Abrupt Shifts in the Dutch Integration System: Analysis of Dutch Integration Policies

Analysis of the Dutch integration policies

  • Sebastian Medina Camacho Simon Fraser University
Keywords: Netherlands, Integration, punctuated equilibrium, “Weaving” metaphor


In 1970, the Netherlands introduced several multiculturalist policies with the purpose of integrating newly arrived immigrants. Almost three decades later, the Netherlands’ integration policies have transformed into a harsh model of civic integration. So how can the shift from multiculturalism to a harsh integration model be explained in the Netherlands? This article argues that the dramatic change in Dutch integration policies was caused by the extreme politicization of immigration and Islam, and tensions between Dutch natives and immigrants. This essay uses the punctuated equilibrium theory and the weaving policy metaphor to explain the shift in the Dutch integration system. It then concludes by highlighting the importance of the perception of aliens in policy change.