How official nationalism fuels labour market discrimination against migrants in the Netherlands and its institutional alternatives

Hans Siebers, M.M. Koster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Official nationalism is on the rise, but its impact on relations between people with and without a migration background in institutions is under-studied. This study, based on 55 interviews in a Dutch ministry in 2016, shows that official Dutch nationalist framings of those relations have been taken over by civil servants. These framings trigger boundary-making between themselves and discrimination in access to career opportunities, in a climate of insecurity. However, official nationalism absorption, boundary-making and discrimination are partially neutralized by respondents resorting to institutionally ‘nested’, work-related and civic identities that enable cooperation, communication and fair allocation of career opportunities. Findings also highlight the exclusive continuities of various forms of imposed official nationalism, including ethno-nationalism and multiculturalism. They all set people with migration backgrounds apart as culturally different, which foments insecurity among them. Non-nationalist and institutionally ‘nested’ identities and procedures offer participation and inclusion
to our respondents, not ethno-nationalism nor multiculturalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalNations and Nationalism
Early online date8 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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