Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party Strategies

Dardanelli, Paolo (2012) Europeanization and the Unravelling of Belgium: a Comparative Analysis of Party Strategies. Acta Politica, 47 (2). pp. 181-209. ISSN 0001-6810. (The full text of this publication is not available from this repository)

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Abstract

Research on Europeanization has greatly deepened our understanding of the domestic impact of European integration but has largely neglected the question of the extent to which it has influenced domestic politics in relation to state reform. The article addresses this question by investigating the case of Belgium, which has experienced the deepest process of state reform and at the same time has been the most exposed to Europeanization. It explores the connections between the two through a qualitative comparative analysis of the degree to which political parties have exploited the European dimension in their rhetorical strategies on state reform, with focus on three key time points. The results paint a contrasting picture. On the one hand, the degree of Europeanization has been limited at each point in time and largely stable over time. On the other hand, the VU/N-VA stands out as a major exception for its consistent – and growing – exploitation of the European dimension. The analysis shows that constitutional preferences, importance of the constitutional question, and attitudes to integration are the key factors explaining the patterns observed. These findings call for deeper theorization of the domestic impact of integration and point to avenues for further comparative analysis.

Item Type: Article
Projects: [142] European integration and state restructuring
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations > Centre for Federal Studies
Depositing User: Paolo Dardanelli
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2011 18:31
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2012 16:17
Resource URI: http://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/28518 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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