Montesquieu Institute: from science to society

Lecture Series on Parliamentary History

"The Parlement: the Prime Minister, Origin and Political Role 1795-today"

In the autumn of 2008 the Montesquieu Institute, together with the Department of Political Science at the University of Leiden, offered a series of seven lectures on Parliamentary History. The lectures were held at Campus The Hague. Prof. Dr. J. Th. J. van den Berg was the lecturer. The lectures were conducted in Dutch.

See the official brochure (in Dutch)




The Chair of Parliamentary History looks at the historical development of the National Assembly. The roots of this assembly lie in the Batavian Republic, founded in 1795. On March 1st 1796 the nationale assembly held its very first session.

Nowadays the National Parliament has many faces. It serves as an arena where political differences are settled. It also functions as a market place, where the societal interests are weighed and traded. Furthermore, the continuous confrontation with government and other state bodies creates an intriguing area of tension.

In the supporting literature the general outline of parliamentary history will be discussed comprehensively. During the lectures the focus will shift to a more specific theme: the irresistible growth of an 'unwanted child' within the Dutch parliamentary system, the position of Prime Minister.




  • P.J. Oud en J. Bosmans, 'Staatkundige vormgeving in Nederland, part I: 1840- 1940', Assen (Van Gorcum), 1997;
  • J. Bosmans, 'Staatkundige vormgeving in Nederland, part II: de tijd na 1940', Assen (Van Gorcum), 1999.


  • R.B. Andeweg (red.), Ministers en ministerraad, Den Haag (Sdu), 1990;
  • H. te Velde e.a., 'Omtrent de minister-president. De positie van de minister-president in historisch perspectief', z.p.,z.j., (Den Haag, Ministerie van BZK, 2006), 7 - 45 en 69 - 114;
  • J.P. Rehwinkel e.a., 'De positie van de minister-president', Zwolle (Tjeenk Willink), 1994;
  • J.L.W. Broeksteeg e.a., 'De minister-president in vergelijkend perspectief', Den Haag (Sdu), 2004;
  • J.L.W. Broeksteeg en L.F.M. Verhey (red.), 'Een versterking van de minister-president?', Deventer (Kluwer) 2005.

 Approximately 980 pages in total.