Since 1997 I was involved in many smaller and larger research projects that deal with organisations of immigrants in the Netherlands. A part of this was concentrated around the networks of migrants through their associations. Another part was concentrated on specific developments, and used qualitative interviewing technisques.

To make fieldwork possible, we arranged funding from many different sources, and thereby also answered many practical questions for actors in the field. This is the list of funders: the Municipality of Amsterdam, FORUM Multicultural Institute, Samenwerkingsverband Marokkanen en Tunesiërs, Raad Maatschappelijke Ontwikkelingen, the Sociaal Cultureel Plan Bureau, the Dutch Broadcasting Organisations NPO, the European Commission and IMISCOE.

In the qualitative part, we focussed  in 1997 on migrants’ volunteering, in 2002-2006  on several long term developments, the functioning and transnational ties of migrants’ organisations and in 2012 we focussed on how the leaders of Muslim organisations operate in the context of islamophobia.

In 2014 effort was undertaken to merge all existing datasets on migrant associations in a historical database together with the International Institute for Social History.

 

My favorite output:

  • Heelsum, A.van  & J. M. M.van Amersfoort  (2007) ‘Moroccan Berber immigrants in the Netherlands, their associations and transnational ties: a quest for identity and recognition’, Immigrants & Minorities, 25(3), 234-262. https://doi.org/10.1080/02619280802407343
  • the TV series:
  • Special Issue  ‘Migration and Development: The Euro-Moroccan Experience’, Editors: Michael Collyer,  Miriam Cherti, Thomas Lacroix & Anja van Heelsum (2009),  Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol 35, Issue 10, 1555 – 1697.
  • Kassaye, A., & A. van Heelsum (2020) ‘Muslim Organisations’ Response to Stigmatisation in the Media: Protest, Adaption or Decoupling’, Journal of Muslims in Europe, 9(1), 96-118, DOI: 10.1163/22117954-BJA10001.
  • Heelsum, A. van (2014) ‘Moroccan associations in the Netherlands: how organisation leaders deal with the stigmatisation of the Moroccan community’, in: I. Handzlik & L. Sorokowski (eds.) Found in Multiculturalism. Acceptance or Challenge?  Bern/New York: Peter Lang Publishers, p. 91-106.

 

Projects throughout the years:

Workpackage 6 on Muslim leaders (2011-2015 part of EURISLAM)

Researchers: Jean Tillie (PI Eurislam), Anja van Heelsum, Maarten Koomen (University of Amsterdam), Ruud Koopmans, Sarah Carol , Zuhal Kavacik (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung WZB Germany), Paul Statham, Marta Bolognani (University of Bristol, United Kingdom), Dirk Jacobs, Corinne Torrekens, Nathalie Vanparys (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium), Marco Giugni, Matteo Gianni, Elisa Banfi (Université de Genève Switzerland), Manlio Cinalli, Gabi Maas (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques France).

In six countries interviews were held with 20 leaders of Turkish, Moroccan, Pakistani and former Yugoslavian Muslim organisations.

Publications

 

Historical Databases of Migrant Associations (2010)

Researchers: with Floris Vermeulen, and Ulbe Bosma of the International Institute for Social History.

In cooperation with the Internationaal Instituut for Sociale Geschiedenis (IISG), we are woking on a merger of all the existing databases of migrant association. The Online Postcolonial Migrant Database, is the first outcome, and it provides data on Surinames, Moluccans, “Indische Nederlanders” and Antilleans.

 

Transnational ties of Moroccan associations (2005-2006)

Researchers: with Thomas Lacroix and Michael Collyer (commissioner: IMISCOE)

There were two main questions in this study: to what extend do Dutch Moroccan assocations have transnationale relations and in what fields and how do they evolve? Secondly in what ways can the civic community of Moroccan immigrants in Europa support the development of the country of origin and in what way can transnational ties influence the citizenship in the European countries of settlement.

