The cultural factor in Dutch integration policy
Paper presented at the 3rd ECPR Conference Ė Budapest, 8-10 September 2005.
Open Section (31) 17: What the hell happened to the Netherlands? Public culture and minority integration in the country of (in)tolerance.
This paper closely scrutinizes two assumptions regarding Dutch integration policies:
(1) they were a failure on the socio-economic front;
(2) facilitating pluralism was what Dutch cultural integration policy was all about.
On the basis of an indepth study of integration policies over the past thirty years, the authors conclude that both assumptions have to be refuted. That there exists a wider cultural gap between Muslims and natives in the Netherlands than in most other European countries is not due to non-interfering multicultural policies but to the increasingly monocultural nature of native Dutch citizens. This rather homogeneous, progressive nature explains the cultural gap with Muslim inhabitants, who adhere to conservative morals in the Netherlands as they do elsewhere in Europe.