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Coming to Terms with Superdiversity

The Case of Rotterdam

  • This open access book contributes to a better understanding of how cities respond to the growing mobility and diversity of their populations

  • Focusses beyond how and why superdiversity emerges in specific social settings

  • Addresses the key societal questions on the diversification of cities

Part of the book series: IMISCOE Research Series (IMIS)

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Table of contents (13 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-vi
  2. Introduction

    • Peter Scholten, Maurice Crul, Paul van de Laar
    Pages 1-18Open Access
  3. Superdiversity in Rotterdam

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 19-19
    2. Rotterdam’s Superdiversity from a Historical Perspective (1600–1980)

      • Paul van de Laar, Arie van der Schoor
      Pages 21-55Open Access
    3. The Second and Third Generation in Rotterdam: Increasing Diversity Within Diversity

      • Maurice Crul, Frans Lelie, Elif Keskiner
      Pages 57-71Open Access
    4. Between Choice and Stigma: Identifications of Economically Successful Migrants

      • Marianne van Bochove, Jack Burgers
      Pages 73-83Open Access
  4. Rotterdam’s Response to Superdiversity

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 85-85
    2. Local Politics, Populism and Pim Fortuyn in Rotterdam

      • Julien van Ostaaijen
      Pages 87-106Open Access
    3. Laboratory Rotterdam. Logics of Exceptionalism in the Governing of Urban Populations

      • Friso van Houdt, Willem Schinkel
      Pages 133-151Open Access
    4. Rotterdam as a Case of Complexity Reduction: Migration from Central and Eastern European Countries

      • Erik Snel, Mark van Ostaijen, Margrietha ‘t Hart
      Pages 153-170Open Access
  5. Rotterdam in Comparative Perspective

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 171-171
    2. The ‘Integration’ of People of Dutch Descent in Superdiverse Neighbourhoods

      • Maurice Crul, Frans Lelie
      Pages 191-207Open Access
    3. Superdiversity and City Branding: Rotterdam in Perspective

      • Warda Belabas, Jasper Eshuis
      Pages 209-223Open Access
    4. Conclusions: Coming to Terms with Superdiversity?

      • Maurice Crul, Peter Scholten, Paul van de Laar
      Pages 225-235Open Access
    5. Epilogue: What’s the Matter with Rotterdam?

      • Steven Vertovec
      Pages 237-241Open Access

About this book

This open access book discusses Rotterdam as clear example of a superdiverse city that is only reluctantly coming to terms with this new reality. Rotterdam, as is true for many post-industrial cities, has seen a considerable backlash against migration and diversity: the populist party Leefbaar Rotterdam of the late Pim Fortuyn is already for many years the largest party in the city. At the same time Rotterdam has become a majority minority city where the people of Dutch descent have become a numerical minority themselves. The book explores how Rotterdam is coming to terms with superdiversity, by an analysis of its migration history of the city, the composition of the migrant population and the Dutch working class population, local politics and by a comparison with Amsterdam and other cities. As such it contributes to a better understanding not just of how and why super-diverse cities emerge but also how and why the reaction to a super-diverse reality can be so different.

By focusing on different aspects of superdiversity, coming from different angles and various disciplinary backgrounds, this book will be of interest to students and scholars in migration, policy sciences, urban studies and urban sociology, as well as policymakers and the broader public.

Editors and Affiliations

  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    Peter Scholten

  • Free University Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Maurice Crul

  • Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    Paul van de Laar

About the editors

Peter Scholten is associate professor Public Policy & Politics at Erasmus University Rotterdam. He is coordinator of the interdepartmental research cluster on the Governance of Migration and Integration. His research focuses on issues of intercultural governance, multi-level governance and knowledge & public policy. Also, he is co-editor in chief of the journal Comparative Migration Studies. Peter also partners in various research projects, including AMICALL and IMPACIM (COMPAS Oxford), PROSINT (ICMPD) and FP7 project UniteEurope. In addition, Peter is fellow of the Montesquieu Institute and member of the board of the Center for History of Migrants and associate researcher at the Center for Migration Policy and Society (COMPAS), at Oxford University. Peter is also coordinator of the IMISCOE research cluster on ‘Research-policy dialogues on migration and integration in Europe, member of the Immigration Research Group of the Council for European Studies (CES) and senior-member of the Netherlands Institute for Government (NIG).  

Maurice Crul is a professor at the Free University in Amsterdam and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He is the international chair of IMISCOE, a network of excellence in the fields of migration and diversity. In the last twenty years Maurice Crul mostly worked on the topic of education and children of immigrants, first within the Dutch context and in the last ten years in a comparative European and transatlantic context. Maurice Crul coordinated the international TIES project (The Integration of the European Second generation) which involved partners in eight European countries and a survey with 10.000 respondents. Next to this he was also one of the principal investigators of the transatlantic project ‘Children of Immigrants in School’. Together with John Mollenkopf, he published The Changing Face of World Cities. The second generation in Europe and the US (Russell Sage Foundation). In 2017 Maurice Crul was awarded the ERC advanced grant for the project Becoming a Minority (BAM) on the integration of people of native descent in majority minority cities in Europe.

Paul van de Laar was trained as economic historian and got his PhD form the Tinbergen Institute, School of Economics Erasmus University (1991). He continued his professional career in the interdisciplinary field of urban history and museum studies. His latest research is on comparative port history, migration and transnational developments in relation to urban transformations. Besides his academic research and teaching he is as managing director of Museum Rotterdam (the City Museum) responsible for the new focus on city museums and their role in a changing urban context, in particular superdiversity.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Coming to Terms with Superdiversity

  • Book Subtitle: The Case of Rotterdam

  • Editors: Peter Scholten, Maurice Crul, Paul van de Laar

  • Series Title: IMISCOE Research Series

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Springer Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-319-96040-1Published: 10 December 2018

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-319-96041-8Published: 26 November 2018

  • Series ISSN: 2364-4087

  • Series E-ISSN: 2364-4095

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: VI, 241

  • Number of Illustrations: 13 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: Migration, Urban Politics, Urban History

Buy it now

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • Durable hardcover edition
  • Dispatched in 3 to 5 business days
  • Free shipping worldwide - see info

Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout

Other ways to access