Publications

  • Heelsum, A. van (2007), Moroccan Berbers youngsters in the Netherlands, Africa e Mediteraneo, 62 (2007)4, 69-71.
  • Amersfoort, H. van & A. van Heelsum (2007) Moroccan Berber immigrants in the Netherlands, their associations and transnational ties: a quest for identity and recognition, Immigrants and Minorities, Volume 25, Issue 3, 234–262, DOI: 10.1080/02619280802407343.
  • Amersfoort, H. & A. van Heelsum (2005) ‘Moroccan Berber Immigrants in Western Europe, Canada and the USA. The quest for identity and recognition’ paper presented at the Conference ‘Tradition and modernity’ Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 30-31 May 2005.
  • Amersfoort, H. van & A. van Heelsum (2005) ‘Moroccan Berber Immigrants in Western Europe, Canada and the USA. The quest for identity and recognition’ paper presented at the IMISCOE workshop ‘New Moroccan Migrations’ in Brighton, United Kingdom, 13-15 July 2005.
  • Heelsum, A. van (2003) Moroccan Berbers in Europe, the US and Africa and the Concept of Diaspora, International Studies Electronic Publishing Program (of UC Press, the California Digital Library, and the international and area studies units on all UC campuses), June 2003.
  • Collyer, M, M. Cherti, T. Lacroix & A. van Heelsum (eds.) (2009), SPECIAL ISSUE ‘Migration and Development: The Euro-Moroccan Experience’ Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol 35, Issue 10, 1555 – 1697.
  • Collyer, M, M. Cherti, T. Lacroix & A. van Heelsum (2009), ‘Migration and Development: The Euro-Moroccan Experience’ (introduction Special Isssue) Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Vol 35, Issue 10, 1555 – 1570, DOI: 10.1080/13691830903165790.

 

Migrant organisations: why and how they develop (2002-2004)

Researchers: with Rinus Penninx (commissioner: FORUM)

In this study a the reasons why migrantorganisations develop at a certain point in time are investigated and an overview will be provided of migrantorganisations in the Netherlands. Information gathered earlier on networks of Moroccan, Surinamese and Turkish organizations will be used in this study, and new information on refugee organisations will be gathered. The results are described in two volumes, the first on on quantity and type of organisations per community, and the second one focussing on the process of organisational formation. In the Postcolonial Migrant Database, in which this and new research was merged, was updated in 2010 on Surinames and Moluccans and also provides data on Indische Nederlanders and Antilleans. In 2006 Ruben Lindenberg updated the list of Ethiopian associations.

Publications

  • Vermeulen, F. & A. van Heelsum (2012) ‘Group-related or host state–related? Understanding the historical development of Surinamese organisations in Amsterdam, 1965-2000’, in: U. Bosma (dd.), Post-colonial immigrants and identity formations in the Netherlands . Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press (IMISCOE research series), p. 77-97.
  • Vermeulen, F. & A. van Heelsum (2009),’Immigrant organisations in Amsterdam’, in: L. Nell & J. Rath (eds), Ethnic Amsterdam, Immigrants and Urban Change in the Twentieth Century, Amsterdam: AUP, pp 145-158,  Google Books.
  • Heelsum, A. van, ‘Migrantenorganisaties en de lokale overheid’, lezing bijeenkomst zelforganisaties bij de gemeente Delft op 18 maart 2010 (download).
  • Heelsum, A. van (2004) Migrantenorganisaties in Nederland Deel 1 Aantal en soort organisaties en ontwikkelingen, Utrecht: FORUM
  • Heelsum, A. van (2004) Migrantenorganisaties in Nederland Deel 2 Het functioneren van de organisaties, Utrecht: FORUM
  • Heelsum A. van, M. Fennema & J. Tillie (2004) Islamitische organisaties in Nederland, SCP document 106, deel V in de serie Moslim in Nederland, Den Haag: SCP.
  • Heelsum, A. van (2004) ‘Bondgenoot of spelbreker?’, lezing op de conferentie ‘De Toekomst van Zelforganisaties’ van FORUM, Utrecht, 21 Oktober 2004
  • Heelsum, A. van (2994) ‘Bondgenoot of Bindmiddel?’, lezing op het debat ‘De rol van Zelforganisaties’, LUX, Nijmegen, 5 Oktober 2004. – Penninx, R. & A. van Heelsum (2004), Bondgenoot of Spelbreker? Organisaties van immigranten en hun mogelijke rol in integratieprocessen, Utrecht: FORUM.
  • Den Exter, J., A. van Heelsum & Th. Hessels (2006) Organisaties van minderheden, in: J.E. Overdijk-Francis, J.S.M. Boot, H.M.A.G. Smeets, & J.A.C. Verheyden, Handboek Minderheden, Houten: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum/’s-Gravenhage: SDU, 7/1050, 1-42.
  • Den Exter, J., A. van Heelsum & T. Hessels (2004) Organisaties van minderheden, in: J.E. Overdijk-Francis, A. Boot, H. Smeets, & J.A.C. Verheyden, Handboek Minderheden, Houten: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum, 7/1050, 1-39.

