vrijdag, november 28, 2014

"Catalonia, the European State System and International Limits to Self-Determination" (BelConLawBlog)

The Belgian Constitutional Law Blog (an initiative of the Public Law-department at Ghent University) published some historical reflections by your most humble servant on the relationship between Catalonia and Spain. Click here.

maandag, november 24, 2014

Geografie en demografie

Twee interessante podcasts rond voor Fransen intrinsiek met geschiedenis of internationale betrekkingen verbonden sociale wetenschappen: demografie en geografie:
- Concordance des temps van afgelopen zaterdag met Hervé Le Bras (co-auteur met Emmanuel Todd van een uitstekende socio-geografie van Frankrijk, die wijst op de positieve elementen van de Franse bevolkingssamenstelling): de uitzending behandelt de territoriale opknipping van Frankrijk van Ancien Régime tot vandaag, naar aanleiding van de herindeling van de Franse regio's door Hollande (link hier)
- Les enjeux internationaux: over de demografie van de EU, waarmee het slecht gesteld is. Uitgenomen Frankrijk en Groot-Brittannië is er een tekort aan immigratie. Sinds de crisis is de migratie naar Europa gehalveerd. Vooral de Oost-Europese lidstaten hebben een zeer lage vervangingsratio. De spreker (Pierre Verluise) koppelt demografie snel aan militaire en andere grootmachts-veerkracht, maar er zijn ook links met economische dynamiek (link hier).

maandag, november 17, 2014

Just War (Concordance des temps)

(Urbanus II roept op tot de eerste kruistocht; afbeelding: herodote.net)
 
Concordance des temps wijdde afgelopen zaterdag een uitzending aan een klassieker van het volkenrecht: de doctrine van de rechtvaardige oorlog. Of beter, correctie, de theologische wortels. Hoe kan het gerechtvaardigd zijn om geweld te gebruiken, terwijl het christendom zich daar principieel tegen afzet ? 

De Kerk ontwikkelde in de middeleeuwen een leer die de bedoeling had om de inzet van geweld te beperken. Uiteraard kon de Paus oproepen tot een kruistocht tegen ongelovigen. Uiteraard konden vorsten oorlog voeren tegen een agressor... Maar wie was voldoende soeverein om oorlog te mogen voeren (= in te schatten hoe moreel fout de tegenpartij zat en hoe gerechtvaardigd het was om actie te ondernemen) ? Enkel de Keizer ? De Koning van Frankrijk ? Die van Spanje ? Wat met de grote vazallen ? Naarmate de politiek-confessionele eenheid van de christelijke wereld verbrokkelde, had ook het morele kader minder en minder zin. In de Nieuwe Tijd evolueerde het recht om oorlog te voeren de facto tot een arbitraire bevoegdheid van elke vorst en een normaal middel om ruzies te beslechten.

Toch zijn veel argumenten van de hedendaagse jus ad bellum-(recht om oorlog te voeren)-doctrine terug te voeren tot de theologie:
- proportionaliteit (niet meer geweld gebruiken dan de agressor tegen jou)
- auctoritas of bevoegdheid (in het hedendaagse oorlogsrecht is het gebruik van geweld in principe verboden, behoudens toestemming van de VN-Veiligheidsraad, of behoudens gewettigde zelfverdediging), 
- recta intentio of intentie (enkel vergelding, geen haat), 
- justa causa of gerechtvaardxigde oorzaak (geen loutere veroveringsoorlog)

Naast de morele functie die de paus vervult aan het hoofd van een wereldgodsdienst (cf. inleiding van de uitzending: situatie van de christenen in Irak), is dus ook het juridische kader waarin de Kerk het gebruik van geweld als gerechtvaardigd ziet, niet zonder betekenis. De hersengymnastiek die ermee gepaard gaat, is ook voor de jurist als redeneermachine relevant. Jean-Noël Jeanneney overloopt met André Vauchez (Institut de France) een aantal interessante themata uit dit bijzonder uitgebreide leerstuk.

woensdag, oktober 22, 2014

"Actualité de Socrate" (Concordance des Temps, 18 oktober)

Een zeer aangename uitzending van Concordance des Temps (France Culture) over Socrates. Voor iedereen die wat Griekse filosofie heeft gekregen, op welk niveau dan ook, een herontdekking (Wie was Socrates ? Wat weten we over hem ? Welke invloeden hadden zijn leerlingen op ons beeld ? Zijn er nog andere bronnen dan die van zijn navolgers ? Hoe zat het met zijn proces ? Welke band tussen het Humanisme en Socrates, de Verlichting en Socrates ?). Podcast en meer informatie hier.

vrijdag, oktober 03, 2014

New paper on SSRN: "Delenda Est Haec Carthago ! The Ostend Company as a Problem of European Great Power Politics (1722-1727)" (Forthcoming in: Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire/Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis, CXIII (2015), No. 2)



With the kind permission of the journal, I posted a paper on the Social Science Research Network, forthcoming as an article in the Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire/Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Nieuwste Geschiedenis. The text discusses the legal debate between the Dutch Republic and Emperor Charles VI of the Holy Roman Empire on the right of the inhabitants of the Austrian Netherlands to participate in trade on the High Seas. The Ostend Company, a joint stock corporation, had been recognised by the Emperor in 1722. Its tea imports from the East Indies drove down prices and harmed the market share of Dutch and British competitors. The Maritime Powers protested against this intrusion and obtained the suspension and then suppression of the Company, first at the Parisian Preliminaries (31 May 1727), and finally at the Treaty of Vienna (March 1731). Traditionally, historiography sees this as a question of power politics, a symbol of the sorry fate of present-day Belgium as an object of Great Power Politics. The Ostend Company was not a priority for Emperor Charles VI, a far-away monarch ruling from Vienna, who preferred international recognition of his Pragmatic Sanction. Lawyers, on the other hand, tend either to reproduce the victors' position and ignore arguments brought forward by the 'Belgians', or fail to perceive the impact of multilateral diplomacy on practical legal reasoning. My contribution challenges these idées reçues from the angle of contextual legal history. Law is not a pure autoreferential textual science. Studying big names is often a synonym for what is in fact a disguised study of political thought or legal philosophy, and not of international law. Conversely, history should not ignore the systematic thinking common to European lawyers, as an essential element of political culture and communication, as well as a way to structure life in society.

