High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands


High Road to Culture in Flanders and the Netherlands

How the Dutch Lost their Innocence
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How the Dutch Lost their Innocence

(Philip van Praag) The Low Countries - 2004, № 12, pp. 199-204

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After 2002 the Dutch have had to drastically modify their view of themselves. Theirs is not an idyllic island surrounded by an evil outside world. They are not immune to developments that have taken place in countless other countries. But perhaps other countries still have something to learn from them. The Dutch political system, with its exceedingly low electoral threshold and open media system, has shown what can happen when a populist movement takes shape around a postmodern politician like the late Pim Fortuyn. Further successful movements are still a possibility, not only in the Netherlands but in many other European countries as well. In a number of countries, Fortuyn's success has given the traditional parties something to think about.

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