by Hans Daalder Professor of Political Science, Leiden University Erasmus Lecturer in Dutch History and Civilization, (Harvard University, 1989-1990) Working Paper #22

This working paper contains the text of three Erasmus Lectures delivered at Harvard University on 20 and 27 November and 4 December 1989. The first lecture discusses possible linkages between ancient pluralism which characterized the loose state structure of the Dutch Republic until 1795 and later democratization. It reviews two different interpretations (called "whig" and "radical" respectively) of the initial period of establishment of a unitary state between 1795 and 1813, and discusses in some detail the problems of corporate and individual rights, the concept of state and 19th century elite structures. The second lecture discusses different interpretations of verzuiling (the process of the formation of ideological subcultures of Calvinists, Catholics and Socialists, and to a much lesser extent the Liberals). In addition to a critical appraisal of the influential model of consociational democracy as elaborated by Arend Lijphart it offers three further interpretations of the process of social segmentation: an emancipationist one, a social control version, and one focusing on the relation between modem and new pluralism. The third lecture analyses the extent to which Dutch politics and society has changed since the 1960s, when many of the traditional patterns of authority and decision-making were challenged as insufficiently democratic. The common theme of the three lectures is the perennial problem of the relation between state, group freedoms and individual liberty.









of three



Dutch political and 4 December as Erasmus


which r delivered

on 20 and 27 November during the

1989 at Harvard university in Dutch History environment of the academic

as part of my assignment They were prepared Center for European


and civilization

first semester in the Studies. Collins

year 1989-1990. of Harvard's


r thank notably Stanley Hoffmann, Guido Goldmann and Abby
for the intellectual have added to hospitality sometimes into extended to to me. additional for The of issues. lectures. as part might find language and G.A. London: of timeand social in Politics, footnotes inquire offer


information, who Those comparative it useful Sources

sometimes to point to sources which may be helpful further however, particular that of spoken


format of the text remains, who wish research to

to do research a special

on Dutch politics developments on appendix

on European political



for the Study of Dutch Politics", in the Netherlands: 1989 (also a special

in H. Daalder How Much Change. A combination political

Irwin eds., Politics Frank Cass, Vol.

issue of West European and references publication Politiek

12 No. 1 (January

1989) pp. 162-185. references

series data, bilbiographical and other research material structure C.J.M. Nederland. is provided eds., Alphen: Schuijt

to archival

on Dutch history, voor

in the loose-leaf Compendium 1986-

H. Daalder and

en Samenleving


Harvard December

University, Ma. 1989

Hans Daalder



Table of contents

Table of contents Preface ANCIENT PLURALISM AND MODERN DEMOCRACY IN THE NETHERLANDS Introduction The Netherlands in a decade of bicentennials A Whig or conciliatory intepretation The Radical reading of the record. Rival conceptions of democracy Corporate freedoms and individual liberty The notion of state and the development of state institutions Political elites THE NETHERLANDS: PROTOTYPE OF CONSOCIATIONALISM? Introduction The problems at isssue which social cleavages? Cross-cutting cleavages or not? The grand compromise of 1917: how much peril? The emancipationist approach The social control perspective The perspective of persistent pluralism The acceptance of prudent leadership Conclusion 'HOLLANDITIS' AND OTHER DUTCH DISEASES: MYTHS AND REALITIES Introduction General structural changes The coming of television The weakening of subcultural bonds A general weakening of authority The new internationalism Democracy and Democratization How "old" or how "new" is Dutch politics?


1 1 2 4 9 11 15 19 22 24 24 27 29 31 32 35 36 38 43 46 48

50 52

57 60 69










scratches has analysis,

the one

surface the finds

of at

the most

benign from three


which in of

traditionally comparative transient) century Simon



studiosi "moments"

interest. There is, firstly, a substantial importance


of the (albeit

of the putch Republic as both an economic and predating even Annos S.S, the years before

a cultural power between the late sixteenth and the late eighteenth - an awareness was born Schama and wrote. There is, secondly, although for a

restricted particular democracy, politics Lijphart.2 Netherlands

to the much narrower community of political model in comparative which above And all there has by been the politics, on the


the view that the 20th century Netherlands brought daunting

is the archetype the map of

that of a consociational comparative of Arend of the skills stereotype

analytical newer

is, thirdly,

as a country

of pacifism

and libertarian


1 Simon Schama, Patriots and Liberators: Revolution in the Netherlands 1780-1813. New York: Knopf, 1977: Idem, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age. New York: Knopf, 1987.

2 This model was first outlined in Arend Lijphart, The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracv' in the Netherlands. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968; second edition 1975.


gone other


internationally diseases",

ailing including






labelled drugs,


and domestically


from a host of legalized




and generally

errant government. lectures which the holder to give, I shall take of the Erasmus each of these at Harvard University

In the three public Lectureship is stereotyped I also developments comparative thinking evident. contractually held

in Dutch History and civilization impressions in Dutch such of the Netherlands subjects and politics

as a starting point. But together, in certain as state will, I by analyzing a long-term in our and become

intend to tie these three perspective. pluralism


In the process matters democracy, and

dilemmas hope,





The Netherlands In a decade easily. Of course, a debate

in a decade The

of bicentennials Netherlands and does not fit to

of bicentennials there have been



mark both the American4 and the French Revolution. rekindled initiated by R.R. speak of a separate Dutch Republic 1787, might of years and whiCh, Dutch Revolution: the 1780s which the heralding a democratic antidates of modern

Such events have one can in the arms in on the movement

palmerS, on whether


1789 by a number democracy

if it had not been quelled by Prussian

have placed

3 Walter Laqueur, Neutralism," Commentary,

"Hollandits: A New Stage August 1981, pp. 19-26.



E.g. J.W. Schulte Nordholt and R.P. Swierenga, A Bilateral Bicentennial: A History of Duitch-American Relations 1782-1982. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 1982.
5 R.R. Palmer, "Much in Little: The Dutch Revolution of 1795," Journal of Modern History, 26(1954); Idem, The Age of Demoorati~ Revolutions: A Political History of Europe and America 1760-1800. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1959, 2 Vols.



European had


in the Low countries of Fran90is on such



in Paris,


the chagrin regarding Republic Jefferson American "a parody

no doubt

Mitterand. democratic

The American stirrings.

example But even a sense Thomas the



this revolution - the had rather dubbed

there was in the Dutch Republic and hesitant William'V exclaim on whom

of deja vu which made even the last Orange stadholder weak "a half-King"?

in the Dutch reading


of Independence

that it was little more than made public against knew If on the one

of the document

wl1ich our ancestors

King Philips

II of spain"a two hundred years before.

hand there has been an enduring many liberties through revolutions, system, of

sense that the Dutch Republic

and rights that others were to claim as theirs only there was on the other hand the realization of a new modern state, let alone of a modern soil, but a new French was the after 1795 when fact of from an autochtonous written this

that many properties democratic

did not develop changes made first

were very much the consequence in a series unitary influence fell, first nor King adopted, regime was state

of French imposition and But very


established. a

and domination 1798 when let alone

neither· 1795 when somewhat a brother radical

the old Republic constitution was made

1806 when

of Napoleon

of the Netherlands, date the

or 1810 when

the Kingdom

of the

Netherlands empire, ardently

was for a short while incorporated for commemoration. "liberation" made

into the Napoleonic the growth a much more of a period

a suitable celebrated

Par contre

of nationalism

of 1813 become it inaugurated

event, even though

6 See J.W. Schulte Nordholt, The Dutch Republic and American Independence. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1982.

? See however H.H. Rowen, The Princes of Oranqe: The Stadholders in the Dutch Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 226 for the context in which this erroneous remark was made. a Cf. P. Geyl, Geschiedenis van de Nederlandse Amsterdam: Wereldbibliotheek, Vol. 5, 1964, p. 1203. Stam.


belated had crucial other rightly French

enlightened itself

absolutism on having Dutch 1795

not known so far in a country which staved off royal absolutism Simon in the in has being when absolutism historiography, what 1813, its had triumphed Schama the


17th and 18th centuries European argued, period lands. has between hardly

known and

to do with




and contentious.9 in the Netherlands came rather Republican predated late and face pluralism The issue

If on the one hand "True Freedom" both the American state formation owed much a complex and democratic example

and French Revolution,

while on the other modern we clearly


to foreign problem

or even imposition,

if we wish to link ancient democracy among Dutch historians interpretations.

with the advent is complicated two substantially

of modern because

in the Netherlands.

one finds at least


A Whig or 'conciliatory In what their antagonists


have dubbed a "Whig interpretation" and straight links between

of Dutch historyl0 there are immediate




and Liberators,

pp. 15 ff.

10 For the application of this well-known term of H. Butterfield's The Whig Interpretation of Historv to Dutch historiography, see S. Stuurman, verzuiling, Kapitalisme en Patriarchaat. Nijmegen: SUN, 1983, p. 311 ff. who follows notably C.H.E. de Wit, De Strijd tussen Aristocratie en Democratie in Nederland 1780~1848: Kritisch Onderzoek van een Historisch Beeld en Herwaardering van een Periode. Heerlen: 1965; Idem, Het ontstaan van het Moderne Nederland 1780-1848 en zijn Geschiedschrijving. oirsbeek, 1978; Idem, Thorbecke en de Wording van de Nederlandse Natie. Nijmegen: SUN, 19830 See also S. Schama, Patriots and Liberators who speaks in the postscript of this book of "the whiggery of the historical Republic", p. 652. The major names singled out for attack are the historians H.To Colenbrander, P. Geyl and E.H~ Kossmann, whose The Low countries 1780-1940. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978 is the easiest accessible


the traditional liberties of the Dutch Republic and the coming of responsible and democratic government in the Netherlands in the 19th and 20th century. In such an interpretation the following features of the Dutch Republic are singled out as particularly important: the break in the development of what in the 15th and 16th century had seemed to become a modern absolutist state under a Burgundian-Habsburg dynasty; hence, the weakness of central institutions and the virtual absence of anything like an autochtonous military or a central bureaucracy in the ensuing united Provinces; the early, prominent role of a mercantile bourgeoisie; the emphasis on the right to resistance against unlawful actions of any sovereign and the derivation - at least in theory - of authority from the people; the persistent particularism which required constant accommodation between many actors· with inherent rights; the toleration, in practice, of different religions (the privileged position of the Dutch Reformed ·Church notwithstanding); and. the jealous maintenance of rights and privileges which in a cyclical view of history (what else after all did revolution mean?) could inspire new freedoms. A whiggish, gradualist view of history sees a natural continuity between these traditions and the later development of modern democracy. Proponents of this view treat the so-called Patriot Movement of the 1780s and the Batavian-French era between 1795 and 1813 with some ambivalence. They recognize the need for ~ source in English besides Schama's Patriots and Liberators. Kossmann has strongly dismissed De wit's use of the term "Conciliante School" in a review of De wit's Thorbecke in Nieuwe Rotterdamse Courant, 17 January 1981. My own writings, notably H. Daalder, "Political oppositions in Western Democracies", in R.A. Dahl ed., Political oppositions in western Democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966, pp. 188-236; and a more detailed and later restatement in "Consociationalism, Center and Periphery in the Netherlands", in: Per Torsvik ed., Mobilization. Center-Periphery Structures and National-Building: A Volume in Commemoration of Stein Rokkan. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1981, follow on the whole a whiggish orientation.




the the

deadlocked strong drive


con federal

structures, which


castigate reformers strong

for unitary strata


radical a

sought to obtain after 1795. They appreciate of new bourgeois of popular in government, They show reformers action. a

the desire grudging such 1795. As tend to on old

for inclusion appreciation as taxation, regards the

but retain in areas


of the work of new activist education,

and the unification new independent

of law after Kingdom, they

the new constitutions of the

of 1814 and 1815, which

accompanied features some


emphasize absolute liberties

not so much their centralizing power. These constitutions

and authoritarian thus maintained could develop

as their recognition from which

of rights of individuals eventually opposition

and restrictions

against opponent old (written

an all too activist I. In this view of the King patrician basis regent was

and personalist, Gijsbert Karel

near-absolutist Hogendorp, a

King William typical

it is telling whose

that the first articulate van constitutional And drafts it was


during the French period when he was without office) had formed the of the new post-1813 in a period constitutions. as telling but the a only royal that full ministerial admittedly number rather also through.a weak responsibility was adopted as early as 1848, restricted franchise, expanded was of which greatly and which House consisted the Lower

of a still very revision which Upper

constitutional Parliament (in the

of political elected

and individual and

rights, House


indirectly appointees) powers

by a directly


Lower House with much

increased for very (extended retained a of of

and an Upper House elected by the provincial the political with suffrage extensions suffrage word until The very



system after 1848 remained in 1917

long rather oligarchical, to women two years

coming in stages

only in 1888, in 1896 and full manhood later). connotation of "radical" those and or "populist" in the pays responsible that


at least the end of to speak the Yet system

the 19th century, constitutionalism remained

legal preferring government. through

so pluralist


a combination


organization from above and from below, modern mass movements were formed, of Calvinists first, of Catholics and Socialists later which were to strengthen the pluralist, and associationalist, character of Dutch society to such an extent that it became internationally known as a "segmented" society. I shall return to this phenomenon which the Dutch came to call Verzuiling or "pillarization", and to the consociational model and other interpretations to which it gave rise, in my second lecture. Let it suffice for the present that in a "Whig" view of Dutch history there are direct links between the ancient pluralism of the Dutch Republic and the gradualist evolution of a new pluralism which Dutch society retained in a new unitary state. Such a "Whig interpretation" meets undoubtedly with substantial objections. Thus, the period which separates the high tide of the Dutch Republic (which is the seventeenth rather than the eighteenth century) and the introduction of a full modern democracy (which one should probably date in 1917 when the principle of responsible government of 1848 was supplemented by universal suffrage11), is rather long even for those of us who see the impact of history as the most important factor in the development of a political culture. The "Whig" view offers a rather selective picture of the history of The Dutch Republic which could hardly be described as a protodemocracy. Republican political theory of the time of the Republic might honor tenets of natural rights, a mixed state, a certain constitutionalism, the right to (corporate) resistance, and the value of diversity, this did not gainsay the fact that effective political power was concentrated in the hands of closed oligarchies, denying any representative role or accountability to the remainder of the people whatever lipservice might be paid to a popular origin of public authority. Though many leaders of the Dutch cities were of bourgeois origin,
11 The 1917 revision brought full manhood suffrage but only removed existing constitutional obstacles for voting rights for women. The latter followed soon afterwards, however, through a parliamentary initiative adopted in 1919.



in the



a process



oligarchization new strata altogether adequately

and from too as

aristocratization any political (or burgerij) comprehensive descriptive is and

increasingly in danger


aspiring in an serve


In fact, the very notion of "bourgeoisie" of being used to manner



or possible


The role of the to dispense with freedoms rights. More

Orange princes became stronger over time the appointment generally,

(even though the power of of collective

city rulers was sometimes so strong as temporarily of stadholders).'2 N~tions were hardly the same as the recognition the gradualist the important cutting-points (1784-1787), options taken

of individual

view of Dutch history tends to gloss over such as the period of the Patriot movement period of 1795-1798, the particular the sudden reforms lawyer Johan Rudolph investigate the of 1848 which owed Thorbecke who was more


in 1813-1814,

as much to the then King William ingenuities its auctor Let "Radical" us of the Liberal intellectualis. therefore now

II's royal nervousness'3 as to the



of Dutch history.

