Tom Louwerse

Associate Professor

Leiden University

I am an Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University, the Netherlands. My research and teaching focuses on elections, political representation and parliamentary politics in the Netherlands and other established democracies.

Currently, I am working on two major research projects. The Nature of Political Representation in Times of Dealignment, supported by the Open Research Area, studies the quality and nature of political representation. The project Who opposes? focuses on government-opposition cooperation in parliament and is supported by a Vidi grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

My outreach activities include Peilingwijzer, a poll aggregation project in collaboration with the the Dutch public broadcaster NOS. I have the pleasure of acting as chair of Young Academy Leiden.


  • Legislative Politics
  • Political Representation
  • Elections
  • Opinion Polls


  • PhD in Political Science, 2011

    Leiden University

  • MA in Political Science, 2006

    Leiden University


I am an Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University, the Netherlands. My main areas of interest include political representation, parliaments, political parties, elections, polls and voting advice applications.

Foto: Monique Shaw


I studied political science at Leiden University, obtaining my Master’s degree (cum laude) in 2006 and my PhD in 2011. Part of my PhD research was completed at the University of Nottingham, where I was a guest PhD researcher in 2008. My PhD thesis, written under supervision of Prof. Rudy Andeweg and Dr Huib Pellikaan deals with the the democratic mandate of political parties in Great Britain and the Netherlands. This dissertation was shortlisted for the ECPR Jean Blondel Prize.

After I completed my dissertation, I worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Political Legitimacy research profile area at Leiden, a multi-disciplinary project involving history, law, political science and public administration. In addition, I taught at the Institute of Political Science.

From September 2013 to December 2015 I held the position of Assistant Professor in Political Science at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. My responsibilities included teaching courses in research methods and statistics as well as comparative politics. I was Director of the M.Sc. in Politics & Public Policy in 2014-2015.

Current role

In January 2016 I took up the position of Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University. In 2019 I was promoted to Associate Professor. In the academic year 2019-2020, I am teaching statistics to undergraduate students and a seminar course on representation and parliamentary politics.

Professional service and outreach

I fulfil various professional service roles. I am Convenor of the Standing Group on Parliaments, one of the largest and most active specialist groups within the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). I am chair of the Young Academy Leiden, an interdisciplinary group of young researchers at Leiden University.

In 2017 and 2018, I co-organized the Dutch Flemish Political Science conference Politicologenetmaal with Hans Vollaard, Corinna Jentzsch and Nicolas Blarel in Leiden. In 2019, I co-organized the Standing Group on Parliaments Conference in Leiden with Rudy Andeweg, Tim Mickler and Cynthia van Vonno.

My outreach activities include polling aggregation in the Netherlands, published by the public broadcaster NOS, and Ireland. I am a co-founder of and contributor to the Dutch political science weblog Stuk Rood Vlees.

Honours and grants

In September 2015 I received the Emerging Scholars Award from the Organized Section on Political Organizations and Parties of the American Political Science Association.

My work is financially supported by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). In 2018, together with Prof. Thomas Zittel and Prof. Rosie Campbell, I obtained a grant in the Open Research Area (ORA) for your project “The Nature of Political Representation in Times of Dealignment”. In 2019, I was awarded an NWO Vidi grant for my research project “Who opposes? Explaining government-opposition cooperation in parliament and its consequences for democratic legitimacy”.

đź“„ Curriculum vitae

Research Themes and Projects


Who opposes?

The main objectives of this project are to measure and explain government-opposition cooperation and to study its consequences for democratic legitimacy and vote choice.

The Nature of Political Representation in Times of Dealignment

This project investigates the viability, and conditions of, dyadic forms of representation in established European democracies

Political Representation: Linking Citizens and Representatives

Are representatives doing what people want?

Polling Aggregation

Peilingwijzer and the Irish Polling Indicator pool Dutch and Irish opinion polls respectively

Voting Advice Applications

VAAs help voters during elections. I study their design.

Parliaments: rules and behaviour

How do MPs and parties behave in parliament?

Recent Publications

View all »
Conference papers »

(2019). Inleiding: Nederlandse politiek van driestromenland tot delta?. In: Louwerse T., Andeweg R.B., Holsteyn J.J.M. van, Ridder J. den (Eds.) Van driestromenland tot delta? Beschouwingen over ontwikkelingen in de Nederlandse politiek. Leiden: Leiden University Press. 7-18.

Publisher's website

(2019). De PVV in het parlement. Gerrit Voerman & Koen Vossen (red.), Wilders Gewogen: 15 jaar reuring in de Nederlandse politiek, Boom: Amsterdam, pp. 213-230.

Project Buy the book


I am teaching the following courses in the academic year 2020-2021:

Blogs & popular publications

I am a regular contributer to Stuk Rood Vlees, a Dutch-language political science weblog. Please find an overview of my contributions here. Before April 2013, my blogs were published here.

A list of other recent popular publications and blogs is available here.


Interviews and mentions

I regularly share my research findings and observations regarding current events in media interviews with national and international outlets, including BBC World, Bloomberg, BNR, NOS, NRC Handelsblad, RTE, Volkskrant & ZDF.

A full list of recent interviews and mentions is available here

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Wat heb je als kiezer aan politieke peilingen?

Politieke peilingen worden veel gebruikt om een duiding te geven aan de electorale strijd tussen politieke partijen en om inzicht te …

Reporting the polls. The quality of media reporting of vote intention polls in the Netherlands

In this talk, I present a co-authored paper with Rozemarijn van Dijk, which examines the media coverage of vote intention polls in the …

Transparency in Digital Political Advertising: Research Findings from the Netherlands

A presentation of findings of our research in the Virtual Insanity project (research together with Rebekah Tromble and Kristof Jacobs).

Transparantie in Digitale Politieke Advertenties gedurende de Europese Parlementsverkiezingen 2019: De casus Nederland

A presentation of preliminary findings of our research in the Virtual Insanity project.

Inleiding Haagse Tafeltjesavond SIB

As an introduction to the Haagse Tafeltjesavond, organised by SIB (Studievereniging voor Internationale Betrekkingen), I offered a …