Dealing with tensions of multiculturalism: The politics of ritual slaughter in the Netherlands

Laura Kurth*, Pieter Glasbergen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    This article deals with the question how cultural diversity, expressed in a parliamentary debate, can influence the space given to religious minorities to substantiate their identity. The debate about the prohibition of non-stunned ritual slaughter in the Dutch Parliament in 2011/2012 serves as case study. A frame analysis reveals that tensions exist between minority rights and majority values and with regard to the regulation of religion in the public sphere. The article concludes that politicians struggle to position themselves amidst those fundamental questions and certainty is sought in the legal, political, scientific, economic and historical domain. There is no simple answer to the question what determines the space given to religious minorities to substantiate their identities. Although a political majority decision was taken at the end of a long trajectory, this was a compromise that leaves the controversy with its related uncertainties unsolved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)413-432
    Number of pages20
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
    Issue number4
    Early online date22 Sept 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


    • Cultural diversity
    • frame analysis
    • multicultural tensions
    • multiculturalism
    • ritual slaughter

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