The neoliberalization of the Dutch citizenship manifests itself through the responsibilization, contractualization, and marketization of civic integration. We conceptualize civic integration courses as a neoliberal citizenship ritual the migrants are required to participate in to earn Dutch citizenship. By studying the practice of Dutch civic integration, we demonstrate the repressive and productive aspects through which migrants and course providers become objects and subjects of the state's neoliberal citizenship ideology. Our ethnographic data enable us to understand how civic integration is experienced and interpreted by state agents and migrants. Cost optimization and quantitative policy targets have dominated; the quality of Dutch language teaching suffered, leaving the migrants without the power to vocalize and realize their own interests. The courses have become rituals to prepare for the civic integration examination, and the state's professed goal to create self-reliant citizens has been comfortably neglected in the shadow of a ritualized success story.

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Citizenship Studies
Centre for Rotterdam Cultural Sociology (CROCUS)

Suvarierol, S., & Kirk, K. (Kate) . (2015). Dutch civic integration courses as neoliberal citizenship rituals. Citizenship Studies, 19(3-4), 248–266. doi:10.1080/13621025.2015.1006578