De voorlopers van het parlementologisch onderzoek in België

  • Els Witte


In this article we conclude, via a comparison of the 19th C. scientific publications concerning the Belgian parliament and the state of parliamentological research of the day, that Belgian writers achieved an international standard. In Belgium, as elsewhere in Europe, parliamentology was pursued from the standpoint of various complementary schools of thought. Modern political history provided very detailed information about the functioning of the parliamentary institution; constitutional law investigated the juridical aspects of it ; political science transcended these juridical boundaries and took account of the political aspects as well ; this method was also pursued in the field of political economy which, from a methodological point of view, can be regarded as the fundamental current of parliamentary sociology .
It can be asserted that these writers are the founders of modern parliamentology despite the rather weak methodological foundation of their studies, the relative lack of empirical data-collection and the infiuence
of political commitment. As is still the case today, so also in the 19th C, the formal-juridical approach was dominant ; however, it was also insight-fully recognized that the most important problems of power lay in the mutual relations of the members of parliament themselves and in their relation to the majority, the opposition and the executive power. These studies furnish, therefore, very interesting lines of inquiry for the diachronic treatment of the majority of the problems of contemporary parliamentology.

How to Cite:

Witte, E., (1985) “De voorlopers van het parlementologisch onderzoek in België”, Res Publica 27(4), 429-455. doi:

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Published on
30 Dec 1985
Peer Reviewed