The Flemish Negative Case: Explaining the Prevalence of Regionalist Demands without Request for an Independence Referendum

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Résumé

Despite Flanders is often presented as a handbook example of strong regionalism, the organization of a referendum on Flemish independence has never been on the political agenda. This article explains the reasons for the absence of a self-determination referendum in Flanders and shows that, since the 2000s, the omnipresence of the self-rule issue at the top of the political agenda is not–per se –a direct responseto regionalist demandsof Flemish voters or the Flemish political class. Instead, it is the consociational features of the Belgian political system that enhance intra-community party competition and contribute to the escalade of inter-community conflicts. This mostly explains the deep constitutional crises of the late 2000s and early 2010s. In this context, we can better understand why Flanders independence is supported neither by a majority of the population (9.5 percent), nor its representatives (except those belonging to one of the two regionalist parties, N-VA and VB).
langue originaleAnglais
Nombre de pages16
journalFédéralisme et Régionalisme
Volume19
Etat de la publicationPublié - 2019

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