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    Since 1994, the concept of citizenship is a central concept in Dutch Integration policy for immigrants and their descendants. Gradually, the concept has become a moral category of good and active citizenship, associated with all kinds of obligations. Since the turn of the century it is even used to urge on – especially – Muslims to assimilate to mainstream culture and fundamental norms and values. This contrasts sharply with the Dutch multicultural policy of the 1980s. How is it possible for political and policy discourse to change in such a radical way within a few decades? And what role played the concept of citizenship in these changes? This article seeks to answer these questions by investigating how the concept of citizenship has been interpreted and applied differently over time in Dutch discourse on integration policy, focussing on issues of unity versus ethno-cultural diversity. With this purpose, first, the concept of citizenship is defined and differentiated in four dimensions and various perspectives. Next, Dutch political and policy discourse of the last 25 years is examined in broad lines. Subsequently, the Dutch discourse is analysed in more detail in debates of the last decades on dual nationality and on civic integration policy.


Alfons Fermin
Alfons Fermin is als senior onderzoeker verbonden aan het Rotterdams Instituut voor Sociaal-wetenschappelijk BeleidsOnderzoek (RISBO) van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. Correspondentiegegevens: Dr. A. Fermin Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam RISBO Postbus 1738, kamer T11-08 3000 DR Rotterdam fermin@fsw.eur.nl
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