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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 religion, immigration and European integration? Has coalition government become more difficult as a result? 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, observation report, presentation, reflection papers, final paper.

Admission requirements

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


See preliminary info