Immigrants in German city councils

Project leader: Karen Schönwälder
Researchers: Cihan Sinanoglu, Daniel Volkert, Chris Kofri

- completed -

This project is part of the overall project Political institutions and the challenge of diversity.

This project is conducted in cooperation with the Heinrich-Böll-Foundation, Berlin, and with the support of the Mercator Foundation, Essen. It aims to assess the level of immigrant (individuals with a migration background) representation in the 77 German cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Based on a detailed analysis of the official lists of candidates and of the official election results, we investigate to what extent the immigrant population is represented in the councils, how the different political parties fare in this respect, and what differences exist between regions and cities. This is the first comprehensive and detailed analysis for German cities.

Second, we want to gain insight into the motivations and career paths of councillors with a migration background and research their perceptions of barriers and positive conditions for immigrant political careers. To this effect we will conduct a survey and personal interviews with councillors with a migration background.

Results of the study were presented in Berlin on 29 June 2011. A longer publication and an abstract of the study can be found here.

Photo: Stephan Röhl / Heinrich Böll Foundation more


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