First, big names as Jean du Mont de Carels-kroon (compiler of a treaty collection of major importance, the Corps Universel Diplomatique du Droit des Gens) and Jean Barbeyrac (translator of Pufendorf and Grotius, professor of public law in Groningen) showed an impressive display of legal reasoning, using a broad array of sources of the Ancien Régime's pluralist and multi-layered normative order. If their writings are explored in detail, the debate comes across as much more nuanced than usually projected. The traditional Dutch argument stated that the High Seas were fundamentally common to mankind. No sovereign could claim a property right or a right of exclusion, since the High Seas are essential to commercial intercourse between all nations on earth. Hugo Grotius had proclaimed this principle in the early 17th century, drawn from the Digest, against Spanish, Portuguese or British claims to exclusive dominium on the High Seas. Yet, in order to counter an unwelcome commercial competitor, the lawyers of the Dutch East India Company argued a century later against the Ostend Company that every state could dispose of this right by treaty (mare liberum, pactis clausum).  In other words, what had seemed peremptory for Grotius, as an essential right for any sovereign, had now become a mere faculty in the eyes of his countrymen. The latter opposition is traditionally taken as the essence of the discussion. From the Dutch side, it was argued that Philip IV had forever abandoned a right guaranteed in peremptory natural law, creating a permanent limitation on the Southern Netherlands, irrespective of the identity of their future sovereign. The Imperial side, on the other had, argued that such an exception was contrary to the essence of the right of navigation on the High Seas: even if it had not been exercised, the right was inalienable.

However, even if we accept that a state can renounce its right to navigate on the High Seas, the 1725 Treaty of Commerce between Philip V of Spain and Charles VI utterly destroyed the Dutch argument: if a state can auto-limit its access to the High Seas by a convention, the reverse should be true as well: mare liberum, pactis apertum. The Treaty of Munster (1648) was seen by the Dutch Republic as an auto-limitation imposed by Philip IV of Spain on the inhabitants of the Southern Netherlands, transmitted to his successor at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession.  In 1725, Charles VI, as Philip IV's successor in Flanders, Brabant, Mechelen, Hainault... obtained exactly the opposite from Philip IV's successor as King of Castille: access to the Spanish colonies. Whoever has the competence to impose restrictions, can lift them again (ejus est solvere, cujus est ligare). In other words, the discussion on the modalities of the peremptory law of nature-norm 'Mare Liberum' had become irrelevant. Even if a 'renunciation' of the right to navigate on the High Seas were to be admitted, this renunciation had just been cancelled out by a new treaty ! Charles VI dropped the Ostend Company at the Parisian Peace Preliminaries of 31 May 1727 (confirmed in 1731), but had a strong case during his (albeit short-lived) alliance with the King of Spain.

Secondly, lawyers often see the multilateral diplomatic process leading to the Ostend Company's elimination as a game of tough and crude politics of interest, aloof from any normative arguments or systematic reasoning. This is in part due to the relative research gap concerning diplomatic practice in legal history. The suppression of the Ostend Company is not a product of short-term politics, but is a logical consequence of the Franco-British dominated legal order imposed at the end of the War of the Spanish Succession. The treaties of Utrecht (April 1713), Rastatt (March 1714) and Baden (September 1714) constituted the core of international order and the constant point of reference in further negotiations on international problems. Subsequent treaties of guarantee (Franco-British Treaty, 1716; Triple Alliance, 1717; Quadruple Alliance, 1718) installed a normative hierarchy. Between treaty law and fundamental norms (in the case of Philip V of Spain's renunciation to the French throne, or in that of the successions in the Italian Imperial fiefs of Parma, Piacenza and Tuscany), but also within the normative order of treaty law itself. Utrecht, Rastatt and Baden became the touchstone for any territorial or political claim. The 1725 Treaty of Commerce concluded between Charles VI and Philip V was stillborn, in the sense that it accompanied a monstrous alliance. The Empire of Charles V, uniting the Habsburg possessions in Italy, Belgium, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Indies, was virtually resuscitated through a secret marriage clause in the main treaty of alliance. The spectre of Universal Monarchy haunted European diplomacy again ! As a logical annex to the political provisions of the alliance, the treaty of commerce had no realistic chance of survival. The Ostend Company was not a bilateral affair in essence. Calculations in broader European politics were not the product of 'selfishness' or 'crude calculation', but were structured according to legal thinking. Diplomats and bureaucrats had received a schooling in either classical languages, Roman law or German public law, and structured the horizontal interactions between sovereigns according to common normative understandings. If the Pragmatic Sanction had more priority than the Ostend Company, this was not a consequence of Charles VI's arbitrary personal taste, but an application of the international system of guarantee for national succession orders which had already been used by France and Great Britain, conformable to the Utrecht logic.

Text on SSRN (click here, e-journal Conflicts Studies: International Relations Theory; e-journal Legal History), or in the second issue of next year's RBPH-BTFG.

