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Reading: ‘The Netherlands and the Polder Model’ - ‘Nederland en het poldermodel’


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‘The Netherlands and the Polder Model’ - ‘Nederland en het poldermodel’


Joost Jonker

Royal Netherlands Historical Society
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With the new textbook Nederland en het poldermodel [The Netherlands and the Polder Model] by Utrecht History Professors Maarten Prak and Jan Luiten van Zanden the polder model may be said to have achieved full academic respectability. Asked to compress 1,000 years of Dutch economic and social history into a single 300-page volume targeted at a popular audience, the authors chose to do so by analysing the country’s ups-anddowns entirely in terms of its peculiar type of organisation, the polder model’s presumed strengths and weaknesses.


The BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review editors asked four experts in the social and economic history of the Low Countries, Karel Davids and Marjolein ’t Hart (vu Amsterdam/Huygens ing), Jan de Vries (Berkeley), and Bert De Munck (University of Antwerp) to review it, paying particular attention to what the conceptual approach adds to our understanding of the country’s marked economic fluctuations during the past


This introduction is part of the discussion forum 'Nederland en het poldermodel' (Maarten Prak and Jan Luiten van Zanden).

How to Cite: Jonker, J., 2014. ‘The Netherlands and the Polder Model’ - ‘Nederland en het poldermodel’. BMGN - Low Countries Historical Review, 129(1), pp.88–89. DOI:
Published on 14 Mar 2014.


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