From Liberal to Restrictive Citizenship Policies: the Case of the Netherlands

Ricky Van Oers

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In the Netherlands, on 1 April 2003, a four-hour, partially
computerised naturalisation test was introduced. This formalisation of the language and integration tests for naturalisation coincided with a rise in the level of language proficiency required and the introduction of questions on knowledge of Dutch society. This test significantly raised the barriers to becoming a Dutch citizen. In the first year after it was introduced, the number of applications for naturalisation decreased by 70 per cent. How can this restrictive turn in Dutch citizenship policy be explained? Have the goals of the test been attained in practice? These are the main questions addressed in this paper.

Suggested bibliographic reference for this article:

Van Oers, Ricky. From Liberal to Restrictive Citizenship Policies: the Case of the Netherlands. IJMS: International Journal on Multicultural Societies. 2008, vol.10, no.1, pp. 40-59, UNESCO. ISSN 1817-4574.
www.unesco.org/shs/ijms/vol10/issue1/art3

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