Nationalism in Present-Day Flanders
Today, Flemish nationalists are as divided as they have been in the past. Although they still represent but a minority of the population, their influence on the traditional political parties in Flanders should not be underestimated. For quite some time now they have weighed heavily on the political decision-making. Since 1987, the extreme right-wing nationalists, gathered in the Vlaams Blok, have clearly taken the offensive. The social progressive and democratic nationalists of the Volksunie, on the other hand, are fighting for survival. Four constitutional reforms have turned Belgium into a federal state and democratic legitimacy has been extended to Flanders. The Flemish Government and the Flemish Parliament are now the pre-eminent defenders of Flemish interests. The question is whether these new institutions will become the driving force of a new Flemish nationalist struggle.
KeywordsDemocratic Legitimacy Electoral Success Constitutional Reform State Reform French Community
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