12On the office of stadholdersee for recent English-language interpretations H.H. Rowen, "Neither Fish nor Fowl: The Stadholderate in the Dutch Republic," in H.H. Rowen and A. Lossky, Political Ideas and Institutions in the Dutch Republic. Los Angeles: Clark Memorial Library, 1985, pp , 3-31 and the same author's later, more biographical volume already cited (see note 7 above). 13 On hearing of revolutions in Vienna and Berlin the King had summoned the President the Lower" House, bypassing his ministers, to announce that he was willing to accept fargoing reforms which he, his ministers and the majority of Parliament had so far resisted. The King declared to a meeting of the Diplomatic Corps that he had changed in twenty four hours "from someone very conservative to someone very liberal", and appointed a committee of five mainly oppositional politicians with J.R. Thorbecke as its primus movens, to advise on changes in the existing constitution and on the formation of a new cabinet. On these events see notably J.C. Boogman, Rondom 1848: De Politieke ontwikkeling van Nederlang 1840-1858. Amsterdam: Fibula-Van Dishoeck, 1978.


The Radical The different

reading of the record. of Dutch history is substantially "Radical" which

"Radical" emphasize


from the preceding


·First of all,


the oligarchical from any effective burghers or were the

nature of the Republic role in government, people. The expressions of

soon after the initial successes of the Revolt excluded all but the most narrow circles its references in which to conflicts strife, of the for all and pluralism



factional from above that

lower strata were either groups Such "democracy"


by rival regent was rigorously

or burst out in short-term



as there was could only were it not of the

come out in the open with the radical wing of the Patriot Movement .which indeed might have carried off a Dutch revolution, for the tweespal t (dissension) caused by the democratic radicalism cause by those aristocratic, oppositional betrayal

regents whose of a~tagonism arms. by the.

in 1784 was little more than an expression interpretation of radical real progress

towards the Orange princes, and by the repression In the "Radical" the intervention intransigent enforced massive innovators

by Prussian

was only ensured

after 1795 who against and so-called


of "federalists"

moderaten received of the were of era

a unitary support

state and were behind the adoption in Dutch history, and which contained

of the first many

real constitution properties foiled by

that of 1798, which

in a referendum,

that a constitution

in a modern democracy forces 1801 the end which the in

would demand. contained a series to

In that view the promises counter-coups oligarchical in July politics.

which such a constitution and in forced

counter-revolutionary 1798 If

a return



brought yet lasting innovations,

this was as much due to the direct

14 The work of Charles Tilly has become recently an increasingly important inspiration for Dutch historians. Cf. Rudolf Dekker, Holland in Beroering: Oproeren in de 17e en 18e Eeuw. Baarn: Ambo, 1982.

10 effect of Napoleonic reforms, and the refusal of the new King William I after 1813 to honor the restorative intentions of the regenten who had wished to return to the status guo ante of Republican days, as to old liberties which had in fact been mainly the privileges of the few. The "Radicals", then, see also direct lines between conditions under the Republic and later democratization, but to them such lines run from the "democratic" opposition in the Patriot Movement in the 1780s, via the radical reformers after 1795 and the constructive innovators who continued to lay the groundwork for a new unitary state under different regimes after 1798, to William I who as King did much to modernize government and society, and to the Liberal opposition under Johan Rudolph Thorbecke who as a typical representative of all too long excluded social strata gave shape to a new system of responsible government in 1848 and following years. This "Radical" reading of the record also noted the later process of social segmentation during which Calvinists, Catholics, Radical-Liberals and Socialists mobilized. But they see this process less as the recasting of traditional diversity and pluralism in a process of social modernization, but as a conscious effort at social control by sections of a ruling class which feared the threats of secularization and socialism. Throughout their analysis their main concern is with lasting inequalities rather than with pluralist freedoms. Existing hierarchies and social bonds are seen to stand in the way of genuine freedom and real equality for all. Needless to say, such a "Radical" interpretation also meets with objections. There is more than a bit of anachronism in their use of terms like "burgerij", "voLk" and "democratie" in an analysis of conditions under the Dutch Republic. Following that era one encounters rather a strong element of teleological and determinist reasoning. This leads to many a prioristic value judgments, and to a grouping of actors in mutually exclusive categories of "reactionaries" and "progressive" elements which makes for rather strange bed-fellows. Unmistakably authoritarian. figures, including Napoleon and King William I, are portrayed as

11 unwitting liberties importance rather Against

builders are seen

of as





ancient The



of privilege.

of constitutionalist constitutions

provisions, revision there

even in the admittedly 1815 are belittled. due emphasis and for the on


of 1814 and

this the constitutional continuities Catholics and to which obtain

of 1848 is too much seen without also
15 ,

as the work of only a few like Thorbecke, certain wish of were importance education passing. that the co-existence church

great of its

of different for

interests had

(e.g. the freedom in





Rival conceptions In history, different should evaluating one should questions: these two

of democracy interpretations between a theoretical theory, of two notion, the latter would seem Dutch rather and is to

rival as

distinguish, democracy

I submit,

democratization more a matter The reflect rather

as a long-term historical by reference and the closely of comparative empirical views

process. Whereas the first analysis. of what democracy is all of On

be solved "Whig"

to political

"Radical" different as well absolute

interpretations theory

about. On the one hand we find in democratic on the need powers", the other sovereignty of a social there apt to restrain hand power

an insistence "balance source.

as a constitutional from whatever tradition strong

is the equally

of popular It is an

which emphasizes

the participation

of equals.

15 Thus, the first Orange King, William I, met with increasing parliamentary resistance. In 1839 Parliament rejected the budget, leading the two ministers of Finance and the Colonies most directly concerned to resign. The end of the protracted struggle over the secession of the Southern Netherlands between 1830 and 1839 necessitated a constitutional revision. This revision introduced reforms which the King would not accept, He preferred to abdicate in 1840.

12 old dilemma Aristotle hand elaborated politicians "powers" theories and there in political is the thought known from the days of Plato and On the one and of are (the - to and to of the "mixed constitution" by numerous in terms there

and particularly in particular and lawyers

salient in the Enlightenment. theory by thinkers analyzing rights". like Locke,



Madison and later, notably after the French Revolution, political On the systems other "fundamental hand


from notions

of absolute


in which a

clear connection and which Montesquieu on the Rousseau radical wishes

is seen between absolutism to do away with "worms in the

and individualism intermediaires" despotism, man" from

one being to some extent the logical presupposition all "corps against the essential protection

of the other) to Hobbes

contrary view

entrayles to free

of natural




In the latter, more existing and hierarchy, already Jacobin ancient also

it is necessary

individuals privilege equally

social bonds which serve only to protect so as to allow every one to participate of its the general will. "One and theoretically full revolution. pluralism after threat, history present It was in Dutch

in the formation - received of the

indivisible" in the

_. a notion

in the canons of royal absolutism expression a notion eschatology ill with resisted unification positions. which fitted was



and which

as such

1795 by those to liberty of would Proponents

who regarded the two

too much

as a real of Dutch that Theory

as much as to established different



have done well to read

for instance

small Tractatus dilemma's

of Robert A. Dahl's A Preface to Democratic Press, 1956) which would have brought in both "Madisonian democracy" and through

(Chicago University inherent

home the "Populist

Democracy".16 And if they had followed

on Dahl's writings1?

16 See now R.A. Dahl, Democracy Yale university Press, 1989. 17 Notably the two developmental analyses books in Political


its critics.

New Haven: to more western

which he turned oppositions in




also of



automatically as the product

to of

a more change

systematic along two or

analysis of the processes coming distinct and open greater that the about dimensions: competition, inclusiveness,

of democratization.

Dahl has analyzed the


on the one hand that of "hegemony" versus free and on the other hand that i.e. the more too limited participation. lays whereas of a lesser or exterisive stress on view

possibilities persistent neglect stresses

of political

One cannot help feeling exclusive to the elements


interpretation inequalities,

pluralism individualism

as the guarantor. of open competition the more and equality taking authoritarian

of patent


in its stride as presumably very worrisome, The argument of democratization answered Dutch becomes the the more enduring. case: ineradicable broaden existing


but transient

and hence not democracy. level to be (in the by to an the

stages on the road to a participatory thus shifts to the comparative, as an historical process. The which road to democracy O~d-Republikeinse

empirical question

is the more likely to be
18 )

One which starts from ancient pluralism Veelheid in which initially narrow'circles wider social strata. Or one



of elites in which

live per force in a climate of both conflict gradually privileges

and accommodation, in which


are broken by unitary is eventually the "Whig" the

state power

initial authoritarianism competition. first Clearly, whereas argument,

replaced by a system of open underwrites or let us call it: more



Democracies. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966: and Polyarchy, Participation and Opposition. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1971.
18 This happy term is taken from J.A. Bornewasser, Algemene Geschiedenis der Nederlanden. Weesp: Fibula-Van Dishoeck, 1983, Vol. 11, p. 208. 19 For a fuller analysis along these lines, see H. Daalder, "Parties, Elites and Political Developments in Western Europe," in: J. LaPalombara and M. Weiner eds., Political Parties and Political Development. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966, pp.43-77.

14 Jacobin, name need interpretation embraces the second one, discounting and a desirable which social central in their view in the the has

of popular


equality sovereign

for free and open competition automatically

is likely

to develop

once an effective for individual such and as

laid the real foundations In a comparative that Scandinavia, the "gradualist"

right and participation. took place have in led England, to more with

European perspective developments Netherlands regimes

there would seem little doubt


stable democratic greater Jacobin historians undoubted before equally

in the 20th century

than countries approach


such as France or Spain. Dutch "Radical" to the of wing of the Patriot movement achievements

rightly demand a more open and positive importance of the democratic period, and of the sUbstantial the relatively European old Republican

the French right

the initial builders of that period

of a unitary state after 1795. But "Whigs" are "moderate" pluralism character and to see and later perspective,

in emphasizing

in a comparative

rather more coritinuity between constitutionalism comparative generalizations stein Rokkan: developmental

than the radicals tend to grant.· In the light of analysis, the Netherlands by the much-missed clearly fit two scholar put forward Norwegian

1. the stronger the inherited traditions of representative rule, whether within estates, territorial assemblies or city councils, the greater the chances of early legitimation of opposition ... 2. the stronger the inherited traditions of representative rule, the slower, and the less likely to be reversed, the processes of enfranchisement and equalization.2o On the basis of the contrast and "Radical" the argument interpretations so far presented analysis of conflicting "Whig" 1. the

of Dutch history,

let me illustrate

with a more detailed

of three themes:

s. Rokkan, Universitetsforlaget,


Citizens. Elections. 1970, pp. 82-83.



15 relation history; between corporate and individual elites. freedoms in Dutch

2. the nature of the notion of "state"; and 3. the special of the Dutch political




and individual


"Whigs" and Radicals" would undoubtedly and the recognition the full Both of, group rights of and preceded history. Dutch Dutch recognition medieval

agree that claims for, collective rights freedoms in Dutch


Existing privileges provided theory

and rights were evoked to justify the organicist conceptions Ernst and natural of

Revolt. political

right traditions has therefore

ample arguments.

The major historian H. Kossmann, of much origin,

in the 17th century, the conservative



of the but

right of resistance later extensively remained "within of Aristotelean, a development


(initially of Catholic he argued, containing

elaborated by Calvinist writers). They generallly narrow hedges", a mixture analyzing Humanist, Calvinist and Natural Law reasoning.22 (whom he regards

He sees a much more real breakthrough in the 17th century

in later theories,

from Althusius

21 See notably E.H. Kossmann, Politial Theory in het Zeventiende-Eeuwse Nederland. Verhandelingen der Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Afdeling Letterkunde, Nieuwe Reeks, deel LXVII, No.2. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandse Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1960. There is alas no English translation available of this important survey, but see E.H. Kossmann, "The Development of Political Theory in the Seventeeth Century," in J. S. Bromley eds., Britain and the Netherlands. Papers Delivered to the Oxford-Netherlands Historical Conference 1959. London, 1963, pp. 91-110. Kossmann published a number of later essays on this subject, sometimes written in reaction to international authorities like J.A. Pocock, Quentin Skinner and Francesco venturi. Some of these have been reprinted in E.H. Kossmann, Politieke Theorie en Geschiedenis: Verspreide opstellen en Voordrachten. Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 1987. . 22



in de Zeventiende

Eeuw, p. 9.

16 as far from a modern thinker as compared via least Spinoza, one to Willem Locke, a vander Muelen24 evolution era. including an explicit for later (as which would seem to do insufficient freedoms of would also conceptions pluralism theories preceded century for instance with Bodinn) and of Ulric thought Huber during whose by at the which antidates

in a development via Rousseau


Enlightenment Kossmann recognition justice developed pluralist and developments.

from Montesquieu uses criteria

to constitutionalists

of 1789 and the post-Napoleonic of individualism, importance Ancient

of modernity, of corporate

to the



in the Dutch Republic) both


later neo-


in the Netherlands thought

in the 19th and 20th of the so-

century,25 as well as in Germany in Anglo-saxon political called ethical pluralists:

(e.g. the work of otto Von Gierke) (e.g. the work and the younger

J.N. Figgis, F. Maitland

23' See his "Popular Sovereignty at the Beginning of the Dutch Ancien Regime," The Low Countries History Yearbook/Acta Historiae Neerlandicae, Vol. 14 (1981), pp. 1-28, and "Bodin, Althusius, Parker. of: Over de Moderniteit van de Nederlandse Opstand," in: Politieke Theorie en Geschiedenis, pp. 93-110.
24 Kossmann compared VanderMuelen to Locke asking: "Why was he forgotten while the fame of Locke, who moved over a wider field, but who was not a more penetrating or original thinker than he, would only grow? Was this simply because what in the final analysis had nothing surprising in the Netherlands, was still fresh for Englishmen?" Politieke Theorie in de Zeventiende Eeuw, p , 71 (translation HD) .

25 E.g. the influential Calvinist leader, Abraham Kuyper, in his doctrine of "soevereiniteit in eigen kring" (inherent sovereignty for social groups), later developed by Hermand Dooyeweerd in his philosophy of "wetskringen", and the Liberal Hugo Krabbe who consciously opposed the doctrine of state sovereignty with a counter doctrine of "rechtssoevereiniteit". Krabbe's study published in German as Die Lehre der Rechtssouveranitat (1906) was translated into English by George H. Sabine under the title The Modern Idea of the State (New York: 1922). Sabine, of course, gave considerable credit to Althusius as the founder of a modern pluralism in his influential A History of Political Theory.

