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Aflevering 1, 2005 Alle samenvattingen uitklappen
Editorial

De wegdeemsterende staat?

Auteurs Hendrik Vos
Auteursinformatie

Hendrik Vos
Docent aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen van de Universiteit Gent. Gasthoofdredacteur van dit themanummer.

    The hollow state is a metaphor for the process in which the position of the nation-state is weakened, as authority is transferred to the EU level or regional level (horizontal shift) and to the private domain (vertical). We argue that the analysis of this process should not focus narrowly on formal rules and sovereignty, but that the most fruitful approach is a thorough empirical assessment of the changes taking place in various aspects of the nation-state. Moreover, the scope should be broadened to include the transformation of political decision making: from government to governance. In particular, we discuss the consequences for the functioning of political parties. We conclude that member states indeed lose policy autonomy to EU integration, and have to share authority with several other actors. Yet, because of its ability to adapt to external challenges, the state remains a relevant and important entity.


Harmen Binnema
Doctoraal onderzoeker aan de Afdeling Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Noël P. Vergunst
Postdoctoraal onderzoeker aan de Afdeling Politicologie, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
Article

Centraal-lokale relaties in Vlaanderen: verdeel of heers?

Auteurs Koenraad De Ceuninck, Carl Devos, Herwig Reynaert e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    An important element in the debate on the hollowed State is the extent to which the subsidiary idea caused a decrease in dominance of the central State and lead to a multifaceted process of decentralisation. A case in point is the recent regionalisation of the competency to organise local government in Belgium. Based on Page and Goldsmith’s three dimensions in intergovernmental relations between central and local government (functions, discretion and access), we test the discourse of the reform of the local government in Flanders to its practice. It is argued that the principles of a subsidiary founded municipal autonomy, a growing fiscal and functional discretion and a personal disentanglement of local and central decision-makers was inspired by northern European models of government relations. These, however, are only partially being confirmed by the praxis of the reforms, as the main principles of the existing southern European models persist.


Koenraad De Ceuninck
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Carl Devos
Docent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Herwig Reynaert
Docent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Sofie Staelraeve
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Kristof Steyvers
Doctor-assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Tony Valcke
Assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.

Dries Verlet
Doctor-assistent van de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen, Universiteit Gent.
Article

Partis politiques nationaux en crise?

Organisation des partis et décentralisation. Une comparaison de l’Espagne et du Royaume Uni

Auteurs Elodie Fabre, Bart Maddens, Wilfried Swenden e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    This article investigates the link between state decentralization and party decentralization. We study the impact of the type (dual, integrative, asymmetrical) and degree of decentralization on two dimensions of the relationship between a party’s central party organs and its regional branches: the autonomy of the regional branches to manage their regional affairs and the degree of participation of the regional branches in the central party. We compare the organization of five state-wide parties in two decentralized multi-national polities, Spain and the UK. Our analysis of their party statutes partly confirms the link between degree and asymmetry of decentralization and party organization. However, the impact of the type of distribution of powers between the state and its regions is much less clear. This article shows the need to investigate the influence of other factors such as regional party competition and electoral rules on the type of central-regional relationships within state-wide parties.


Elodie Fabre
Doctorante au Département de science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.

Bart Maddens
Professeur en science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.

Wilfried Swenden
Professeur en science politique à l’Université de Edimbourg, Ecosse.

Robertas Pogorelis
Collaborateur scientifique au Département de science politique à la Katholieke Universiteit de Leuven.
Article

Het Europese beleid in de Belgische federatie

Standpuntbepaling en vertegenwoordiging van de Belgische belangen

Auteurs Peter Bursens
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article we examine the organisation of European policy-making in Belgium. The core question is whether the federal level is hollowing out in favour of the regional level, with respect to European preference formation and interest representation. From a theoretical point of view, it tests the propositions of liberal intergovernmentalism and multi-level governance in two critical cases: environmental policy and the European Convention. The article concludes that neither of the approaches is able to fully understand the complex system of joint preference formation that takes place in Belgium and that they would both benefit from incorporating historical institutionalist insights.


Peter Bursens
Docent aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de Universiteit Antwerpen.

    Representations of sub-national entities challenge since the mid-1980s the monopoly of the central states on EU representation. Through an analysis of their activities, this article verifies whether their presence may be interpreted as an expression of the hollowing out of the state. The research revealed that these representations have developed a national and an international strategy to fulfil their mission. The international strategy resembles that of interest groups in the European policy space, and it follows the neo-functionalist logic of other European interest groups. The national strategy is more policy-oriented. To influence the decision-making process, representations form networks between themselves and with their permanent representation. Rather than hollowing out the state, the activities of these representations reveal a growing interdependence between the central state and regional authorities resulting from European integration.


Michel Huysseune
Vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Theo Jans
Vorser aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen van de Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
Article

De staat in drie generaties van global governance

Auteurs Dries Lesage, Jan Orbie, Tine Vandervelden e.a.
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    In this article, we argue that there are indications for the emergence of a third phase in the idea of global governance. After the phase of extensive state intervention and etatism (1945-1980) and the phase of deregulation and marketization (1980-now), this third phase aims at restoring typically governmental functions (e.g. social cohesion, financial stability, public health). Indications are international measures against the drawbacks of globalization (e.g. financial instability), the eroding legitimacy of the market-oriented WTO regime, the formulation of new security concepts establishing links between national interest and transnational problems and the enhanced interest in global policy coordination (e.g. UN Millennium Development Goals). Yet today, unlike in 1945-1980, globalization and complex interdependence are accepted as facts, and we also witness attempts to realize ‘governmental’ functions at the global level. But the direction which global governance will follow the years ahead, remains to a large extent a matter of political choice.


Dries Lesage
Post-doctoraal onderzoeker FWO-Vlaanderen aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen Universiteit Gent.

Jan Orbie
Aspirant FWO-Vlaanderen aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen Universiteit Gent.

Tine Vandervelden
Assistent aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen Universiteit Gent.

Sara Van Belle
Assistent aan de Vakgroep Politieke wetenschappen Universiteit Gent.