The integration of immigrants is an intractable policy controversy in Dutch politics: the Blok Committee was established by Parliament to offer a resolution. However, its evaluation study ‘ Building Bridges’, itself became controversial. This paper asks: Why did the policy evaluation of the Blok Committee become so fiercely contested? We argue that the debate on immigrant integration can be characterized by frame-conflict: there were fundamental differences in how immigrant integration was defined and normatively interpreted by actors. The resolution of such ill-structured problems requires the critical articulation of multiple and conflicting frames. In situations of intractable policy controversies, policy evaluation should reach beyond mere technical and contextual levels to include systemic and ideological discourse. Policy evaluation can thereby focus more on utilization and contribute to the resolution of intractable policy controversies by building bridges among conflicting frames.

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Journal of Public Policy
Department of Public Administration

Scholten, P., & van Nispen tot Pannerden, F. (2008). Building Bridges Across Frames? A Meta-Evaluation of Dutch Integration Policy. Journal of Public Policy, 28(2), 181–205. doi:10.1017/S0143814X08000846