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Political Opportunities, Social Capital and the Political Inclusion of Immigrants in European Cities

Published inSocial Capital, Political Participation and Migration in Europe, Editors Laura Morales and Marco Giugni, p. 1-18
PublisherHoundmills : Palgrave
Publication date2011

Discussions about how public policies can promote more effectively the active engagement and participation of immigrants and their children1 in the political and civic life of the countries where they live are at the core of current scholarly and public debates. In advanced democracies, there are recurrent disputes about the appropriateness and potential benefits or shortcomings of introducing legal reforms that would guarantee that large immigrant populations — and especially their native-born children — are not excluded from the political process and from political representation. As Jones-Correa (1998: 35 and 46ff.) notes, migrants' political marginalization has several potential negative implications for democratic politics: it undermines the process of democratic representation and accountability, it undervalues the role of active participation in the polity for the construction of the political community, and it perpetuates the view of immigrants and their descendants as outsiders to that community. Furthermore, the negative consequences related to migrants' political exclusion are likely to spill over to their social and economic integration, as the policy process will fail to address adequately their needs in these domains. Yet there are widely divergent views on what are the most effective ways to promote migrants' political inclusion, and on when and under what conditions should first-generation immigrants be granted full political rights.

Citation (ISO format)
MORALES, Laura, GIUGNI, Marco. Political Opportunities, Social Capital and the Political Inclusion of Immigrants in European Cities. In: Social Capital, Political Participation and Migration in Europe. Houndmills : Palgrave, 2011. p. 1–18. doi: 10.1057/9780230302464_1
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