Democracy transformed? Reforms in Britain and the Netherlands (1990-2010)

F. Hendriks, A.M.B. Michels*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article focuses on democratic reform in Britain and the Netherlands since 1990. The question is whether the UK has become less ‘majoritarian’ and the Netherlands less ‘consensual’, as some have argued. If we look at the formalised institutions of the national system of representative democracy the overall conclusion is that convergence has been rather limited. But, if we extend our analysis to non-formal, sub-national and non-representative democratic institutions also, the picture becomes more nuanced. We also looked at traces of direct democracy. Our analysis shows that both countries have witnessed changes that incline to voter democracy (directly-majoritarian) and participatory democracy (directly-integrative), although the Dutch case exhibits a somewhat stronger tendency to participatory democracy than the British case. A general lesson to be drawn is that thinking in terms of pure types of democracy has become obsolete.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-317
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Public Administration
Volume34
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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