Ethnic and immigrant politics vs. mainstream politics: the role of ethnic organizations in shaping the political participation of immigrant-origin individuals in Europe
journal contributionposted on 25.02.2016, 10:03 by Katia Pilati, Laura Morales
Previous scholarship has reported contradictory results regarding the impact of involvement by immigrant-origin individuals (IOIs) in ethnic organizations on political participation. In this article, we assess the effect of involvement in different types of organizations (ethnic, pan-immigrant and native) on participation in various types of political activities. We use cross-national micro-data from a population survey undertaken in 2004–2008 to IOIs in nine European cities. Our findings indicate that ethnic organizations perform an integrative function for IOIs in the political sphere, but they mainly affect participation linked to immigration-related issues concerning specific ethnic groups and IOIs. Moreover, most effects of involvement in ethnic organizations on the different types of political participation examined are similar in closed and in open political opportunity structures (POS). We only find evidence that involvement in ethnic organizations depresses conventional political action in open POS settings while it increases political action in closed POS settings.