This volume seeks to provide an integrated understanding of the Belgian political system through the prism of comparative politics. The transformation of the political system from a unitary into a federal system is used as a connecting theme linking the contributions. The volume is divided in two parts. The first part touches upon the sociological and institutional determinants of policy-making in Belgium, such as the dynamics of the Belgian federal system, the consociational features of the Belgian polity, the presence of a Belgian political culture (or of two distinct political cultures), the fragmentation of its party system and the role of political parties. The second part addresses policy performance and policy reform within the context of Belgian federalism, with a focus on divergence in policy performance and administrative practices, social security as a contentious federal policy area, policy failure and corruption and the impact of EU policies on the domestic federal order.