What happened to the popularity of the Polder Model? Emergence and disappearance of a political fashion

Luchien Karsten*, Kees van Veen, Annelotte van Wulfften Palthe, A. van Wulften Palthe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This article studies the rise and fall of the popular Polder Model concept from a fashion perspective. By applying both the epistemological and methodological tools developed to study management fashions, the authors focus on the events connected to this political fashion. First, a description of the content of the Polder Model is provided in which it is suggested that the concept contains two different meanings, one rooted in the Dutch decision-making style (neocorporatism) and one in a specific policy mix (i.e. problem solving) concerning labour and social welfare policies. Second, an analysis is given of the genesis of the concept and its popularity over time. Third, attention paid in other countries to the model is discussed and also criticism of the model. The article concludes with a discussion on the similarities and differences between fashions in the discourses of management and of politics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-65
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Sociology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2008


  • accord of Wassenaar
  • bell-shaped curve
  • management fashion
  • Polder Model
  • political fashion

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