Speaking of citizenship

Language ideologies in Dutch citizenship regimes

in Focaal
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The Dutch language has become the key technology of the Netherlands' new integration and immigration policy regime. Given the impassioned debates that accompanied language-planning policies in the 1980s, what is most remarkable about the stringent new language policy initiatives is the consensus regarding their necessity. This article analyzes the most ambitious program of the integration regime, inburgering, in the context of the transition to a post-industrial economy and the concomitant restructuring of the labor market. Introduced under the Third Way social democrats in the mid-1990s, the inburgering program was designed to produce the literate laborer of late modernity. This article traces the shift from the 'one nation, one language' ideology associated with welfare state forms of governance to the 'language as commodity' ideology promoted by the Third Way regime. I argue that the inburgering program acted as the Trojan horse of integration politics, introducing the necessity for Dutch language skills into an integration regime that has become the basis for a new politics of exclusion under the current neo-conservative administration.

Focaal

Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology