Tom Louwerse

Tom Louwerse

Associate Professor

Leiden University

I am an Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University, the Netherlands. I am currently Director of Research at the Institute of Political Science.

My research and teaching concern elections, political representation and parliamentary politics in the Netherlands and other established democracies. My main research project, Who opposes?, focuses on government-opposition cooperation in parliament and is supported by a Vidi grant from the Dutch Research Council (NWO). I am co-author of Governance and Politics of the Netherlands and co-editor of the soon to be published Oxford Handbook of Dutch Politics .

I created and maintain the polling aggregation project Peilingwijzer, blog about my work and regularly appear in news media.

  • Legislative Politics
  • Dutch 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
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 multidisciplinary 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. In January 2016 I took up the position of Assistant Professor of Political Science at Leiden University.

Current position

In 2019 I was promoted to Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Leiden University. I teach comparative politics, Dutch politics, research methods and statistics.

In addition to my regular academic work (research and teaching), I am Director of Research at the Institute of Political Science. As a member of the Institute Board, I am responsible for policy regarding all matters relating to research conducted at our Institute.

Professional service and outreach

I fulfil various professional service roles. I am a board member of Leiden University’s Centre for Dutch Politics and Governance and a steering committee member of the Global Transformations and Governance Challenges programme at Leiden University.

My outreach activities include polling aggregation in the Netherlands, published by the public broadcaster NOS, and Ireland (together with Stefan Müller). I am a co-founder and co-editor of the Dutch political science weblog Stuk Rood Vlees.

Between 2015 and 2021, I was a member and later chair of the steering committee of the Standing Group on Parliaments, one of the largest and most active specialist groups within the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR). 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.

From 2019 to 2023, I was a member of the Young Academy Leiden, an interdisciplinary group of young academics at Leiden University. I acted as its inaugural chair from January 2019 to August 2020.

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. I was selected as a member of Young Academy Leiden in 2019.

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”, which concluded in 2022. 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”.

📄 Curriculum vitae


Replication data

Replication data sources for many of my publications are available via my Harvard dataverse.

Dutch Parliamentary Behaviour Dataset

Data from the Dutch Parliamentary Behaviour Dataset project (with Simon Otjes, Cynthia van Vonno and Harmen van der Veer) is available in this dataverse. The R package for working with this data is on Github: louwerse/dutchparl.


I am teaching the following courses in the academic year 2023-2004:

For students, course information can be found on Brightspace.

Details on my teaching experience can be found in my Curriculum vitae.

Blogs & popular publications

From time to time, I publish blogs at 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.

I also microblog at Mastodon.


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