Immigrant Political Participation in Europe

Comparing Different Forms of Political Action across Groups

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, Canada
  • 2 School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent, Canterbury, UK

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This paper compares participation in different forms of political action between natives, immigrants and non-citizen immigrants using data from thirteen European countries across six waves of the European Social Survey. The authors highlight problems associated with previous categorizations of political action, and find that when political action is disaggregated and relative participation between groups is examined, that immigrants’ patterns of participation are not substantially different from those of natives. When comparing citizen immigrants to non-citizen immigrants, previous research has suggested that citizenship acts as a “ticket” to non-institutional, unconventional, confrontational forms of political action. The authors’ findings instead suggest a more complicated relationship between immigrant/citizenship status and preferences for political action since citizenship may facilitate participation in both so-called institutional and extra-institutional activities depending on the context of action.

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