less important aspects, the knowledge declines noticeably. A marked portion of the populationshows a lack of even the most elementary knowledge.


Wilfried Dewachter
Article

Beeldvorming van het politieke bedrijf via de openbare omroep

Inhoudsanalyse van de politieke verslaggeving in het BRTn-televisie journaal in de periode 1982-1991

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 1993
Authors Peter Goyvaerts
Abstract

    The image-building of the political system through the public broadcasting corporation BRTn is analysed on the base of a content analysis of the political information in the television news during the period 1982-1991. The study shows that political coverage in the public television news is subject to actualisation, fragmentation, personifying, dramatisation and the introduction of entertainment-techniques. Political items are transferred to the back of the newsbroadcast and there is less room for interpretation of the facts. Journalists point out that the attention for politics has diminished because the audience is less interested. However it is very likely that this is the result of the fact that the audience is uniformed because of the lack of information. In that way we enter a vicious circle that can only be broken through the media themselves. In order to achieve this, television shoud bring more interpretation and explanation of the facts. A parliamentary feature, incorporated in a current alfairs programme could attribute to this, but can do no miracles when commercial tendencies become stronger in the news itself.


Peter Goyvaerts
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