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Allochthons, Colonizers, and Scroungers: Exclusionary Populism in Belgium

  • Bambi Ceuppens

Abstract:

This article analyzes the growth of autochthony in Belgium as an example of the increasing popularity of autochthony discourses in Western Europe. Autochthony discourses, which try to reserve the benefits of the welfare state to those who are said to really belong, tend to thrive in prosperous Western European welfare states with a strong Social-Democratic tradition that refuse to accept that they have become immigrant countries. In federalized Belgium, however, autochthony has a much stronger appeal in Flanders, which historically was dominated by Christian-Democratic parties, than in Wallonia, which remains a Social-Democratic bulwark. Analyzing Western European autochthony in terms of welfare chauvinism helps explain the ways in which prosperous Flemings, unlike impoverished Walloons, can afford to buy into the neoliberal rhetoric of choice and thus create themselves as autochthons.

Résumé:

Cette contribution analyse la progression de l'autochtonie en Belgique, pour montrer la popularité grandissante du discours autochtone en Europe de l'Ouest. Les discours de l'autochtonie, tentant de réserver les privilèges de l'aide sociale venant de l'état à ceux qui sont considéréd comme les vrais citoyens, ont tendance à s'épanouir dans les pays prospères de l'Europe de l'Ouest avec une tradition sociale démocratique forte et qui refusent d'admettre qu'ils sont devenus des pays d'immigration. En Belgique fédérale, cependant, l'autochtonie a un succès beaucoup plus fort en Flandre, historiquement dominée par les régions chrétiennes démocratiques, qu'en Wallonie, le bastion social démocratique. L'analyse de l'autochtonie d'Europe de l'Ouest en termes de chauvinisme de la protection sociale permet de montrer comment les habitants de la Flandre prospère, à l'opposé des Wallons appauvris, peuvent se permettre d'accueillir une rhétorique néo-libérale de choix, s'établissant ainsi eux-mêmes comme des autochtones.

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Allochthons, Colonizers, and Scroungers: Exclusionary Populism in Belgium

  • Bambi Ceuppens

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