- Explaining different trajectories in immigrant political integration: Moroccans and Turks in Amsterdam
- West European Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 36 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This article examines why the political integration and representation of ethnic minority groups may develop along different paths. Taking Amsterdam as a case study, it compares two of the city’s most predominant immigrant groups: Turks, who have taken a group-based incorporation strategy - visible in this group’s dense organisational infrastructure - and Moroccans, who have followed a more individualist assimilation strategy. The distinct trajectories have produced a relatively high proportion of Turkish-origin elected officials, while individuals of Moroccan origin feature more prominently in executive office, exercising power over day-to-day decisions. The article proposes that whereas features of the electoral system determine which opportunities exist for immigrants to participate in the political process, it is the structure of an immigrant group that affects the ability of members to seize such opportunities. Furthermore, it shows how political parties and party elites act as gatekeepers and facilitators of immigrants’ political participation.
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