Introduction

5 essential reads to understand the rise of right wing populism in the Netherlands

What is wrong with the Dutch? Despite persistently ranking among the happiest countries in the world, the Netherlands is in the grasp of deep political dissatisfaction.

General elections will be held on March 15 and the right wing populist party of Geert Wilders stands a good chance to become the biggest party. In an attempt to win votes with the liberal party of the incumbent Prime Minister Mark Rutte has also made a move to the right. With many new contenders hoping to win seats at the expense of the mainstream parties, the country is bracing for an electoral shake-up.

At the same time, the eyes of the world are set on the Dutch. The Netherlands is the first to hold general elections in a European series, with France and Germany to follow. This makes the Netherlands a testing ground for the electoral potential of populism in Western Europe.

De Groene Amsterdammer, a leading independent weekly since 1877, has in the course of its 140 years of existence been on the forefront of covering political change, both nationally and globally. True to its ethos of journalistic independence, it has done so with an open view and free of partisanship

In the run-up to the Dutch elections De Groene Amsterdammer has selected and translated the best of its recent political journalism. These are five essential reads to understand the rise of right wing populism in the Netherlands.