ISS Development Research Seminar Series - Autumn 2010

Diversity and Inclusion

Special Theme: "Beyond the multi-cultural drama: policies of migration, diversity and inclusion in the 21st century"

It is now ten years ago that Paul Scheffer published the essay the multi-cultural drama, which in many ways foreshadowed the wide public debate, polarisation, and public policy changes that followed 9/11 and the murders in the Netherlands of Pim Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh. It is also 10 years since the policy mantra of irregular migration began to gather serious momentum as a supposed means to restore “integrity” to the institution of asylum and address increasing migration flows to industrialised countries.

The first decade of the 21st century has seen radical changes in both border control policies and state-citizen relations within the Netherlands. As elsewhere in Europe, a growing distrust in politics has been accompanied by a backlash against political integration within Europe, together with a growing and ever-more difficult assertion of Dutch identity, both in national and international politics.

Policies on immigration and integration have been part of these changes in the Netherlands, with temporary, and encouraged labour migration being replaced by a tightening of borders as economic demands have changed. This has been accompanied and driven by a rise in right-wing political groups. The early immigrant-intolerant expressions of Pim Fortuyn have shifted to other parties and are currently vested in the ‘Party of Freedom’ (PVV) that emphasises a Judeo-Christian identity and a relentless anti-Arab and anti-Islam politics, together with ‘zero-tolerance’ policies against youth labelled as ‘Moroccan street terrorists’. These politics arrived at the doorstep of the ISS when the PVV became the second-largest political party following The Hague municipal elections, and of course after the General Election in June 2010.

N.B. In more recent developments, the PVV party has agreed to support the new coalition government in the Netherlands of Christian Democrats (CDA) and Liberal Democrats (VVD). Immigration features strongly in the coalition's agreements, which are available in English here:

Coalition Agreement (VVD and CDA)
Parliamentary Agreement (VVD, CDA and PVV)

The political centre and left have also been drawn into this debate, while the parameters have been set by the legacy of Fortuyn, taken on by the PVV and others. The manifestations of this are new policies on integration (‘integration courses are presents migrants cannot refuse’), continued use of USA-style ‘zero-tolerance’ language (e.g. emphasising that immigrant-related violence will not be tolerated), and a need to emphasise that the Dutch identity exists.

The International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University has a nearly sixty-year tradition of research and teaching on issues relevant to the global South. Staff members have a broad interest and expertise in multi-cultural contexts, from policies of diversity to multi-disciplinary studies of the causes of violence, and especially a wide expertise on migration, within and across borders. We believe that there is a need for ISS to engage in debates in the Netherlands. We believe that our research and that of our colleagues has much potential to inform the Dutch debates and research agendas.

Accordingly, we are organising a thematic series of Development Research Seminars that will focus on Dutch and other countries’ policies of migration, diversity and inclusion, from September-December 2010. The seminars will build on various initiatives by ISS staff, and earlier Development Research Seminars in 2009, notably by Wibo van Rossum and Godfried Engbersen and in 2010 with Dennis Broeders, Des Gasper and Bernice Roldan. These seminars will include disciplinary as well as multi-disciplinary perspectives, to be opened with a public debate to set the scene and stimulate a broad interest in the series, also with the view to an edited volume. In the series, we will draw on the wide networks of ISS staff to bridge research in the global South with Dutch, European and other academia, which also bridges ISS and other EUR social science interests.

All seminars will be in English and will take place at the ISS in The Hague.

We look forward to welcoming you at the Development Research Seminar Series!

Kind regards,

Dr. Rosalba Icaza, Dr. Arjan de Haan and Dr. Jeff Handmaker

Organizers of the DR Seminar Series

Where possible, we have included links to the audio podcasts of the seminars, as well as various links to books and articles of the contributors.

Opening Event

16 September

2-5 pm



Significant Difference? A comparative analysis of multicultural policies in the UK and the Netherlands


Significant difference podcast Part 1

Significant difference podcast Part 2

Significant difference powerpoint presentation

Roundtable and Public Forum

20 September



Beyond the multi-cultural drama: policies of migration, diversity and inclusion in the 21st century


  • Ashley Terlouw, Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Godelieve van Heteren, MD, coordinator of Erasmus Global Health Initiative and former MP
  • Adri Nieuwhof, Director, Samora Advies. Former director of the Dutch Refugee Council Delft and for many years advisor to government programmes, NGOs and others. Currently based in Switzerland.
  • Marnix Norder, Alderman for City Development, Public Housing and Integration and Community Alderman of Scheveningen District, The Hague Municipality
  • Parmijit Rai, Lecturer, Webster University, Leiden

Roundtable podcast 1

Roundtable podcast 2


4 October

Thanh Dam Truong

Transnational Migration and the Politics of Inclusion


18 October

Halleh Ghorashi


Paradoxes of Cultural Recognition


8 November

Joseph Massad


Prepositional conjunctions: sexuality and/in Islam, a critical look at questions around integration, identity and racism in Europe and the US


22 November

Betty de Hart


A right to home and family? Family Reunification and the Rights of Insiders


6 December

Dvora Yanow


Ethnicity Talk