Political parties between freedom and restriction

This project examines the desirability of a constitutional and/or legal regulation of the form, organisation, and functioning of political parties. Currently, the Dutch law hardly acknowledges political parties. That is at odds with the political practice, because parties play a crucial role in our representative democracy. Moreover, in this respect the Dutch Law differs from many other Western European countries, where the (constitutional) codification of political parties has been going on for decades. This raises the question whether the Dutch legislator should follow these international examples. In order to answer this question, this project analyses which status and function political parties should have within our democracy. This project runs from 2020 until 2023 and is financed by the Statesman Thorbecke Fund Programme, which is part of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW).

Photo: Nancy Beijersbergen / Nationale Beeldbank

Photo: Nancy Beijersbergen / Nationale Beeldbank

Research group

The team consists of prof. mr. Paul Bovend'Eert, prof. mr. Hansko Broeksteeg, prof. dr. Ronald Tinnevelt and prof. dr. Ben Vermeulen.  Until October 15, 2022, dr. Joris Gijsenbergh was the postdoc in this project.


This project runs from August 2020 to August 2023. The research group will organise two expert meetings, one at the beginning and one halfway through the project. The project will be concluded with a conference of the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (KNAW), where the final report with the key conclusions and recommendations will be presented.

12 November: Expert meeting 2
19 October 2021: Presentation for DemLab
29 September 2021: Lunch lecture
22 January 2021: Expert meeting 1


The project will result in a monograph, articles, op-eds and a final report with key conclusions and recommendations. These results will build upon several earlier publications.


Prof. mr. Hansko Broeksteeg

E-mail: hansko.broeksteeg@ru.nl

Tel. 024-3615834

Prof. dr. Ronald Tinnevelt

E-mail: ronald.tinnevelt@ru.nl

Tel. 024-3615539