27.2 | Guno Jones

Unequal Citizenship in the Netherlands: The Caribbean Dutch as Liminal Citizens

This article discusses attempts to turn “Carribean Dutch” citizens into aliens by analyzing (the debates on) a bill initiated by Member of Parliament André Bosman in 2012. The bill in effect proposes the introduction of a distinction between first- and second-class citizens based on descent. If enacted, it would amount to formal inequality with regard to the right of settlement, social rights, and street inspections. Furthermore, a class of deportable “Antillean Dutch” citizens would be created. In the debates on the bill, different readings regarding the meaning of the Dutch Kingdom, Dutch citizenship and its entitlements, emancipation, and the Dutch nation can be inferred. Regardless of whether the bill becomes enacted or not, it conveys the message to all “othered” citizens that they are at risk of becoming a class of liminal citizens in Dutch society.