Tom Louwerse

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 the poll aggregation projects Peilingwijzer in the Netherlands and the Irish Polling Indicator. I am a member of of Young Academy Leiden.

  • Legislative Politics
  • Dutch Politics
  • Political Representation
  • Elections
  • Opinion Polls
  • PhD in Political Science, 2011

    Leiden University

  • MA in Political Science, 2006

    Leiden University

Governance and Politics of the Netherlands

5th revised edition

Rudy B. Andeweg, Galen A. Irwin & Tom Louwerse

Purchase Loan from your library

“Rich, multifaceted and up-to-date. Highly recommended for students and scholars who want to get acquainted with Dutch democracy." – Tom van der Meer, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Governance and Politics of the Netherlands


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 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. 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.

Professional service and outreach

I fulfil various professional service roles. I am a member of the Young Academy Leiden, an interdisciplinary group of young academics at Leiden University. I acted as its chair from January 2019 to August 2020. I am a board member of Leiden University’s Centre for Dutch Politics and Governance and the Centre for the Study of Political Parties and Representation.

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.

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.

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”. 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


Themes and Projects

Who opposes?

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

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

Parliaments: rules and behaviour

Parliaments: rules and behaviour

How do MPs and parties behave in parliament?

Political Representation: Linking Citizens and Representatives

Political Representation: Linking Citizens and Representatives

Are representatives doing what people want?

Polling Aggregation

Polling Aggregation

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

Voting Advice Applications

Voting Advice Applications

VAAs help voters during elections. I study their design.


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

Data from the Dutch Parliamentary Behaviour Dataset project (with Simon Otjes & Cynthia van Vonno) 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 2021-2022:

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.


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