Kentering in de Nederlandse politiek: politieke spelregels en besluitvorming

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‘Als het erop aankomt, gaat in de politiek het partijbelang voor op het landsbelang. Het is hoog tijd voor een hervorming van het kiesstelsel’, betoogde Philippe Wildemast in de Volkskrant van 29.4.2012.

‘Founding father’ van de politicologie in Leiden, professor Arend Lijphart, schreef in zijn boek ‘Verzuiling, pacificatie en kentering in de Nederlandse politiek’ (1968), over de zogenoemde pacificatie-politiek en over de politieke spelregels binnen de Nederlandse politiek…

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De politieke spelregels

De pacificatie-politiek stelde hoge eisen aan de politieke leiders. Om met succes gezamenlijk het politieke beleid te vormen en om onenigheden tussen de zuilen uit de weg te ruimen in een land waar weinig consensus aanwezig was, moesten de middelpuntvliedende krachten van de verzuildheid de leiders steeds duidelijk voor ogen staan. Bovendien moesten de leiders de gave hebben om de hieruit voortvloeiende ziektes van het politieke stelsel òf te voorkomen òf te genezen. In Nederland werd de kans van slagen van de pacificatie-politiek verhoogd, omdat het ‘spel’ van de pacificatie-politiek werd gespeeld volgens een aantal politieke spelregels. Deze spelregels waren geen onderdeel van een alomvattende nationale consensus; ze waren vooral van toepassing op het gedrag van de politieke elites. Uitgedrukt in de terminologie van de theorie van de politieke cultuur behoorden deze spelregels tot de ‘role culture’ van de politieke leiders en niet tot de ‘mass culture’ (1). Zij bestonden uit algemene houdingen en instellingen tegenover de politiek en uit regels omtrent de werkwijze in de politieke besluitvorming; over de inhoud van het beleid zelf zwegen zij echter. Deze regels waren uiteraard geen formele, wettelijk voorgeschreven of vastgestelde regels. Ze kurnen echter worden afgeleid uit het gedrag van de politieke leiders in de pacificatie-periode, vooral gedurende perioden van politieke spanning en crisis (2).

De allerbelangrijkste spelregel van de pacificatie-politiek was dat de politiek juist helemaal niet als een spel mocht worden beschouwd. De politiek was voor de Nederlandse leiders, net als de oorlog voor Von Clausewitz, ‘ein ernstes Mittel für einen ernsten Zweck’ (3). Het was geen spel, maar een ernstige zaak. Het lijkt waarschijnlijk, dat deze houding gedeeltelijk voortkwam uit de traditie van Nederland als handelsland waar de zakenlieden, ook in politiek opzicht, lange tijd de toon aangegeven hebben. Hoe dan ook, de zakelijke Nederlandse politiek had een zeer gunstige invloed op de stabiliteit van het democratische stelsel.

1) G.A. Almond en S. Verba, The Civic Culture: Political Attitudes and Democracy in Five Nations (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1963), blz. 29-31.
2) H. Daalder heeft baanbrekend werk verricht in dit opzicht, vooral in zijn oratie Leiding en lijdelijkheid in de Nederlandse politiek (Assen, Van Gorcum, 1964).
3) C. von Clausewitz, Vom Kriege (Bonn, Dümmlers Verlag, 1966), blz. 107.

http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/lijp001verz01_01/lijp001verz01_01_0010.php

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‘Politieke spelregels en omgangsvormen in de Tweede Kamer, 1866-1940’
http://www.ru.nl/facilitairbedrijf/@793120/pagina/

‘De nieuwe spelregels van de politiek’
http://www.liberales.be/essays/ruttepopper

‘Met minderheidskabinet veranderen politieke spelregels’
http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/2686/Binnenland/article/detail/1030352/2010/10/07/Met-minderheidskabinet-veranderen-politieke-spelregels.dhtml

‘Huidige politieke crisis toont failliet Nederlands kiesstelsel’
http://www.volkskrant.nl/vk/nl/10637/VK-Dossier-Verkiezingen-van-2012/article/detail/3248207/2012/04/29/Huidige-politieke-crisis-toont-failliet-Nederlands-kiesstelsel.dhtml

‘In Memoriam Bart Tromp 1944-2007’
http://www.vn.nl/Standaard-Media-Pagina/In-Memoriam-Bart-Tromp-19442007.htm

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Foto: Arend Lijphart spreekt over zijn werk (Foto: Sabine van der Eijk)

‘Lezing Professor Lijphart in Leiden’
http://www.spilplaats.nl/content/images/stories/archiefdebat/jaargang21/editie2/elsaschrier2.pdf

‘Constitutional Choices for New Democracies’
http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jod/summary/v002/2.1lijphart.html

‘Arend Lijphart on Sharing Power in Africa and the Future of Democracy’
http://www.theory-talks.org/2008/05/theory-talk-8.html

