Slecht gekozen | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 128, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



Elections are generally viewed as a crucial aspect of modern political representation. Recently political theorists and historians have questioned this claim and are opening up the theoretical and historical understanding of representation. In this article we too question the self-evident relationship between representation and election. We do this by showing that the meaning and structure of Dutch elections shifted significantly during the long nineteenth century, and that these shifts are connected to changing views on political representation. The article claims that the (potential) dangers and corrupting practices that seemed to threaten elections at different times reflected opinions on the goal of elections and the understanding of what constituted proper representation. The eras of revolution, restoration, liberal parliamentarianism, and party politics had their distinct notions of representation and corresponding electoral systems. The history of parliamentary elections therefore shows the subjectivity and problematic nature of the relationship between election and representation.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): corruption; elections; history; politics; representation
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