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Multiculturalism and the Welfare StateRecognition and Redistribution in Contemporary Democracies$
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Keith Banting and Will Kymlicka

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289172

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289172.001.0001

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The parallel decline of multiculturalism and the welfare state in the Netherlands

The parallel decline of multiculturalism and the welfare state in the Netherlands

(p.177) 6 The parallel decline of multiculturalism and the welfare state in the Netherlands
Multiculturalism and the Welfare State

Han Entzinger

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines whether there is a causal relationship between the recent changes in Dutch multiculturalist policies and the decline of the Dutch welfare state. During the post-war years, the Dutch built one of the most generous welfare states in Europe and adopted a strongly multiculturalist Minorities Policy, which reflected an extension of their approach to historic diversities, known as pillarization. During the 1990s, however, the Netherlands reduced the scope of its welfare state and shifted away from multiculturalism. It is argued here that the corrosive effects of MCPs did not contribute to the decline of the Dutch welfare state. On one side, restructuring the welfare state reflected economic and ideological trends common to Western democracies, and there is little evidence that issues of immigration or multiculturalism played a role in the political shift. On the other side, the shift away from the traditional approach to multiculturalism was driven by concern that the approach was contributing to the exclusion of minorities from the economic and social mainstream of Dutch society, and not by concerns about the impact of multiculturalism on the welfare state.

Keywords:   the Netherlands, pillarization, multiculturalist policies, welfare state, social policy

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