This article ties the expansion of the (European) welfare state model to Belgian national politics and exemplifies how welfare state concepts, such as universalism and decommodification, were adopted in the political campaign for Flemish nationalism in a country on its path to federalism. It focuses on the construction of leisure infrastructure in Flanders, the northern (Flemish-speaking) region of the country, and scrutinizes the role that planning, urbanism, and architecture played in the political project that was set up to strengthen the Flemish community and craft a sense of Flemish cultural identity. It furthermore relates these developments to the situation of pillarization in the country and explicates the convergence of these different forces by narrating the developments in one (telling) case study municipality (Dilbeek) in the Flemish border of the capital city.

Janina Gosseye, “Leisure Politics. The construction of social infrastructure and Flemish cultural identity in Belgium, 1950s to 1970s”, Journal of Urban History, 38: 2 (2012): 271-293. DOI: 10.1177/0096144211427116

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