Politics of place. Political representation and the culture of electioneering in the Netherlands, c. 1848-1980s
until further notice
Number of pages
SourceEuropean Review of History: Revue Europeenne d'Histoire, 23, 3, (2016), pp. 486-507
29 oktober 2015
Article / Letter to editor
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European Review of History: Revue Europeenne d'Histoire
SubjectEurope and its Worlds after 1800; Repertoires of Representation
This article is a first attempt to explore how a politics of place has manifested itself in Dutch electoral culture since the middle of the nineteenth century. It aims to move beyond a narrow interpretation of a politics of place as an ‘old-fashioned’ feature of electoral politics to be associated with a distinct, long-gone era of political representation. Instead, this article shows how it was continuously negotiated. This gives us a better understanding of the changing nature of political representation in the Netherlands. Compared to Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century, local senses of community and their clash with ideology-based party politics were far less prominent. There was, however, on-going debate about the degree to which Parliament should reflect the various regions of the country, so that local party associations and voters could feel represented and address ‘their’ MP for issues pertaining to their locality. Moreover, after 1918 parties were concerned about the need to maintain political communication on the spot to counter lack of political involvement and feelings of alienation among the electorate. The article ends with a call for further reflection on the nature of clientelism in the Netherlands by exploring direct interaction between voters and their representatives.
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