Update (25 February 2016): This article had been published. Reference: "Delenda est haec Carthago: The Ostend Company As Problem Of European Great Power Politics (1722-1727)". Revue Belge de Philologie et d'Histoire/Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Filologie en Geschiedenis XCLIII (2015), No. 2, pp. 397-437 (ISSN 0035-0818).

donderdag, oktober 02, 2014

OUVRAGE: Olivier Ryckebusch & Rik Opsommer (dir.), Guerre, Frontière, Barrière et Paix en Flandre (Ieper: Stadsarchief Ieper, 2014) (ISBN 97890282229912)



Les archives de la Ville d'Ypres viennent de publier l'ouvrage Guerre, frontière, barrière et paix en Flandre (ISBN 978902882229912) Cet ouvrage est issu de deux journées d'études organisées en octobre et novembre 2013, à l'occasion du tricentenaire de la paix d'Utrecht (11 avril 1713). De nombreux spécialistes y ont contribué. La présentation officielle aura lieu le 28 novembre prochain à Ypres.

Table des matières:
• Préface du maire de Dunkerque (Patrice Vergriete)
 • Voorwoord door de schepen van Archief van de stad Ieper (Eva Ryde)
• drs. Olivier Ryckebusch (Lille-III) & Prof. dr. Rik Opsommer (UGent/Stadsarchief Ieper), “Préface”
• dr. Agathe Leyssens (Dunkerque), “Élites municipales et frontières en Flandre maritime”
• Prof. dr. Cédric Glineur (Le Havre), “Le régime juridique des passeports sous l’Ancien Régime : l’exemple des provinces du Nord”
• dr. Christian Pfister-Langanay (Univ. du Littoral), “La mission du sieur Boutillier à Dunkerque : entre fiscalité et espionnage (1712-1713)”
• dra. Fanny Souillart (Lille-II), “Le Parlement de Flandre, parlement de Louis XIV”
• dr. Frederik Dhondt (UGent), “’The Cursed Sluices of Dunkirk’ : Dunkerque, thermomètre des relations franco-britanniques après Utrecht ?’”
• PD dr. dr. Guido Braun (Bonn), “L’Allemagne et la France au temps de la guerre de succession d’Espagne : politique et culture”
• dr. Guy Thewes (Musée de la ville de Luxembourg), “Barrière ou talon d’Achille ? La défense militaire des Pays-Bas après les traités d’Utrecht (1713-1725)”
• drs. Michael W. Serruys (VUB), “Ypres, la Flandre rétrocédée et la politique de transit au XVIIIe siècle”
• dr. Michel Nuyttens, “La frontière franco-belge à travers les archives des États de Flandre”
• Prof. em. dr. Patrick Villiers (Université du Littoral), “Les corsaires dunkerquois et la frontière”
• Prof. dr. Lucien Bély (Université Paris-Sorbonne), “La frontière au temps de la Paix d’Utrecht : réalités et représentations”

zondag, juli 27, 2014

Crimea and the Balkans revisited


Sadly enough, Ukraine and Crimea have frequently been in the centre of international attention since the Maidan demonstrations and the ensuing (Russian-inspired) disintegration of the Ukrainian State. International Lawyers produced interesting opinions on the legality of Putin's intervention or the Ukrainian government's right not to acknowledge the validity of the referendum. Some legal accounts start the story at Catharine the Great's conquest of Crimea during the Russo-Turkish War of the 1770s. Yet, the fascinating book of Prof. Ferenc Toth (Szombathely Univ.) published in 2011 by Economica, reminds us of the long term struggle for influence between Austria, Russia and the Ottoman Empire, with at its heart control of the Balkans and Ukraine. A combination of Balkan and Ukrainian warfare, recalling both regions' complex history.

A reminder to non-specialist readers of this blog: in the 1730s, the Austrian Habsburgs controlled grosso modo the current states of Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia, plus parts of Romania and Poland.  Until the end of the 17th century, however, the Ottoman Empire had been at the gates of Vienna. Most of present-day Hungary and the Balkans had been under their control. The Ottoman Empire was not only at odds with the Habsburgs, but with the Russian Empire as well. Czar Peter the Great had expanded Russians domains in the Baltic (to the detriment of Sweden) and in the direction of the Black Sea, where it would inevitably clash with the Turks. In other words, the classical "eastern game" between Austria, Russia and the Turks, traditionally associated with the 19th century and the run-up to World War I, had been in place for quite a time by 1914.

(Europe in 1700; source: Wikimedia Commons. The Austrian Habsburgs' domains go well into the Balkans and present-day Romania and Poland; present-day Ukraine is divided between Poland, Russia, Austria and the Ottomans)

Toth's work is devoted to one specific conflict from 1737 to 1739. Well-known images of the sieges of Vienna (1526, 1683) recall the geopolitical confrontation between the Holy Roman Empire (even under Charles V, almost a synonym for universal monarchy) and the Sultan in Istanbul. Traditionally, historians focus on the battle of Mohacs (1526), where the ruling King of Hungary, Lajos II Jagellon, succumbed and enabled his brother-in-law Ferdinand to bring the latter Kingdom (as well as that of Bohemia) into the Habsburg orbit; on the relief of Vienna and the Imperial reconquest from 1683 to 1699, crowned by the Peace of Karlowitz (26 January 1699); or on Eugene of Savoy's successful campaigns in 1716 an 1717, leading to the fall of Belgrade for the Austrian army. The ensuing Peace of Passarowitz (21 July 1718) was an outright triumph for Emperor Charles VI.

