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Migrants' Political Participation Beyond Electoral Arenas
Vintila, Cristina-Daniela  ; Martiniello, Marco 
2021 • In Giugni, Marco; Grasso, Maria (Eds.) Handbook of Citizenship and Migration
Peer reviewed


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Keywords :
migration; political participation
Abstract :
[en] In recent years, the topic of migrants’ participation at the national, subnational and transnational levels has received increasing political and societal salience, especially across Western countries. This has been coupled with a growing academic interest in migrants’ patterns of socio-political mobilisation, often derived from the acceleration and diversification of human mobility worldwide. So far, much of the scholarship has focused on migrants’ participation in institutionalised political activities, especially in a context in which declining turnout and growing political scepticism have started to threaten representative democracies. Nevertheless, by doing so, past studies have often neglected the wide repertoire of alternative ‘acts of citizenship’ (Isin and Nielsen 2008) through which migrants influence the political agenda in home or host countries by articulating their demands outside of the electoral arena. As we will show, research on migrants’ political participation still faces important limitations. Some derive from the limited empirical evidence that exists on patterns of engagement of different migrant groups across different countries. Others arise from the relatively scarce attention paid so far to key factors explaining migrants’ preferences for specific modes or channels of participation over others. This chapter aims to provide a roadmap of the changing nature of migrants’ participation beyond electoral politics. The chapter is structured as follows. The next section discusses the recent evolution of the multifaceted phenomenon of political participation and exemplifies differences over time and across countries in migrants’ mobilisation. The third section draws attention to the risk of treating migrants as a homogenous group when examining their political participation. We argue that research on this topic should systematically pay attention not only to migrants’ characteristics (national origin, first- versus second-generation migrants, foreigners versus naturalised migrants), but also the type of polity they engage in (at the national, subnational or supranational level). The fourth section discusses key determinants of cross-country and intergroup variations in migrants’ participation. We conclude with an agenda for further research, based on current gaps in existing literature.
Disciplines :
Political science, public administration & international relations
Author, co-author :
Vintila, Cristina-Daniela  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Faculté des sciences sociales > Centre d'études de l'ethnicité et des migrations (CEDEM)
Martiniello, Marco ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Faculté des sciences sociales > Centre d'études de l'ethnicité et des migrations (CEDEM)
Language :
Title :
Migrants' Political Participation Beyond Electoral Arenas
Publication date :
June 2021
Main work title :
Handbook of Citizenship and Migration
Editor :
Giugni, Marco
Grasso, Maria
Publisher :
Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Pages :
Peer reviewed :
Peer reviewed


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