chapter  8
18 Pages

Welfare: defended, questioned, complemented?

Belgian welfare arrangements in the 1970s–1980s from the perspective of disability organizations
WithAnaïs Van Ertvelde

This chapter introduces the necessary particularities of the Belgian welfare context, and looks into two turning points: after 1973 and after 1981. The choice to address the perspective of disability organizations was guided by the lack of existing Belgian welfare state literature that uses the interactions between disability organizations, policymakers and people with disabilities as a lens. The Belgian welfare system was based on a social insurance system, the so-called Bismarckian model, and a system of social assistance benefits. People with disabilities, disability organizations and academics also made their own contributions towards a critique of both care and welfare provisions. A model of resolving the mounting tensions caused by the paradoxical moves of protesting welfare state cutbacks in the light of the fading star of Keynesian economics and fabricating a critique of the stifling workings of the pillarized welfare state was never fully realized.