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Persistent Nonviolent Conflict with No Reconciliation: The Flemish and Walloons in Belgium

39 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2011  

Alain Laurent P. G. Verbeke

University of Leuven, Director Rector Roger Dillemans Family Property Law Institute, Codirector Institute for Contract Law, Codirector Leuven Center for Notary Law; Harvard Law School; University of Leuven, Faculty of Psychology; Tilburg Law School Department of Private Law and TISCO; Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law; Greenille by Laga

Robert H. Mnookin

Harvard Law School; Program on Negotiation

Date Written: September 30, 2009

Abstract

The conflict between Dutch speaking Flemish and the Francophones in Belgium has a long history. It is explained by a marriage methaphor, where the couple is at the verge of a separation or breakdown. The paper first analyses the background of this intense conflict. Then the focus is, given the divided society of today, on the key issues of the conflict: language and autonomy, minority vs. majority, Brussels, economical differences, and money transfers. Based on all these differences, the question is raised what glue still holds Belgium society together. Besides Brussels, a pacifist tradition and national elite, surprisingly Europe also seems a factor of unity.The paper concludes with some speculations on future evolution and lessons learned from a conflict llike this that remains, despite its intensity, nonviolent.

Keywords: Conflict Management, Belgium, Flemish and Walloons, Federal Systems

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Verbeke, Alain Laurent P. G. and Mnookin, Robert H., Persistent Nonviolent Conflict with No Reconciliation: The Flemish and Walloons in Belgium (September 30, 2009). Law and Contemporary Problems, Vol. 72, No. 2, 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1750752

Alain Laurent P. G. Verbeke (Contact Author)

University of Leuven, Director Rector Roger Dillemans Family Property Law Institute, Codirector Institute for Contract Law, Codirector Leuven Center for Notary Law ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, 3000
Belgium
003216325203 (Phone)
003216325296 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.kuleuven.be/fvr

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.pon.harvard.edu/

University of Leuven, Faculty of Psychology

Oude Markt 13
Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant 3000
Belgium

HOME PAGE: http://ppw.kuleuven.be/english/wopp/leuven-center-for-collaborative-management

Tilburg Law School Department of Private Law and TISCO ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/research/institutes-and-research-groups/tisco/

Catholic University of Portugal (UCP) - Católica Global School of Law

Lisboa
Portugal

HOME PAGE: http://www.fd.lisboa.ucp.pt/site/custom/template/ucptplfac.asp?sspageID=3293&lang=2

Greenille by Laga ( email )

Boulevard de la Woluwe 2
1150 Brussels
Belgium
003227380650 (Phone)
003227380660 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.greenille.eu

Robert H. Mnookin

Harvard Law School ( email )

Hauser Hall 416
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-9201 (Phone)
617-496-3777 (Fax)

Program on Negotiation ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States

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