Building bridges accross frames? A meta-evaluation of Dutch integration policy

P.W.A. Scholten, F.K.M. van Nispen

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-205
    Number of pages25
    JournalJournal of public policy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


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