The Netherlands: Two forms of nationalization of provincial elections

A.H. Schakel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


Regional government in the netherlands has received scant attention in the literature. Commentators agree that provincial government is not perceived as important by dutch citizens. Van deth and vis (2000, p.103) write that provinces are for most citizens an ‘invisible government tier’ and hendriks (2004, p.149) describes provinces as ‘the authorities’ authority’ — that is, an authority that is only visible and relevant to the authorities and civil servants of central government, provinces and local authorities (see also andeweg and irwin, 2005, pp. 172–173; hulst, 2005, p.101). The public opinion data presented in the online appendix of this book confirms this picture. Regarding the question of which tier of government has the most impact on their daily lives, 28 per cent of respondents opted for the provincial and municipal government, whereas 61 per cent mentioned the national government. As a result, scholars tend to ignore provincial institutions when dealing with subnational government in the netherlands because ‘local government in the netherlands is virtually a synonym for municipal government’ (toonen, 1990, p.291). Therefore, it is not surprising that only few contributions analyze dutch provincial elections. According to van den braak and gosman (2012), there is only one academic source regarding voter behavior in provincial elections (van der eijk et al., 1992), the reason being that provincial elections are ‘so-called second-order elections’.keywordsprovincial governmentvote sharenational electionopposition partipolicy portfoliothese keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRegional and national elections in Western Europe. Territoriality of the vote in thirteen countries
EditorsR. Dandoy, A.H. Schakel
Place of PublicationHoundsmills
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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