The Reform-Resistant Belgian Welfare State

(Kris Deschouwer) THE LOW COUNTRIES - 2016, № 24, PP. 234-241

Belgium has not become a liberal-type welfare state and neither has it become a social democratic-type welfare state. It remains a continental model that requires broad agreements – with or without the ex-ante approval of the social partners – to introduce adjustments. Those who defend the basic features of the system do however believe that it is gradually being dismantled, while those who are not happy with some of those basic features believe that the in-built resistance to change will be detrimental in the long run. The welfare state is and remains a compromise built on corporatist and consociational mechanisms. It is a compromise with which nobody is really happy. This must be Belgium.



  • Esping-Anderson, G. (1990), The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, Cambridge: Polity Press
  • Iversen, T. & Soskice, D. (2006), Electoral Institutions, Parties, and the Politics of Coalitions : Why some democracies distribute more than others, American Political Science Review, vol 100, no 2: 165-181
  • Jones, E. (2002), Consociationalism, Corporatism, and the Fate of Belgium, Acta Politica, vol 37: 86-103
  • Jones, E. (2008), Economic Adjustment and Political Transformation in Small States, Oxford UP
  • Pierson, P. (2001), The New Politics of the Welfare State, Oxford UP
  • Pierson, P. (2004), Politics in Time: History, Institutions and Social Analysis, Princeton UP
  • Van Keersbergen, K. & Vis, B. (2014), Comparative Welfare State Politics. Developments, Opportunities and Reform, Cambridge UP
  • Vleminckx, Koen (2011), De hervormingen van de Belgische verzorgingsstaat: een kroniek, Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Sociale Zekerheid, 3de trimester, p. 403-456

zoek opnieuw

Prijs (indien u een artikel uit ons archief bestelt, ontvangt u een pdf): € 3.00

leg in winkelmandje