The Netherlands: Resilience Amidst Change
CHANGING PARTY SYSTEMS IN WESTERN EUROPE, David Broughton & Mark Donovan, eds., Pinter, 1999
21 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2010
Date Written: 1999
This chapter deals with the historical development of the Dutch party system before 1945, the contextual variables of most relevance, the post-1945 party system and then the processes of change and adaptation up until the present day. The Netherlands has not only had a multi-party system but also a multi-dimensional party system ever since the first attempt at a 'breakthrough' of the existing party system finally became successful in the 1870s. Both before and after the Second World War, moreover, at least five political parties have been 'relevant'. Although at first sight therefore the model of extreme, or polarized, pluralism seems to apply, Sartori himself has more than once indicated that the Netherlands belonged in the category of moderate pluralism. As will be argued below, the Netherlands has retained its multiparty and multi-dimensional character. However, the partial success of the second major attempt at a 'breakthrough' of the party system, launched by the Socialists immediately after the Second World War, has led to recent speculation about a possible Ire-dichotomization' of Dutch politics.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation