The relation between political scientists and the media is fragile; from both sides opportunism can have a major influence. Both political scientists as well as politicians should thus reflect on the role both parties can and want to assume. The symposium presents 2 contributions coming from both sides, offering analysis and insight. The first article by Dave Sinardet discusses important aspects of the role political scientists can play in the media. He states that it is the responsibility of social scientists to participate in the public debate and to adjust form, style and use of language of the media in order to shape a public opinion. The second article by the editor of a Belgium newspaper incites political scientists to closer examine their wishes and aspirations regarding their role in the media. O. van Zijl
A review essay on books by (1) K. Aarts, H. van der Kolk, and M. Rosema [Eds], Een verdeeld electoraat. De Tweede Kamerverkiezingen van 2006 ([A Divided Electorate. The Second Election of 2006] Utrecht: Het Spectrum, 2007); & (2) J. Kleinnijenhuis & O. Scholten, Nederland vifstromenland. De rol van de media en stemwijzers bij de verkiezingen, van 2006 ([The Netherlands Five Flow Country. The Role of the Media and Voice Indicators in the 2006 Elections] Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 2007).
Political scientists often see differences among citizens in the level of their political knowledge as an explanatory variable of their political behavior. To determine whether political interest is a motivating factor in obtaining political knowledge via the media, questionnaire data obtained in 1975 from 1,977 respondents ages 16-74 in the Netherlands were analyzed. It was expected that a high level of political knowledge would lead to a better perception of political advantage & profit. Surprisingly, the results showed that political knowledge was obtained from other channels besides the media, & that the perception of political advantage & profit did not account for the level of knowledge. The way in which the concept of political knowledge is measured deserves closer scrutiny by political scientists. 4 Tables, 4 Figures, 25 References. Adapted from the source document.
This article investigates the cross-national prevalence of five news frames in quality papers' coverage of the Treaty of Lisbon (EU Constitution). Three frames were identified in earlier studies: economic consequences, conflict, and human interest. Two additional frames were identified and composed: power and nationalization. During the seven-month period leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon (December 2007), we analyzed 341 articles from four quality papers: Le Monde (France), De Volkskrant (The Netherlands), De Standaard (Dutch speaking community of Belgium), and Le Soir (French speaking community of Belgium). Our results show that although significant differences between newspapers were found in the amount of framing, overall they reflected a similar pattern in the adoption of the news frames. The economic consequences frame, followed by the power frame, appeared most prominently in all of the newspapers' coverage. However, the conflict and nationalization frames recurred in a significantly lesser degree. These findings indicate that the meaning behind the Treaty of Lisbon as a symbol of supra-national unity could have led to a shift from a domesticated, conflict oriented coverage as found in previous studies to a more unified portrayal of the EU within and between the quality papers under study. Adapted from the source document.
Described is research investigating level of political knowledge among 600 pupils aged 18 (last-year secondary school) in Belgium & the variables that may cause differential levels. Results show that the average level of political knowledge is low. The most significant independent variables are: sex (boys score better than girls), political participation of the parents, mass media, & (in a negative way) school. Mass media are most frequently mentioned as the most important sources of political information, & Rs with a high level of news media exposure score best. Political education at school is shown to have low impact; on the contrary, Rs who mentioned school as their most important source of political information tended to score worst. 29 Tables, 1 Figure. HA
Separate individual dispositions to action are not a sufficient condition for demonstrations. Organizational & institutional factors have an equal importance. Ultimately, a demonstration results from a power struggle between organizations to get individuals to support or defend their objectives. In the mobilization process, these organizations use control mechanisms & techniques to influence their members: exploitation of affective & instrumental ties binding individuals to the organization, access to & use of mass media, selective communication by the organizational leaders, & the induction of frustration. Special attention is given to the role of militants & their language's characteristics, in the mobilization process. HA.
The politicization of Belgian political parties since WWII has resulted in what is termed a "particracy," ie, a parliamentary democracy wherein party structures dominate the political decision-making process. The gradual institutionalization of party patronage within the parliament, ministerial cabinets, public administration, the judiciary, & mass media is discussed, examining mechanisms of recruitment & policy articulation. The process of within-party candidate selection is also considered, focusing on the shift away from rank-&-file participation toward central decisions by local & national party leaders, with a concomitant restructuring of "party discipline." Historical bases of the current patronage system are briefly considered, noting the prewar politicization of magisterial posts & the shift from reliance on party newspapers to party control of broadcast media administrators. Modified HA.
It seems that the demonstrations on the Binnenhof in the Hague do not in general affect the views held by those for whose benefit the demonstrations are held: the members of the Second Chamber of the States General. This conclusion is drawn from a small-scale investigation of the effect of such demonstrations, which was undertaken by a number of pol'al sci students of the Free U of Amsterdam. The possible effects of 14 demonstrations held in the parliamentary yr 1968-1969 & in late 1969, were studied. In only one case was there evidence of influence on a number of Second Chamber members: the demonstrations held by young workers on Jun 26 & Nov 1, 1969. These demonstrations differed from most others in the mass participation, the careful preparation & org, the extensive coverage in the news media & in the wide support given to them, including that of trade unions. 4 Tables, 1 Diagram. HA.
