The SFM is now looking for a 2-year postdoc to work on a project on the political participation of naturalized citizens. The project wants to analyse the political preferences of naturalized citizens, the drivers to become active participants in left and right wing parties and how they make sense of their background with regard to the party’s discourses. This will be measured on the basis of content analysis and biographical interviews.
Deadline: 31 October 2018
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.
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.
This is something someone could examine empirically. I think we can use the argument developed by Dan Olson in “Why Do Small Religious Groups Have More Committed Members” (Review of Religious Research. 49(4): 353-378.) and apply it to political parties (or any organization). The argument that (religious) groups located in areas where their members are a smaller proportion of the population have more committed members. If we translate this to political parties, this means member commitment in relatively small parties should be stronger. Dan Olson argues that these groups have higher rates of leaving and joining, processes that select for more committed members. Congregations with higher membership turnover rates have current members that are more committed (they attend service, they give money). If we translate this to political parties, member commitment should be higher in parties with higher membership turnover.