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The Polder Model: Participation and representation in Dutch water management 1500-1900

The project investigates the idea of the polder model. Did the need for intensive cooperation in water management lead to a typical Dutch culture of consensus, compromise, participation and discussion in decision processes?

The project is framed in the larger societal debate about the functions of corporate institutions and the creation of the welfare state. The Dutch water authorities are used as a micro laboratory in order to investigate whether, and if so how, the far-reaching participation of interest groups led to water policies which were beneficial to them. Comparisons with water management in other European countries (Flanders, Germany and England) contribute to the outcome.

Funded by: NWO
Budget: EUR 600.000

Project leader / Main applicant
Prof. Dr. Maarten Prak, Universiteit Utrecht

Dr. Milja van Tielhof, Huygens ING Den Haag

Prof. Dr. Petra J.E.M. van Dam, VU Amsterdam

Dr. Piet van Cruyningen, postdoc Universiteit Utrecht
Dr. Paul Brusse, postdoc Universiteit Utrecht
Heleen Kole MA, aio Universiteit Utrecht