In recent years, scientific concern, public debate and media attention has risen about the environmental presence of natural and synthetic compounds due to the observation that environmental concentrations in the low ng.l-1 and ng.g-1 level may affect human and wildlife. The aim of this doctoral thesis was to develop and to evaluate analytical approaches for the detection of estrogens en chlorotriazines, two important groups of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), in different environmental matrices, e.g. water, sediments, suspended solids and biota. More specifically, the aim was to develop analytical methods for the detection of these compounds in the low ng.l-1 and ng.g-1 level. Environmental concentrations in an estuarine ecosystem like the Scheldt estuary (Belgium-The Netherlands) were established. In chapter I, the issue of endocrine disruption is introduced and the recent developments in environmental chemistry are discussed. This doctoral thesis was carried out within an interdisciplinary research project, Endis-Risks. This 4 year project focussed on the distribution, exposure and effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals in the Scheldt estuary. In this doctoral research, the emphasis is laid on the estrogens and the chlorotriazine herbicides. In order to understand the possible risks of the environmental occurrence of these compounds, their chemistry, their use, their potential for endocrine disruption and their environmental occurrence is described. Also the legislation in relation to their environmental occurrence and their possible abuse in veterinary practice is introduced. In short, the risk assessment procedure is presented. Finally, the conceptual framework and the outline of this doctoral thesis are formulated. In chapter II.1., the development and validation procedure of an analytical method that enables the routine analysis of (estuarine) water samples for estrogens (E1, E2, E3 and EE2) in concentrations in the low ng.l-1 range is described. The method included extraction of water samples using solid phase extraction disks and detection with gas chromatography coupled to multiple mass spectrometry in the electron impact mode (GC-EI-MS-MS). Method performance characteristics (according to 2002/657/EC), e.g. trueness, recovery, calibration, precision, accuracy, limits of detection and quantification and the compound stability are presented for each of the targeted estrogens. Quantification limits of 0.25 ng.l-1 are achieved. Application of this Belac accredited procedure to water samples from the Scheldt estuary revealed that E1 was detected most frequently. In chapter II.2. the results of a 4-year (2002-2005) research on the occurrence of E1, E2 and EE2 in the Scheldt-estuary are presented. Chemical analysis of the water samples was performed using Speedisk extraction as described in chapter II.1. Suspended matter, sediment and biota samples were extracted with Accelerated Solvent Extraction (ASE). Chromatographic analysis of the extracts was carried out with GC-EI-MS-MS. Detected concentrations were in the low ng.l-1 or ng.g-1 range. In all matrices considered, E1 and E2 were detected, whereas concentrations of E3 and EE2 were below the limit of quantification (LOQ). E1 was observed most frequently and at the highest concentrations. This research demonstrates that estuarine waters and associated sediments and suspended solids are contaminated with the same estrogens which were found within the same concentration range as those reported for freshwater and wastewater. In chapter II.3., a case-study is described concerning the detection of estrogens in an unknown aqueous sample found during a raid. Therefore, different analytical techniques were combined. At first, in vivo techniques (mice trials with anatomical and histological research) were carried out by administration (orally and subcutaneously) of the unknown water solution. To determine the estrogenic potency an in vitro technique, the yeast estrogenic screen, YES was used. After extraction of the water sample (based on the method described in chapter II.1.) and HPLC-fractionation, analysis of the extracts was performed using both Liquid Chromatography and Gas Chromatography coupled to multiple Mass Spectrometry (LC- and GC-MS-MS). The result of this investigation was the detection of both E1 and EE2 at low ng.l-1 concentrations. Chapter II.4. describes the development of an analytical routine approach for the determination of low ng.l-1 levels of EGAs (Estrogens, Gestagens, Androgens) and corticosteroids in aqueous preparations (i.e. drinking water, drinking water supplements) brought on the ‘black’ market. For this, after speedisk extraction of the samples (see chapter II.1.), HPLC fractionation was performed using a methanol:water gradient program (see chapter II.3.). GC-EI-MS-MS screening was used for the EGAs, whereas GC-NCI-MS was used for the screening for corticosteroids. Confirmation of the latter (when dexamethasone (Dxm) or betamethasone (Btm) was suspected) was done by LC-ESI-MS-MS. The combined use of GC and LC coupled to MS enabled the identification and quantification of anabolics and corticosteroids at the low ng.l-1 level. In this chapter 2 case-studies are described of the detection of medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) and Btm at low ng.l-1 levels in unknown aqueous solutions. In chapter III the occurrence of the chlorotriazine herbicides atrazine, simazine and terbutylazine in water, sediment and suspended matter over a period of 4 years (2002-2005) is described. Atrazine was found to be the herbicide exhibiting the highest concentration in the different targeted matrices. Simazine and terbutylazine were detected at lower concentrations. Traces of the targeted pesticides were detected in sediments, but these were below the LOQ. As part of an ecotoxicological assessment, the potential acute effect (mortality) and chronic effects (growth, molting) of atrazine on the mysid Neomysis integer (Crustacea:Mysidacea), a resident invertebrate in the Scheldt estuary were studied. This study concluded that atrazine could be toxic to mysids at high concentrations, but at present environmental concentrations (as measured in the Scheldt estuary), acute or chronic effects will probably not result in mortality or decline of the mysid population. In chapter IV, general conclusions and future research perspectives are formulated. Summarising, the major goal of this doctoral thesis was the development of analytical approaches to detect EDCs in different complex matrices at ng.l-1 and ng.g-1 levels.