Multiculturalism and Settlement: The Case of Dutch Postcolonial Migrant Organisations

U. Bosma, M. Alferink

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This article examines the effects of multiculturalism of the 1980s and 1990s on the organisational patterns of immigrant populations in the Netherlands. This is a controversial topic in this country since politics of multiculturalism have allegedly excessively sponsored migrant organisations causing their 'fragmentation' and having adverse consequences for these organisations' role in the integration process. Based upon a systematic survey of the available data about postcolonial migrant organisations from 1945 to 2008, our conclusion is that the growth in postcolonial migrant organisations from the 1980s onwards has been impressive. For this specific category of immigrants, there is, however, little in the way of evidence that links this growth, or fragmentation of the landscape of migrant organisations for that matter, to Dutch multicultural minorities policies. Much of the growth should be related to the global phenomena of emerging identity discourses and increasing levels of identity politics. The policy implication is that, at least for the Netherlands, government policies creating favourable conditions for migrant organisations have been discarded without proper justification as counterproductive. © 2011 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-283
JournalJournal of International Migration and Integration
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


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