The Future of Belgian Federalism: An Analysis of Party Preferences

Regis Dandoy*, Geoffroy Matagne, Caroline Van Wynsberghe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This article studies the political discourses regarding the future of Belgian federalism since the year 2000. Analysing party manifestos, it intends to identify patterns of preferences about the long-term evolution of Belgian institutions and the distribution of competences. The quantitative and qualitative analysis shows that the systemic duality of Belgian federalism largely explains the preferences of political actors: French-speaking parties overall oppose the broad state reform that the Dutch-speaking parties collectively support. Yet, each party has a specific position on the decentralization cleavage and a vision of Belgian federalism that cannot be reduced to its linguistic affiliation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-351
Number of pages21
JournalRegional and Federal Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul
Externally publishedYes


  • Belgium
  • federalism
  • party manifestos
  • political parties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


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