PACS - Die politische Beteiligung von Einwanderern in ländlichen Gebieten Italiens

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The project “The political participation of immigrants in rural areas in Italy: An inquiry into place-based factors ” (IB-GAPP) explores the political participation of people with a migration background in conjunction with the area in which they live. I aim to compare how people participate in associations, organisations, and politics with a focus on rural areas in Piedmont, Lazio and Campania. Exploring differences in participation of people with a migration background in rural areas is intriguing, because it is another factor adjacent to commonly researched factors such as gender, age and especially education, which have been shown to play an important role in political participation rates. Most European research has neglected the differences in political participation between these areas and does not consider the participation of people with a migration background. This research aims to fill both these gaps.

This (PhD) project contributes to the study of the processes of political involvement of persons of migrant origin based on their geographical location. Identifying various forms of political engagement enables us to better understand the possibilities that are available to individuals of migrant origin to participate in the political life of their communities. Additionally, the project investigates in whether persons with a migration background participate more in formal politics such as associations/organisations or political parties; whether there are differences in the mechanisms of participation in these different geographical contexts; and what the reasons for participation in local politics are. 

To achieve the above objectives, qualitative research is proposed for this study. I plan to conduct interviews with people with a migrant background who are active in associations, organizations, political parties, and alternative forms of participation for people with an immigrant background. The interviews will enable me to collect a lot of data about the opportunities, experiences, difficulties, etc. that people with a migration background have gathered on their way to political participation. Furthermore, interviews with majors and political elites of the chosen areas will be conducted to provide a better unserstanding of the provided opportunity structure.

This dissertation asks:

  • How does place shape the institutionalized political participation of immigrants? 

    The main research question is broken down into the following sub questions:

  • Which forms of institutionalized political participation are available to immigrants in rural areas, and which ones to immigrants in urban areas?
  • What motivates immigrants to participate politically? What are the differences or similarities in motivations in urban and rural settings?
  • Which forms of institutionalized political participation do immigrants actually use in rural areas, and respectively in urban areas?
  • Which facilitating opportunities are there in rural and urban areas? What are the differences or similarities? (i.e., parties, councils, networks)

The project is funded by the Institute for Minortity Rights at Eurac Research in collaboration with the University of Vienna, under the supervision of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Sieglinde Rosenberger

Part of the project is carried out with a joint article with Sophia Schönthaler about the political recruitment of people with immigration background in South Tyrolean political parties.

ECMI visit PhD presentation in Flensburg
Zogu G (2023)

Conference: ECMI research seminar | Flensburg | 17.4.2023 - 18.4.2023

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