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Consensus and Conflict in the Netherlands



Purpose: 1. By examining consensus and conflict in the Netherlands, students learn to understand and use a variety of concepts and theories concerning conflict and cooperation.
Purpose: 2. Students can further develop their presentation and writing skills through oral and written assignments.

Content: This seminar focuses on conflict and cooperation in the Netherlands. The Netherlands used to be a typical instance of consensus politics. Practices of power sharing, cooperation seeking, and compromise featured prominently already in the Dutch Republic and before. However, the Netherlands has recently experienced a decline in consensus politics, moving towards a more polarising, competitive, adversarial, and majoritarian mode of politics. What explains this shift away from consensus politics? Has this shift occurred in the electoral arena or also beyond? And only in national politics or also in provincial and local politics? And has this shift evolved similarly on issues of healthcare, religion, immigration and European integration? These are the key questions of the seminar Cooperation and Conflict in the Netherlands.

Methods of Instruction

Working groups

Study Material

A list of obligatory readings will be made available on blackboard.


Essays, presentation, paper.

Admission requirements

Passive knowledge of Dutch is required for this seminar. Participants are expected to have basic knowledge of Dutch politics.


Thursday 4 September until 18 December, 18.00-20.00 hrs in 1A33


Registration is possible from Tuesday 19 August 10.00 a.m. until Sunday 24 August. Please send an e-mail with your full name, student number and your preference for 2 seminars in the first semester to You will receive an auto-reply with a confirmation that we have received your e-mail. You will be informed about the seminars for which you have been registered before September 1.

Research Master students in principle follow the seminars which are ear marked for the Research Master. Research Master Students have to consult the study advisor Ms. Alma Caubo if they would like to choose this seminar.