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›  BELGIUM : THE STATE OF THE FEDERATION – 2011

BELGIUM : THE STATE OF THE FEDERATION – 2011

Friday 14 October 2011
Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Karel Van Miert Building (Rooms Rome and Lisbon – Level -1), Pleinlaan 5, Brussels

The Belgian federation seems to be at a crossroad. Its piecemeal and peaceful transformation from a unitary to a federal state to pacify the relations between its language groups has often been cited as a model. Yet the Belgian federation continues to face a number of recurrent problems. These are related to economic and fiscal policies, to identity politics and internal boundaries, to procedures and rules for the organization of the shared rule and joint decision-making at the federal level, to the organization and functioning of the parties and the party system.

On October 14 2011 the Flemish and the Francophone associations of political science in Belgium organize a conference on ‘The state of the federation’. The aim is to take stock of results of scientific research on the different aspects of the Belgian federation, and at the same time reflect about its institutional future.

On the occasion of this conference the two associations launch a call among political scientists for proposals for a blueprint for a better Belgium. We look forward to receive creative suggestions for the governing of a divided society and its apparently stalled federal system. An international jury will select the best proposal and the winning blueprint will be presented at the conference on October 14. Proposals – with a maximum length of four pages – should be sent to Kris.Deschouwer@vub.ac.be by September 15 2011 the latest.

 

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME

9:00-9:30 : Registration and coffee

9:30-10:00 : Keynote opening speech, Bedlam in Belgium : Belgian Federalism in Comparative Perspective, Jan Erk (Universiteit Leiden)

10:00-13:00 : panels I and II

Panel I : The working of the federation (Room Lisbon)

Chair : Min Reuchamps (F.R.S.-FNRS/ULg)

Panel II : The paradox of the federation (Room Rome)

Chair : Johanne Poirier (ULB)

  • Contamination or containment ? Federalisation and ethno-political positions and discourse of political parties in Belgium, Dave Sinardet (UA/VUB) and Niels Morsink (UA)
  • Federalism and party positions in Belgium, Régis Dandoy (ULB)
  • Are Belgian elites more ethno-regionalist than their Voters ?, Pierre Baudewyns (UCL) and Lieven De Winter (UCL)
  • The Belgian consociational paradox. Preferences of voters and political elites on constitutional reform, Kris Deschouwer (VUB)

13:00-14:00 : lunch

14:00-17:00 : panels III and IV

Panel III : The citizens of the federation (Room Lisbon)

Chair : Caroline Van Wynsberghe (UCL)

Panel IV : The end of the federation ? (Room Rome)

Chair : Kris Deschouwer (VUB)

17:00 : Prize “Blueprint for Belgium” and concluding remarks, Kris Deschouwer (VUB) and Min Reuchamps (F.R.S.-FNRS/ULg)

17:30 : cocktail

 

REGISTRATION

All participants have to register online [click here]. Registration is free for the members of the Vereniging voor Politieke Wetenschappen (VPW) and/or the Association belge de science politique-Communauté française (ABSP-CF). Participation fee for non-members is 15 euro (students 5 euro).

For more information : http://www.politicologie.be/ or http://www.absp.be/

Contacts : Kris.Deschouwer(a)vub.ac.be or Min Reuchamps

 

Belgium – The state of the federation – Conference programme

Call for proposals: a blueprint for Belgium

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