Author: Mark Eyskens
Defining a minister's power is not an easy exercise. It bas to be put in a broader framework: a pluralistic democracy, that has respect for human rights and basic freedoms and a market economy that is developping towards a national border crossing competition and cooperation. But there are also some basic rules coming from national but also regional and supranational institutions. There nowadays exists a so called 'Gulliver-effect': the state represented by the governement is like a giant that is threatened by a lot of surrenders who
force him towards a powerless existence. Although citizens often have the impression politics is capable of doing anything it wants to, policy makers more often have to cope with restrictions that obstruct them in their policy aims.
At the beginning of the twenty-first century ministers are heavily counterbalanced by other institions. Trade unions, big lobby groups, administration, the cabinets, the party executive and party president, parliament and the media: they all threaten a minster's power. Also the rising power of regional and supranational decision levels makes the power of a politician decline. In the future, rising information and communication skills will not only change the character of politics but also that of modern society. The internet, the globalisation of
economy and other changes will transform politics in a fundamental way. Leadership, power and authority will change strongly and the relationship between the citizens and their authority will never be the same again.
How to Cite: Eyskens, M. (2000) “Hoe machtig is een minister ? : De politicus in de netwerkmaatschappij”, Res Publica. 42(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/rp.v42i1.18529