Reference : Identities or good governance : What shape citizens’ attitudes towards federalism in ...
Scientific congresses and symposiums : Unpublished conference/Abstract
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Identities or good governance : What shape citizens’ attitudes towards federalism in Belgium?
Hooghe, Marc [Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - KUL > > > >]
Reuchamps, Min mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de science politique > Politique européenne >]
14 octobre 2011
[en] Belgium ; Identity ; Federalism
[en] Hitherto identities have been one the main driving forces of the federal dynamics in Belgium and they have played an active role in the transformation of the country from a unitary state to a federal state. More recently, while discussions – and tensions – have been continuously very hot about the reform of the federal state, the autonomist discourse has been – at least to some extent – denationalized and the emphasis on identities has been replaced by a more rational discourse, i.e. a discourse of good governance. That is to say, the partisans of more autonomy for the regions make their case not on the basis of identity differences between Flemings and Walloons but rather on differences about economic and political governance between Flemings and Walloons. On the other hand, while partisans of the status quo still hold a strong – albeit not exclusive – Belgian identity, they also put forward a discourse of good governance but based on a well-balanced federal system where both the federal government and the regions/communities have strong powers. Therefore, one might wonder whether these – new – discourses have a real impact on the citizens (and on their electoral behaviour) and above all what shape their attitudes towards federalism in Belgium; i.e. whether identities, good governance or a combination of both are the main explaining variables of preferences for the future of Belgium. Using the PARTIREP 2009 Election survey, we seek to disentangle this complex puzzle and shed light on citizens’ preferences for the future of their country. In a time when the Belgian federation is stuck in a deep crisis, such endeavour should bring interesting insights on the federal dynamics from a citizen’s perspective.
Researchers ; Professionals ; Students

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