Belgium: Nationalism, State Reform, and Social Security

Daniel Béland and André Lecours

in Nationalism and Social Policy

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199546848
Published online September 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191720468 | DOI:
Belgium: Nationalism, State Reform, and Social Security

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Chapter 4 begins with a brief discussion on the origins of Flemish nationalism. Then, it analyses the post-war expansion of social policy in Belgium and the meshing of social policy reform and nationalist mobilization in Flanders after 1980. This leads to a discussion of the Flemish push for the federalization of the Belgian social insurance system. Such a discussion addresses the following puzzle: Why has the federal social insurance system not been at least partially decentralized in light of the fact that the Flemish political class overwhelmingly supports it? The answer is that federal social partners and, especially, Francophone parties are in a strong institutional position to successfully oppose decentralization. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the Flemish dependency insurance scheme, which could pave the way for the development of further distinct social policies in Flanders.

Keywords: Belgium; Brussels; dependency insurance; federalism; Flanders; nationalism; social insurance; social policy; Social Security; Wallonia

Chapter.  21707 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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