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

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


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.


European Union Power Relation Political Elite International Constraint Legislative Branch 
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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

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