 (Emperor Charles VI, Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Czarina Anna by Caravaque, Source: Wikimedia Commons)

(Sultan Mahmud I "Gazi" (The Warrior); Source: Wikimedia Commons)

However, the situation in 1737 differed fundamentally from that twenty years earlier. Whereas Austria had been at its apex under Eugene of Savoy, the great commander had died in 1736 and the army had performed badly during the War of the Polish Succession (campaigns 1733-1735). Yet, Austria attacked the Ottoman Empire following the opening of hostilities between the latter and the Russians. The explanation is to be found in a text signed ten years before. On 6 August 1726, after the conclusion of the "Ripperda" Treaty (alliance between Spain and Emperor Charles VI), Russia had concluded an alliance with Austria. This combination could easily dominate Central and Eastern Europe. E.g. Prussia quickly abandoned its September 1725 alliance with Britain and France when the threat of an encirclement by the two Emperors became evident. According to one interpretation, the Russians even brought the War of the Polish Succession to an end by transferring troops to the Rhine.

Toth reminds us in his book that the Austro-Russian combination could well have brought the Ottoman Empire to its knees. Especially France was worried that the Ottomans would collapse. The Austro-Russian Alliance had implied not only Russian support for Austria. The opposite was true as well: Czarina Anna of Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire on 12 April 1736, and urged Austria to provide her with the necessary military assistance. Since Austria controlled Bosnia, Serbia and Temesvar on the basis of Eugene of Savoy's victories in 1717 (crowned by the Treaty of Passarowitz), launching an attack simultaneously would force the Sultan to divide his troops. 54 000 Russians under Münnich (German-born general who beat the French candidate to the Polish throne, Stanislas Leszcynczki) rushed to Crimea. The aim of the Russian expedition was purely punitive: the Tatars operating from the peninsula had to stop their raids into Russian territory. Bahçesarai, their capital, was captured and pillaged. The local Jesuit library was consumed by flames. Yet, the Russians could not remain in Crimea for logistical reasons: they lacked food and water, suffering at the same time from the heath associated with the peninsula. Tatar revenge added to their misery: the destruction of wells and ressources caused the death of 30 000 Russian soldiers. However, Münnich's colleague Lacy did manage to capture Azov (on Ukrainian mainland), bombarding the city from the Black Sea. The explosion of a gun powder arsenal, destroying five mosques, brought the inhabitants to surrender.

The Austrians promised to bring 80 000 men in the field. Both armies could advance towards the south-east of Europe, dividing Moldova and Walachia between them. Austria would aim for Moldova, Greece, Eastern Bulgaria and Macedonia. In January 1737, Austrain ambassador Talman proposed his mediation in Istanbul, but merely to gain time. Austria drew subventions from Rome for a war against infidel and counted on auxiliaries from Saxony, Wolffenbüttel or the Order of Malta. Numerous individual volunteers across Europe enrolled, including an officer from Peru, subject of the King of Spain ! On paper, Charles VI had 120 000 men in Hungary. Formally, the Austrian declaration of war was framed as am ultimatum to the Sultan. Either negotiations brought an agreement between Russia or the Ottomans, by 1 May 1737, or Austria would enter the war on the Russian side. Hostilities focused on Serbia. Yet, the Austrian generals blundered repeatedly. Their armies suffered desertion, and the local Orthodox population did not rebel against the Ottomans, mainly because of the Austrians' intolerant religious policy against non-Catholics. Battle or siege sites sadly recall names from the 1990s: Banja Luka, Belgrade, Nis...

When the Austrian army lost Nis on 16 October 1737, the court in Vienna held its commander, general Doxat, accountable for the débâcle. He was judged by an ad-hoc military tribunal and publicly executed in Belgrade in March 1738. His colleague Seckendorff, who commanded an army by the Rhine during the War of the Polish Succession, was in the centre of Jesuit-led public anger. The Protestant General, who owed his career to the deceased Eugene of Savoy, did not lose his head, but was jailed until the end of Charles VI's reign. Seckendorff had been beseiging Another fortress, Usiza, while the Turks reconquered Nis behind his back!

The Russian army under Lacy could not hold on to Crimea, and had to evacuate the peninsula by September 1737.  New attempts in 1738 were stopped by continuous Turkish and Tatar raids, forcing 85 000 Russians to withdraw to Ukraine. Nevertheless, Lacy managed to construct roads and bridges from Crimea to Azov. On the Balkans as well as on the Black Sea's North coasts, the lack of geographical knowledge, bad hygiene, the harsh climate and logistical difficulties brought operations to a standstill.

Königsegg, former ambassador in Madrid in the 1720s, replaced Seckendorff (cf. above, jailed), but to no avail. In August 1738, the Ottomans took the fortress of Adakalé on the Danube and advanced westwards to Belgrade. The situation became threatening, Austria risked losing Belgrade ! Russian aid was not to be expected. In spite of promises to reinforce Transylvania (part of present-day Romania), Czarina Anna saw looming threats in Poland and Sweden, preferring to anticipate a two-front war. 

Cardinal Fleury, Louis XV's Prime Minister, feared the rise of Russia. French diplomatic intervention aimed at the swift conclusion of a Treaty of Peace, in order to protect the Ottomans, its privileged commercial partner since the 16th century alliance brokered by Francis I against Charles V. Consequently, France offered to let its diplomats act as mediators between Austria and Russia and the Sultan. The Russians asked for the Maritime Powers' involvement, as they hoped Britain and the Dutch Republic would be less favourable to the Turks.

We should not see this diplomatic game as the equivalent of the web of alliances leading to the outbreak of World War I, where the assassination of Franz Ferdinand put the whole of Europe in arms. Russia would not (yet) participate in an all-out continental war until the Seven Years' War (1756-1763).  The main motive for Western involvement was trade. And, of course, prestige. Any power able to impose its mediation on the three eastern Empires would automatically enhance its standing. France had always played this game, hoping the Ottoman diversion would keep the Empire from intervening in the West. Louis XIV pushed it to the most extreme version: while Emperor Leopold I was busy fighting the Turks in Vienna -with the aid of an international coalition- France annexed Strasburg, occupied Luxemburg and bombed cities in the Spanish Netherlands.

