Recent Publications

Studie uitgevoerd door Deloitte België in samenwerking met VUB-IES, Climact en AMS

On 10 November the results of the study “How can we transform the Flemish industry, to ensure it can thrive in a climate-neutral Europe by 2050?” were presented to over 200 stakeholders in the presence of the Flemish minister of innovation Hilde Crevits. This study was performed by Climact, Deloitte, the Antwerp Management School and the Institute for European Studies (VUB). The study presents options to achieve deep emission reductions towards climate neutrality by 2050 by Flemish industry, a roadmap towards this goal, and the enabling policy framework.

The study and all background reports can be found here.

IES Vice-Dean for Research, Alexander Mattelaer, was involved as a co-rapporteur in the new DGAP report on the ‪Strategic Compass.

 

 

November 2020
other
Luk Van Langenhove

Abstract: There exists today a large consensus among scholars of different disciplines that regions are more than a geographical concept and that they are socially constructed. This implies that somehow people must play a role in the emergence of a region as an entity of governance and as a source of identity. But the relation between regions and the socio-psychological processes that constitute them remains unclear. This article aims to clarify what the social construction process of a region means and what kind of psychological processes play a role in it as well how such social construction relates with how regions contribute to people’s identity formation. For this theoretical exercise, use will be made of the so-called Vygotsky scheme that distinguishes between four different conversational spaces.

 

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November 2020
other
Luk Van Langenhove

Abstract:

In general, psychology does not pay a lot of attention to the realm of what people can possibly do as the focus is on explaining what people actually do. A notable exception to this is Positioning Theory, a perspective on psychology developed by Rom Harré and collaborators. Positioning Theory stresses that understanding what people do and what they don’t do requires to look at what is permissible to do according to the local moral order that is followed and to the positions that people take in that order. “Positions” are clusters of beliefs that people have with respect to the rights and duties to act in certain ways. “Positioning” refers to the processes of assigning, appropriating, or rejecting positions. Every position both opens and closes possible actions. What people possibly can do is a function of three determinants: the capacities of people to do certain things, the restrictions imposed upon people to do certain things, and the intentions that people have to do certain things. One of the basic functions of society is to both stimulate and contain the possibilities of human agency. The study of the possible thus deals with the understanding of how a category of what might be possible in any given context has the chance of succeeding, yet might be denied due to a range of impermissible positions.

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Luk Van Langenhove

Abstract

This paper presents the outline of an ontology of the social realm that aims to provide a new perspective to the study of social phenomena. It will be argued that in order to raise the impact of the social sciences, research should start from a new ontological discursive perspective. This implies that rather than dividing the social and psychological realm into different “disciplines”, the social and the psychological realm need to be imagined as two sides of the same coin. And also, that space and time should not be regarded as the primary referential grid for the social sciences but conversations and people. Within this perspective the “substance” of the social realm can be imagined as a species-wide and history-long web of conversations between people (and other actors with personhood properties) in which speech-acts are the basic forces that create agents and structures. The power of speech-acts is in essence non-local: it does not matter much where and when they occur, but rather by whom and in which conversational contexts they are uttered. This can be captured by the metaphor of social entanglement where social events have particular bonds that transcend space and time. All of this resonates more with the probabilistic realm of quantum physics than with the Newtonian world were causality reigns.

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Joren Selleslaghs
Luk Van Langenhove

Abstract

In this chapter it is argued that the rise in regionalism since the end of the Cold War does not constitute a new phenomenon. In fact, regionalist movements can at least be traced back to the nineteenth century, and we are currently experiencing its fifth wave. However, what is certainly distinct about regionalism in the twenty-first century is the extent to which it draws on existing forms and the importance it has in structuring the global politico-economic order. Therefore, as shown in this chapter, today’s world (map) is characterized by a complex landscape of hundreds of regional groupings which are all connected in one way or the other. This chapter also conceptualizes overlapping and cognate terms for conceptual clarity, such as regionalism, regional cooperation, regional integration and regional sub-systems. Finally, the chapter lists various conceptual and empirical challenges related to the study of regionalism and regional integration efforts around the world.

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Luk Van Langenhove

Abstract

This chapter proposes to extend Smedslund’s axiomatic system of psycho-logic (PL) into a psycho/socio-logic theory that is based upon insights from social theory and from the so-called linguistic turn in the social sciences. It will be argued that developing a conceptual system for psychology as Smedslund did makes only sense if it is embedded in a broader context of social theory since psychological phenomena cannot be separated from the social realm. Smedslund focusses upon the agency of people, but one needs also to take into account the impact of structures on people. To this end, a reformulation of some of the axioms of PL will be presented that take as a starting point the notion that persons are social and moral beings and that the study of persons should start with the conversational context in which they operate.

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Luk Van Langenhove

Regional organisations and UN reform: towards Multilateralism 2.0 , Progressive Post, 2020, issue 14

You can download the pdf of the magazine here.

 

Leo Van Hove
Abstract

Using payment diary data, Shy (2020) shows that the way Americans pay is affected by the denominations of the US dollar, and in particular by the availability, in ATMs, of the $20 note. Shy also proposes a model to provide intuition for this finding. Unfortunately, this model lacks generality.

Van Hove, L., How currency denomination and the ATM affect the way we pay: a comment on ShyJournal of Economics and Business, Vol. 111, September-October 2020, article number 105920.

Abstract

The aim of this policy brief is to provide an overview of some key research recently published examining conspiracy theories and their possible links to violence, particularly violent extremism. The research cited is meant as a starting point for policymakers and decision-makers (yet without claiming to be fully exhaustive). Second, this policy brief seeks to highlight some of the key trends and dynamics between conspiracy theories and the acts of violence associated with them, by looking at how one may influence the other. The policy brief concludes by suggesting a series of recommendations for policymakers and decision-makers to consider when developing new policies to tackle extremist groups which have integrated conspiracy theories promoting violence into their milieus or narratives.