Dutch municipalities have taken several institutional measures to promote citizen participation. The used measures differ widely, however, from one municipality to the next: some try to innovate, while others keep the level of participation measures at the lowest possible level. This study tries to explain those differences. Contrary to other studies, it uses a quantitative approach and does not focus on the impact of participatory policies. Instead, the article aims to better understand what drives institutional design. The article demonstrates that differences between municipalities can best be explained by variables at the institutional and political levels, although it also observes that possible explanatory variables correlate highly.