Reference : Re-Drawing Belgium: Do Identities Matter More than Party Interests in Multinational F...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Re-Drawing Belgium: Do Identities Matter More than Party Interests in Multinational Federations?
Dodeigne, Jérémy mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Gouvernance et société >]
Reuchamps, Min mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Politique européenne >]
Sinardet, Dave mailto [ > > ]
XXII World Congress of Political Science
8-12 July 2012
International Political Science Association
[en] Multinational ; Federalism ; Belgium
[en] In multinational federations, identities are a chief variable of the political life. By definition, the ethno-linguistic identities play(ed) an important role in the federal dynamics of the country. In most cases, the institutional design is in fact adapted or has been adapted to the ethno-linguistic divisions of the country. According to quite a few scholars, it is especially true for political elites who are not only shaped by this variable but also use this variable to legitimate their attitudes and actions. Therefore political elites of each ethno-linguistic group appeared to behave as monolithic blocks, standing against each other along ethno-linguistic lines. Nonetheless, this view neglects the role of party interests in explaining the behaviors of political elites. An important question for multinational federations can be raised: do identities matter more that party interests?
The current reform of the Belgian state provides a fertile ground to test this hypothesis. To what extent, party interests can account for political elites’ position in the debate about the 6th Belgian constitutional reform? To explore these questions, we surveyed every representative of Belgium’s seven legislative assemblies with a standardized questionnaire (Summer 2011). This research will help us apprehend the rationale behind political elites’ attitudes – be it identities, party interests or a mix of them – negotiating the new boundaries of the state.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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