17 H.J. Laski who were to influence pluralist political theory also

in later days26). But does this imply that early corporate early individual There rights? was the On this the answer important article that "anyone tentative. Utrecht should freedoms also led to must XIII be rather more of in the Union

of 1579 which remain




free in his religion",

but this clause

was as much But if thought of of among

a ban on Inquisition one scrutinizes individual outsiders

as it was the recognition

of an individual

right. The right to property was obviously well-understood. Kossmann's among survey of 17th century political a developed but mainstream "a new would more that theorists, bring as in the Netherlands rights who had one does not encounter elaborated

doctrine rather



absolutism" .27 Such the old Republican we

an argument diversity

Kossmann of

unwittingly than (as from

rather near to the position foundations Should distinct of individual

of the "Radicals", props

who tend to regard privilege rights

right. actual individual argumentation) originated only with the than that in this laid only

then· conclude

from theoretical of American

change of political an imitation direction: elements

regime after 1795, and that they resulted and French declarations state rather was Dutch soil? There are strong pointers tie between and subject

they grew in domestic a direct after the arrival

of the unitary

state in 1795, and such important equality before the

of a modern democracy

as citizenship,

26 For a more general analysis see H. Daalder, "European Politial Traditions and Processes of Modernization: Groups, the Individual and the State," in: S.N. Eisenstadt ed., Patterns of Modernity, I, The West, London: Frances Pinter, 1987, pp. 22-43. 27 Kossmann, Politieke Theorie in het Zeventiende-Eeuwse Nederland. p. 68, p. 77 and pp. 80 ff. In discussing Vander Muelen Kossmann points to "how the rights of men and citizen could grow owing to the new, individualist foundation of absolutism which writers such as Hobbes had provided, and being no longer absorbed and evaporatid in the aristocratic constitutionalism of the 16th century acquired a very precise and dynamic meaning." (translation HD) .

18 law, a recognition common judiciary French product periods. for the need for a unification the products simple, be too however, of laws and one and the the just to regard blind

were undoubtedly It would of fundamental political

of the Batavian

formal enunciation of radical

human rights as essentially and to remain it. In the Netherlands, of concepts of


for the

much longer gestation an important role in

which preceded the

as much as in Britain or America, vested corporate elaboration rights rights. hoped It is no accident for a restoration that old regenten of Republican

interests played inherent thought they The when 1813.

in particular in

fit to secure constitution


at the very moment privileges

of 1814 guaranteed Kingdom the

the liberty of the person, The Constitution before

access of the of many of

to the judiciary, new Dutch-Belgian freedom private erstwhile authority develop homes

publ ic court proceedings. freedom right

of 1815 added equality of expression, to property. nestled

the law,

of petition, and radical

the inviolability Significantly, in positions



and privilege,


some of the old regent en were to into more modern for centuries emancipation liberals. rights It and individual

from defenders

of old privilege agenda in the

In fact, the relation between collective was to remain presented discriminated on the political problems groups, sUbstantial

to come.

of erstwhile with but

such as Jews, Dissenters road to freedom

and Catholics, and equality,

some preferring

an individual

others desiring much more collectivist in crucial conflicts position women, of minorities (including

ways. It would reveal itself majoritarian of issues minority of

of policy, e.g. on the control of schools, the that and the handling like abortion

and homosexuals),

and euthanasia.

The notion

of state and the development ambiguous

of state institutions to

The rather Dutch

use of the term "state" when applied dilemmas as the terms


shows up similar


19 and freedoms. rather Its use, notably in the days of the Republic, and variable meanings. Independence reveals the once in


as an actor

on the international situation

scene was clearly implied, but internally obscure. Hence, to quote Kossmann in French or English theories

was rather more

more, there was "little relevance a state which seemed destined which had a wholly mean something together. sovereign of "Seven led there different like

for an entirely different foundation". a polis, a manner whether

future and of living was do

The term "state" might with one central there would

commonwealth, It could And

But it could not easily authority.

be identified

even be doubted even titles the to latter

such a sovereign

center at all, or whether

one should rather speak

Sovereignties". to rather was a


little justice to the congeries which areas that those would different Perhaps of system of the Republic. loosely

of public and private authority corporate the best varying titles

arrangements in different would be and and very offices

generalization bqdies having


linked together enjoy

in collegial like High while

in which only

at the apex might represent Hence


the Republic


limited direct control over authorities of state building, was over established in blanket without policy subjects, state,

and individuals

lower down. government individual glossed

it is not wrong to speak of events after which exercized citizens. about analysis direct control

1795 in terms

given that only then a true central over The process about

now turned

is too often actual

statements detailed

the establishment

of a unitary organizational areas of of the and defences general

developments. government common taxes,

One speaks of measures such as a pooling new government agriculture, of to population the

taken in particular of debts, the on sea and river postal There etc. French are

the introduction services,

measures education, registers, of

(waterstaat), introduction references



28 Kossmann, Politieke Theorie Nederland, p. 7. (translation HO).




20 administrative procedures. There was a wholesale borrowing of

French legal codes. But on the whole the importance being given to the formal institutions relations between King and Parliament constitutions and government 19th century. As a result mistaken of reforms. superficial matters municipal appointment as General central resemblances government of government as laid down

and the impact attention (notably the in successive

of such reforms have remained obscure, with much greater

after 1813) than to the realities activity, whether centrally

of administration

of locally in the early

views could arise on the actual meaning to the "Napoleonic" supervision in the and mayors after of model, and to in such and to central between France and the Netherlands Netherlands which 1795. impression remained largely on merit. French on and the

references government (including

provincial continues

of provincial


exist to "this day), gave an exaggerated of bureaucratization number of central to rather Appointments patronage distinct strong doctrines government term Obrigkeit). and centralization government officials

of the extent In fact, the very a The small.29 of as very legal about German that actual matter

official· positions than There an competitive is no important assumed doubt


entry that

from the legal autonomy indeed. had

of municipalities

remained German

influence the full

conceptions of the

authority never

and on jurisprudence

(even though force notably

the Dutch


But even so, older traditions, tasks were the responsibility In practice,

the view

many government retained unitary agencies

of holders of offices officials, of ancient much of the of government levels

with inherent autonomy rather than of central government a strong influence. and inherent central a combination therefore of central of lower particularism and right deflected establishment supervision

forces of a deliberate


~ Cf. data in P.G. van IJsselmuiden, Binnenlandse Zaken en het Ontstaan van de Moderne Overheidsbureaucratie in Nederland 1813-1940. Kampen: Kok, passim.


government. Here again one meets with potentially rival interpretations. Those who insist, with reason, on the clear break with the institutions of the Republic which the establishment of a new unitary state after 1795 implied, see on the whole little continuity with older conceptions of public authority. In their view modern administration is a far cry indeed from Althusius' attempt to establish all government authority on the principle of consociationes, corporations freely arrived at by interested parties which attribute to such bodies preferably minimal authority. On closer analysis, however, there is rather more continuity than a "French" or "German" view of government as essentially hierachical and bureaucratic would imply. In actual practice, the Dutch "state" has remained brokkelig (multifarious).
One finds a perennial resistance against one man authority, and a

strong reliance on collegial forms of decision-making. Holders of independent offices (provincial·and local magistrates including notably mayors, judges, professors, professional men in "general) retain a much higher social prestige than even high-ranking departmental officials. As regards the bureaucracy proper there still is a great deal of particularism. There is indeed a high degree of independence in both government policy-making and civil service recruitment. The Dutch administration remains therefore very different from a Weberian bureaucracy. The borderline separating politicians and officials, too, has remained rather indefinite. What is true within the administration, and between different levels of central and local government, tends also to be true in the relation between government and private actors. Many government tasks are in practice left to private groups working under government authorizaton and with government funds. The borderline between "public" and "private" has become so blurred that experts

22 on public administration in political spoke of· "osmosis,,3olong before neophytes

science taught them to speak rather of neocorporatism.

Political Ancient recruitment emphatically there pluralism, and behavior "bourgeois"


finally, has also left clear traces on the of political elites. Both our "Whigs" and Although Dutch society as being in character. it does tend to obscure influence of more limited share of and the the the

our "Radicals" is truth

tend to concur in describing and "mercantile" in such characterizations, in the Dutch elite,

certain important aristocratic persons entry

facts, notably the long-lasting involvement of Calvinists in industry and


with direct groups

or commerce, and

of new social

strata mainly

at the hands Catholics

of the mobilizing later

religious Socialists.

Studies of Dutch Cabinet Ministers make it .clear that the share or to the traditional On the nobility 20th very

and Members belonging remained

of Parliament31 either to the in into the with of remained hands very strong

of members pPatriciaat the for

what Italians century. low. direct

would call the classe politica, contrary, remained in banking, commerce

until well

recruitment very long

of persons in the


or manufacturing


families whose ancestors continuity perspective of a rather remained

had occupied public traditional

office of one sort or substantially culture to the which

another. This factor must but have contributed could maintain

elite political

itself in a society which in a comparative rather static in the 19th century.


It also may

30 1'he term "osmosis" was used as early as the 1930s by the pioneer of the discipline of public administration in the Netherlands, G.A. van Poelje. 31 See notably J ..h.J. van den Berg, De Toegang tot het T Binnenhof: De Maatschappelijke Herkomst van de Tweede Kamerleden tussen 1849 and 1970. Weesp: Unieboek, 1983.

23 have contributed to a certain degree of dissociation of economic between the

realities Although "business"

of government,

and the realities


the latter might be regarded has on the whole remained in government, from business. with older "patrician" Catholics and so

as the nervus rerum by all, remarkably have aloof from direct as well as government


administration The break mainly cultures from of

styles of and

has tended the later

to come minority







representing economic

the world of what the Dutch have called which anyhow developed comparatively

"smaller men" late in the

(kleyne luyden) units Netherlands.

in cities and rural areas, rather than large scale

The successful and pluralism of then, Althusius "Weberian"

entry of new milieus has added to the diversity Dutch government and administration. Perhaps, or a German as more in consonance

should after all be regarded

with Dutch traditions

than either a French "Napoleonic"

view would make us 'think?









I was






California Press to read a manuscript entitled The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands. It was written by a young Dutch-born, American-trained political scientist, Arend Lijphart, then an Assistant Professor at Berkeley. The manuscript contained not so much a monograph on the Netherlands as what the author called "an extended theoretical argument based on a single case of particular significance to pluralist theory". 1 It seemed to me to contain an exceptionally lucid and intelligent book. I recommended pUblication with enthusiasm. Fortunately, my advice prevailed over that of a second reader who did not think much of it. Neither of us probably realized at the time how influential Lijphart's book was to be, both in its analysis of Dutch politics and as a catalyst in a revision of prevailing typologies of European political systems. Such typologies had traditionally been formed in the light of a cross-channel comparison between a stylized Britain on the one hand, and a rather less virtuous "continent" on the other - the

1 Arend Lijphart, The Politics of Accommodation: Pluralism and Democracy in the Netherlands. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1968, p. 15, n. 42.

25 latter mainly reflecting the image of the unstable and immobilist politics of Weimar Germany and the French Third and Fourth Republic, with post-1945 Italy being thrown in for good measure.2 Lijphart's book provided a succinct analysis of a system which had generally been passed over by analysts of comparative politics. Its fate was to be written off as a small state which unlike larger European countries did not have to face the "real" problems of international politics,3 one of the "sober parliamentary monarchies" of North-Western Europe,4 a "mixed" case combining features of what Gabriel Almond had termed the Anglo-Saxon systems on the one hand, and the "European continental" system on the other.5 Let me add that the usual Dutch reaction in contacts with foreign observers, too, has been one of belittlement, of an apologetic and jocular embarrassment. More than any other Dutchman writing then or now Lijphart was steeped in the writings of American political scientists. He had studied at Yale university, choosing Gabriel Almond and Kar],_eutsch as members of D his Thesis committee,6 and being fully aware of the writings of
2 For a review of the chequered development of typologies of European political systems, see H. Daalder, "Countries in Comparative European Politics", Eurooean Journal of political Research, Vol. 15, No.1 (1987), pp. 3-21. This article contains the text of my stein Rokkan Lecture, spoken in 1980 in tribute of the man who did more than anyone to develop a realistic "typological-topological map" of Europe. See in particular his citizens, Elections, Parties: Approaches to the Comparative study of the Processes of Development. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget/New York: McKay, 1970.

3 One might note this element in the work of F.A. Hermens, C.J. Friedrich, Barrington Moore and others.
4 For a comparative analysis see R. Fusilier, Les Monarchies Parlementaires: Etude sur les Systemes de Gouvernements de Suede, Norvege, Pays-Bas, Danemark, Belgique, Luxembourg. Paris: Editions Ouvrieres, 1960. 5 Cf. Gabriel A. Almond, "Comparative Political Systems," Journal of Politics. Vol. 18 (August 1956), pp. 391-409.

6 The thesis concerned was not his book The

Politics of

26 David Truman, Robert Dahl and others in a "pluralist" therefore pluralist cutting different Netherlands divided, The full at first hand the force of a well-known owes much theory: cleavages that political in a society, run parallel moderation in contrast mold. He knew theorem in to crosswhere - the The


to a situation one another

and reinforce

latter being a condition

likely to lead to explosive subcultures seem to be


seemed to present a clear case where society was deeply of Calvinists, less organized a candidate a leading Catholics Liberals. for great to the in addition to the rather

split among distinct would of had the once therefore pluralist

and Socialists country force political colleague

strife and instability. said to me,

I had myself been exposed when only half-jokingly: Lijphart



"You realize had set out to inherent they in

your country theoretically answer that dilemma, prophecy". the subcultures, according had listed (instead right soon to Political could as many simultaneous

cannot exist!". conscious contain

and had come up with his famous "self-denying elites, act to of the dangers provided in one country rules. of potentially case, hostile acted Lijphart



to certain


In the Dutch government

as seven such rules: agreement he

as "business" diplomacy, as and a a

of a "game"), govern.

to disagree, secrecy, the theory, in model


proportionality, footnote

depoliticization, While an pluralist idealtype

and the Government's originally analysis model


to prevailing both

the consociational



Accommodation, but a case study of Dutch decision-making regarding the decolonization of New Guinea. It was published under the title The Trauma of Decolonization: The Dutch and West New Guinea. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966.
7 The Politics of Accommodation, chapter 7. In his later elaboration of what he soon came to call the "consociational .democracy model" Lijphart reduced this list to four properties: grand coalitions, autonomy, proportionality and mutual vetoc For a fuller exposition of the model see Arend Lijphart, Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1977.

27 prescriptive theory, deliberately challenging the assumptions of "majoritarian" democracy developed from a British and to a lesser extent an American prototype.

The problems at isssue I shall not try to follow the full ramifications of the ensuing debate about consociational democracy for which there are other fora and other sources.8 My subject is rather whether the Netherlands does (or more accurately: did) fit the model through which so many foreign observers have learnt to see and interpret the country. To do so we should first agree on the time-period under consideration. This cannot be the present. For many of the features of a segmented society9 which the Netherlands still showed when Lijphart analyzed the country in the mid-1960s have rrow become history. Lijphart has of course recognized this. Already in the first edition of The Politics of Accommodation he had added a chapter 11 entitled: "Dutch Politics in Transition"; and in the later, manifold Dutch editions of his book he deliberately turned

8 See for particularly useful surveys the extensive treatment and bibliographies in Arend Lijphart, Power-Sharing in South Africa. Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 1984 (notably chapter 4) and M.P.C.M. van Schendelen ed., Consociationalism. Pillarization and Conflict Management in the Low Countries. Meppel: Boom, 1984 (special issue of Acta Politica, Vol. 19, No.1 (January 1984), pp. 161-175. For my own evaluation, see H. Daalder, "The Consociational Democracy Theme," World Politics. Vol. 26, No.4 (July 1974), pp. 604-621. 9 For the term "segmented society" see notably V.R. Lorwin, "Segmented Pluralism: Ideological Cleavages and Political cohesion in Smaller European Democracies," Comparative Politics, Vol. 3 (1971), pp. 141-157. Cf. H. Daalder, "The Netherlands: opposition in a Segmented Society f." in: R.A. Dahl ed. f Political oppositions in Western Democracies. New Haven: Yale university Press, 1966, pp. 188-236. In what follows I shall use the terms "segments", "subcultures" and the Dutch term zuilen interchangeably.