 (Cardinal Fleury by Rigaud, 1728, source: Wikimedia Commons)

In 1739, the campaigns came to a stalemate. The battle of Grocka (22 July 1739) can count as an example: it cost the Austrian army -now under the command of the aged Irish general Wallis- more than 2 000 deaths and of almost 3 000 wounded to obtain a Pyrrhic victory along the Danube. The Ottoman armies employed techniques transferred by the French renegade Bonneval Pasha, and were now using bayonets ! Five days later, the Turks laid siege to Belgrade.

At this point, the court of Saint-Petersburg opted for a quick piece with the Sultan. Fears of Swedish revenge on Russia (to consolidate Peter the Great's conquests, e.g. the current Baltic states), assisted by the French navy, cut Czarina Anna's appetite for further difficult campaigns in Crimea, where Russian cossacks could not stop the Tatars. In spite of general Münnich's taking of Hotin, a fortress in Moldova, Russia tried to bring the conflict to an end. On 19 May 1739, Grand Vizir Yegen Mehmet Pasha, who wished to continue the war until Russia was brought on its knees, was replaced by a less bellicose successor, the Pasha of Vidin. From this moment on, the French ambassador, Marquis Villeneuve, who had been living in Istanbul for ten years, was mandated to mediate between the belligerents.

(Peace Preliminaries, 1 September 1739, Source: Bayrische Staatsbibliothek)

Charles VI sent Count Neipperg, another of Eugene of Savoy's men, to negotiate a peace deal with the Ottomans. Unfortunately, Neipperg was cut off from communications with the Austrian army. Whereas Wallis had first proposed to surrender Belgrade, he had been summoned to reinforce its garrison. Finally, Wallis even obtained some minor victories, pushing back the Turkish army ! On the ground, the Austrians regained hope. At the negotiating table, however, Neipperg conceded Belgrade to the Pasha of Vidin. Neipperg was incessantly guarded by a company of janissaries, and could not interact with the French delegation. The Turks further intimidated Neipperg by holding interminable military celebrations and interrupting the talks during the Grand Vizir's frequent illnesses. Finally, Neipperg negotiated the cession of Belgrade, with its walls destroyed. The Pasha of Bosnia, replacing the Grand Vizir, brokered the deal. On 1 September 1739, preliminaries of peace were signed between Charles VI and Sultan Mahmut I. Belgrade (art. I) the whole of the province of Serbia (art. III), and the parts of Wallachia occupied by Austria (art. IV) returned to the Ottoman Empire. The alliance between Russia and Austria, however, forbade the conclusion of a separate peace. Consequently, Villeneuve proposed that Russia would keep the city of Azov, destroy its fortifications, and respect the neutrality of the surrounding area. After some commercial discussions on free navigation of the Black Sea (potentially detrimental to French privileges !), the final Peace Treaties were concluded on 19 September 1739.

Finally, a year later (December 1740), Frederick of Prussia invaded Silesia. If the war between Habsburg and the Ottomans had continued, the House of Austria would have been in even greater peril than it actually was... Toth concludes that France came out victorious: the Ottoman Empire had been strengthened. In combination with Prussia's rise, Versailles now disposed of strong "alliances de revers" to block Austrian plans in the West. After the Peace of Belgrade, Franco-Ottoman capitulations were renewed, including potential extensions to the Black Sea.Was Neipperg "a traitor", conceding peace whereas the efforts of the Emperor's military would have allowed for further successes ? Probably not, first in view of his relative isolation but foremost in view of the Austrian's logistical difficulties.

I would warmly recommend reading Ferenc Toth's excellent study on an often forgotten conflict. There is ample material on Eugene of Savoy's glorious taking of  Belgrade in 1717, but the less glorious episode twenty years later is all too quickly forgotten. Moreover, for those wishing to see some detail of the pity state Charles VI's army was in at the Emperor's decease and the invasion of Silesia, Toth's book shows many familiar characteristics: quarrelling generals, bad coordination, poor logistical organisation, bad geographical references...

dinsdag, juli 22, 2014

Les gouvernements wallon et "FWB" à travers le prisme de l'échelle de 500

Votre humble serviteur est loin d'un fin connaisseur de la politique wallonne. Néanmoins, il n'a pu s'empêcher d'être étonné à l'écoute de la revue de presse commentant la constitution des gouvernements wallon et "FWB". Outre la création de nouveaux ministères ou l'éparpillement de certaines compétences, dû à la séparation de la communauté et de la région (cf. "économie" <=> "zônes d'activités économiques"; présence dans le gouvernement wallon d'un ministre chargé des "infrastructures sportives", ce qui revient à coller à l'intéressé quelques réunions supplémentaires à Namur), soit à des drôleries communautaires (la présence d'un ministre communautaire "pour la promotion de Bruxelles", alors que le tourisme relève des régions pour le reste), on citait la désignation de Rudy Demotte comme ministre-président du gouvernement "FWB" comme une "dégradation".

Ne pourrait-on pas simplement lire la "carte électorale" de ces gouvernements comme une confirmation explicite de la domination des fédérations hennuyères du PS ? Aussi bien les fonctions de président du Parti (Di Rupo), ministre-président de la Wallonie (Magnette) que ministre-président de la "Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles" (Demotte) sont occupés par un hennuyer.

