The Nativist Triangle: Sexuality, Race and Religion in the Netherlands

  • Markus Balkenhol
  • Paul Mepschen
  • Jan Willem Duyvendak


This chapter offers an innovative analysis of Dutch nativism by looking at the intersection of race, religion and sexuality. In the Netherlands, we argue, nativism exercises its exclusionary power through this triangular construction of alterity. Sex talk in the Netherlands constructs a number of distinct racio-cultural others: Muslim citizens (in particular, girls and women) are portrayed as anachronistic remnants from an age of sexual oppression that Dutch society is deemed to have left behind, while ‘black’ sexuality alternates between the exotic and the abject. While nativist discourse may seem rigid in its division of Dutch society into ‘autochthones’ and ‘allochthones’ the appearance of rigidity, we argue, derives precisely from nativism’s situational flexibility. The idea that there are two neatly delimited camps is produced by the ability of nativist discourse to switch registers on a dime, strategically shifting between invoking race and culture/religion.


Dutch Society Hate Speech Nativist Discourse Dutch Nation Racist Discourse 
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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Markus Balkenhol
    • 1
  • Paul Mepschen
    • 2
  • Jan Willem Duyvendak
    • 3
  1. 1.Utrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Leiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  3. 3.University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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