28 present tenses into past ones whenever since then. process has of generally


to mark the fact (the Dutch ideological 1920s and the second emphasis

that his model really fitted Dutch politics than the period term 1930s, for the subcultures) The heyday formation placed the been

until the 1960s rather of strong in the followed

of Verzuiling either which

or in the two decades


World War. But at the same time Lijphart on conditions

lays particular

before World War I. To quote Lijphart


Around 1910 the political situation looked quite serious. The three major issues [i.e. conflicts over education, the extension of the franchise, and the role of labor in society, HD] had reached a peak of tension, and the lines between the rivals were sharply drawn. Especially the issues of the schools and the right to vote remained fundamentally unresolved with all of the contending groups hardening in their intention not to yield." (p. 110). In Lijphart's deliberate period which interpretation most observers both the perils to the system, and the therefore high tide the of have regarded as the

action of elites to meet these, predated in the Netherlands. of social cleavages whether

social segmentation faced therefore indicate then the nature

On closer inspection in Dutch society: were

we are we must one

with a number of complex questions: such cleavages

we should first

ask ourselves


10 This somewhat different version of his original English manuscript was published in Dutch under the title Verzuiling, Pacificatie en Kentering in de Nederlandse Politiek. Amsterdam, DeBussy, 1968: sixth ed. 1986. He also explicitly noted the changes which were occurring in the Netherlands in the aeoond edition of The Politics of Accommodation. Berkeley, 1975. At the same time, however, he has shown elsewhere how little the Netherlands really shifted on the dimensions which he has since then developed for comparative analysis in his Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian and Consensus Government in Twenty-One Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1984: see his "From the Politics of Accommodation to Adversarial Politics in the Netherlands: A Reassessment,: in: H. Daalder and G.A. Irwin eds., Politics in the Netherlands: How Much Change? London: Cass, 1989, pp. 139-153 which was also published as a special issue of West European Politics, Vol. 12, No.1 (January 1989).


another or not, and to what extent they jeopardized should then analyze the reasons why political subcultures "courageous" endangering in their inquire whether such a could resort to what Lijphart (p. 110) decision this

the system; we

leaders of different without make us and to

.explicitly calls their

to seek an accommodation, will automatically notably

their own position as regards possibly competing elites analysis sequence of events, into the


into the historical the conditions the "consociational" challenge ascribed social never did

issue whether

of 1910 did imperil

the system, a response nature

solution was therefore assume the elite perilous

a real challenge Lijphart hand, extent portray against place, social part.

or rather, as I shall argue, the major reason why which the one to it: this implies that we must investigate "consociational behavior" on the segmentation (verzuilinq) of closed on the other. analysis rival "blocs"

relationship and


To the pitted

that we must conclude too mechanistic one another,

that the Lijphart restore which

tends to

a picture

we should


to its right.ful to the rather in their

as the only discipline differences movements

can do justice

substantial relations

which actually existed among the different including differences and to the nation of which they formed a

and subcultures,

to one another

Which social cleavages? Pared to its essentials is very the simple: it is based is between on the right. Church which The and together cleavages, agnostic Catholics Dutch religion groups on the the Lijphart class. the latter model of Dutch politics existence of two and and two dimension

on the simUltaneous the latitudinarian, church-going division

and social left,

On the religious


indifferent Calvinists for members 25% accounted


a Calvinist

one consisting smaller

of orthodox Calvinist for

of the of the






30 population, population therefore and a larger Jointly, Catholic the two one of one-third minority of the

or more. represented



a majority

of the population.

On the secular

"left" side class made for a split between Liberals and socialists. Of these two groups, the latter were the larger and more organized (eventually of the position social account behavior. incorporating somewhere the (the that of between Liberals latter for the the a quarter in a and a third minority of church could voting voting. spheres, (including as the and time and a population), class for

leaving religion showed as 72%

real for

of little more than and as Lijphart much

10%. Using

only the two criteria checked mid-1950s, in one




Of course relevance including ~ventually host of of

social cleavages the two of the maj or higher

were relevant for of

much beyond social such

On the basis of existing patterns also new

and new research data Lijphart cleavages the levels many marriage, schools system

showed the

education including and many

universities), organizations activities. Brinkers

unions welfare for

of employers help,

and workers, etc,

the media, hospitals leisure



In fact "a Roman Catholic goat breeders his finger on the dyke.

association" extent of

has now become as much a standard or the boy with

feature of Dutch folklore as Hans The

11 Lijphart presented these figures based on a 1956 survey in "The Netherlands: Continuity and Change in Voting Behavior,." in ~ R. Rose ed., Electoral Behavior: A Comparative Handbook. New York: Free Press, 1974, p. 258. A replication of this analysis for later years shows a strong decline in the variance explained by these two factors, i.e. 60% in 1968, 56% in 1977, 47% in 1986, see G.A. Irwin and J.J.M. van Holsteyn, "The Decline of the Structured Model of Electoral competition, "in: H. Daalder and G.A. Irwin eds., Politics in the Netherlands: How Much Change? London: Frank Cass, p. 21-41 (figures on p. 39). 12 The unrivalled pioneer of empirical studies of segmentation in the Netherlands was J.P. Kruijt. See in particular "Verzuiling en Ontzuiling als Sociologisch Proces," in: A.N.J. den Hollander et al., Drift en Koers: Een Halve Eeuw Sociale Verandering in Nederland. Assen: Van Gorcum, 1961, pp. 227-263.


social segmentation might differ according to particular sectors of society. (Not unimportantly: the workplace, the bureaucracy or the printed press were generally less, or differently, divided than other sectors.) This did not affect the conclusion that Dutch society showed strong divisions, and that indeed such divisions tended to reinforce one another to such an extent that many people seemed to live in separate subcultures from the cradle to the grave. Lijphart also looked into the background and associations of leadership groups, and documented the fact that they, too, "fitted" the ideological divisions just described. So far so good.

Cross-cutting cleavages or not? Did this imply that there were no cross-cutting cleavages in Dutch society? Lijphart denied that statement (although a superficial reading of his book could convey that impression). He spoke explicitly of "the fact that the basic cleavages in Dutch society - religion and class - do cut across each other at an almost perfectly straight angle", adding: "The Catholic and Calvinist blocs are true cross-sections of the Dutch people, resembling the class composition of the popu Lat.Lon as a whole very closely and differing only in religion. Moreover, in these two blocs the religious commitment is sufficiently strong to override class differences to a large extent." (p. 205). And he specifically concluded that the heterogeneous class

composition of the religious parties [in casu the Catholic Party, HD] implies that: "The party leaders are under constant cross-pressures from the different wings of the party, which predispose them to moderation and compromises both in intraparty and interparty relations. It is impossible to account for Holland's stable democracy·without reference to the crucial political role of the religious parties, particularly the Catholic party.


But such cross-cutting the overriding kept Hence, was a groups dominant

cleavages did not gainsay, separate, with class

in his view, that only playing a

importance fundamentally

of religion as the most salient cleavage

and decisive

role in the secular parts of society. of separate with a and subcultures is not invalidated typically the each of an of elite between which part cleavages. little "pluralist'" autonomous The thus The Netherlands society rather very in than

the coexistence "plural"

by the effect of cross-cutting society not different individual groups overriding different between accommodation them. segments,


was exposed to many cross-pressures specialized ideological ideological community. "blocs"

and in which social separateness conscious



to offset the dangers inherent in the sharp cleavages

The grand compromise The "center piece"

of 1917: how much peril? . portrayal all major of Dutch groups society of to for for on a of

in Lijphart's

was very much the so-called 1917 during universal their own deliberate counting of

pacificatie,'3 the grand compromise agreed

the first World War, when the desires

meet each other's demands: the wish for Liberals and Socialists suffrage, fully principle votes by of Calvinists all this an and Catholics to be based subsidized the schools;

of proportionality: introduction of

proportionality extreme

in the


13 The term Pacificatie had old roots in the Netherlands, notably having been used at the time of the Pacificatie van Gent in 1576 when for a short time the seventeen Provinces seemed to agree on a common stand on the basis of a mutual recognition of diversity. The term was revived for the agreement which the major Dutch parties reached on the schools issue in combination with universal suffrage and proportional representation, passed into law by the constitutional revision of 1917. Lijphart has used the general term Pacificatiedemocratie as the Dutch equivalent of the English "consociational democracy."


national granting schools of pupils

proportional of subsidies - subsidies pledged that Ph.D.

representation; to private

and proportionality on a par with simply

in the public


which were to be based

on the numbers has been so flux of in their them, of a

for a particular we at Leiden have

type of school. received a constant who

Lijphart's persuasive letters of by

description students Alas,

of this "grand compromise" from allover we have the globe to

,search for a suitable dissertation detailed study. suggesting mirage. Why? For two specific of mobilization appropriate second, that this miracle

topic thought the subj ect worthy tended disappoint was somewhat really




first, the process had not yet and fear to never the of had been was

of different

ideological mobilization Lijphart


reached the level of political the elite behavior

by 1910 which makes it one another; above explained all in

to speak of rival "blocs" confronting which prophecy", such

terms of a "self-denying for a break-up be the major reason look more

as a ~eaction to a genuine on closer tended analysis mobilization of these two was

of the nation, why



political at each

fraught with the dangers Let us challenge

which Lijphart

to ascribe

to it.



of blocs and elite behavior. Lijphart's analysis of the Dutch case, most research not data he presents are taken from the 1950s or 1960. from new research had studied

If one reads the empirical

This is, in itself, understandable, only then began to prosper, methods available therefore in which events divisions consequences (notably in social earlier survey The

as social science analysis) system which Lijphart

and to offer evidence


the system as it had developed of social segmentation, And this 1910 none For by had developed. along

after 1917. He studied the of

not its origins or the manner of the indicators of social that

led him to get the sequence such strength



lines had reached


one could legitimately speak of conflicting blocS.14 Party organizations had not yet crystallized into strong movements nationally, with only two parties (the major party of the Calvinists, and the Socialist party) beginning to show some features of a mass party. There had been some important strike actions, and mass demonstrations, notably in support of suffrage extension. Yet, industrialization had not yet reached levels anywhere near those of more advanced industrial countries in Europe. Unionization of workers only affected limited numbers. Notwithstanding decades of agitation for religious schools and a beginning of subsidies to such schools, which were introduced already in 1889 by the first coalition government of Calvinists and Catholics, the great majority of the children at elementary school still went to the same public schools. Lijphart's portrayal of a society with strong mass cleavages and mutually exclusive ideological organizations reflects, in other words, the eventual results of the 1917 settlement, rather than the challenge which that settlement was supposed to counter. with some exaggeration., therefore, one might say that Lijphart found a solution for a problem which did not exist. He was, I suggest,in that respect a victim of the determinist canons of pluralist theorizing which had brought him to his analysis in the first place, even if his analysis would lead him to propose an "elitist" amendment to it. Yet, that "elitist" amendment itself would seem to be in need of explanation. For if centrifugal forces were so strong as Lijphart implied, why would elites be so sagacious as he portrayed them? Or assuming that top leaders were, why were they able to carry their followers along? As another expert on "segmented societies", the historian Val Lorwin once exclaimed in a conference debate: what about the Lumpenelites who would presumably not have The following passage is almost literally taken from my earlier summary in "Consociationalism, Center and Periphery in the Netherlands", in: Per Torsvik ed., Mobilization, Center-Periphery structures and Nation-Building: A Volume in Commemoration of Stein Rokkan, Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1981, pp. 227-228.

35 that their sharp eye for the need to contain must have had when they to save the nation? this question we should of one first the turn Dutch at to a short

ideological resorted


which "self-

betters To

to their

denying sketch

prophecy" discuss of



verzuiling least of three 1. an social

phenomenon In addition other

as developed by Dutch historians to Lijphart' s explanation in the perspective, 2. an literature

and social scientists. finds on verzuiling: in terms pluralism.


emancipationist control,


3. an explanation



The emancipationist The problem "emancipationist" but as a triumph. approach

approach sees verzuiling not as a in each

As calvinists,


and Socialists

came to develop

their own full-blown describing



the 1920s and 1930s an elaborate of these subcultures emancipation under Our titles


sprang up within

the heroic struggle Free,

for freedom and Reborn, To

which their pioneers had fought. Many a book appeared such as: When We Became etc. Such books of sought In Freedom the That Which Awakened particular past chronicled

the Good of the Nation, The Dawn of Liberation, Strength, subculture's struggles

to portray they



and extolled



One should note that

In passing we should note that such theories were developed on the whole post factum. This is not unimportant. For it implies that one reads from the present back into history, starts from the assumption that the development of different ideological subcultures was a foregone conclusion, and implicitly accepts their moral right and success. In fact, the very metaphor of verzuiling, of separate pillars which supported an overarching common roof, could only develop in a climate of successful mobilization of all and mutual forbearance of each. This has not always been so. Notably in the 1930s there were vociferous critics (mainly of a liberal or ultranationalist persuasion) who spoke of "schotjes", partitions, divisions which· weakened unity and endangered the nation.


I have taken these titles from the writings of different ideological families, suggesting at a minimum a parallel perspective. Being written from the inside, on the basis of hindsight, this literature can be read as a sign that each subculture accepted its status as an autonomous part of one nation, whatever its past grievances.

The social control perspective The second body of literature has stressed social control rather than emancipation. Sympathizers of the religious movements have emphasized the overwhelming importance of a secular climate in the 19th century which dominated all sectors of society, including even the church. Only a powerful "Antirevolutionary" movement (to use the title which the Calvinists were to choose for their major political party) could stem this baneful influence. Left observers have interpreted this same drive of Calvinists and Catholics to form well-organized subcultures as motivated above all by a wish of elite groups to insulate their potential followers from the siren songs of secularism and socialism. They saw the formation of Calvinist and Catholic subcultures as parts of a deliberate attempt by "fractions" of capitalist "ruling class" to encapsulate religious workers. In essence, they have echoed the hoarse cry of early socialists who spoke of the conspiracy of Koning, Kapitaal., Kerk, Kroeg, and Kazerne the Dutch alliteration of the 5 K's is more telling than the English translation as King, Capital, Church, Pub and Barracks) - with the single goal of combatting the emancipation of workers. The whole process of verzuiling, in other words, is seen as consisting above all in attempts to ensure exclusive group controls, to the detriment of mutual recognition and individual freedom. The social control perspective has found particular favor

37 with sociologists16 and left-oriented of deliberate self-awareness writers writers.

