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Framing Immigrant Integration

Framing Immigrant Integration: Dutch Research-Policy Dialogues in Comparative Perspective

Peter Scholten
Copyright Date: 2011
Pages: 320
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  • Book Info
    Framing Immigrant Integration
    Book Description:

    Debates on immigrant integration are often caught up in what academics and politicians like to call 'national models of integration'. Researchers and policymakers long for common ground. In the Netherlands, their symbiosis is fed by multiculturalism, something for which Dutch society has long been seen as exemplary. Still, the incorporation of migrants remains one of the country's most pressing social and political concerns. This book thus challenges the idea that there has ever been a coherent or consistent Dutch model of integration. Analysing how immigration is framed and reframed through diverse dialogues, it provides a highly dynamic understanding of integration policy and its evolution alongside migration research. Focus falls on the Netherlands of the past three decades, yet as these findings are held up to the cases of France, Germany and the United Kingdom, insights emerge to more universal questions. Just what are the current political and academic controversies all about? How can governments respond to the challenges of our time? And what contribution can social scientists make? This title is available in the OAPEN Library -

    eISBN: 978-90-485-1360-4
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. 1-4)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. 5-6)
  3. Preface
    (pp. 7-10)
  4. Abbreviations
    (pp. 11-12)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 13-28)

    Dutch society has long been held up as an exemplary case of successful multiculturalism. Yet, the ‘multicultural model’ is now widely – and sometimes wildly – rejected by large parts of the population. The controversies about this model have become a symbol of how contemporary governments struggle to tame complex, heated issues such as immigrant integration and, more generally, how they cope with rapid societal transformation as the result of seemingly unstoppable phenomena like globalisation, migration and cultural diversification. The incorporation of migrants has evolved into a major social and political concern for contemporary Dutch society. Now that the modernist...

  6. 2 Research-policy dialogues and the framing of immigrant integration
    (pp. 29-66)

    The focus of this book is on how research-policy dialogues have contributed to the rise and fall of specific frames of immigrant integration. It renounces the historical-institutionalist tradition of ‘models thinking’. Instead of studying the genesis and persistence of national models of integration per se, this study focuses on the much more dynamic ways researchers and policymakers frame immigrant integration in a setting characterised by a multiplicity of models of integration. Furthermore, this book focuses on the diverse ways in which research-policy dialogues can be organised within the dynamic process of problem framing. Although it is widely recognised that the...

  7. 3 Frames and frameshifts in Dutch immigrant integration policy and research
    (pp. 67-86)

    The Netherlands is often seen as being representative of the so-called multicultural model of integration. Historically, the Dutch have had a tendency to recognise cultural groups in society and to emancipate them through structures that reflect the specifically Dutch history of ‘pillarisation’. In fact, it is because of the alleged success of this multicultural model in accommodating cultural differences in society that scholars and policymakers from Europe have shown great interest in the Dutch case.

    However, there has been surprisingly little empirical research into how this model of integration evolved or whether there are alternative models that may apply to...

  8. 4 Technocracy and the construction of the Dutch multicultural model (1978-1983)
    (pp. 87-134)

    The preceding chapter illustrated how a multiculturalist problem frame emerged in both policy and research during the end of the 1970s and the early 1980s. The approach was to become internationally renowned – termed the ‘Dutch multicultural model’. This chapter will venture into the strategic and symbiotic co-evolution of this frame in policy and research. More precisely, it examines the minorities policy and the minorities research paradigm.

    As will be seen, the configuration of research-policy relations in this period played a major role in keeping the Dutch debate on immigrant integration ‘behind closed doors’ (see e.g. Guiraudon 1997). Indeed, as...

  9. 5 Enlightenment and the rise of universalism (1989-1994)
    (pp. 135-182)

    The multiculturalist approach that had been developed in the early 1980s remained the cornerstone of formal Dutch policies throughout the decade. This is the period for which the Dutch approach would become so internationally known as a representative of the multicultural model, although Dutch policies were rarely phrased in terms of ‘multiculturalism’. In the 1980s, the ethnic minorities policy was institutionalised and many of its elements implemented. Even though many areas of social policy in the Netherlands were reformed during this decade due to economic depression and a stringent politics of welfare state retrenchment, for a long time the domain...

  10. 6 The engineering of the assimilationist turn (2000-2004)
    (pp. 183-228)

    Around the turn of the millennium, many Western European countries experienced what has been described as ‘an assimilationist turn’ in their immigrant integration policies (Joppke & Morawska 2003). The Netherlands is, arguably, the country where such an assimilationist turn manifested itself in a significant manner, at least in national policy discourse. In ‘the long year of 2002’, as it was called (see section 6.1.1), immigrant integration was to become the central issue in one of the most dramatic episodes in Dutch post-war political history, involving the rise and subsequent murder of the populist politician Fortuyn. At the same time, the multicultural...

  11. 7 Dutch exceptionalism? Immigrant integration research and policies in France, Germany and the United Kingdom
    (pp. 229-276)

    The Dutch case has revealed very specific patterns of research-policy dialogues over the past decades. First, it has shown unique relations between the structure of the research-policy nexus and the framing of immigrant integration. In this sense, it reflects Gusfield’s (1976) premise that the structure and the culture of public problems must be considered inherently connected. The technocratic symbiosis of the 1980s helped keep policymaking behind closed doors, enabling a ‘logic of minorities’ in problem framing that was relatively insulated from broader societal developments. The enlightenment configuration of the early 1990s helped punctuate this symbiosis and link immigrant integration to...

  12. 8 Conclusion: Towards reflective research-policy dialogues?
    (pp. 277-288)

    This book has ventured into both the political and academic controversies on immigrant integration in the Netherlands over the past decades. Rather than honing in on a specific ‘model of integration’ or the famous – or infamous – Dutch multicultural model of integration itself, it has analysed the multiplicity of frames of immigrant integration. Immigrant integration is an essentially contested concept in the Netherlands, with policymakers adopting a new frame of integration almost once every decade or so. This significantly challenges the view in national and international literature that the Dutch case represents a coherent, consistent multicultural model. Modelling the...

  13. Notes
    (pp. 289-300)
  14. References
    (pp. 301-314)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 315-320)