- The long shadow of homeland politics: understanding the evolution of the Turkish radical left in the Netherlands
- Revue Europeenne des Migrations Internationales
- Volume | Issue number
- 24 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines evolution of migrants’ organisational transnational ties with political parties of the Turkish radical left in the Netherlands since the 1970s. It shows that trajectories of transnationally orientated migrant organisations with a shared political orientation differ substantially from each other. Some lose their radical edge over the years whereas others do not. The factors that existing literature commonly identifies as shaping transnational political involvement —migration motives, political opportunity structures in the receiving country and the (former) homeland, and migrants’ length of stay— are insufficient to understand this pattern. They apply to the whole Turkish left in similar measure and therefore cannot account for variation within this political stream. Explanations for the changes in patterns of transnational political ties over time hence need to look further. This article argues that migrant organisations only become true migrant organisations once their sister organisation in the homeland has chosen a political path that has made support from abroad obsolete. Instead of assuming that homeland political opportunities similarly affect all groups, we need to ask how specific groups —even within a comparable political stream— are included or excluded from homeland political participation. Finally, this article shows, that —contrary to what is generally assumed— in this case there is no indication that maintaining interest in homeland politics today hinders political integration or threatens Dutch democracy.
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