They writers

have as saw

emphasized whole action

the importance moving the social to

organizational and might


an independent groups recognition,

power resource. control

If the emancipationist

eventual even explain Thus,

mutual elite

as above all motivated the dangers society, social leadership he

by self-interest. divisions elites order to

one writer seeking a to retain

has sought to put Lijphart

on his head: rather than elites in order have secure another argued, in

to contain peaceful exaggerated profitable equally

of social has

deliberately their writer own has for


pos itions.



the importance

of verzuiling

as instruments

16 E.g. J.A.A. van Doorn, "Verzuiling: Een Eigentijds Systeem van Sociale Controle," Sociologische Gids, Vol. 3 (1956), pp. 4149. 17 E.g. S. Stuurman, Verzuilinq, Kapitalisme en Patriarchaat. Nijmegen: Sun, 1983. Stuurman interprets the successful mobilization of Calvinists and Catholics in Dutch society not so much in terms of emancipation of deprived strata, or autonomous ideological values, but as a deliberate attempt on the part of "fractions" of a capitalist ruling class to forestall the organization of an effective working-class movement. He defines the term "zuilen" (segments or pillars) in a manner which eo ipso excludes the Socialists. zuilen are according to his definition:

a hierarchically structured complex of sociopolitical and ideological apparatuses with the following characteristics: a. the social basis cuts across all classes; b. each pillar comprehends more than one social activity; c. its integrating ideology is religious, aiming at class cooperation and of patriarchy [read: male dominance, HD] as basic characteristics; 4. the pillar has a political component, operates on the level of the state. (Ibidem, p. 71, translation HD).
18 See M.P.C.M. van Schendelen, "Verzuiling en Restauratie in de Nederlandse Politiek," Beleid en Maatschappij, Vol. 5 (1978), pp. 42-64 i Idem, "The Views of Arend Lijphart and Collected Criticisms" in Idem ed., Consociationalism, Pillarization and ConflictManagement in the Low Countries, pp. 19-55.

38 aspiring elites to acquire monopolistic positions in society.19

The perspective A third I have myself verzuiling control" society created. The starting-point and religious diversity perspective which

of persistent

pluralism rather close to the of


is in fact

"Whig" approach

I discussed

in my first lecture,

and which

tended to present

at least as far as the process

takes neither "emancipation", nor "social 20, but the traditional pluralism of Dutch as its main lead the political culture at the elite level which it

is concerned)


of such an analysis

is the strong regional the of the first. 21 Regional

which existed of old in Dutch society,

latter to some extent being the consequence

19 I. Scholten, "Does Consociationalism Exist? A Critique of the Dutch Experience," in: R. Rose ed., Electoral Participatiol1. London: Sage, 1980, pp. 329-355; Idem, Political Stability and NeoCorporatism: Corporatist Integration and Societal Cleavages in western Europe. London/Beverly Hills: Sage, 1987. 20 One wonders, in fact, whether not both the "emancipationist" and the "social control" approach show somewhat teleological features: if the first deems the emancipation of any particular subculture, and in the end that of all, as justified seeing all preceding history in that light, the latter regards the formation of the religious subcultures as obstacles to the emancipation of workers and women which for long prevented the latter from taking their rightful position in society.
21 Regional factors - notably the incidents of warfare at the end of the 16th century - were to determine to a SUbstantial extent which religion a particular city or province would eventually have. ThUS, many erstwhile Catholics had been converted to protestantism under the pressures of the twin forces of public authority and the privileged position of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Northern provinces. In contrast, the southern areas of Brabant and Limburg had been rewon fully for Catholicism during the Counterreformation before they were conquered in the 1620s and 1630s by the Northern Provinces. They then re~ained their homogeneously Catholic character. But the heavy concentration of Catholics in what remained the Generaliteitslanden (dependent territories administered by the seven united Provinces jointly) did much to


diversity autonomy,





and acceptance


two features singled out by Lijphart as typical and vital elite behavior. was the stepwise terms. During a privileged more "pluralization" the becoming and there numbers shall of the more had of of the Republic position, Dutch characteristic in religious had occupied

for consociational A second Dutch society Reformed


church of the majority considerable been the practical role of militant-Calvinist Catholics together imply heavily Liberals the minorities

of the population. between within

Even then there had been latitudinarian and

differences recognition smaller given


the Church,

of the reality of protestants

of massive which I

in Dutch society, groups

just as there had been an awareness Catholics, after was one


under the label of "Dissenters". formal equal rights in Dutch For, the their or place society

"Dissenters" of immediate rema ined on

and Jews were that recogni tion

1795. This did not el ites


dominant between

Dutch Reformed, But it did

even if divided and more that imply once

what would become Protestants discriminated -

on the one hand,

fundamentalist definitely


were increasingly

free to organize

openly. Dutch society for the national however

A third element not to say: stagnant into very late

of the explanation 19th century.

is the very traditional could account (whether

- nature which characterized This political elites

in the

circumstance restricted were

that traditional

or local, Protestant parliamentary formed.

or Catholic)

were hardly


the pays legal remained. government

It also meant that responsible mass organizations

existed before modern

instill attitudes of inferiority in the Catholic population. It should be added, however, that many areas of the North (most notably in the populous province of Holland) retained substantial pockets of Catholics. The principle of cuius regio. eius religio was never applied fully in the case of the Netherlands. This tends to differentiate the Dutch case from that of switzerland, for instance.

40 This leads to a fourth point. Once modern mass organizations did come about, in the traditional subcultural they tended of to show two characteristic leadership, a dominant elements features: close to each on composition their

elite circles played

role; and within

group there was considerable Hence, the challenge


of opinion

the extent to which a militant its interests. of minority political basically dense elites century common which patterns

course should be chosen to promote they represented to the system

remained on the whole moderate. Each group demanded the recognition rights rather than that it sought to capture undivided was power. gradual: of of coming elite although their subcultures these did developed not picture decade justice increasingly existing separate 20th of

As a result, in the fifth place, the process of verzuiling networks own, destroy


Lijphart' s second


ad hOC' in the pluralist

of the

to save the system, does insufficient of a pragmatic, which to much elite fora, did had. long socialize arranged newcomers partial

to the preprovided and of modes





in traditional

decision-making. Sixth, rather earliest militant the building pace of separate subcultures ideological proceeded groupings. at a The different for different

and most self-confident Calvinists


had been that of the had never led Whereas elite minority Protestants. outspoken

but their efforts at organization

to the a unified some preferred positions,

bloc of all fundamentalist chose to organize in

not too move too far from earlier established


22 Some examples: long before the advent of mass working-class unions the article of the Code Penal banning the association of working-class associations had been scrapped (1872); the Left had, however grudgingly, recognized that nothing in the Constitution prevented the principle of subsidizing religious education (1887); a Cabinet of Calvinists and Catholics (1888-1891) arranged for the first government subsidies to religious elementary schools long before full financial parity was granted to them in the 1917 Compromise (Pacificatie).

41 organizations, intellectual lies their our bringing characterized leader, The by the ringing phrase van Prinsterer: Catholics But had not succeeded least for of their first in of the their

G. Groen

"in our


strength!".23 together

eventually percentage of

a proportionally followers.

very much higher


because centuries,

discrimination than political politicians Calvinist



action had remained deliberately organizations generally had

introvert, with the Church rather the practical leadership of

provided the guiding element. Catholic accepted of Calvinists and Catholics


in the Coalition

23 Calvinist mobilization went as follows: in the course of the 19th century both elite groups and lower class believers became increasingly restless about developments within the Dutch Reformed Church. Tolerating as the Church did many different beliefs ranging all the way from a near-secular modernism to an otherworldly fundamentalist pietism, it had become, in the words of the great Calvinist leader and demagogue, Abraham Kuyper, a "Caesaropapistic monster", a true "synagogue of Satan". using increased possibilities for congregational decision-making, Kuyper and others mounted a strong fight for local control of particular churches at a time that most of his followers did not yet enjoy the right to vote in the political arena. In a massive organizational drive Kuyper and his followers founded successively an Anti-school Law League (consciously modelled on the British Anti-Corn Law League (1872), a Calvinist newspaper De Standaard (1872), a Calvinist working-class organization Patrimonium (1876), a massive petition asking the King not to sign a Liberal Education Act which strengthened the position of the secular public schools (1878), the Antirevolutionary Party (1879) and a separate Calvinist Free University (1880), finally to break away in SUbstantial numbers from the Dutch Reformed Church (the Doleantie of 1886) who formed a new Calvinist denomination consciously called the Gereformeerde Kerken (Reformed Churches in the plural) to denote the need for autonomy for true believers. What one should note about this organizational drive are at least three features: it took place before the suffrage was extended: Calvinist leaders therefore consciouslY spoke of the need to mobilize "the people beyond the electorate"; it did not embrace all orthodox elements: many of them notably among traditional elite groups saw in Kuyper's militancy a danger to the unity of the Dutch Reformed Church and preferred to work for reform from within the Church or were satisfied with personal orthodoxy. These groups eventually organized politically in the Christian-Historical Union which never assumed the character of a strong mass party unlike the more militant Antirevolutionary Party.





on In

the fact,





separate Party the was two actor in Party (1908) these

subcultural comparison major were parties (established in

interests. to the

a genuine Church the


formed only very late, and it remained re-established parties to the church protestants relation major

a very much weaker Hierarchy than Union in Antirevolutionary

in 1879) and the Christian-Historical organizations jointly followers. religious parties


found their

If the position,

rose -to a majority this left response formal of late Their

albeit as a Coalition terrain in

of distinct


only a modest a dominant political effectively social

to Liberals 19th century

and Socialists. politics

was to be rather different. force what organization

The Liberals having been used to being without call much

organized too little and too late to weather theorists lithe crisis - were on the other hand, - given the late in the Netherlands Their potential market was World for No



The Socialists,

and economic


in forming effective mass organizations. substantially War I Liberals secular "left" with restricted Roman and and a revitalized joint Catholic

by the early mobilization Church. entered into faced The

of Calvinists pacts was

For a time before electoral serious

Socialists was


but such pacts secured. Liberals.


lasting popular


cooperation proved


conservative parties


eventually and

to be rather more hesitant the religious

than the Liberals

had been to confront Calvinist

as this was likely to alienate

24 As compared to the Calvinists,· the formation of a Catholic subculture took a very different path. Although substantially more numerous than Kuyper's Calvinists, Catholics were much more hesitant to organize. They supported the separation of Church and State, as advocated notably by the Liberals at the time of the cons t.Lt.,..zi,c . ~ Revision in 1848, and obtained .a in 1853 ch.: reestablishment of the Church Hierarchy under an Archbishop in Utrecht and four other dioceses which had disappeared since the Dutch Revolt. Such organization as took pla~e was mainly directed towards rebuilding ·the Church. Clerics were notably important in all new Catholic organizations.


catholic workers whom they set out to woo. They hoped for an independent majority mandate once universal suffrage was achieved. But when universal suffrage and proportional representation came, their hopes were dashed. They remained in a virtual ghetto position of under a quarter of the national vote, and were not admitted to cabinet government until 1939. In the meantime they had to be satisfied with the formation of a subculture of their own which some have dubbed a "Church for the churchless". Finally, one should note that differences occurred not only in the formation of the different ideological blocs, but also in their eventual demise. The Liberals bein9 little organized had also little to "lose". The Socialists consciously began to divest themselves of ideological barriers which severed them from the Nation and other parties as early as the 1930s. They came out of the second World War with the clear intent to "break through" barriers which had for so long separated religious groups on the one hand" and Socialists on the other. While Calvinists and Catholics continued to build, or at least husband, 'their separate organizations in the 1950s and 1960s, the Socialists shed what had remained of them. A clear difference was to mark the later development of the Calvinist and the Catholic subcultures, moreover. The Catholic bloc broke down earlier and much more drastically than the Calvinist one. Its effects will concern us in the next lecture when we must face the problem whatever happened to the ostentatiously "sober" Dutch.

The acceptance of prudent leadership Having discussed three alternative approaches to the

phenomenon of Dutch verzuiling: an emancipationist view, a social control view, and an historical-pluralist view, let us return to the question why prudent leadership was so readily accepted in Dutch society, the problem summarily indicated as Lorwin's problem of the Lumpenelites.

, 44

There emphasizes elites, society,




Lijphart wish





he of

the conscious

to save the system of deference of insulating

on the part

a widespread


to authority

in Dutch

and the functional in his statement: the



to keep potentially summarized In recognition

fighting social groups apart - a view tellingly "good fences make good neighbors!". literature for all their prevented there colorful is not much descriptions issues for

emancipationist of the problem: generally

of past irijustices and their blaming of others, their satisfaction with the end results them from raising of internal dissension. in restraining The view Their emphasis is cooperation interests religion. exchange government

If all good men are seen to have worked militants? so rosy in the social control elites, ruling this is explained by

the same cause, why would moderating potential is hardly between

leaders have had difficulties literature. If there common of to' in for the

is on the repressive

nature of leadership.

of a presumed Logically Socialist

class whatever the increasingly be explained: for

the differences moderate their tendency positions

speaking, ideologies


of Socialist

leaders can similarly and the economy


is little more than an adjustment

25 This statement begs an important question: when did the religious subcultures organize, and in what regions and which social groups were they successful. There is some ambivalence in the view of left critics. On the one hand, they have generally argued that the impetus for the political and social organization of the religious groups was mainly reactive: they organized when and where socialists began to pose a threat. On the other hand, they seek part of the reason for the limited success of the Socialists in the existence of religious subcultures which presumably means that they were in place before Socialists could successfully challenge them. I suggest that this dilemma can only be solved by detailed historical, regionally-specific inquiry. Such data as are available would seem to offer only limited confirmation of the view that the efforts of the religious subcultures was mainly one of defense, rather than the promotion of their own ideological interests. See for some interesting case studies J.e.H. Blom and C.J. Misset eds., Broeders Sluit U Aan! Aspecten van Verzuiling in Zeven Hollandse Steden. Bergen: Bataafse Leeuw, 1985.

45 personal political gain, not unknown in the history of Labor.


social and

control theorists

can explain the development their heart is not in it. are deemed subculture of to have

of accommodation Whether

stability, class

in the form As we

of a stamokap version, of the working

or one of neocorporatism, been

the real interests sacrificed.

shall see next week, such sentiments demise of the religious the apparent issues triumph the elites opportunities the real "people" weakening out

led many of them to greet the with glee, just as they saw in structures "democracy" As new

institutional and polarization, and have open

for politicization into the at last.

so as to bring and the to a

Remains Lijphart's consociational not otherwise problems were t~aditional present that groups believe

historical-pluralist who appear as dei

theory. ex

compared to offer



for a society that pluralist Elites were before in place, the

theory would basis of

deem feasible, elite strength would seem to offer few on the In fact, a FL Lijphart' s "rules of the game:' society regarded summit different as business, that they and that ideological prophecy" that to they need a "self-denying politics

of explanation. pluralism. in the Dutch Dutch


Do we really

were prepared merit used

to agree to disagree, that they excelled (including devices diplomacy), that secrecy

in collegial saw much were


in proportionality, as appropriate a virtual

and depoliticization at all lower

of government,

governments levels)

(not only the cabinet, claimed

but also authorities

right to govern?

U This statement obviously does not hold for those social control theorists who would seem to embrace the elitist theory that elites exaggerate cleavages to keep or gain positions for themselves. Perhaps one should describe this position as one of the inevitability of the circulation of Lumpenelites?


