Project

Citizens and Citizenship.The rhetoric of Dutch Immigrant Integration Policies

Goal: Despite EU attempts to promote uniform practices regarding immigrants’ integration in Europe, consensus has been far from reached around the original intention of the EU/EC to establish practices for migrants considered as equal candidates for citizenship. Instead, restrictive policies have been articulated, notably in The Netherlands and France, where under the influence of right-wing populist parties both governments took radical positions against migrants and distanced themselves from multiculturalism.

The new rules have functioned as mechanisms for filtering against, not least, unwanted ‘Others’ from Eastern Europe [some of them classified in Dutch statistics as Other Europeans] and for differentiation and segregation against the non-Western allochthons – sometimes referred to in the literature as citizens with an integration deficit or dis-citizens [Wodak, 2013] – people deemed now as not possessing the required cultural knowledge or the language competencies to (deserve to) enjoy fully their citizenship rights.

Using tools from lexical analysis, argumentation analysis, category analysis and rhetorical analysis, we explore Dutch immigrant integration policies.

We look in particular at problematization and its political rationality, and at whether and how manipulation of knowledge through power shapes migrants’ given identities, allocates and re-allocates positions in society, and can render migrants as subjects of marginalization and exclusion.

Attention will be paid to: the concept of citizenship as a mechanism that regulates migrant exclusion [Brubaker, 1992] and to its contextual meanings and connotations; and to discursive strategies of ethnicization and exclusion with regard to two targeted groups/constructed categories: the non-Western allochthons and 'Other Europeans'.

We investigate two key Netherlands government documents on immigrants’ integration policy [2011-2012] : the Policy Bill 'Integratie, Binding, Burgerschap' [16.06.2011] and 'Agenda Integratie' [24.04.2012].

We focus on the following questions:
● Who are the subjects of the immigration policy and how are they described/constructed as citizens? How are they framed as passive/active receivers of citizenship? Who are the citizens with a ‘citizenship deficit’ and how are they portrayed?
● Based on which rhetorical means are identities and purported communities constructed? What in/out grouping strategies are used? How is the logos constructed around these categories [structures of argumentation; coherence of the discourse]? What can be said about the voice of authority embedded in the text? Does a text appeal to feelings and emotions? How and with what effects?
● Do the texts use techniques of punishment, prohibition or exclusion? To which extent do they include moralization, assimilation, and correction of the candidates for citizenship?

By using a repertoire of tools from discourse studies and perspectives from governmental studies, political economy and cultural psychology, we will investigate whether and how the concept of citizenship can sometimes be used to contribute to migrants’ marginalization and exclusion.













Methods: Rhetorical Analysis, Argumentation, Interpretive analysis, Analysis of categories

