A Tiny Spot on the Earth

The Political Culture of the Netherlands in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Century

Piet de Rooy

A Tiny Spot on the Earth

Piet de Rooy

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

346 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2015
Cloth $130.00 ISBN: 9789089647047 Published May 2015 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada
In this survey of the Dutch political culture of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Piet de Rooij reveals that the “polder model” often used to describe economic and social policymaking based on consensus is a myth. Instead, modern political culture in the Dutch Low Countries began with a revolution and is rife with rivalries among political and ideological factions. He argues that because of its extremely open economy, the country is vulnerable to external political, cultural, and economic pressures, and Dutch politics is a balancing act between profiting from international developments and maintaining sovereignty. The sudden rise of populism and Euroscepticism at the turn of the millennium, then, indicated a loss of this balance. Shining new light on the political culture of the Netherlands, this book provides insights into the polder model and the principles of pillarization in Dutch society.


1. Long Live the Republic!

1798: The Constitution

2. A New Society is Being Created Here

1813: The Nation State

3. Everything is a Motley

1848: Parliamentary Democracy

4. Following the American Example

1879: The Political Party

5. Justice and Love

Fin de siècle: Ideology

6. The Nation is Divided into Parties

1930: The Pillarized-Corporate Order

7. Fundamental Changes in Mentality

1966: The Cultural Revolution

8. That’s Not Politics!

2002: Populism

9. A Tiny Spot

Political culture




Index of persons

Review Quotes
“Much more than a discussion of Dutch 19th- and 20th-century political culture, this is, in fact, a very detailed political history from c. 1800 to the present. . . . Recommended.”
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