chapter  8
16 Pages

Policy Convergence and Divergence Stefaan De Rynck in Belgium: Education and Health Care and Karolien Dezeure

Due to the far-reaching federalisation of policy competences, Belgium allows for a structured binary comparison of policy convergence or divergence between Flanders and Wallonia. The purpose of this article is to compare the policies of Flanders and Wallonia and to detect to what extent policies converge or diverge. The questions that inform this paper are: has policy divergence occurred since federalisation or not? If so, in what direction have policies changed and with what intensity? How can one explain intensity and direction of policy divergence and the observed patterns of similarity and variation between two regional political systems in the same national context? These questions will be studied in two very different policy domains in order to control for the sector-specificity of observed impacts. The structure of this article is as follows. First, we will briefly sketch two different views on what drives policy convergence and divergence. Next, we apply our framework to two cases, namely education and health care. In the last section we summarise the scope and drivers for policy divergence in both of these policy sectors.