Conclusion Let pluralism along us try to summarize where this second lecture on the

of Dutch society has led us. lines which developed in the 19th and the 20th and foreign One is the another the actually writers of the in the before and the an The

There is agreement on the strong degree of social organization ideological century, which has made the Dutch speak of verzuiling, observers There reason posed. On the first movement of these two issues, social control explain the formation a defensive ruling of the religious successfully workers notably subcultures as on the whole of segmentation. is disagreement initial on two fundamental of separate issues. blocs, formation

for the

degree of danger which the degree of separate



by "fractions"

class' to prevent

from falling

for the temptations organized

of secularism we can speak true

and socialism.·Such record: a of for genuine

a view meets with problems the Calvinists by Socialists,

actual historical Catholics remained effective authentic

challenge the

lived for a large part in traditional decades after challenge

regions where this had' mounted


in other, more modern areas in the country. and "democratizing" subcultures interpretation

social control view would also seem to do too little justice to the "emancipationist" elements which the One would or mobilization of the religious in one's politics represented.

be far off the mark of contemporary organization

of Dutch history,

for that matter, and Catholics

if one were to treat the in the Netherlands as one in for instance. as a stable to the as a forward

of Calvinists

of a kind with that of a Catholic the Netherlands system, which might prompted have

right in France, to the

On the second issue, that of the danger which segmentation presented nation case political theories it is suggested that Lijphart the Dutch fell victim

him to bring

deviant case. Not only were there important cross-cutting


47 as he himself of blocs, he tended adopted, developed elements to recognized, see by there was neither The the full organization to the system which "solution" he saw of were not mainly Older

nor were there the real challenges 1910. consociational and the "rules of the game" which as an answer to real dangers, elite culture of a traditional

he described

but consisted

of accommodation.

pluralism proved fully compatible with the increasing pluralization and organization minorities Lijphart was partly countries a feat of centuries in terms speak "place" of which occurred than that it in Dutch society, in achieving for strove and was a major a recognition as power. reason why each group was satisfied rather offered a solution,


I have suggested,

for a problem which "lessons" that the but for other it was not outcome of

of his own making. To the extent that consociationalism is deemed to offer possible political engineering, one would successful of pluralism of the do well to take into account and accommodation. "blocs". the For there were very of real

in the Netherlands

Finally, differences organization,

one should remain aware of the dangers of an analysis interchangeable Calvinists, in Catholics timing and Socialists, and manner not to initial



the particular with

groups they organized, regard to one another

the different enter as fully History, in tend

they occupied participants contains

and the nation,

and the circumstances recognized to portray. thought. other words,

by which they would eventually in national decision-making. rather more variety

than simple models

Some of us might

find that a profoundly







So far the main theme of my lectures of the Netherlands Lijphart termed as a highly pluralist and persistent which

has been the evolution governed by what was I have presented

society, diversity.

"prudent elites". The picture

one of gradual evqlution have been convincing of parallel changes fundamental compromise

That picture may to imply a of

until as late as the 1960s. But then a series occurred to many seemed structures

break with the past. The once rock-like subcultures crumbled. and depoliticization was ingrained,

the two major religious

In a society in which new groups suddenly In the name practices all manner leadership for to

spoke of the need for politicization of democracy prevailing were challenged. of direct (nurtured seemed actions. institutions

and polarization. and accommodationist of secluded

Direct democracy was held to legitimate Traditional styles

by centuries

of regent en rule) gave way to demands posturing. In short, from dull administration now even before reach the

open government conflict press. Berlin two Crown galore.

and populist

Dutch politics

in a few years to have changed the Provo country would

Occasionally, There was

foreign in then with

in Amsterdam

students wedding"

marched of the

or Paris. There was rumor around the Royal Household, marriages Beatrix (one a "smoke-bomb in March Princess 1966). Amsterdam suddenly



49 the alleged who were prepared. its From "drug capital" of Europe, to an extent that even those traditions and had not been fully on


of its libertarian New Catechism ally

The Dutch Catholic Church became known the world over for progressive the country a new utterances seemed brand so many and issues such as marriage of priests and birth control. in NATO, to move name of in the Cruise own such stances, marched of decision meriting

near-heretical being

controversial towards 1980s Church

a faithful Nowhere the

neutralist against Peace

"Hollanditis".' missiles

(proportionately) stationing all major deemed

Pershings churches had

in Europe. These mass actions were organized Council in which Decision-making in the Netherlands

by an Intertheir acquired

representatives. importance capable diplomat Hut) . Whatever, would be that

that for once Washington

it necessary of a director Dutch? Dutch

to send a of Pizza One- might One answer are hardly

to its Hague Embassy.

(I hasten to add that it is

now again in the more customary then, happened the media


to the once sober sober

evade that question newsworthy: is to argue

by either of two escapist are the message: are reported, never were


if only the antics that the Dutch bitterly

this does not imply A second way out sober. Already from canals. of the spitting that

that much not remains "normal" in the Netherlands. Montesquieu One could complained easily of Amsterdam


the bridges when passenger collect Dutch by foreign visitors,

barges passed through Amsterdam a volume decrying of negative ill manners portraits

over the ages.2 The


, See Walter Laqueur, "Hollanditis: A New stage of European Neutralism, " Commentary, 19 (August 1981), pp. 19-26. For a criticism of this notion, on the basis of an empirical study of actual attitudes and policies in the Netherlands, see Richard C. Eichenberg, "The Myth of Hollandi tis," International Security, Vol. 8, No.2 (Fall 1983), pp. 143-159.
2 For an interesting compilation of analyses of the Dutch "national character", see B. van Heerikhuizen, "Het Nederlandse Volkskarakter, " Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift, Vol. 6 (February 1980) pp. 643-675.

50 very circumstance that "Dutch" is associated with so many of the the

unfavorable as much "natives"

expressions as through answers

in the English language might be explained rudeness and crudeness rivalry felt in England We should towards

in terms of a centuries-old ancient make

Dutch Republic. Escapist governed there should no lecture. is becoming pol itical system face the issue that these now is that whether our traditional pluralist been have understanding of the Netherlands dated. and social as a well-

country structural

To the extent changes there

be explained.

And one should

inquire whether past

something represents continuity

like a new political political behavior

and a "new politics" there

a real break with past than meets the eye.



and customary

- unless

is after all more

General Of course, are many not

structural changes to it.

changes3 which As have in occurred in the of

of the peculiar


other became


Western-Europe time a

the ravages of war and the efforts of reconstruction afflUence. The country economy. for the first and cities were in the when and between levels periods industrialized fundamentally New systems be noted Urbanization and welfare in

gave way to economic fully areas. should suburbanization and rural built up. world, it

changed of social that this

the balance security happened

(If these were to reach one of the highest and Liberals normally of much higher

Christian-Democrats the Socialists increased due to a combination buying

formed the government

were in opposition.) power.

Youth gained a new prominence, levels of education and their was the Netherlands

From an early moment

3 For a general survey in Dutch see H. Daalder, "Zestig Jaar Nederland (1926-1986)," in J.H.J. van den Heuvel et al., Een Vrij Zinnige Verhouding: De VPRO en Nederland 1926-1986. Baarn: Ambo 1986, pp. 11-71.

51 involved the became in new international Nations, from the structures, Marshall European ranging Plan from Benelux to




the OECD, to the original domestic


of the six cars and

and NATO. New means of communication air travel challenged so on. Although Europe, such processes

including television,


And so forth and elsewhere in of the

did reflect developments

they nevertheless

often took on a rather


form in

the Netherlands. in the affairs,

This should become subcultures authority, in political

clear by a short analysis and Calvinists, towards and behavior.

five areas of change: ideological and changes challenge to existing

the special role of television, of Catholics attitudes discourse

the changes international

The coming of television Television came relatively late in the Netherlands. associations was extended a In the system of the in the of in

1920s the principle different 1950s and commercial

of segmentation

had created a licensing

under which radio was controlled ideological 1960s to television the new

by membership

families. That principle electronic interests, which appealed



in 1964 in vain to from a platform of Calvinists, organization,

Grotius Mare Liberum catholics, originally This Socialists

in an attempt to broadcast and one other more

the seas, was foiled. But the licensed broadcasters, "general" had to share one channel between cross-cultural television the province and other of Amsterdam communication tended for of younger broadcasters

them, so that viewers greatly. some television As a to new be In

of all groups of the population increased medium, mutual moreover, competition climate

looked in at each other's programs. time

disproportionately of rival


with one another,

egged on by a special concentrated

public in the social



and Hilversum,

they deliberately

wished to break with many of the staid habits of traditional

52 life in the Netherlands. One element of this was a deliberate subjected to to came used to

challenge so-called publicity react

to political and direct

leaders who were increasingly Dutch regenten, initially challenge, found

"hard" interviews. Thus,

not normally

it difficult patterns

adequately. effect



increasingly an immediate debate journalists

under fire. What happened on the printed became more persuasion competing and eager,

in the electronic The pace as

media had and to

press. nervous

of political


politicians began

of different

came to react Some

to one another

in increasingly Television it coincided protest as freedom



talk of a "parliamentary-media with rides

complex.,,4 This meant that forms of campuses impact as well in the the fed Vietnam had much an War. American

grew fastest in the early sixties. the quickening in the South) in student protest on American



Netherlands colorful routine

where they found ready imitation. protest provided action better decision-making. tactics. magnified existing

At least for a time, "pictures" Publicity that as direct than thus


of institutionalized to direct to this action such helped

a resorting overreacted temporarily reporting, political

To the extent

leaders actions of

protests, newness erode to

were by their

and by unprecedented




and policy-making.

The weakening Also communities in the 19605

of subcultural seemingly

bonds "closed" ideological


began to show visible strains.

At least three distinct

4 This term was coined by J.J. Vis, see his "Parlementaire Pretenties, Praktijken en Problemen", in: H. Daalder ed., Parlement en Politieke Besluitvorming in Nederland. Alphen: Samsom, 1975, pp. 24-45.


The reasons for this' are complex, and provide fertile grounds for historians and social scientists alike. For

53 factors One were was responsible the paradoxical for the process of of ontzuiling Ideological demands.

(desegmentation) . result success. subcultures in practice procedures, normal organizations and "general", Liberal "sectoral" specialized linkage organizations autonomy developed. dependent party from had formed to obtain recognition became a matter that of increasingly there were at for special routinized least three

Once the principle

of such demands had been agreed on, meeting them allocation The of types a growing array of government policies.

covering became


for any given social activity: the latter term standing combined of depending became the


Catholic, Such with chief


for Socialist, at stake.

or both

on the sector increasingly

organizations sections advisory

interwoven - the As

government semi-public wi thin

bureaucracy subsidies functions. they they


agencies sector

and public organizations which access or

to private a result a growing originally no As longer

for fulfilling the subcultures secured for

each of the specialized Having

developed had were


on general subcultural formed increasingly


such as the related sectoral with





tighter forms of cooperation

opposite numbers in other subcultures,

the salience of ideological

some publications in English see J.M.G. Thurlings, "Pluralism and Assimilation in the Netherlands, with special reference to Dutch catholicism," The International Journal of Comparative Sociology, Vol 20, No. 1/2, pp. 82-100; W. Goddijn, The Deferred Revolution: A Social Experiment in Church Innovation in the Netherlands. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1975; J.A. Coleman, The Evolution of Dutch Catholicism. 1938-1974. Berkeley: University of California Press, 198=78; H. Bakvis, Catholic Power in the Netherlands. Kingston and Montreal: McGill and Queen's University Press, 1981; R.B. Andeweg, Dutch Voters Adrift: On Explanations of Electoral Change 19671977. Ph. D. dissertation, Leiden University, 1983; J.J. Houska. Influencing Mass Political Behavior: Elites and Political Subcultures in the Netherlands 1970-1985. Berkeley: Institute of International Studies, 1985.

54 boundaries effects dropped of and the cohesion these blocs a growing So on the part ideology-based of ideological blocs declined.6 the and of secularization Church of a number

Secondly, indifference specifically and national volatility, regarded signs

at the same time also experienced of their membership. circulation

individualization, did the




which found it increasingly newspapers at local party once increase voters in electoral they had

hard to compete with more "general", commercial level. There was a substantial Union) lost many

and notably the Catholic party and one Calvinist

(the Christian-Historical as certain. But thirdly, of doubt had ideological Liberals apartheid altogether, a deliberate

and most important of all, there were increasing among averse had the elites different to the found and idea their social of the different differently. segmentation imposed in of This affected been Socialists groups

and dissension

families. generally and many


already. uncomfortable breakthrough

since the 1930s. They had attempted alignments links with sectoral groups In the years after substantially with and in l2.aripassu

of political

1945-46, and had generally de-emphasized 1945 Calvinists extended successful temporal when their and Catholics organizational

which had once formed part of the Rode Familie. hold on society,

had, on the contrary,

increased government disagreement about

action in particular the precise role of

sectors. But behind their church and religion


actions there was growing uncertainty

affairs. of the depression of communism and the threat and nazism of the two new to earnest

Such doubts may be traced back at least as far as the 1930s, the misery totalitarianisms seemed

6 For a very interesting study showing the rapid decline of what Lijphart once called the "interlocking directorates" of (in this case) the Catholic subculture, see T. Duffhues et al., Bewegende Patronen: Een Analyse van het Landel ijk Netwerk van Katholieke organisaties en Bestuurders 1945-1980. Baarn: ~o, 1985.

55 believers mainly by the to challenge the hitherto existing separation concerns of religion Such doubts and were and the of a worldly order. between the inevitable sharpened by the

otherworldly experiences

imperfections horrors work

had been

of occupation,


of nuclear war and the growing poverty But a turning to the world

of the Third World than missionary led to growing

which seemed to require a more active alone. disagreements

involvement also

about practical political choices. such disagreements bitter and divisive as all might appeal to the of the Church. Of course, such developments But to the extent that churches social structures in the tied - intimately stronger. important

became increasingly

Lord and the teachings had developed as

were not unique to the Netherlands. more Netherlands

than in comparable European countries

in as they had been with the general in destiny shifted passionate. the name and mission theology Dissension of in

zuil structures

- the effect Beliefs became If· in a

of the new turn to the world was proportionally by the elect hardly to mundane weakened politics. authority from

died when the churches DIsagreements and social many control. less which folk.

some wished to move into revolutionary traditional a process doctrine, of drift proponents growing

new ways, others reacted leaving uncertainty fed




and indifference

among ordinary

A general weakening Authority new challenges political of of the became of weaker

of authority field. which of the of and In fact, we have the probed social due persons control and to the

over a wide by by a the

already singled out three factors leading to such developments: regent en churches media behind authorities; the decline

function breakup

combination life

self-doubt the

dissension; independence

and clear


of individualization

traditional of sectoral

community organizations.


56 A very important in family structure aspect of such changes authority. consisted in changes strong

and parental

Both had been

in Dutch social life. Paternal authority was not easily questioned, and especially measures service children taxation). came, all fronts: education (e.g. the religious compulsory and groups dismissal financial the had done everything of women unit from possible legal pub Iic of on to keep women at home applying in addition to moral pressures the on marriage) allowances incentives family

(such as generous as the Youth Dutch basis arrangements rebelled literature in tertiary

and taking

Once the challenge a very SUbstantial

to such long-standing strong amount forms. of modern

it took often particularly

has such conflicts sons and daughters - were particularly illustrated universities prepared one should Women with conference inscription: women's numerous, categorical which note, followed where "Boss

as its main theme. Notably


- for the first time "free" from home, and if not already of present elite groups part of the spes patriae visible. The measure of student success is well radical reforms in the governance of two rebellion7 in of the were (which, catholic action the the Dutch was politicians particular of all walks noteworthy their by a On entry life

by the very

to grant at the first sign of. student

universities) . suit, marking invasion performed Belly." youth the they nor into direct a a well-publicized women the into long group qyrieooLoq Lca L baring neither

belly-dance, run proved

in own


movement, either

particularly a new by an

but this did not prevent importance in government

to assume facilitated

po l Lcy , One response consisted and social security.

of a deliberate individualization

policy of "women's emancipation" of the base of taxation

7 For an extensive survey see H. Daalder, "The Dutch Universities between the 'New Management' and the "New Democracy I II in: H. Daalder and E. Shils eds., Universities. Politicians & Bureaucrats: Europe & America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982, pp. 173-232.


