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New Political Parties in the Netherlands


Course description

The study of new parties may help to discover the ‘genetic code’ of parties and predict their life cycle. Why do they emerge, why do most of them fail within a few years, while some develop into dominant parties and survive for several decades? Do new parties articulate new ideas and /or new organisational models? Do established parties imitate them, or is it the other way around?
After discussing the comparative literature on this topic, we will study new parties in the Netherlands. Of course, every party was new at some point. It may be useful to look at subsequent generations of new parties, starting in the 19th century. The main part of the seminar will deal with parties that have emerged over the last two or three decades, however. In the process, we might gain new insights into the Dutch party system – its hidden hurdles – and Dutch political culture.

Method of instruction

Lectures, group discussion, and presentation.


Articles in journals to be announced, about 500 pp.


Students are invited to write (and present) a short research paper on one or two new parties of about 2500 words. Furthermore, they have to write a short review of the literature (about 1500 words).


Monday 31 January till 21 March, 15.00-17.00 hrs. in SA31 and
Tuesday 1 February till 22 March, 9.00-11.00 hrs. , in 5A37.