Updates
0 new
0
Recommendations
0 new
0
Followers
0 new
13
Reads
0 new
184

Project log

Dana Rem
added 2 research items
The past generation has seen a switch to restrictive policies and language in the governance of migrants living in the Netherlands. Beginning in 2010, a new government with right-wing populist backing went further, declaring the centrality of proposed characteristic historic Dutch values. In this article, we investigate a key policy document to characterize and understand this policy change. Discourse analysis as an exploration of language choices, including use of ideas from rhetoric, helps us apply and test ideas from governmentality studies of migration and from discourse studies as social theorizing. We trace the chosen problem formulation; the delineation, naming, and predication of population categories; the understanding of citizenship, community, and integration; and the overall rhetoric, including chosen metaphors and nuancing of emphases, that links the elements into a meaning-rich world picture. A “neoliberal communitarian” conception of citizenship has emerged that could unfortunately subject many immigrants to marginalization and exclusion.
The past generation has seen a switch to restrictive policies and language in the governance of migrants living in the Netherlands. Beginning in 2010, a new government with right-wing populist backing went further, declaring the centrality of proposed characteristic historic Dutch values. In this article, we investigate a key policy document to characterize and understand this policy change. Discourse analysis as an exploration of language choices, including use of ideas from rhetoric, helps us apply and test ideas from governmentality studies of migration and from discourse studies as social theorizing. We trace the chosen problem formulation; the delineation, naming, and predication of population categories; the understanding of citizenship, community, and integration; and the overall rhetoric, including chosen metaphors and nuancing of emphases, that links the elements into a meaning-rich world picture. A “neoliberal communitarian” conception of citizenship has emerged that could unfortunately subject many immigrants to marginalization and exclusion. Keywords: citizenship, communitarianism, immigrant integration, national identity, neoliberalism, population categories formation, social exclusion
Des Gasper
added a research item
The past generation has seen a switch to restrictive policies and language in the governance of migrants living in the Netherlands. Beginning in 2010, a new government with right-wing populist backing went further, declaring the centrality of proposed characteristic historic Dutch values. In this article, we investigate a key policy document to characterize and understand this policy change. Discourse analysis as an exploration of language choices, including use of ideas from rhetoric, helps us apply and test ideas from governmentality studies of migration and from discourse studies as social theorizing. We trace the chosen problem formulation; the delineation, naming, and predication of population categories; the understanding of citizenship, community, and integration; and the overall rhetoric, including chosen metaphors and nuancing of emphases, that links the elements into a meaning-rich world picture. A "neoliberal communitarian" conception of citizenship has emerged that could unfortunately subject many immigrants to marginalization and exclusion.
Dana Rem
added a research item
The governance of migrants in the Netherlands in the 1990s to 2000s was marked by an early and striking switch to ‘radically harsh policies and public debates vis-à-vis migrants’ (van Houdt 2014: 163). From 2010 a new government with right-wing populist backing went further, to declare the centrality of proposed characteristic historic values of Dutch society, and (yet) to further reject the model of multicultural society. We investigate a key Netherlands government document of 2011 on immigrants’ integration, entitled Integratie, binding, burgerschap (Integration, Connectedness/Cohesion, Citizenship). Tools from discourse analysis as exploration of language choices help us to apply and test ideas from governmentality studies and from discourse studies seen as social theorizing. Overall, we consider whether and how a concept of citizenship could contribute to migrants’ marginalization and exclusion. We look at several aspects of the policy document: its chosen problem formulation; its delineation, naming and predication of population categories; its central concepts of citizenship, community and integration; and its chosen metaphors and nuancing of emphases, the backgrounding of some matters and foregrounding of others, stitching together the argumentative elements into a meaning-rich world-picture with a particular emotional content and force. The analysis suggests how a reconceived—moralized, ‘neo-liberal communitarian’ (Schinkel & van Houdt, 2010)—conception of citizenship shapes migrants’ given identities, allocates positions in society, and can render many migrants subjects of marginalization and exclusion. Schinkel, W., and van Houdt, F., 2010. The double helix of cultural assimilationism and neo-liberalism: citizenship in contemporary governmentality, British Journal of Sociology 61(4). van Houdt, F., 2014. Governing Citizens. The Government of Citizenship, Crime and Migration in The Netherlands. Doctoral thesis, Erasmus University Rotterdam.
Dana Rem
added a project reference
Dana Rem
added a project reference
Dana Rem
added a project goal
Despite EU attempts to promote uniform practices regarding immigrants’ integration in Europe, consensus has been far from reached around the original intention of the EU/EC to establish practices for migrants considered as equal candidates for citizenship. Instead, restrictive policies have been articulated, notably in The Netherlands and France, where under the influence of right-wing populist parties both governments took radical positions against migrants and distanced themselves from multiculturalism.
The new rules have functioned as mechanisms for filtering against, not least, unwanted ‘Others’ from Eastern Europe [some of them classified in Dutch statistics as Other Europeans] and for differentiation and segregation against the non-Western allochthons – sometimes referred to in the literature as citizens with an integration deficit or dis-citizens [Wodak, 2013] – people deemed now as not possessing the required cultural knowledge or the language competencies to (deserve to) enjoy fully their citizenship rights.
Using tools from lexical analysis, argumentation analysis, category analysis and rhetorical analysis, we explore Dutch immigrant integration policies.
We look in particular at problematization and its political rationality, and at whether and how manipulation of knowledge through power shapes migrants’ given identities, allocates and re-allocates positions in society, and can render migrants as subjects of marginalization and exclusion.
Attention will be paid to: the concept of citizenship as a mechanism that regulates migrant exclusion [Brubaker, 1992] and to its contextual meanings and connotations; and to discursive strategies of ethnicization and exclusion with regard to two targeted groups/constructed categories: the non-Western allochthons and 'Other Europeans'.
We investigate two key Netherlands government documents on immigrants’ integration policy [2011-2012] : the Policy Bill 'Integratie, Binding, Burgerschap' [16.06.2011] and 'Agenda Integratie' [24.04.2012].
We focus on the following questions:
● Who are the subjects of the immigration policy and how are they described/constructed as citizens? How are they framed as passive/active receivers of citizenship? Who are the citizens with a ‘citizenship deficit’ and how are they portrayed?
● Based on which rhetorical means are identities and purported communities constructed? What in/out grouping strategies are used? How is the logos constructed around these categories [structures of argumentation; coherence of the discourse]? What can be said about the voice of authority embedded in the text? Does a text appeal to feelings and emotions? How and with what effects?
● Do the texts use techniques of punishment, prohibition or exclusion? To which extent do they include moralization, assimilation, and correction of the candidates for citizenship?
By using a repertoire of tools from discourse studies and perspectives from governmental studies, political economy and cultural psychology, we will investigate whether and how the concept of citizenship can sometimes be used to contribute to migrants’ marginalization and exclusion.