Attitudes of protest against family authority were carried over easily in a wholesale rejection of authority in politics and society. A call for more "democracy" was heard in all manner of organizations, often leading to a large-scale replacement of existing elites by aspiring newcomers disproportionately drawn from what some have called the "new class" of the service sector. If Harry Eckstein8 is right that stable democracy requires a congruence of authority structures, this would explain why developments in Netherlands seemed to some particularly promising and to others particularly unsettling.

The new internationalism Social changes were also influenced by processes of internationalization. I mentioned already two examples of the impact of foreign developments on social life in the Netherlands: the domestic application of anti-vietnam protest methods; and the new involvement of churches with war and the Third World. One should generalize the argument further. Traditionally, there had been an apparent paradox in Dutch attitudes regarding international affairs. On the one hand the country had been involved from the very beginning of its national existence in international commerce and intellectual exchange: it had been correspondingly open to foreign ideas and foreign migrants. On the other hand, there had also been a tendency to contract out of international politics, a withdrawal as far as possible into a policy of neutrality and non-committal comment on the strange world outside Dutch borders.9 Such traditonal attitudes See H. Eckstein, A Theory of Stable Democracy. Princeton, 1..~pr:"'1t.,...!d in Idem, Division and Cohesion in Democra .~~ Study of Norway. Princeton: Princeton university Press, 1966, pp.



9 Three useful publications outlining the background of the Netherlands in foreign affairs are: J.H. Leurdijk ed., The Foreign


were not easily broken, even after 1940 when the realities of power politics and the increasing density of international organizations imposed a more active stance in international affairs. The assumption that the Netherlands had much to offer in matters of peace and international law persisted. The country seemed still destined to be a Gidsland, a "pilot country" brandishing the promises of peace and altruistic behavior on the international scene. Such attitudes remained conspicuous in at least three ways: the feeling that the Netherlands were a particularly reliable and honorable member in international alliances; a belief in the country's special mission for "peace"; and an outspoken Tiersmondisme. All three have a strong moral element in common. Hence, the tendency for many ideological groupings to participate in debates on international politics, with the churches often taking prominent stands. It has led to the development of new "attentive publics" in foreign policy-making, often suspicious of "official" government policies as being too much tied to vested economic and political interests to live up to the "moral" necessities of the age. Such policy makers might themselves be split between "idealists" and "realists", with different divisions of the ministry of Foreign Affairs and different parliamentary committees talking different languages. In groups proclaiming the need for "alternative" policies, persons with church associations often take a prominent role. In fact, both the Catholic Church and the Synods of the major Protestant Churches have come out with a specific rejection of nuclear arms, and detailed policy stands on other armament issues. They committed representatives to an InterChurch Peace Council (IKV)10 which took the leadership in the fight Policy of the Netherlands. Alphen: sijthoff & Noordhoff, 1978: J.J.C. Voorhoeve, Peace, Profits and Principles: A Study of Dutch Foreign Policy. The Hague: Nijhoff, 1979; C.B. Wels, Aloofness & Neutrality: Studies on Dutch Foreign Relations and Policy-Making Institutions. utrecht: Hes, 1982.
10 See notably Philip P. Everts, Public Opinion. The Churches and Foreign Policy: Studies of Domestic Factors in the Making of

59 against Formally, churches Dutch because greatest the the 1979 decision to station new missiles in Europe. of of on the

the actions of the IKV did not represent about particular posed special actions problems taken.

the position

the churches as such, and there was constant controversy the IKV against the stationing soil it staged petition massively special of intermediate for the attended problems rallies for

within the

Even so, the actions nuclear missiles not and organized government,


of Dutch history,

but because







Their effect was eventually posturing

countered by a combination to Eastern Europe: in

of two tactics: deliberate and a conscious August stationing of "Russia Cabinet and concluded overtaken 1984 the Cabinet missiles be good

delays in the making of final decisions, of bridge-building in favor of

indicated that it would decide

on Dutch soil in November as we are or else!" (although the latter peace events efforts of shortly the stationing

1985 unless the USSR level: a kind 1985 the margins) failed to be In November with narrow

would have frozen the number of INF's at its present and Parliament to allow

that the special by international

of the Dutch had missiles, afterwards." only


• Dutch Foreiqn Policy. Ph. D. Dissertation, International Studies, Leiden University, 1983. Insti tute of

" For an extensive inside report on Dutch decision-making see B.J. van Eenennaam, Achtenveertig Kruisraketten: Hooqspanning in de Lage Landen. The Hague: staatsuitgeverij, 1988; for data disproving the suggestion that the Dutch public was particularly aiLing from "Hollanditisfl, see the studies by Eichehberg in note 1 and Everts in note 11.

60 Democracy The waning losses wholly religious different groups new social and Democratization12 changes up - most and also the in notably rapid the apparent in the a electoral to make call for

of traditional

authority showed



large-scale - seemed did a

for two of the three politics


parties Never


"democratization" and early 1970s. Under existed, revival replacing of

sound louder in the Netherlands of "democratization: for small scale, very

than in the 1960s different notions world, a groups

the label the hope


There was, as elsewhere and bureaucratic Republic

in the western communautarian


organizations. in Amsterdam its

Tellingly, named with citizens elections obtained of social welfare to direct of legal

one vociferous some

anarchist group grown from the ranks of the original an independent irony the Oranjevriistaat; a party of pygmies, were made

Provo proclaimed deliberate appropriately a SUbstantial Demands organizations, institutions; There action. of existing

presented themselves vote. for "democratization" notably in

in Amsterdam municipal which

in 1970 as the Kabouterpartij:

in a host social resort



some were rent for years by bitter a widespread of protest easily and a

struggles. provocation

was also, as mentioned, authorities activities society,


led to a deliberate overstepping


rules. Lest it be thought that all such protest actions were rooted in student groups of and "Left" circles from such and ideologies groups only, one as barge should note that direct action spread rapidly to entirely different ranging different

12 For a critical survey of various aspects of political change in the Netherlands see the essays in H. Daalder and Galen A. Irwin eds., Politics in the Netherlands: How Much Change? London: Frank Cass, 1989 (also published as a special issue of West European Politics, Vol. 12, No.1 (January 1989). Appendix 4 contains a relatively extensive survey of English Language Sources for the Study of Dutch Politics (pp. 162-185).

61 shippers medical and lorry drivers, nurses to peasants', firemen, policemen, explain as such as


and others.

Two factors to rewards

developments: authorities

imitation could preferred

and considerations mean a short-cut

of cost-effectiveness. long and did not know forms of group political all as the on the

For confrontation


to contestation

how to cope adequately Yet, neither organization, of a democratic system parties

with publicity. with small-scale action, In fact, could be the basis the whole virtually

the experiments polity

nor the resort to direct nationally.

system seemed to be in crisis.

In the 1967 elections

lost votes, the Catholics

and the Socialists parties appeared the

two largest parties the most. New political scene, finding an easy entry into Parliament low electoral threshold which exists year

through the extremely Netherlands. A successes


Poujadist reform overhaul existing (1968) parties optimis~ parties provided

Peasant Party (Boerenpartij) Democrats existing '66 which

scored remarkable it was joined propagated regime an and

in 1963 and 1967. In the latter party, of the

by a radical institutional declared out of all their which Such new in a One year later


ideological disappointed to as establish the observers

divisions an outdated heritage. radical a new "Christians" Politieke of walked Partij Dutch


on the Left hailed dominant center

as the end of the religious politics. for a new Left majority, could be combined Given their size the not unlikely, within the happy as New such


seemed to spell possibilities of reform and protest

all forces

direct challenge Socialists Left Labor of all Left groups Party.

of the parties of yesterday. Such a development increasing Socialists implied were was

would have to provide the basis for such a a combination forces. acquired Not all which influence Socialist about coalition


developments, politics

an exchange

of traditional

for a new politics

of polarization,

in which only smaller



is 1/150 or two thirds

of 1% of the national



62 tradi tional Radicals eventually party which Left and neophyte parties (such as the Christian '70 as

and Democrats wished

'66) were available as unproven allies. Some traditional practices. Socialist

walked out of the party to form a Democrat-socialist to preserve politics coalition

well as the traditional In this climate two maj or reform fore. One, most actively pleaded Fifth for drastic combination of American

of fragmentation of Dutch

and eager political

"democratization" life came to the


canvassed examples

by the new Democrats reforms, inspired events and recent

'66 party,


no doubt by a in the French in 1962 of a


(which had

led to the


directly elected President) . They criticized system for its highly divisive which implied that multiparty only after elections witnout an arrangements opportunity district prime system. stronger had bargaining be given direct coalitions taken

the existing political representation were formed interparty to replace in a direct preferably in in

form of proportional place, hence.

in Parliament They wished Minister

voter to

decision. a Prime

the existing national

by a new system in which the voters would elect

vote, and to vote separately systems. minister

for Parliament do away with

single-member parliamentary well be the

Admittedly, would

such a direct mandate the existing to

for an executive sustain a Cabinet,

Yet, a Parliament by gaining a new

which no longer needed independence. The

and which was not tied by coalition pacts, might early

14 Having won eight seats in 1971 it was to provide the declining Christian Parties and the Liberals with a margin of strength necessary to retain a parliamentary majority. Ope year later an internal conflict in the Biesheuvel Cabinet led the two DS'70 Cabinet ministers to resign. The DS'70 party shrunk to six seats in the ensuing 1972 elections, and only 1 seat in 1977. It was officially dissolved after it failed to win a seat in 1981. 15 The rationale for such proposals had been developed before the party was formed in two influential articles by a Leiden Law Professor, J. Glastra van Loon, "Kiezen of Delen," Nederlands Juristenblad, (1964), pp. 1135-1142; 1161-1167. Van Loon later became a junior minister and then Chairman of 0'66.

63 success a composed little the of D'66 in the polls of experts in 1967 led to the establishment to a British





commission) clear found system

from all major parties.

It soon became The original

that the proposal support for a directly election at majority

to do away with the parliamentary Prime Minister formateur would be had obtained was watered who entrusted

in the new Staatscommissie. elected the polls


down to one for an absolute forming a in the of the down it as was in a a with

of a cabinet That proposal parties 1971 when

- if given

government. major

only a bare majority government and was voted introduced

Staatscommissie, religious in Parliament closed Party

was dismissed three

by the existing Left parties

and the Liberals, Basically



institutional dichotomy coalition


route in the Netherlands system and hence to

from then onwards. SUbstitute

Another attempt at forcing a deliberate parties after an election by th~ possibility make a clear choice before an election

in the Dutch building by to

for the electorate

- concentrated

on a change

16 Staatscommissie inzake de Grondwet en de Kieswet (generally known by the name of its to chairmen as the Cals-Donner Commission) which published several reports between 1968 and 1970 (The Hague, Staatsuitgeverij) . 17 Drastic reforms would anyhow have been difficult to pass, given the circumstance that a revision of the constitution would have required a two-thirds reading after a dissolution of Parliament which gave a veto power to any grouping making up at least one third of either House of Parliament. Some smaller reforms were introduced, notably an end to compulsory appearance at the ba Ll.oti+box , and the scrapping of a clause which had forbidden electoral pacts between different party lists. The latter decision was intended to increase the chances of combined groupings in the allocation of seats. After a long preparation an entirely new constitution was voted in 1983 which contained mainly technical revisions. Perhaps the most important political reform in that revision was a change in the election of the Upper Chamber, which would no longer be chosen in staggered elections, one half being renewed every three years, but would henceforth be renewed every four years immediately following provincial elections. Being the product of more recent elections potentially increased the political weight of the Upper Chamber somewhat.

64 in party strategies. an influential division of their entered while in Such strategies were given a new rationale working by

young political


in the research

of the Dutch Socialist parliamentary a Left-Center 1981-1982 group cabinet

Labor Party, Ed. van Thijn, who was politician other of - for a time leader bench Socialists for a short and at Van Thijn18 when front the

soon to become a leading practicing


1973 and 1977,


a Minister


present the (appointed) mayor of the City of Amsterdam. had read most international Giovanni concerned Dutch between could sartori with and otto He the dangers party theorists Kirchheimer.

in the 1960s, notably He was particularly in the different and fragmentation three voters

of an increased distinguished democracy"




party systems.

In a good "pendulum accountable. system

could choose


teams; they would thus have a real choice a having a large number of

hold governments

He opposed to such a democracy parties the a instable

a waaierdemocratie, ."fanning" coalitions very lead protest to extreme potential than each parties

out. In such a system voters lacked a direct choice, being left to varying and possibly Being unable might well parties. in which center. voters formed only after elections. vote, dissatisfied and strengthen maul parties the on extremist democratic its own, and

formation of government effective parties end

to deliver

turn towards on the such Rather with

This then could parties To stop mostly

a tangdemocratie, would threats, party

a situation

should change their strategies. competing pact spectrum, parties seeking

fighting enter


to it on the political

close to a clear

one another


into an electoral

18 He wrote a particularly clear and influential essay "Van Partijen naar Stembusaccoorden," in E.C.M. Jurgens et al., Partijvernieuwing? Amsterdam: Arbeiderspers, 1967, pp. 54-73.
19 See in particular Giovanni Sartori, "European Political Parties: The Case of Polarized Pluralism," and otto Kirchheimer, "The Transforrmation of the Western European Party System", in: J. LaPalombara and M. Weiner eds., Political Parties and Political Development. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966, pp. 137176 and 177-200 respectively.

65 mandate electoral from the electorate and a to list govern of on the basis of a joint In that




manner a system of alternating both effective electoral analysis refused much as the simpler two-party Van Thijn's a pre-election religious parties

blocs might arise which would ensure government, entered into (they system was thought to provide.20 and when all

choice and truly accountable was heeded. The Socialists

compact with 0'66 and the PPR-radicals, an invitation at the time in coalition policy of this policy forms

to join such a bloc of polarization. a complicated

formed the government the Left parties The effects than trying sheet, using

with the Liberals) , story,

began a conscious

covering almost twenty years of Dutch parliamentary to tell in detail21, figure I to make the story as clear arranged roughly

history. Rather as possible for

let me try to make up the balance of a multiparty system. had in

anyone not familiar with the complexities The figure shows parties axis. The numbers indicate the Lower House of Parliament the number

along a left-right 1956 100 members,

of seats each party

(wihich had until

20 One might add that Van Thij n thought that the days of traditional membership parties were over. Given that parties had to win votes in an increasingly open market, new forms of electioneering were necessary, as was a new strategy towards political groups: parties should form linkages with such groups, and profit from their mobilization potential not so much through enduring institutional cooperation as had been the case within the former ideological families, but by promoting their interests ad hoc and by remaining alert to political demands in the actuality of political debate and decision-making.