D'autant plus que, même si le score de Demotte a reculé, la différence avec Marcourt est très réduite. L'échelle des 500 (une création du politicologue de la KUL Wilfried Dewachter), une formule statistique devenue peut-être un peu désuète aujourd’hui parmi les politicologues, mais toujours très instructive à comparer les voix de préférence, surtout dans le cas de circonscriptions électorales fort différentes en taille (342.000 inscrits à Liège, 172.000 soit la moitié, à Tournai), tout en tenant compte du score absolu.

Dans le cas de Marcourt, 38.460 voix donnent 76,92 (quotient des voix de préférence/500) + 34,79 (fraction % des voix obtenues par le PS à Liège) = 111,714.

Pour Demotte, 25.730 voix se déclinent en 51,46 (quotient absolu clairement inférieur à celui de Marcourt) + 41,92 (clairement supérieur) = 93,38.

Explication logique: le PS liégeois a une tradition de division et de lutte interne. A peu près un tiers des électeurs soutiennent la tête de liste. Demotte, par contre, est davantage le chef de sa propre circonscription. L'apport de voix de plusieurs clans pourrait bien sûr bénéficier à la liste PS à Liège en nombre absolu de voix, mais ce n'est pas le cas (PS Liège: 33%; PS Ath-Tournai-Mouscron: 36%). 

Notons que Demotte (-8.000 voix) a fait mieux que Joëlle Milquet, qui a perdu non moins de quatorze mille voix de préférence par rapport à 2010, ou 43% de son score. Des habitants de la périphérie, ou des mécontents du plan de survol de Bruxelles ? Remarquons également qu'il n'y a plus aucun ministre cdH liégeois (Luxembourg-Namur-Hainaut + Bruxelles).

Pour ce qui est de l'attribution des portefeuilles personnels, Marcourt hérite clairement du paquet le plus consistant, ce qui n'est guère étonnant vu sa compétence technique et sa longue expérience. S'il est vrai qu'un Liégeois récupère le Budget wallon et qu'une Liégeoise monte au gouvernement communautaire, c'est bien le Hainaut (15 sièges sur 30 PS au Parlement Wallon, soit un élu PS sur deux !) qui mène. 



Nom
Gouv
Parti
Arrondissement
Voix
Dewachter
Jean-Claude Marcourt
x
PS
Liège 2014
38.460
111,714
Rudy Demotte
x
PS
Tournai-Ath-Mouscron 2014
25.730
93,377
Joëlle Milquet
x
cdH
Bruxelles 2014
19.416
79,27
André Flahaut
x
PS
Brabant Wallon 2014
19.698
77,75
René Collin
x
cdH
Province du Luxembourg 2014
13.195
49,66
Isabelle Simonis
x
PS
Liège 2014
13.357
38,798
Rachid Madrane
x
PS
Bruxelles 2014
7.775
22,70


Nom
Gouv
Parti
Arrondissement
Voix
Dewachter
Paul Magnette
x
PS
Charleroi 2014
49.978
155,166
Jean-Claude Marcourt
x
PS
Liège 2014
38.460
111,714
Maxime Prévôt
x
cdH
Namur 2014
21.912
98,761
Paul Furlan
x
PS
Thuin 2014
16.451
80,529
Eliane Tillieux
x
PS
Namur 2014
16.236
62,256
René Collin
x
cdH
Province du Luxembourg 2014
13.195
49,66
Carlo di Antonio
x
cdH
Mons 2014
8.359
46,114
Christophe Lacroix
x
PS
Province de Liège 2014
15.628
39,572


donderdag, juni 19, 2014

Voorkeurstemmen en Dewachterscores (finaal)

Het uiteindelijke bilan van de verkiezingen 2014 ziet er als volgt uit (alle verkiezingen samen):


