How Can One Not be Interested in Belgian History: War, Language and Consensus in Belgium Since 1830
Academia Press, 2005 - 151 pages
Belgium rarely attracts outside attention. Yet the country is more than fine chocolates, delicious beers or Tintin. This volume celebrates Belgium as a federal, post-nationalist country, which combines cultural pragmatism with a rather solid social consensus. It presents a critical vision of the origins of Belgian independence and of that complex notion named belgitude . It illustrates how the deep-seated tradition of local autonomy and suspicion towards state authority go hand in hand with a strong sense of individual tolerance and solidarity, with a rejection of violent confrontation and a continuous search for consensus. In this volume, prominent commentators on things Belgian combine critical and irreverent observations with a strong attachment to the existence of the country and its role on the international stage. They emphasize the potential of linguistic diversity and cultural plurality. They also point out the ambivalent relation between history, national myths, and the lasagne identity of most Belgians. Belgium may be a model or a warning. Its history addresses questions of identity and security, of a sense of cohesion and common purpose or the
lack thereof. Belgium does matter. This volume tells you why."
Antwerp became Belgian civilians Belgian history Belgian revolution bilingual Britain British Brussels region Catholics and Liberals celebrations Christian-Democratic civilised coalition Congo consensus constitution country’s course culture defended discourse Dutch language Dutch-speaking Dutroux economic elite Europe European Union fact federal Flamenpolitik Flanders Flemings Flemish Movement foreign franc-tireur France Francophone French speakers French-speaking Geert van Istendael German groups guage Guy Verhofstadt historians historiography ideological important independence industrial issues John Horne King Albert King Leopold King’s Kingdom language shift Leuven Liège linguistic Little Belgium majority Marc Reynebeau Martine Van Berlo ment minister Modern monarchy Netherlands North official organised parliament parties percent pillars political politicians population problem provinces revolution rhetoric Royal Question schools social Socialist society Sophie de Schaepdrijver speak Dutch spoke French suffrage territory tion Tony Judt tradition Trinity College Dublin unity Vlaams Belang vote Wallonia Walloon Warsage World