PhD defence by Karin van Leuween – Københavns Universitet

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25. marts 2013

PhD defence by Karin van Leuween

On March 25 Karin van Leuween will defend her PhD-thesis with the title Uit het spoor van Thorbecke. Grondwetsherziening en staatsvernieuwing in Nederland, 1883-1983 on the history of the 1983 general revision of the Dutch constitution from a perspective of constitutional traditions.

Read more about the event here (in Dutch).


The thesis consists of a source edition of constitutional committees between 1883 and 1983 and a monograph on the history of Dutch constitutional debate between 1945 and 1983. The selective source edition highlights the most important debates in Dutch constitutional committees regarding the nature of the Dutch constitution on the one hand and political representation on the other hand. The monograph offers the first comprehensive analysis of the history of the 1983 general revision of the Dutch constitution from a perspective of constitutional traditions. It analyses how perceptions of the constitution influenced decision-making on constitutional revision and state reform in Dutch post war politics. Three traditions of constitutional thought are discerned that influenced the post war constitutional debate and thus contributed to the 1983 general revision, which is considered relatively disappointing in terms of state reform. By uncovering these perceptions of the constitution, the monograph further highlights how the apparently ‘cosmetic’ reforms such as the introduction of a special chapter on human rights in spite of their limited effectiveness reflected an integral part of the development of the Dutch post war state. The constitutional reforms that in the early 1950s gave way to an unprecedented role for international (and European) law in the Dutch legal system also are discussed in the thesis.