 

The network of Surinamese organisations (2002)

Researchers: with Maria Berger, A. Feenstra, Eske Voorthuyzen (commissioner: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Municipality of Amsterdam)

A database of Surinamese organisations in the Netherlands was constructed from data of the Chamber of Commerce and all other sources that we could get hold of. Network analysis was conducted to find out which members of these organisations are important in the Surinamese community throughout the Netherlands. One of the striking results was that Hindustani Surinamese (of Indian Surinamese background) had a much better internal network than African Surinamese.

Publications

  • Berger, M., A. Feenstra, A. van Heelsum, M. Fennema en J. Tillie (1998) Surinaamse en Antilliaanse/ Arubaanse organisaties in Amsterdam, een netwerkanalyse, Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam
  • Heelsum, A. van & E. Voorthuysen (2002) Surinaamse organisaties in Nederland, een netwerkanalyse, Amsterdam: Aksant, Google Books.

 

Continuity and change: developments within Moroccan organisations (2001-2002)

Researchers: with Karen Kraal (commissioner: Samenwerkingsverband Marokkanen en Tunesiërs SMT)

New developments within Moroccan organisations in the Netherlands are studied by means of interviews. Issues that turned out relevant were: the increased use of the internet and construction of websites (like maroc.nl), the increasing and changing scope of Moroccan youngsters interest in Berber culture and we notices a changing approach to Islam among youngsters. That youngsters have to defend themselves their Muslim identity caused more awareness and more interest in what it means to be a Muslim.

Publications

  • Kraal, K. & A. van Heelsum (2002),Het Dynamisch Mozaiek, trends en ontwikkelingen bij Marokkaanse organisaties, Utrecht: SMT. (in Dutch) can be orderd from Samenwerkingsverband Marokkanen en Tunesiërs (SMT) tel. 030-2367327 or e-mail: info@smtnet.nl)
  • Heelsum, A. van (2003) ‘Reacties van zelforganisaties op stigmatisering’, in: S. Harchaoui & C. Huinder (eds), Stigma: Marokkaan! Over het afstoten en uitsluiten van een ingebeelde bevolkinsgroep, Utrecht: Forum, 93-107.
  • Heelsum, A. van (2006) ‘Anti immigrant sentiments in the Netherlands and the reactions of Moroccan associations’, paper presented at UCLA Diaspora Program, University of California in Los Angeles, US, 1 May 2006. (dowload synopsis or the full paper)
  • Heelsum, A.J. van (2008) ‘Anti-Immigrant Sentiments in the Netherlands and the Reactions of Moroccan Association’, in: Samy S. Swayd (ed.) Islam: Portability and Exportability, UCLA International Institute Paperseries, paper 6, G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies University of California, Los Angeles, p. 67-70, download from the E-scholarship website of the University of California or download the full edited booklet from the E-library of the University of Halle.

 

Network of Moroccan organisations in Amsterdam/the Netherlands (1999-2001)

Researchers: with Agnes Obbink (commissioners: Gemeente Amsterdam and Dutch Broadcasting Organisation NPS).

A database of Moroccan organisations in the Netherlands was constructed from data of the Chamber of Commerce and all other sources that we could get hold of. After this we conducted network analysis to find out how the civic community of Moroccans is interconnected and which members of the organisations are important (‘big linkers’) in the Moroccan community throughout the Netherlands.

Publications

  • Heelsum, A. van (2001) Marokkaanse organisaties in Nederland, Amsterdam: Spinhuis Uitgeverij.
  • Heelsum, A. van (2002) Marokkaanse organisaties in Amsterdam, Amsterdam: Spinhuis Uitgeverij (Google Books)

  • Heelsum, A. van (2002) Moroccan associations and their development, paper presented on Sociaal Wetenschappelijke Studiedagen 2002 (30-31 May) download.

The TV series that resulted from the project is presented within “Allochtoon Video Circuit (AVC)”:

A TV series of 12 programmes with portrets of interesting and trendsetting Moroccan Dutch. The many faces of Moroccan Netherlands forms part of the NPS-project Who is Who in Moroccan Netherlands. The objective of this project is to make a journalistic X-ray of Moroccan Netherlands for journalist, policymakers, officials and everyone who is (incidentally or not) busy with Moroccans and Moroccan affairs. Each episode lasts 30 minutes and covers a theme. Per theme a few interesting and trendsetting Moroccans in the Netherlands are portraied.

