2004
Volume 42, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236

Abstract

Abstract

There is always a risk in parliamentary politics that objective debate will change into personal debate and conflict. On the one hand, orators can choose to launch a personal verbal attack to their opponents. On the other hand, opponents can interpret verbal arguments as a personal attack, even if these words were not meant that way. In the most extreme cases personal honour is damaged and needs to be repaired through other means, including a physical duel. Compared to other young parliaments, the nineteenth century Dutch ‘Second Chamber’ (Tweede Kamer) had a quiet and calm reputation. How did Dutch Members of Parliament handle their emotions in confrontations that risked to become personal? How did the most influential politician, J.R. Thorbecke, deal with these confrontations? Which rules and rituals were at the disposal of MPs to protect themselves against personal politics? And what could contemporary parliamentary debate learn from these Dutch nineteenth-century examples? To find asnwers to these questions, this article explores personal politics in Thorbecke’s Second Chamber.

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2020-07-01
2021-10-24
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References

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