Split Offer and Homogeneous Response in Belgium. The Conceptual and Empirical Limitations of (De)Nationalization

Luana Russo, Kris Deschouwer,, Tom Verthé*

*Corresponding author for this work

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By examining the Belgian case, this article aims to show that methodological nationalism is strongly present in the literature on nationalization of party offer and voting behaviour. In nationalization studies, Belgium is often presented as a typical example of a denationalized country. This is true for the party offer, as it is de facto split between the two language groups since the 1980s, and therefore also voter response at the national level. However, voter response within each separate subnational party system is very homogeneous and shows interesting differences between these party systems that inform us about important electoral dynamics. We argue, on the basis of our results, that rather than stretching the concept of nationalization, it is preferable and justified to treat the concepts of nationalization of the party offer and homogenization of voter response as analytically distinct and not as two sides of the same coin.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
JournalPolitics of the Low Countries
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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