English title: Ethnic and Linguistic Minorities and Political Participation in Europe

Author(s): Maria Elena Sandovici - O. Listhaug -

Language: English

Type: Journal article

Year: 2010


Understanding the political behavior of ethnic minorities is important for their integration in contemporary European societies. We compare the political participation rates of ethnic and linguistic minorities to those of the majority population using data from the 2002—03 European Social Survey which covers 21 countries in Europe. Using a broad index of participation, we show that the differences between minority and majority groups are virtually zero. Only voting in national elections displays a gap between majorities and minorities. Based on a multivariate model we estimate that a person with a minority background both with reference to ethnicity and language has an 80 percent probability of voting in national elections compared to 89 percent for a person in the majority population. In making sense of these findings we have to remind ourselves that ethnic and linguistic minorities in Europe are groups that show great heterogeneity, and that not all characteristics of these groups should lead us to expect them to be less active than majority groups in every single act of political participation. This finding is in line with the emphasis of variation and heterogeneity in effects of ethnicity and language that Anderson and Paskeviciute (2006) have found in research based on aggregate indicators.

Volume: 51

Issue: 1

From page no: 111

To page no: 136

Refereed: Yes

DOI: 10.1177/0020715209347070

Journal: International Journal of Comparative Sociology

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