Broadcast on Saturdays 13 October – 29 December 2001 at 16.00 on Nederland 3. Redactie: Mustafa Aarab, Abdelhafid Akallouch, Omar Bouadi, Mustafa Bouhekan (ook productie), Senna Bouteba, Ali Dahmani, Gülsah Dogan, Amber Landvreugd en Mathijs Tax. Eindredactie: Jan Bosdriesz. Uitvoerend producent: Dick Oosterbaan.

Episode 1: How it all started ….?
Episode 2: The diversity of the population of Moroccans in the Netherlands
Episode 3: Religion of Moroccans Netherlands
Episode 4: Sporters of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 5: Art and culture of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 6: Entrepreneurs of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 7: Education of Moroccan Netherland
Episode 8: Role patterns of men and women of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 9: Generations of Moroccans Netherlands
Episode 10: Politics and politicians of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 11: Art and culture of Moroccan Netherlands
Episode 12: Emigration/ integration of Moroccan Netherlands

 

Network of Turkish organisations in Amsterdam/the Netherlands (1998-1999)

Researchers: with Jean Tillie (commissioners: Gemeente Amsterdam and Dutch Broadcasting Organisation NPS)

A database of Turkish organisations in the Netherlands was constructed from data of the Chamber of Commerce and all other sources that we could get hohld of. After this we conducted network analysis to find out how the civic community network of Turks looks like and which members of these organisations are important (‘big linkers’) in the Turkish community throughout the Netherlands.

Publications

  • Van Heelsum, A. & J. Tillie (1999) Turkse organisaties in Nederland, een netwerkanalyse, Uitgeverij het Spinhuis, Amsterdam, 1999. This publication is sold out. | Download.
  • Wal, G. van der & M. Tax (red), De vele gezichten van Turks Nederland. Een wie is wie. Uitgeverij Jan Mets, Amsterdam, 1999
  • Heelsum, A. van (2001) Turkse Organisaties in Amsterdam in 2000, een netwerkanalyse, Het Spinhuis, Amsterdam. You can order this publication from IMES. | Google Books

The Dutch broadcasting organisation NPS has used this information to portrait the turkish community in a TV-series and a book wich contains personal information on a selection of these Turks:

 

Volunteering and Citizenship of Migrants (1997-1998)

Researchers: with Flip Lindo and Rinus Penninx (commissioner: Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkeling RMO).

Volunteering in ethnic organizations is more prominent than is sometimes assumed. Immigrants put a lot of effort into building up migrant associations, and these often function to support the integration of newcomers that don’t know the way yet. The history of Surinamese, Turkish, Moroccan and Moluccan organizations in the Netherlands was reviewed in the publication and 16 examples of activities of immigrant organizations are described in more detail. Representatives of the following organisations were interviewed:

Turkish

  1. NISBO, Nederlandse Islamitische Bond Ouderen (moslim elderly), main office in Rotterdam
  2. ATKB, Turkish Womens Union in Amsterdam
  3. Ayasofia, mosk-organisation with several other activities in Amsterdam
  4. Soeba, homework-classes in Utrecht

Moroccan

  1. KMAN, Komitee Of Morocan Workers in the Netherlands
  2. Izaouran, supports the use of Berber language and culture and publishes novels and poems
  3. Stichting Woonhuis jongerenopvang & Moskee Nour, supports youngsters in Gouda

Surinamese

  1. Mi Oso Es Mi Kas, supports Creole teenage mothers
  2. Shri Sanathan Dharma Sabha, Hindustani temple in Den Haag
  3. Opo Sranantongo, support knowledge and use of Surinamese Language in Amsterdam
  4. Kwakoe, Surinamese Centre for Youngsters, Summer Festival & Football Competition

Molucan

  1. Tjengkeh, Molucan magazine
  2. Tjandu, drugshelp to Molucans in Utrecht
  3. Molucan Evangelican Church in Amsterdam

General Migrant Organisations

  1. Migranten-TV
  2. Stichting Vrijwilligersmanagement

 

Publications

  • Lindo, Flip, Anja van Heelsum & Rinus Penninx (1997) ‘Op eigen kracht vooruit’. Vrijwilligerswerk en burgerschap van immigranten, Raad voor Maatschappelijke Ontwikkelingen, Den Haag: Sdu Uitgevers,