Postcolonial Netherlands

Sixty-Five Years of Forgetting, Commemorating, Silencing

Gert Oostindie

Postcolonial Netherlands

Gert Oostindie

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

288 pages | 10 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2011
Paper $52.50 ISBN: 9789089643537 Published March 2012 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

The Netherlands is home to one million citizens with roots in former Dutch colonies, such as Indonesia, Suriname, and the Antilles. Due to this influx of non-Western immigrants, a nationwide debate over multiculturalism has been waged over the past decade. Postcolonial Netherlands addresses themes of multicultural integration, such as state-sponsored financial gestures towards first-generation immigrants, and their subsequent results. Taking on a controversial thesis, Gert Oostindie claims that children of immigrants feel diminishing ties to their international origins and that for newer Dutch generations, multiculturalism has less and less importance.


1. Decolonization, migration and the postcolonial bonus
    From the Indies/Indonesia
    From Suriname
    From the Antilles
    Migration and integration in the Netherlands
    The disappearance of the postcolonial community and bonus
2. Citizenship: rights, participation, identification
    The right to remain Dutch
    Postcolonial organizations: profiles and meaning
    Political participation
    Ambivalent identities
3. The struggle for recognition: war and the silent migration
    From war to exodus
    War and bersiap
    The ’cold’ reception
    The uprooting of the Moluccans
    Veterans and the Indisch community
    Memorial culture
    West Indian and Dutch stories and silences around war and exodus
4. The individualization of identity
    Identity: individual perception, public significance
    Indish identity, from Tjalie to Indo4Life
    Moluccan identity around and after the RMS
    Diversity without unity: Caribbean identity
    Recognition and erosion
5. Imagining colonialism
    The Companies
    ’Something magnificent was done there!’
    The West Indies: without pride
    Colonial slavery, postcolonial settlement
    Unfamiliar discourses and new silences
    Pleasing everyone, all of the time?
6. Transnationalism: a turning tide?
    Decolonization, migration circuits and generations
    Citizens and their transnational orientations
    Postcolonial organizations and transnational politics
    Cultural transnationalism, ’diaspora’ and community
7. An international perspective
    Migrations in post-war Europe
    France: republican dilemmas
    The United Kingdom: Britishness and multiculturalism
    Portugal: reluctant re-migrants
    A typical case: slavery in European memorial culture
    Colonial past and postcolonial migrations: a broad comparison
    Typically Dutch?
8. ’Postcolonial’ (in the) Netherlands
    Postcolonial migrants: integration, identification, community
    New ideas about the ’Netherlands’
    Intermezzo: international heritage policy
    Postcolonial studies in the Netherlands, a missed opportunity?
    The future of the colonial past

Index of people, organizations and memorial sites
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