Advertisement

Uncertainty and Cleavages at Stakes: Do the Belgian Constitutions of 1831 and 1993 Stabilize Political Power?

  • Nathalie SchiffinoEmail author
  • Steve Jacob
Chapter
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 32)

Abstract

In our modern States, Constitutions underlie political power and its institutional settings. Two different texts lay the foundation of the Constitutional history of Belgium: the Constitution of 1831 and that of 1993. Each arose during a period of historical change. In 1831, in the shadow of decolonization from the Netherlands, the Constitution created a unitary State. In 1993, in a context of the Europeanization of politics, the Constitution declared a federal State. Over the years, the Belgian polity has undergone dramatic changes. What is puzzling about Belgium is that the constitution-making process has consistently remained in a State of uncertainty. In spite of path dependency and lesson-drawing, constitutional lawmakers, it seems, have not been able to avoid drafting decisions under a veil of ignorance.

Keywords

European Union Power Relation Political Elite International Constraint Legislative Branch 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Brennan H, Buchanan JM (1985) The reason of rules. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  2. Deschouwer K (2006) And the peace goes on? Consociational democracy and Belgian politics in the twenty-first century. W Eur Polit 29(5):895–911CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Imbeau LM (2009) Testing the “veil of ignorance” hypothesis in constitutional choice: a “walk-talk” approach. J Publ Finance Publ Choice 26(1):3–21Google Scholar
  4. Imbeau LM, Jacob S (2011) Is the “veil of ignorance” in constitutional choice a myth? An empirical exploration informed by a theory of power. In: Marciano A (ed) Constitutional mythologies. Springer, DordrechtGoogle Scholar
  5. Imbeau LM, Jacob S (2015) Measuring the opacity of the ‘veil of ignorance’ in constitutions: theory, method and some results. In: Imbeau LM, Jacob S (eds) Behind a veil of ignorance? Power and uncertainty in constitutional design. Springer, New York NYGoogle Scholar
  6. Keating M (1998) Principes et problèmes du gouvernement asymétrique. Politique et Sociétés 17(3):93–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Keating M (2009) Social citizenship, solidarity and welfare in regionalized and plurinational states. Citizsh Stud 13(5):501–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Lijphart A (1969) Consociational democracy. World Polit 21(2):207–225CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Lijphart A (1999) Patterns of democracy. Yale University Press, New Haven-LondonGoogle Scholar
  10. Mabille X (1992) Histoire politique de la Belgique. CRISP, BruxellesGoogle Scholar
  11. Rokkan S (1970) Citizens, elections and parties. Universitetsforlaget, OsloGoogle Scholar
  12. Swenden W, Jans MT (2006) Will it stay or will it go? Federalism and the sustainability of Belgium. W Eur Polit 29(5):877–894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Witte E, Gubin E, Nadnrin J-P, Deneckere G (2005) Nouvelle Histoire de Belgique. Editions Complexe, BruxellesGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  2. 2.Département de Science PolitiqueUniversité LavalQuébecCanada

Personalised recommendations