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The Demography of Race and Ethnicity in The Netherlands: An Ambiguous History of Tolerance and Conflict

  • Melissa F. Weiner
Part of the International Handbooks of Population book series (IHOP, volume 4)

Abstract

The Netherlands is known worldwide for their tolerance and multiculturalism. In addition to their permissive drug and prostitution policies and early adoption of gay marriage legislation, the country has long acted as a “Promised Land” for religious refugees and, more recently, implemented explicit multicultural policies of the 1980s and 1990s to promote immigrant immigration. Thus, The Netherlands has long been a receiving nation for immigrants, particularly those seeking religious freedom and opportunities in a thriving trade-based economy. This history, combined with the Dutch history of colonialism, resulting in migrants from former colonies, and their recruitment of “guest workers” in the 1960s and 1970s, has resulted in considerable racial diversity among the population, as well as significant stratification and conflict. Recently, like much of Europe, Dutch popular and political discourse has shifted to the right alongside a corresponding enactment of restrictive immigration policies that reversed many of their multicultural policies. This chapter highlights the history of race, racial diversity, and racism in The Netherlands that laid the foundation for its diversity today. Following this historical overview, the chapter addresses current demographic and socioeconomic trends, contemporary immigration policies, and racial attitudes and concludes with speculation of the nation’s racial future.

Keywords

Racial Identity Dutch Government Dutch Society Racial Attitude Immigrant Integration 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyThe College of the Holy CrossWorcesterUSA

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