In the past multiculturalism seemed to be politically, legally and socially more firmly established in the Netherlands than in any other European country. Particularism characterised the social coexistence of various domestic population groups and later also served as an institutional foundation for multicultural policies. Despite this, the societal and political mood has changed fundamentally since the beginning of the 2000s. This has resulted in new integration policies aimed at assimilation, which are among the most restrictive in Europe. For instance, the government is reducing the funding for integration measures and immigrants are being made responsible for independently reaching the defined integration goals. How did this development come about and how have Dutch governments implemented the tougher stance at the institutional level? In order to answer this question the research project looks at what control instruments are employed e.g. to legally regulate the behaviour of immigrants or to (re)distribute resources and how these are reflected in parliamentary discourse. On the basis of the research results a comparison will be drawn between the Netherlands and other selected countries in Western Europe.
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