1 Bart De Wever x NVA Provincie Antwerpen 2014 314.650 699,295
2 Elio Di Rupo x PS Provincie Henegouwen 2014 181.964 423,965
3 Liesbeth Homans x NVA Provincie Antwerpen 2014 163.502 366,785
4 Kris Peeters x CD&V Provincie Antwerpen 2014 140.564 343,330
5 Maggie De Block x VLD Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 131.713 340,846
6 Hilde Crevits x CD&V Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 112.557 280,664
7 Guy Verhofstadt x VLD Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 531.030 274,224
8 Alexander De Croo x VLD Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 78.073 199,722
9 Johan Vande Lanotte x sp.a Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 68.898 186,177
10 Marianne Thyssen x CD&V Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 340.026 176,452
11 Gwendolyn Rutten x VLD Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 60.807 167,117
12 Wouter Beke x CD&V Provincie Limburg 2014 59.291 165,653
13 Jan Peumans x NVA Provincie Limburg 2014 63.780 163,694
14 Jo Vandeurzen x CD&V Provincie Limburg 2014 57.650 160,460
15 Didier Reynders x MR Kieskring Brussel-Hoofdstad 2014 54.475 156,299
16 Paul Magnette x PS Kieskring Charleroi 2014 49.978 155,166
17 Geert Bourgeois x NVA Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 63.302 153,185
18 Mathias De Clercq x VLD Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 58.572 151,654
19 Hendrik Bogaert x CD&V Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 58.649 150,684
20 Siegfried Bracke x NVA Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 64.481 149,990
21 Louis Michel x MR Franstalig Kiescollege 2014 264.550 145,823
22 Joke Schauvliege x CD&V Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 55.291 141,372
23 Filip Dewinter x VB Provincie Antwerpen 2014 43.157 140,360
24 Marie Arena x PS Franstalig Kiescollege 2014 186.103 139,774
25 Ben Weyts x NVA Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 55.012 136,972
26 Benoît Lutgen x cdH Provincie Luxemburg 2014 36.340 136,769
27 Olivier Maingain x FDF Kieskring Brussel-Hoofdstad 2014 32.246 133,826
28 Koen Geens x CD&V Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 45.686 132,072
29 Servais Verherstraeten x CD&V Provincie Antwerpen 2014 51.202 130,286
30 Johan Van Overtveldt x NVA Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 247.444 128,408
31 Annemie Turtelboom x VLD Provincie Antwerpen 2014 44.959 128,380
32 Meryem Almaci x groen Provincie Antwerpen 2014 44.150 127,552
33 Freya Van den Bossche x sp.a Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 45.863 124,570
34 Daniel Bacquelaine x MR Provincie Luik 2014 46.230 121,708
35 Pieter De Crem x CD&V Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 47.036 120,594
36 John Crombez x sp.a Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 43.409 120,179
37 Wouter Van Besien x groen Provincie Antwerpen 2014 40.507 117,430
38 Laurette Onkelinx x PS Kieskring Brussel-Hoofdstad 2014 41.621 116,793
39 Willy Demeyer x PS Provincie Luik 2014 45.590 115,439
40 Vincent Van Quickenborne x VLD Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 38.896 112,711
41 Theo Francken x NVA Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 44.498 112,088
42 Melchior Wathelet x cdH Provincie Luik 2014 34.780 112,084
43 Jean-Claude Marcourt x PS Kieskring Luik 2014 38.460 111,714
44 Peter Vanvelthoven x sp.a Provincie Limburg 2014 36.934 111,481
45 Olivier Chastel x MR Provincie Henegouwen 2014 41.921 111,187
46 Matthias Diependaele x NVA Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 47.112 109,895
47 Bart Somers x VLD Provincie Antwerpen 2014 37.484 109,608
48 Bruno Tobback x sp.a Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 33.570 106,585
49 Steven Vandeput x NVA Provincie Limburg 2014 41.211 106,102
50 Caroline Gennez x sp.a Provincie Antwerpen 2014 37.960 105,401
51 Charles Michel x MR Provincie Waals-Brabant 2014 34.101 103,091
52 Anke Van dermeersch x VB Provincie Antwerpen 2014 31.540 102,709
53 Peter Mertens x PVDA Provincie Antwerpen 2014 26.010 102,390
54 Ingrid Lieten x sp.a Provincie Limburg 2014 33.005 100,854
55 Maxime Prévôt x cdH Kieskring Namen 2014 21.912 98,761
56 Jean-Marie Dedecker
LDD Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 17.774 98,102
57 Monica De Coninck x sp.a Provincie Antwerpen 2014 35.441 97,712
58 Kathleen Van Brempt x sp.a Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 163.760 94,992
59 Patrick Dewael x VLD Provincie Limburg 2014 27.155 93,829
60 Rudy Demotte x PS Kieskring Ath-Doornik-Moeskroen 2014 25.730 93,377
61 Christine Defraigne x MR Kieskring Luik 2014 27.842 91,651
62 Peter Van Rompuy x CD&V Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 32.198 91,529
63 Brecht Vermeulen x NVA Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 37.005 90,081
64 Marino Keulen x VLD Provincie Limburg 2014 24.573 86,227
65 Willy Borsus x MR Kieskring Arlen-Marche-Bastogne 2014 12.793 84,761
66 Bart Tommelein x VLD Provincie West-Vlaanderen 2014 28.462 84,175
67 Didier Gosuin x FDF Brussels HG 2014 22.906 83,644
68 Karin Temmerman x sp.a Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 30.291 83,547
69 Bart Staes x groen Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 133.183 83,042
70 Catherine Fonck x cdH Provincie Henegouwen 2014 24.645 81,375
71 Jean-Luc Crucke x MR Kieskring Ath-Doornik-Moeskroen 2014 19.531 81,099
72 Paul Furlan x PS Kieskring Thuin 2014 16.451 80,529
73 Frédérique Ries x MR Franstalig Kiescollege 2014 146.076 80,519
74 Marie-Dominique Simonet x cdH Kieskring Luik 2014 17.564 80,033
75 Joëlle Milquet x cdH Brussels HG 2014 19.416 79,272
76 Steven Vanackere
CD&V Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 150.929 78,323
77 André Flahaut x PS Provincie Waals-Brabant 2014 19.698 77,750
78 Frédéric Daerden x PS Provincie Luik 2014 30.484 77,189
79 Ivo Belet x CD&V Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 146.885 76,224
80 Pierre-Yves Jeholet x MR Kieskring Verviers 2014 18.403 75,659
81 Hervé Jamar x MR Kieskring Hoei-Borgworm 2014 15.221 75,539
82 Raf Terwingen x CD&V Provincie Limburg 2014 26.838 74,982
83 David Clarinval x MR Provincie Namen 2014 23.544 74,856
84 Jean-Marc Delizée x PS Provincie Namen 2014 23.317 74,605
85 Sarah Smeyers x NVA Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 31.700 73,738
86 Tinne Rombouts x CD&V Provincie Antwerpen 2014 29.772 72,719
87 Philippe Courard x PS Kieskring Arlen-Marche-Bastogne 2014 10.898 72,205
88 Kris Van Dijck x NVA Provincie Antwerpen 2014 32.138 72,095
89 Lode Ceyssens x CD&V Provincie Limburg 2014 25.662 71,426
90 Veerle Heeren x CD&V Provincie Limburg 2014 25.317 70,733
91 Josy Arens x cdH Kieskring Arlen-Marche-Bastogne 2014 13.101 70,226
92 Nicolas Martin x PS Kieskring Bergen 2014 19.302 70,049
93 Francis Bellot x MR Kieskring Dinant-Philippeville 2014 14.617 68,728
94 Annick De Ridder x NVA Provincie Antwerpen 2014 30.573 68,585
95 Frieda Brepoels
NVA Provincie Limburg 2014 26.489 68,199
96 Benoît Piedboeuf x MR Provincie Luxemburg 2014 15.351 67,830
97 Gerolf Annemans x VB Nederlandstalig Kiescollege 2014 90.056 67,637
98 Jean-Jacques De Gucht x VLD Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 2014 25.921 67,114
99 Eric Van Rompuy x CD&V Provincie Vlaams-Brabant 2014 23.044 66,617
100 Guy Vanhengel x VLD Brussels HG 2014 7.375 66,504

