The Netherlands: Old Solutions to New Problems


New lines of conflict, political parties and the fragmentation of the political landscape have contributed to cabinet volatility in the Netherlands. Politicians have tried to deal with those problems using mainly ‘old’ consensus-politics solutions. When the second Rutte-cabinet faced a minority in the senate in 2012, it choose to strike deals with opposition parties to ensure passage of major legislation. The prime minister did not like this, however: “I have such a [big, red] ear from calling [the opposition leaders]”. For his next cabinet, he preferred to go back to a coalition with a stable majority, as has been the norm in Dutch politics over the last 70 years.

In: Bergman, T., Bäck, H. & Hellström, J. (Eds.) Coalition Governance in Western Europe. Oxford University Press, pp. 448-481
Tom Louwerse
Tom Louwerse
Associate Professor

Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University