The participation, mobilization and political representation of migrants in Europe

Authored by: Pierre Monforte , Laura Morales

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the scholarship on three different (but related and complementary) approaches to the topic of migrants and ethnic minorities’ political voice in European societies: their civic and political participation; their mobilization in contentious action; and their political representation at the institutional level. We show that studies focusing on the first question have largely attempted to explain their comparatively low levels of engagement in politics, in particular through the focus on individual behaviour. We then show how the literature on migrants’ collective actions has focused on the forms, levels and determinants of their protests, exploring more specifically their mobilization dynamics. Finally, we present how the emerging literature that relates to migrants and ethnic minorities’ presence in institutions has explored variations in terms of the extent and the content of their political representation. Throughout the chapter, we show that one of the key contributions of the European literature is the use of cross-national comparative approaches that aim to analyse how migrants’ political participation is shaped by political opportunities, migration policies, integration regimes and other contextual factors.

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