Verdeling binnen de top-100

CD&V 18
NVA 15
MR 14
PS 13
VLD 13
sp.a 10
cdH 7
Groen 3
VB 3
FDF 2
PVDA 1
LDD 1
PTB+ 0
Ecolo 0

CD&V blijft dus met enige voorsprong de hofleverancier van de stemmenkanonnen. MR haalt ook hier (net als voor het Waals Parlement) het net op de PS.

Per partij:
CD&V:

1 Kris Peeters 343,330
2 Hilde Crevits 280,664
3 Marianne Thyssen 176,452
4 Wouter Beke 165,653
5 Jo Vandeurzen 160,460
6 Hendrik Bogaert 150,684
7 Joke Schauvliege 141,372
8 Koen Geens 132,072
9 Servais Verherstraeten 130,286
10 Pieter De Crem 120,594















 N-VA:
1 Bart De Wever 699,295
2 Liesbeth Homans 366,785
3 Jan Peumans 163,694
4 Geert Bourgeois 153,185
5 Siegfried Bracke 149,990
6 Ben Weyts 136,972
7 Johan Van Overtveldt 128,408
8 Theo Francken 112,088
9 Matthias Diependaele 109,895
10 Steven Vandeput 106,102













MR:
1 Didier Reynders 156,299
2 Louis Michel 145,823
3 Daniel Bacquelaine 121,708
4 Olivier Chastel 111,187
5 Charles Michel 103,091
6 Christine Defraigne 91,651
7 Willy Borsus 84,761
8 Jean-Luc Crucke 81,099
9 Frédérique Ries 80,519
10 Pierre-Yves Jeholet 75,659














 PS:
1 Elio Di Rupo 423,965
2 Paul Magnette 155,166
3 Marie Arena 139,774
4 Laurette Onkelinx 116,793
5 Willy Demeyer 115,439
6 Jean-Claude Marcourt 111,714
7 Rudy Demotte 93,377
8 Paul Furlan 80,529
9 André Flahaut 77,750
10 Frédéric Daerden 77,189











VLD:

1 Maggie De Block 340,846
2 Guy Verhofstadt 274,224
3 Alexander De Croo 199,722
4 Gwendolyn Rutten 167,117
5 Mathias De Clercq 151,654
6 Annemie Turtelboom 128,380
7 Vincent Van Quickenborne 112,711
8 Bart Somers 109,608
9 Patrick Dewael 93,829
10 Marino Keulen 86,227



sp.a:

1 Johan Vande Lanotte 186,177
2 Freya Van den Bossche 124,570
3 John Crombez 120,179
4 Peter Vanvelthoven 111,481
5 Bruno Tobback 106,585
6 Caroline Gennez 105,401
7 Ingrid Lieten 100,854
8 Monica De Coninck 97,712
9 Kathleen Van Brempt 94,992
10 Karin Temmerman 83,547

Deze cijfers zijn interessant in het kader van eventuele komende voorzittersverkiezingen bij sp.a. Voorzitter Tobback is maar de vijfde sterkste figuur in de eigen partij, zowaar op de hielen gezeten door zijn voorgangster Gennez. Afgezien van de hele sterke score van Vande Lanotte, liggen de anderen, van Van Brempt tot Van den Bossche, relatief in balans. Een voorzittersverkiezing zou de kans moeten zijn voor één van de figuren van plaatsen twee tot negen, om zich los te maken uit het peloton en de leiding te nemen van de generatie. Opnieuw een consensusverkiezing houden, zoals ongeveer alle voorgaande keren, hetzij een kansloze kandidaat à la Erik De Bruyn versus een "kandidaat van de top", lijkt geen goed idee. Een voorzittersverkiezing zou een nieuwe legitimiteit moeten brengen. Idealiter zijn alle figuren van plaatsen twee tot en met negen kandidaat. Bovendien kunnen ze ook hun onderlinge inhoudelijke verschillen tonen, en door een openbaar debat de partij aantrekkelijker maken voor zowel insiders als het bredere publiek. Het interview met Bonte en Vanvelthoven in Knack van deze week suggereert dat er wel degelijk ongenoegen is over bijvoorbeeld de "defenestratie" van Vandenbroucke, of het inhoudelijk erg defensieve profiel. Welnu, in plaats van daar achteraf over te knorren in de pers, zou een interne verkiezing het ideale moment zijn om de partijleden in de discussie te betrekken en een authentiek enthousiasme los te maken voor wie als (inhoudelijk zowel als persoonlijk) winnaar uit het proces komt. De sp.a kan in dat opzicht nog wat leren van de democratische cultuur bij de Franse Parti Socialiste, waar tendenzen een vast gegeven zijn, die het debat voortdurend stimuleren.

cdH:


1 Benoît Lutgen 136,769
2 Melchior Wathelet 112,084
3 Maxime Prévôt 98,761
4 Catherine Fonck 81,375
5 Marie-Dominique Simonet 80,033
6 Joëlle Milquet 79,272
7 Josy Arens 70,226
8 Alfred Gadenne 60,049
9 Marie-Martine Schyns 58,186
10 Benoît Dispa 56,714