New publication: Responsiveness of local politicians to Immigrants does not vary systematically by voting rights

I’m happy to announce a new publication on how responsive local politicians are to queries by immigrants, and whether the fact that immigrants can vote in some places affects this. We draw on the fact that voting rights vary by region, and use two small field experiments to measure responsiveness. In the end, we find no evidence that local politicians are more responsive to immigrants in municipalities where immigrants have the right to vote.

To understand why, we also carried out a small survey — a small number of observations is unfortunately a ‘feature’ of this publication, largely because the population under study is limited. In the survey, the local politicians state that there are not strongly motivated by re-election, so their behaviour may well be different to politicians at the national level where re-election prospects are often more important.

Nicholson, Mike, and Didier Ruedin. 2023. ‘Responsiveness of Local Politicians to Immigrants Does Not Vary Systematically by Voting Rights’. Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies Online First.

Out now: Local-to-local electoral connections for migrants

Joint work with Lorenzo Piccoli, out now at Democratization. Does transnationalism mean that immigrants who keep their right to vote in the country of origin focus their energies on the country of origin and therefore do not participate in the current country of residences? Or, by contrast, does this right to vote in the country of origin keep them interested in politics in general, and actually participate more in the country of destination? We wanted to find out.

Theoretical considerations led us to consider national-to-local and local-to-local influences separately: The right to vote in national elections in the country of origin may not have the same implications as the right to vote in local elections in the country of origin.

Empirically, we used data on electoral participation in Geneva, one of the places where foreign citizens can vote at the local level. We find evidence for local-to-local influences, that is a benefit if immigrants keep their right to vote in the country of origin.

Piccoli, Lorenzo, and Didier Ruedin. 2022. ‘Local-to-local electoral connections for migrants: The association between voting rights in the place of origin and the propensity to vote in the place of residence’. Democratization. DOI: 10.1080/13510347.2022.2108802

Ruedin, Didier. 2018. ‘Participation in Local Elections: “Why Don’t Immigrants Vote More?’’. Parliamentary Affairs 71 (2): 243–262. — examination of participation more generally, with thanks to Rosita Fibbi!

Transnational Political Practices and Integration of Second Generation Migrants

Two of the S-SAM grantees just published a paper in JEMS on transnational political practices of so-called second generation migrants (children of immigrants). The paper looks at the ties of immigrants, focusing on transnational political practices. Using qualitative interviews of Ghanaians in Amsterdam, the paper shows that children of immigrants participate in politics in the country of destination and origin at the same time. The authors discuss the apparent contradictions between transnational political engagement and ‘integration’, and also highlight how citizenship policies can push children of immigrants in either direction.
Kyei, Justice Richard Kwabena Owusu, Elizabeth Nana Mbrah Koomson-Yalley, and Peter Dwumah. 2020. ‘Transnational Political Practices and Integration of Second Generation Migrants’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, September.
Zufferey, Jonathan, Ilka Steiner, and Didier Ruedin. 2020. ‘The Multiple Forms of Migration: Evidence from a Sequence Analysis in Switzerland 1998 to 2008’. International Migration Review.