Dutch politics has experienced quite some change since the 1980s. In the past, these changes are due to contextual developments like the ending of the Cold War and the broadening and deepening of the EU. At the same time Dutch society has changed as well as its socio-economic profile and performance. This special issue examines the effects of these changes on the working of the Dutch political system. In a nutshell it signifies a farewell to consociationalism.