Politics of the Low Countries

Article

Consensus Democracy and Bureaucracy in the Low Countries

Keywords consensus democracy, bureaucracy, governance system, Lijphart, policymaking
Authors Frits van der Meer, Caspar van den Berg, Charlotte van Dijck, Gerrit Dijkstra en Trui Steen
Author's information

343164 Frits van der Meer
Frits van der Meer, Professor Institute Public Administration, Leiden University.

343167 Caspar van den Berg
Caspar van den Berg, Campus Fryslân, University of Groningen.

343170 Charlotte van Dijck
Charlotte van Dijck, PhD Fellow Research Foundation Flanders (FWO), KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.

343173 Gerrit Dijkstra
Gerrit Dijkstra, Senior Lecturer, Leiden University.

343176 Trui Steen
Trui Steen, Professor, KU Leuven Public Governance Institute.
  • Abstract

      Taking Lijphart’s work on consensus democracies as our point of departure, we signal a major shortcoming in Lijphart’s focus being almost exclusively on the political hardware of the state structure, leaving little attention for the administrative and bureaucratic characteristics of governance systems. We propose to expand the Lijphart’s model which overviews structural aspects of the executive and the state with seven additional features of the bureaucratic system. We argue that these features are critical for understanding the processes of policymaking and service delivery. Next, in order to better understand the functioning of the Netherlands and Belgium as consensus democracies, we provide a short analysis of the historical context and current characteristics of the political-administrative systems in both countries.

Please sign in to access the article



Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.

Purchase access

You can purchase online access to this article. You will receive 24 hrs access @ € 17,50 (excl. VAT).

24 hrs access € 17,50 (excl. VAT)

Activate your code

If you have an access code, please activate it here.