Paul Scheffer

Paul Scheffer worked as correspondent in Paris and Warsaw before becoming a staff writer for NRC Handelsblad. His articles have appeared in Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Le Monde des Debats, El Pais, Politiken, Tagesanzeiger and Morgenbladet. He is currently Professor of Urban Sociology at the University of Amsterdam.

The Unsettled Land

The Unsettled Land

(De Bezige Bij, 2007, 477 pages)

Eight years ago, before the attacks of 9/11, the debate about immigration and integration in the Netherlands was brought into sharp focus by a disturbing article by Paul Scheffer. Silently, and out of sight of policymakers, he wrote, an ethnic underclass has grown up that is becoming alienated from society with alarming speed. Scheffer’s analysis came as a bombshell, not least because he is a highly respected public intellectual with a social-democratic background.

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