Political Integration: Political Participation and Representation of Immigrants in Norway
The project studies the political integration of immigrants in Norway, by looking at political participation, voting and the political representation of this group.
About the project
Voters with immigrant backgrounds tend to have lower turnout in elections than native citizens. There is however substantial variation between groups of minorities in this respect. A part of these differences can be explained by socioeconomic differences between natives and minorities, and between groups of minorities. Minority groups with a skewed age distribution toward a large share of young people tend to have low turnout. Lower than average socioeconomic status among minorities also lead to lower than average turnout in elections. A long period of residence in Norway and social integration into majority society benefits turnout.
The minority voters that do turn out to vote on Election Day vote in substantial numbers for left-of-center parties. In an article in Political Studies, we refer to this as a potential revival of group voting. Minorities seem to vote for left-of-center parties based on group interests rather than on ideological issue-based grounds.
Finally, minorities as elected politicians are under represented in national politics, but are fairly well represented at the local level in Norway. Preferential voting by minority voters in favor of minority candidates seems to account for the success of quite a few minority background politicians at the local level. Descriptive representation of minorities further seems to benefit minority turnout in elections. The project forms a part of a larger European research network on “the political representation of migrants and ethnic minorities”.
The project is financed by The Research Counsil in Norway`s IMER-program.