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Do Migrants Get Involved in Politics? Levels, Forms and Drivers of Migrant Political Participation in Italy

Livia Elisa Ortensi and Veronica Riniolo ()
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Livia Elisa Ortensi: University of Bologna
Veronica Riniolo: Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Milano

Journal of International Migration and Integration, 2020, vol. 21, issue 1, No 8, 133-153

Abstract: Abstract Migrant political participation is a central challenge to our democracy, especially at a time when migration is so controversial. This study examines level, forms and predictors of migrant political engagement in Italy, a country where 10% of the total population is foreign-born. We measure migrant political participation on the basis of data provided by the Survey on Condition and Social Integration of Foreign Citizens carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) in 2011–12 (N = 16,056). In addition to individual characteristics, we analyse the role played by the family in influencing migrant political engagement using a multilevel logistic approach. Our analysis shows that migrants in Italy are largely inactive political subjects in comparison with Italian natives. Political disengagement is related to being a woman, low education and residence in South Italy and the islands. Moreover, we analyse the different factors that are driving soft and strong political participation. We also discuss the negligible impact of EU citizenship in enhancing political participation in Italy.

Keywords: Political participation; Migrants; Italy; Family of origin; Integration (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s12134-019-00703-x

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