This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page this week.

A post-World Cup glow for Belgium?

The success of the Belgian national team at the 2014 World Cup has briefly united Flemish and Walloon speakers, but will this have any effect on the country's increasingly fractious identity politics?

The neo-Athenian revival: citizen participation in the twenty-first century

Looking back at the year 2013, one small, symbolic event stands out as a clear demonstration of a slow, quiet trend over the last decade, which one could call a 'New French Revolution.'

The radicalisation of Flemish nationalism

The polarising strategy of the Flemish movement’s biggest political party places next year’s “mother of all elections” in Belgium on a knife-edge.

Are smaller avenues of collective self-determination emerging out of the crisis?

Is national citizenship still a valid organizational factor in the context of the crisis? A radical re-thinking of political citizenship, based on smaller entities such as Catalonia, Scotland or Flanders, may emerge as a reaction to growing imbalances.

The constitutionality of the Belgian burqa ban

On 6 December 2012, the Belgian Constitutional Court held that the 2011 so-called “burqa ban” does not violate the Belgian Constitution. A boundary is crossed when rights of individuals are simply sacrificed to majority sentiments; a boundary which should be protected by institutions such as the Court.

Will Catalonia secede?

The independentist inclinations of Catalonia, Scotland or Flanders define a dominant political zeitgeist in Europe – the dismantling of large territorial units. And this is why they will ultimately succeed.

How small countries can save the European project: the rise of the habitat-nation

The European project is failing. It is time to consider a new theoretical model beyond the nation-state: smaller, localized communities, "habitat-nations", are the building blocks for a revitalized and democractic pan-European project.

Flemish nationalism: a new landscape

The results of Belgium's local elections has brought victory in the northern Flanders region to the conservative and nationalist but democratic New Flemish Alliance. This represents the transformation of Flemish nationalism, says Cas Mudde.

The pornography of equality

The silence of our politicians on women’s security in public spaces is in striking contrast to their tremendous responsiveness to the sight of brown men insulting white women. The real problem is that in western society women’s equality and women’s pornographization have gone hand-in-hand.

Security and the radical right in Flanders

Security has been a major theme in the rhetoric of the Vlaams Block/Belang since the late 1980s. Their combination of strong anti-immigrant statements and simplistic proposals has been appropriated by mainstream parties in Belgium.

Belgium bans 'burqa'

Belgium’s law banning the face-veil and other forms of face covering is badly drafted, unnecessary, and counter-productive

Belgium: blame the chubby nationalist

The creation of a new Belgian government seems as unlikely as the Red Devils ever winning the World Cup. Bart de Wever, leader of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), receives much of the blame, but representatives from all political parties across the language frontier are unable to bridge the ever wider gap between north and south

The coordinated attack on multiculturalism

Centre-right parties across Europe are announcing the failure of multiculturalism. We are witnessing a co-ordinated revival of Enoch Powell's idea of the aggressive outsider out to dominate the rest; only now race and immigration are being played out on the terrain of culture and religion

Old and new demagoguery: the rhetoric of exclusion

Right-wing populist parties tend to be anti-multinational and anti-intellectual: they endorse nationalistic, nativist, and chauvinistic beliefs, embedded - explicitly or coded - in common sense appeals to a presupposed shared knowledge of ‘the people’.

Migrants in Brussels – against the odds

Migrant women especially face extreme discrimination in Brussels. But they don’t necessarily see it that way.

One asylum seeker in Belgium: Part Three

In March 2010, over 400 Macedonian asylum seekers arrived in Belgium. Many have since returned to Macedonia. Most are now considerably worse off. Parts One and Two.

Belgium’s asylum seeker fiasco

People in Brussels are led to believe that there is a huge influx of asylum-seekers. Yes and no. The truth is much harder to tell. Many have ended up in the street and some have even taken the Belgian state to court. Part Two

The humanities and the sciences depend on each other, so cutting humanities funding hurts the "hard" subjects too

The UK educational reforms, with their utilitarian emphasis on Science and Engineering, demonstrate no understanding of what makes for a good science research environment. The meeting of speculative and experimental sciences, as well as other areas of the humanities like literature, creates a general atmosphere of creativity, intellectual tension, and reciprocal engagement. It is probably impossible to nail down this atmosphere in any exact terms, but most scientists (in the broadest sense of the word) have a sense of it; it exists as much in a general culture as in a specific domain of academic life.

Along the language frontier

As Belgium is on the brink of collapse, some talk of a second Yugoslavia, partly in jest, partly not. It has been violent before. Will it be violent again? Philip Ebels rode his bicycle along the language frontier in order to find out.

Time to Call it a Day: Sometimes it is right for a country to recognise that its job is done

We revisit an article from 2007 meditating on the export of the possible break up of Belgium back across the channel to the country responsible for Belgium's creation in the first place
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