Van Parijs suggests that Belgium faces two main challenges today: on the one hand, if it is to continue as a viable democratic country, its population needs a common space for debate and decision-making (Mill’s challenge).On the other, as states increasingly transform into businesses, their capacity to reduce income inequality caused by the functioning of the market is weakened (Strange’s challenge). As for the orchestrator, the European Union –which faces similar challenges at an interstate level–, could learn more than just one lesson from Belgium’s experience.  

This article forms part of issue 9 of the IDEES magazine, “New technologies: realities and mirages”, published in print format between January and March 2001. The PDF article is available to download in Catalan below.


Philippe Van Parijs

Philippe Van Parijs és filòsof i economista polític. És professor de la Facultat de Ciències Econòmiques, Socials i Polítiques de la Universitat Catòlica de Lovaina (UCL), on dirigeix la càtedra Hoover d'Ètica Econòmica i Social des de l’any 1991. Van Parijs és un dels fundadors de la Xarxa Europea de Renda Bàsica i ha escrit llibres com Real Freedom for All. What (if anything) can justify capitalism? (1995) i Basic income: a simple and powerful idea for the twenty-first century (2004). És internacionalment conegut per ser un dels defensors del concepte de renda bàsica i també per oferir un dels primers tractaments sistemàtics als problemes de la justícia lingüística.