English title: Ethnic Minorities and Political Participation: Non-institutionalized Participation of Ethnic Minorities

Author(s): Kaya Cansarp -

Language: English

Type: Thesis / dissertation

Year: 2012


In this paper, the ways by which ethnic minorities participate, the reasons for their participation, the mode of their choice, and the reasons for different behaviours in different countries are explained. Several logistic regression models show that higher social communication made minorities participate more in politics. However, the political structure of their countries differentiated their behaviours. In Turkey, where both the explanatory variables exist (centralized with an exclusive dominant strategy), ethnic minorities participate more in non-institutionalized ways because it is not possible to influence local politics via voting. Germany’s decentralized institutional design may be the reason for a lower coefficient than Turkey, but due to the repressive dominant strategy, the coefficient of the ethnic minority dummy is significant and higher than the other two countries. Switzerland’s ethnic federalism and inclusive nature ends up with lowest positive coefficient but it is still significant. Lastly, for the Netherlands, with an inclusive dominant strategy and formal access points, the same dummy is not significant. These results indicate that the host country’s structure is very important to explain minority participation. An exclusive dominant strategy seems to because repression will reinforce the contra-movements. On the other hand, availability of formal access points alleviates the likelihood of non-institutionalized participation. However, this cannot be measured by categorizing countries as centralized or decentralized. Any details of the state structure may differentiate the minority behavior in politics. Lastly, there’s some evidence that discrimination of minorities in political and social life might lead to alienation. Thus, beside the political structure of the state, the social structure should also be examined. This relation between ethnic minorities and political alienation may be a subject for further research.


Awarding institution: University of Mannheim

Number of pages: 0

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