My blog post at Democratic Audit UK:
There are relatively few cases where non-citizen immigrants can vote in municipal elections, but where they can participation tends to be low. Didier Ruedin assesses the case of Geneva, where he finds that, even accounting for social origin, engagement, civic integration and socialisation, there is a gap in participation that needs further explanation.
Read remainder: Why don’t immigrants vote more?
My paper on the political participation of immigrants in the local elections of Geneva is now properly published at Parliamentary Affairs. In the article, I present a new representative survey on participation in the 2015 municipal elections in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, and predict electoral participation with logistic regression models (predicted probabilities all around). Most immigrant groups vote less than the majority population. Social origin (resources), political engagement, civic integration and networks, as well as socialization are associated with differences in electoral participation, but contrary to some recent studies, substantive differences between nationalities remain.
The paper has its origins in a commissioned report Rosita Fibbi and I did (in French, executive summary in French). The research question is summarized in the (abbreviated) quote in the title: the sentiment that “we” have given “them” the right to vote in local elections (after 8 years of residence in the country), and yet they “don’t” vote (well not as often than “we” do). Quite fortunately we managed to convince the office of integration of the Geneva to allow us to make the survey data available to the academic community (cleaned version). The survey deliberately re-uses questions from the Swiss Electoral Study to enable a direct comparison, but Rosita and I added questions relevant to the research question and participation at the local level. The article is an independent analysis from the report, having spent more time on the topic that the rushed context of commissioned research allows.
Ruedin, Didier. 2018. ‘Participation in Local Elections: “Why Don”t Immigrants Vote More?’’. Parliamentary Affairs 71 (2): 243–262. https://doi.org/10.1093/pa/gsx024.
We now have a complete draft programme of the workshop on attitudes to foreigners and discrimination in the labour market, which takes place in Geneva on 20 March 2018.
Participation is free, and there are a few places left. Register by e-mail to email@example.com
Edit: Full programme uploaded
The workshop will take place at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) on 20 March 2018, Salle M3250, 9:00 to 17:30.
The workshop brings together researchers of the of the SNIS project Individual-Level Attitudes towards Immigrants over Time and across Contexts, the NCCR on the move, invited experts working on attitudes to foreigners and discrimination in the labour market, and members from international organizations and policy-makers. It serves as the final event of the SNIS project, to showcase cutting-edge work on these topics. The SNIS project combines theory from economics, sociology, social psychology, and political science to explain individual attitudes to foreigners, with a focus on panel data. We expect invited participants to present advanced work in progress, and provide the participants with networking opportunities. Each presenter will be asked to raise an explicit policy-relevant implication for discussion.
Eva Green (University of Lausanne), Gallya Lahav (Stony Brook University, New York), Sjoerdje van Heerden (University of Neuchâtel/European Commission), Elmar Schlueter (Justus-Liebig University Giessen), Veronica Preotu (University of Geneva), Sergi Pardos-Prado (University of Oxford), Valentina di Stasio (University of Utrecht), Bram Lancee (University of Amsterdam).
Workshop attendance is free of charge. Please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to register; places are limited.
My paper on the electoral participation of immigrants in local elections is now available online (Parliamentary Affairs). As part of this research, I spoke to a politician who exclaimed: ‘Why don’t they [immigrants] vote now that we have given them the opportunity?’. It’s the expectation that all ‘we’ have to do is enfranchise immigrants, and they’ll flock to the ballot boxes. But, they don’t.
In the paper I present a new representative survey of participation in the 2015 municipal elections in the Canton of Geneva. The cleaned data (and replication material) are available at IQSS Dataverse; the raw data at FORS.
In Geneva, foreign citizens who have lived in Switzerland for at least 8 years have the right to vote in local elections. In 2015, the chancellor wrote a personal letter to each of them to invite them to vote, yet most immigrant groups vote less than the majority population. In the paper I test four common explanations for this difference in electoral turnout: social origin (resources), political engagement, civic integration and networks, as well as socialisation. Individually, all these explanations are associated with differences in electoral participation, but contrary to some recent studies, substantive differences between nationalities remain in the local elections in Geneva.