The hyphenated state, multi-level governance and the communities in Belgium: The case of Brussels

Wilfried Swenden*, Marleen Brans

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In his work on comparative federalism, Ivo D. Duchacek defines a federation as a political system in which ‘political authority is territorially divided between two autonomous sets of separate jurisdictions, one national [federal] and the other provincial [regional, cantonal]’ (Duchacek, 1969: 192; our emphasis). Constitutional lawyers and political scientists agree that Belgium has transformed from a decentralized into a fully fledged federal state. However, Belgium does not entirely comply with Duchacek’s understanding of a federation. The concept of Belgian Regions (the Flemish Region, the Walloon Region and the Brussels Capital Region) clearly affirms the territoriality principle, but the parallel existence of Belgian linguistic Communities (Flemish Community, French Community and German-speaking Community) deviates from it. Language has been the strongest force in the federalization process of Belgium, but not all three regions contain linguistically homogeneous populations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationState Territoriality and European Integration
EditorsMichael Burgess, Hans Vollaard
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter6
Pages120-144
Number of pages25
Edition1
ISBN (Electronic)9780203969601
ISBN (Print)9780415390460, 9780415663915
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2006

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