Is the Netherlands Still a Well-Governed Country? Comparisons of the Dutch Government’s Performance With That of the United States And Other Democracies.
Lecture by Em. Prof. Arend Lijphart (UCSD, Political Science)
Recent opinion polls in the Netherlands show sharply increasing disapproval of how the the country is governed. Another indicator of discontent is the rise of extremist protest parties like Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party on the right and the neo-communist Socialist Pary on the left. There are some valid reasons for the Dutch public’s unhappiness. But can we conclude that the Netherlands is no longer a well-governed country? In order to answer this question we should look at basic measures of the Dutch government’s performance compared with that of the United States and other democracies: How effective is the government’s policy-making? Is corruption controlled adequately? What is the quality of democracy? How well are women represented in the legislature and executive? How well does the government do with regard to the protection of the environment, the fairness of its criminal justice system, and its generosity in providing foreign aid?
March 16, 3-4PM, VLSB 2040, followed by a reception. Everyone is welcome, no charge.
Arend Lijphart is Prof. Emeritus of Political Science at the University of California, San Diego. Lijphart’s field of specialization is comparative politics, and his current research is focused on the comparative study of democratic institutions. He is the author or editor of more than a dozen books, including Democracy in Plural Societies: A Comparative Exploration (1977), Democracies: Patterns of Majoritarian and Consensus Government in Twenty-One Countries (1984), Power-Sharing in South Africa (1985), Electoral Laws and Their Political Consequences (1986), Parliamentary versus Presidential Government (1992), Electoral Systems and Party Systems: A Study of Twenty-Seven Democracies (1994), and Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in Thirty-Six Countries (1999; 2nd ed., 2012). Lijphart has received numerous awards throughout his prestigious career in recognition of his groundbreaking research. In 1989, he was elected to the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, from 1995-96 served as President of the American Political Science Association, and in 2010 he received the Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeritus Award.