Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

The Centre Does Not Hold: Coalition Politics and Party System Change in the Netherlands, 2002–12

Abstract

Like many party systems across Western Europe, the Dutch party system has been in flux since 2002 as a result of a series of related developments, including the decline of mainstream parties which coincided with the emergence of radical right-wing populist parties and the concurrent dimensional transformation of the political space. This article analyses how these challenges to mainstream parties fundamentally affected the structure of party competition. On the basis of content analysis of party programmes, we examine the changing configuration of the Dutch party space since 2002 and investigate the impact of these changes on coalition-formation patterns. We conclude that the Dutch party system has become increasingly unstable. It has gradually lost its core through electoral fragmentation and mainstream parties’ positional shifts. The disappearance of a core party that dominates the coalition-formation process initially transformed the direction of party competition from centripetal to centrifugal. However, since 2012 a theoretically novel configuration has emerged in which no party or coherent group of parties dominates competition.

Copyright
Footnotes
Hide All
*

Huib Pellikaan is Lecturer in Political Science at Leiden University. Contact email: pellikaan@fsw.leidenuniv.nl.

Sarah L. de Lange is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Contact email: s.l.delange@uva.nl.

Tom W.G. van der Meer is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. Contact email: t.w.g.vandermeer@uva.nl.

Footnotes
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

K. Aarts and J. Thomassen (2008), ‘Dutch Voters and the Changing Party Space 1989–2006’, Acta Politica, 43(2–3): 203234.

R.B. Andeweg (2008), ‘Coalition Politics in the Netherlands: From Accommodation to Politicization’, Acta Politica, 43(2–3): 254277.

T. Bale (2008), ‘Turning Round the Telescope: Centre-Right Parties and Immigration and Integration Policy in Europe’, Journal of European Public Policy, 15(3): 315330.

T. Bale , C. Green-Pedersen , A. Krouwel , K.R. Luther and N. Sitter (2010), ‘If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them? Explaining Social Democratic Responses to the Challenge from the Populist Radical Right in Western Europe’, Political Studies, 58(3): 410426.

H.-G. Betz (1994), Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe (Basingstoke: Macmillan).

S.L. De Lange (2011), ‘Radical Right-Wing Populist Parties in Office: A Cross-National Comparison’, in U. Backes and P. Moreau (eds), Extreme Right in Europe: Current Trends and Perspectives (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), 171194.

K. Gemenis and E. Dinas (2010), ‘Confrontation Still? Examining Parties’ Policy Positions in Greece’, Comparative European Politics, 8(2): 179201.

R. Harmel and K. Janda (1994), ‘An Integrated Theory of Party Goals and Party Change’, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 6: 259287.

H. Kriesi , E. Grande , R. Lachat , M. Dolezal , S. Bornschier and T. Frey (2008), West European Politics in the Age of Globalization (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

B. Meguid (2005), ‘Competition Between Unequals: The Role of Mainstream Party Strategy in Niche Party Success’, American Political Science Review, 99(3): 435452.

C. Mershon and O. Shvetsova (2013), Party System Change in Legislatures Worldwide: Moving Outside the Electoral Arena (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

C. Mershon and O. Shvetsova (2014), ‘Change in Parliamentary Party Systems and Policy Outcomes: Hunting the Core’, Journal of Theoretical Politics, 26(2): 331351.

C. Mudde (2013), ‘Three Decades of Populist Radical Right Parties in Western Europe: So What?’, European Journal of Political Research, 52(1): 119.

C. Mudde (2014), ‘Fighting the System? Populist Radical Right Parties and Party System Change’, Party Politics, 20(2): 217226.

A. Oosterwaal and R. Torenvlied (2010), ‘Politics Divided from Society? Three Explanations for Trends in Societal and Political Polarisation in the Netherlands’, West European Politics, 33(2): 258279.

P.C. Ordeshook (1986), Game Theory and Political Theory: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

S. Otjes (2011), ‘The Fortuyn Effect Revisited: How Did the LPF Affect the Dutch Parliamentary Party System?’, Acta Politica, 46(4): 400424.

H. Pellikaan , T. van der Meer and S.L. de Lange (2003), ‘The Road from a Depoliticized to a Centrifugal Democracy’, Acta Politica, 38(1): 2349.

H. Pellikaan , S. de Lange and T. van der Meer (2007), ‘Fortuyn’s Legacy: Party System Change in the Netherlands’, Comparative European Politics, 5(3): 282302.

P. Pennings and H. Keman (2008), ‘The Changing Landscape of Dutch Politics since the 1970s: A Comparative Exploration’, Acta Politica, 43(2–3): 154179.

D. Ray (1989), ‘Credible Coalitions and the Core’, International Journal of Game Theory, 18: 185187.

J.A. Schlesinger (1984), ‘On the Theory of Party Organization’, Journal of Politics, 46: 369400.

N. Schofield and I. Sened (2006), Multiparty Democracy: Elections and Legislative Politics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).

N. Schofield and M. Gallego (2011), Leadership or Chaos? The Heart and Soul of Politics (Heidelberg: Springer).

N. Schofield , B. Grofman and S.L. Feld (1988), ‘The Core and the Stability of Group Choice in Spatial Voting Games’, American Political Science Review, 82(1): 11951211.

K. Strøm , I. Budge and M.J. Laver (1994), ‘Constraints on Cabinet Formation in Parliamentary Democracies’, American Journal of Political Science, 38: 303335.

W. Van der Brug and J. van Spanje (2009), ‘Immigration, Europe and the “New” Cultural Cleavage’, European Journal of Political Research, 48: 308334.

C. Van der Eijk (2001), ‘Measuring Agreement in Ordered Rating Scales’, Quality and Quantity, 35: 325341.

T. Van der Meer , R. Lubbe , E. van Elsas , M. Elff and W. van der Brug (2012), ‘Bounded Volatility in the Dutch Electoral Battlefield: A Panel Study on the Structure of Changing Vote Intentions, the Netherlands 2006–2010’, Acta Politica, 47: 333355.

S. Van Heerden , S.L. de Lange , W. van der Brug and M. Fennema (2014), ‘The Immigration and Integration Debate in the Netherlands: Discursive and Programmatic Reactions to the Rise of Anti-Immigration Parties’, Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 40(1): 119136.

J.J.M. Van Holsteyn , G.A. Irwin and J.M. den Ridder (2003), ‘In the Eye of the Beholder: The Perception of the List Pim Fortuyn and the Parliamentary Elections of May 2002’, Acta Politica, 38(1): 6987.

J. Van Spanje (2010), ‘Contagious Parties; Anti-Immigration Parties and Their Impact on Other Parties’ Immigration Stances in Contemporary Western Europe’, Party Politics, 16(5): 563586.

A. Volkens , J. Bara , I. Budge , M.D. McDonald and H.D. Klingemann (2013), Mapping Policy Preferences from Texts: Statistical Solutions for Manifesto Analysis (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

P.V. Warwick (2002), ‘Towards a Common Dimensionality in West European Policy Spaces’, Party Politics, 8: 101122.

P. Mair (2008), ‘Electoral Volatility and the Dutch Party System: A Comparative Perspective’, Acta Politica, 43(2–3): 243253.

N. Schofield (1993), ‘Political Competition and Multiparty Coalition Governments’, European Journal of Political Research, 23(1): 133.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords:

Type Description Title
WORD
Supplementary Materials

Pellikaan supplementary material
Pellikaan supplementary material 1

 Word (752 KB)
752 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 32
Total number of PDF views: 240 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 754 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 22nd August 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.