21 I have offered so~ewhat more extensive surveys in English in: "Changing Procedures and Changing Strategies in Dutch Coalition-building," Legislative studies Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 4, (1986), pp. 507-531, and "The Dutch Party System: From Segmentation to Polarization - And then?" in: H. Daalder ed., The Party Systems of Denmark, Austria, switzerland, the Netherlands and Belgium. London: Pinter, 1987, pp. 193-284. For an incisive survey of the issue of institutional reform see R. B. Andeweg, "Institutional Conservatism in the Netherlands: Proposals for and Resistance to Change," in: H. Daalder and G.A. Irwin eds. 1 ~ cit., pp. 42-60.


since then 150 members). had ministers

The shaded areas indicate parties which

in any given cabinet.

FIGURE 1 Distribution of Parliamentary Seats and Composition of Cabinets in The Netherlands, 1946-1986
CPN?vdA 1946 1948 1952 1956 1959 1963 1967 1971 1972 1977 1981 1982 1986 PSP PPR ?vdA (from left to right) CDA 05'70 ?vdV VVD SCP CPV RPF Christian Democratic Appeal Democratic-Socialists '70 Freedom Party (Liberal) People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) - fundamentalist Calvinist - fundamentalist Calvinist - fundamentalist Calvinist 0'66 CDA Not mentioned EVP Lubbers II ARP CHU VVD

Beelll De Quay Marijnen Cals -.-4--1.......... Zijlstra Dejong Biesheuvel I Biesheuvel II Den Uyl

Drees III Drees IV

by name in figure:



Key to Parties CPN PSP PPR PvdA 0'66 KVP ARP CHU

party has ministers in cabinet

- Communists - Pacifists-Socialists - Radicals (left-splinter from religious parties) - Social-Democrats - Democrats '66 - Catholics - Anti-Revolutionary Party - Christian-Historical Union

-Evangelical People's Party (left Christian splinter) KNP - Catholic National Party (right-splinter) RKPN - Roman Catholic Party in the Netherlands (right-splinter) NMP - Retailers' Party CP - Center Party (racist) SP - Peasant Party

party has ministers in cabinet without guaranteeing parliamentary support



The figure governments in all cabinets, in governments The party bar


the participation

of Socialists of religious

in all parties

since 1958, the constant presence and the much more frequent 1967-1971 Parliament after 1959. for the

share of the Liberals shows the process of

fragmentation The deliberate

on the left, the left-center policy to of Left polarization the right of D' 66

with the arrival started left in 1971, to right

of D'66, and the right. the steps descending the increase 0'66. of polarization seemed at first sight successful. in numbers. The three religious in 1971 majority seats of the Left grew from

indicating including The total parties and more

in the combined

seats for all Left parties

The policy

and the Liberals

lost their parliamentary Prime Minister,

so in 1972, In the latter year a cabinet had ten of the sixteen cabinet, Party seats,

was eventually

formed under a Socialist Leftparties parties minority Socialist within

Joop den Uyl, in which the and the two religious in an unwonted support from for the party

had only six ministers, in the Labor

finding themselves only passive

and enjoying

their own parties.

The 1977 election seemed a clear success in that it made a large advance

of no less

than 10 out of 150 seats, while becoming the Left bloc. Yet, certain weaknesses At no time did the aggregate closest itself aggregate parties expense

the clearly dominant

of the Left position

can also be seen. majority, The jointly removed The

Left gain an independent

they came to this was in 1981 when they obtained from to the Left bloc, posturing parties and as the

70 seats. But by that time the D'66 party had deliberately alternative of a secular Left, religious Liberals when the

"reasonable" alike.

strength of the Left parties minus D'66 did not show much increase - and this at least in a period relL;~ous 1971 and parties in the elections partners, the of 1967, Left

lost heavily of their

1972. Also, the gains of the Socialists coalition

in 1977 were clearly at the smaller

68 losing as many seats as the Socialists As important parties countered parties 1980. suffered and the were changes Liberals. The won. of the religious eventually of one (CDA) in they which had had of the three parties

in the position religious

polarization list

by the Left with the presentation in 1977, followed by a merger largely stopped the The Appeal

joint electoral This in

into one .par+y , the Christian-Demcoratic strategy been preceding elections. weak party

hemorrhage Liberals the

traditionally populist

a rather

until Party

1970s profited chose a more first time I shows, them

from a deliberate stance into something the steps on

anti-socialist which

vote, and consciously for the

made the Liberal their vote

of a mass party in the 1970s. As figure increased right and share the the descending to left

they substantially apparently In

in Parliament, making

a more important winner of votes since 1977, the CDA and the

lost by the religious Liberals personal deputy formed all

parties than the Left bloc notably fact, governments, between

in 1977 and 1982.

except a short-lived cabinet in 1981 which fell almost sometimes conflicts Den Uyl. became

as soon as it was formed by bitter, In fact, the cooperation so close and powerful successfully combination two-bloc political applied not the Left parties. system would alternation. between

the CDA premier Van Agt and his Socialist

the CDA and the Liberals lesson with of dichotomous

that it seemed that they were Van Thijn's As the latter seem to develop were

the ones who politics, the a of

not able to oppose majority, any real chance

of CDA and Liberals

an alternative without

The new coalition unwittingly government. and a "managerial" elections gains, albeit called by

led since 1982 by an increasingly Prime Minister, "Rude was the BBC which Lubbers") both provided

powerful (often stable and 1986

and popular Christian-Democrat

Ruud Lubbers

It chose a policy of deliberate style in tone. the The new course


retrenchment new

governing when

plebiscitarian in the great

was upheld scored


electoral ally.

at the expense

of their smaller


69 Being locked out of power (effectively since 1977 as the short interlude traumatic fell small The ., into of the Van Agt II Cabinet from 1981-1982 proved a The disaster for Socialists and 0'66 alike) the Left parties disarray and malaise. from other Party). extent by from

a position

of considerable

Radical Christian PPR became virtually undistinguishable Left parties Party feminists, (such as the older was taken over Communist to a substantial



and lost so many votes that it disappeared of the smaller Left parties and to present of September under the eventually

Paz'Li.amerrt; in 1986 for the first time since 1918. The weak position

of all and anyone electoral their which a

led them

to merge their differences seats from

one common

"Green-Left" advantage system of

list in the elections "larger" group

1989. If they doubled to the d'Hondt

3 to 6, this was gains

due as much

proportional center The entered belief returned coalition

representation wishing

as to a clear gain in votes. Meanwhile, of a non-aligned pacts frustrated in which party in the with anyone. opposition, eventually erstwhile Having of in once more when into durable

0'66 manoeuvred without a stage in the Socialists,

back into a position to enter feeling

increasingly debate

of internal promises a party of

and revision

led to a jettisoning to being politics

of even the last vestiges "democratic accepts system, which

of their

polarization". the normal they became


in a multiparty party

an acceptable politics,


for the Christian-Democrats coalition

1989 the Christian-Democrat-cum-Liberal

broke up. Dutch

so it seems, had come full circle.

How "old" or how "new" is Dutch politics? If we seek to summarize Dutch politics sight contradictory evidence. on the one the changes which have taken place There hand, in

and society, we face conflicting one of

views and at first and neo-

is the image of an increased restoration



conformism Let denying

on the other. us review each of these images have in turn. There is no changes which taken place in Dutch of

the sUbstantial

society, notably the rather fundamental the religious organizational relations, subcultures, networks, a the much fargoing

changes in the churches and greater sectorialization of patterns. individualization authority human As we

and a decline

in traditional

saw, the traditional of polarization there was a and

rules of the game were deliberately direct increase electoral in choice.

challenged same time also to

and an attempt was made to replace coalition politics by a politics At the rapid confrontationist politics

outside the political actions presented hailed seemed by some democratization. accurately:

arena, when more and more groups resorted

direct action tactics. Both the politics of polarization as clear indications Dutch of a general were not

and direct and were of actions process

a clear challenge to existing authority, Their impact

of polarization elites used to a policy

and direct

all the stronger


- or more

were no longer23

of confrontation.

22 I have not referred in .this lecture to one later attempt at changing institutional arrangements in the Netherlands. During the short time he was Minister of the Interior in 1981-1982 Van Thijn charged a new. staatscommissie van Advies inzake de Relatie KiezerBeleidsvorming (the Biesheuvel Commission) with the task to offer new proposals on the procedure of the formation of cabinets and the possibility to increase direct voter choice. The Biesheuvel Commission offered mainly technical suggestions on the earlier matter, and recommended the introduction of a referendum under which voters could challenge an act passed by Parliament, provided some 10.000 voters submitted a request that within six weeks would be supported by 300.000 signatures. The referendum proposal was dutifully discussed by the major parties but soon died, having met with lukewarm support if not clear opposition. Proposals for strengthening direct voter choice in other matters, e.g. a revived proposal for a directly elected Cabinet formateur, of the direct election of provincial governors or municipal mayors, have remained equally abortive. 23 Both in the time of the Republic, and throughout the latter half of the 19th and the first decades of the 20th centuries, mass actions (whether organized or not) have been frquent. sometimes these took on the form of rebellious eruptions, sometimes of well=

71 Hence they acted wich often made nervously, both wavering between magnified allowing for a time and he that as

expression hesitancy direct

and repression. of politicians to create

Such uncertainties, the challenges of legitimacy.

by television for a time compared seemed lasting

to authority

visible in an unprecedented short-cuts

manner, seemed

a crisis

To the extent procedures to


also provided

to favorable. decisions

to the more laborious self-reinforcing. and fundamental All

institutionalized this might point

set up of

for "normal" ways of consultation change.

and decision-making,

the process a picture

But the same coin has also another the strong drive for democracy eventually hopes. and proved abortive. Experiments

side. Generally


and democratization

in Dutch society

There is little left of communautarian sel·fgovernment in a large number generally or got publics action ended mostly in malaise internal bureaucratic to a new habituated

in democratic of new

of institutions the controls. democratic extent particular Once

and organizations elites and mass



confrontationist routinized

24 •

direct become

lost much of its initial one way of advancing as offering a

"lustre". Resorting Having they interests,

to direct actions has become to some at most regarded

are no longer

organized mass actions (as in large-scale petition movements such as a protestant movement in 1853 seeking to stop the return of a Catholic Hierarchy in 1853, petitions by Calvinists and Caatholics to the King not to countersign a Liberal school law in 1878, mass demonstrations for universal suffrage at the time of the opening of Parliament before World War I, and repeated mass actions on matters of armament, e.g. one very large one in 1923 protesting a government plan for a naval expansion whiGh provoked the largest mass demonstration, and the greatest petition movement in Dutch politics, until the mass demonstrations against the INF missiles in the early 1980s.
24 It is now possible to arrange for mass demonstrations at the courtyard of the Binnenhof (which houses the two Chambers of Parliament) in direct consultation with the information services of Parliament which will find Members of Parliament to receive a petition and arranges for the presence of television cameras whenever appropriate.

72 lasting "democratic" organized not become of yesterday become substitute for the persisting politics. merits of of today. new requirements of

and institutionalized have become persuaded of the

In fact, many democrats The few who have have group now of management a vanishing

the managers

the butt of ridicule: (old youth)

they represent

oude jongeren attempt whether change such

who to use a term of the system

1960s are no deliberate politics, a in

longer "with it". to remake through

More importantly, the Dutch

the wider-ranging, one of dichotomous institutions has failed.

a change

in- pol itical

or through

in the strategy can point

of parties, to various

Does this imply full restoration? terms control. One of the strongest examples

Those who like to think at increasing of this



is the deliberate to rein a in

attempt' on the part of the Vatican, numerous conservative establish of greater general reforms "order" outright

aided and abetted by not overly in the Netherlands, would type consist Church by the appointment in the more

catholic groupings bishops. a more

in the Dutch Catholic

conservati ve towards


emphasis tendency

on issues of law and order. A third, "managerial" system. and private enterprise. security

of control

both government relations to

One can see this in various In the area of industrial that of the seem of social also of cost and efficiency and sometimes

in the social

the power of employers those of

seems to have grown,

unions to have weakened. outweigh justice.

considerations codetermination

Does this trend towards more management effect the traditional early There belief would to say, not paradoxical. is on the one hand level, presume greater least in an inclination to pluralism least because the

and bureaucracy is

of Dutch society?

It would be too somewhat at

siuation "settle" there central private



government logically and At

while a

on the other decrease in for and

is a growing The latter government groups and some is

in the need for deregulation freedom theory

and privatization.

intervention organizations.



73 convergence direct government groups among all major ideological and a wish to leave and to private close all and groups. complex, done to groups on the need for less more to lower levels would defies and of balance which seem any


No definite in a manner political in overt

to have been found, however. The relations between state and social remain has simple definition What participation? active political in terms of "pluralism" this any, or "corporatism". interest political citizen data or or

On that the evidence increase involvement

seems clear. Time-series of massive

show no, or hardly

interest unrest

as the picture

a massive wish for "democratization" presumably should make one 25 What survey evidence does show, on the other hand, is a expect. much well been greater the most tolerance personal reveal lasting for unconventional behavior a development political That in behavior as as deviant surveys26 and minors, and beliefs. growth has perhaps and society. of all new was the

in Dutch politics

social women manner made

constant and

permissiveness living, abortion, in


all aspects of private behavior, interreligious behavior suggest, including by older

such as the position


of sexual easier, I

homosexuality, pluralist

lifestyles Netherlands preferred

of cohabitation,

drug use, etc. Such permissiveness traditions

which made it possible life, leaving

for people to continue others well alone in theirs.27

their own

25 For a general survey of the evidence, see J.J.A. Thomassen and J.W. van Deth, "How New is Dutch Politics?", in H. Daalder and G.A. Irwin eds, Ope cit., pp. 61-78. 26 A particularly rich source are the biennial reports of the Sociaal Cultureel Planbueau (The Hague: Staatsuitgeverij) which have appeared since 1974. See also P. Castenmiller, Participatie in Beweging: ontwikkelingen in Politieke Participatie in Nederland. The Hague, Sociaal en Cultureel Planbueau, Cahier 1988/nr. 59, which contains a useful survey and analysis of Dutch studies on participation and political attitudes. 27 For an analysis along these lines, applied to race relations in the Netherlands, see C. Bagley, The Dutch Plural Society: A Comparative study in Race Relations. London: Oxford University Press for the Institute of Race Relations, 1973.

74 In fact, much of daily circles smaller prudent preferred always of work, social but groups. life proceeds, as before, in limited and often have but rather

family or alternative Political wi th the majority Dutch complex have


communities, remains even as now they to

decision-making compromises decisions. remained groups, much

distant, then, secure

to once-for-all

Perhaps, been:

in ·their own interests),



(notably for specific eruptions? The picture more remarkable be according in to citizens Netherlands. Early foreigners make dull. Dutch

at times heavily except


on the whole not overly political

for occasional


is not very exciting their own


It is made all the reveal with the Dutch to the happiest mild in the to so only works

in that Eurobarometer-surveys indications in which the European Communities,

invariably "democracy" began why


on the manner

in my pr-o res's Lona), life I always on the Netherlands pol itics interesting by

any lecture it can be

with a simple phrase: explaining after all,

let me try to


that has not changed,

for all the noise

which the last decades

have occasionally


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