About kruitvat

I am working for the Belgian human rights association 'Werkgroep Morkhoven' which revealed the Zandvoort childporn case (88.539 victims). The case was covered up by the authorities. During the past years I have been really shocked by the way the rich countries of the western empire want to rule the world. One of my blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Je travaille pour le 'Werkgroep Morkhoven', un groupe d'action qui a révélé le réseau pornographique d'enfants 'Zandvoort' (88.539 victims). Cette affaire a été couverte par les autorités. Au cours des dernières années, j'ai été vraiment choqué par la façon dont l'Occident et les pays riches veulent gouverner le monde. Un de mes blogs: «Latest News Syria» (WordPress)/ Ik werk voor de Werkgroep Morkhoven die destijds de kinderpornozaak Zandvoort onthulde (88.539 slachtoffers). Deze zaak werd door de overheid op een misdadige manier toegedekt. Gedurende de voorbije jaren was ik werkelijke geschokt door de manier waarop het rijke westen de wereld wil overheersen. Bezoek onze blog «Latest News Syria» (WordPress) ------- Photo: victims of the NATO-bombings on the Chinese embassy in Yougoslavia
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4 Responses to Kentering in de Nederlandse politiek: politieke spelregels en besluitvorming

  1. kruitvat says:

    Verzuiling, pacificatie en kentering in de Nederlandse politiek – Boek:
    http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/lijp001verz01_01/

    Bart Tromp Stichting: Bibliografie van de werken van Bart Tromp:
    http://www.barttrompstichting.nl/bibliografie/bibliografie_sub

  2. kruitvat says:

    May 26, 2008

    Arend Lijphart on Sharing Power in Africa and the Future of Democracy

    Arend Lijphart is best known for his theory of ‘consociational’ or ‘power sharing’ democracy, which enables the peaceful governance of deeply divided societies. While his power sharing model has been widely criticized, it is also being adopted in countries as diverse as the Netherlands, India, Austria, South Africa, and Malaysia. In this Talk, Lijphart explains why, in the relationship between country size and democracy, ‘size doesn’t matter’, how democracy seems to change since the end of the Cold War and discusses the conditions for democracy in Africa.
    ——
    – What is, according to you, the biggest challenge / principal debate in current IR? What is your position or answer to this challenge / in this debate?

    For me, that is a difficult question, not only because I’m retired, but also because I consider myself to be a straightforward empiricist, so theoretical debates don’t really have implications for my work. In any case, I certainly don’t belong to the rational choice school, nor would I be able to concretely position myself in any purely theoretical debate. I do think you should think things through theoretically before starting to work, but in the end, for me, sound academic work is mainly about sound empirical testing. I have been quicker then most scholars to assert that if you find a correlation between factor A and factor B, and if factor B is a favorable outcome, then you have found something that has policy implications: you like B? Try to introduce A in order to get B! I, for example, spoke about how to raise voter turnout in my presidential address to the American Political Science Association. If you find a way to raise the rate of voter turnout, and if you also like a higher turnout, then you have an obvious policy implication! I don’t understand why social scientists are often reluctant to draw policy implications from there work. I have been influenced by Marxist reading, but my goal has always been to realize the favorable B, so I guess I could call my self eclectic.

    – How did you arrive at where you currently are in IR?

    Well, for me, my personal history has fundamentally influenced my intellectual work. I was born in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, in 1936, and I was raised in small town nearby, called Heerde. Ten years after the war, in 1955, I wanted to go ‘out there’, see something of the world. Since I was too young to enlist in the army, went to college in the US. I was planning to just go there for one year. But one year became two; and after the second, a bachelor degree was just one year more. I gradually became interested in political science, and since that was a study area in the States since the late 19th century, and in Holland just after the Second World War, quality was simply far better in the States. I guess my interest in both ‘politics’ and the ‘international’ came from my family: my father was a small town politician, so we talked about politics a lot, and my mother had lived in Surinam, Germany, Indonesia and Switzerland before moving to Holland, which is why I got interested in international politics.

    Also, I have to admit that living in occupied Holland throughout the Second World War affected my outlook on things. In 1956, for example, I was College in the States, and I noticed how my fellow students reacted differently to events like the Suez Crisis and the Hungarian Crisis. While my America friends wondered about being drafted, getting send overseas or getting caught up in a third World War which they would win, I imagined the horrors of living in an occupied country during the Cold War – be it under communists or Americans.

    I basically started studying the Dutch political system, and in that process I found out that there are a lot more societies with political divisions, like Lebanon and in various societies in Africa. We’re talking about 1968 here, a very turbulent time, with decolonization in the ‘South’ and discussion and sometimes even revolution in the ‘North’. I lived through those turbulent days in the heart of it all, so to speak, for I was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley at that time. While politically the department were I worked was very much divided, intellectually, I was not really affected by what happened; that year, I published my first book and introduced my concept of ‘consociationalism’ or power-sharing theory in the first issue of Comparative Political Studies. That theory of mine holds that these fundamentally divided societies can actually be governed democratically, if there is a sort of overarching, cooperating elite.

    While I first applied it just to the Netherlands, I later found a method to apply it to divided societies more generally. And the most divided society I could find at that time – that was constantly in the news for it – was South Africa. From 1971 on, I went there several times to talk to politicians, civil servants and academics; I became part of the Buthelezi Commission, which recommended applying a consociational model of democracy. By the early eighties they had finally adopted the idea of power sharing at a national level, although what they implemented in the end was just a tiny step towards my model, because most colored voters were not admitted to the political system yet. By thus excluding 72% of the population, they of course made a fundamental error – which is basically why I wrote the book Power Sharing in South Africa in 1985: just to point out the flaws and to lay out my ideas. Luckily, in 1994, they adopted basically all of my recommendations…

    http://www.theory-talks.org/2008/05/theory-talk-8.html

  3. kruitvat says:

    Arend Lijphart: All publications in reverse chronological order:
    http://www.getcited.org/mbrx/PT/99/MBR/11062291

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