, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 331-348,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 21 Dec 2010

Beyond the Dutch “Multicultural Model”

Abstract

The Netherlands has been internationally known for its multicultural approach to immigrant integration. The aim of this article is to delve into the “coproduction” by researchers and policy makers of this so-called Dutch “multicultural model”. As this article shows, researchers and policy makers have in The Netherlands been joined in several discourse coalitions. Indeed, one of these discourse coalitions supported an integration paradigm with multicultural elements, but at least two other types of discourses can be identified in The Netherlands, one of more liberal–egalitarian nature and one more assimilationist. In spite of the persistent image of The Netherlands as a representative of the multicultural model, it is in fact this multiplicity of discourses that characterizes the Dutch case. Moreover, labeling Dutch integration policies as “multiculturalist” has to be understood as a performative act by both politicians and scholars who disapprove of Dutch integration policies. In that sense, the retrospective labeling of policies as multiculturalist is a very specific kind of coproduction of a policy frame.