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Nominating immigrant-origin candidates: an electoral strategy of political parties?

ContributorsNadler, Anna-Lenaorcid
Number of pages28
Publication date2021
Abstract

Political parties in Western democracies with significant ethnically heterogeneous populations have become increasingly interested in nominating immigrant-origin candidates. This paper investigates how contextual factors explain political parties' effort of immigrant representation. I argue that minority nominations are shaped by parties' strategic calculations weighing out potential vote gains among immigrant voters compared to a potential native backlash. I contend that alien enfranchisement and liberal naturalization policies provide important incentives to nominate minority candidates. In contrast, poor economic conditions imply potential material threat perceptions generating a native backlash against minority representatives, therefore reducing minority nomination. Using a novel dataset on candidates in Switzerland that enables party-municipality-level analysis unlike most previous studies, the analysis reveals that the political and economic context indeed heavily constrains parties' nomination strategies. The findings of this paper have significant implications for our understanding of strategic behaviors of political parties and the promotion of minority representation.

Funding
  • European Commission - Unequal Democracies [741538]
Citation (ISO format)
NADLER, Anna-Lena. Nominating immigrant-origin candidates: an electoral strategy of political parties? 2021
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accessLevelPublic
Identifiers
  • PID : unige:149197
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