Article (Scientific journals)
The ideational origins of European democratization: the “French connection” and the case of Belgian liberals
Farhat, Nadim; Poirier, Philippe
2019In French Politics, 17 (2019), p. 1-28
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Keywords :
European democratization; Ideational diffusion; Liberal elites; France; Belgium
Abstract :
[en] Why, in some cases, did old elites promote democratization without the partisan capacity to embrace mass politics and without guarantees about their future participation in the new regime? This article investigates the case of the Liberals in Belgium who were eager, in the years between 1893–1921, to launch democratization while founding their actions and choices on a selfless approach to politics. In seeking to identify the source of this democratic preference, one factor, largely ignored in the studies on the first wave of democratization, emerges: the diffusion of democratic ideas and practices from France. Constructing and analyzing two original data sets including, respectively, the personal characteristics of Belgian Liberal MPs who were active during the democratic transition period and the speeches of those who addressed topics related to France, this article shows that the democratic ideas as well as the choices expressed by Liberal MPs in the parliament are significantly related to their prior socialization into French democratic norms. This result has broad implications for understanding ideational transfer and diffusion in the first wave of European democratization, opening new avenues for future research.
Research center :
Chaire de recherche en études parlementaires
Disciplines :
Political science, public administration & international relations
Author, co-author :
Farhat, Nadim ;  Université Catholique de Louvain - UCL
Poirier, Philippe ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE)
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
The ideational origins of European democratization: the “French connection” and the case of Belgian liberals
Publication date :
08 June 2019
Journal title :
French Politics
Publisher :
Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills, United Kingdom
Volume :
Issue :
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer Reviewed verified by ORBi
FnR Project :
FNR11262785 - The Origins Of Democracy In Luxembourg: Mechanisms Of Democratization At The Elite And Popular Levels, 2016 (01/09/2017-28/02/2021) - Philippe Poirier
Name of the research project :
Origins of Democracy in Luxembourg- CORE project
Funders :
FNR - Fonds National de la Recherche [LU]
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since 18 July 2019


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