Immigrants in German politics: local elections and local parliaments in Northrhine-Westfalia (completed)

Christiane Kofri, Karen Schönwälder


This project on the local elections in Northrhine-Westfalia (on 30 August 2009) and the incorporation of immigrants into local politics forms part of our research on the political participation and incorporation of individuals with a migration background more generally. Taking the largest German state as an example, we investigate questions such as the extent to which individuals with a migration background are represented in local parliaments. Do the political parties make efforts to win the support of this group of the population? Is their attitude towards immigrants inclusive and have they fielded candidates from this group? To what extent do the immigrants themselves take part in the local political process? How can we explain processes of opening and closure as well as different degrees of participation? Our research involves a survey in selected cities, analyses of the elections and of media reporting.

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