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Political participation of ethnic minorities in Britain Anthony Heath Universities of Manchester and Oxford.

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Presentation on theme: "Political participation of ethnic minorities in Britain Anthony Heath Universities of Manchester and Oxford."— Presentation transcript:

1 Political participation of ethnic minorities in Britain Anthony Heath Universities of Manchester and Oxford

2 The central problem Widespread concerns in many countries about the political integration of migrants and their descendants Low election turnout in many countries Low identification with mainstream parties Conversely Riots and protest Home-grown terrorism in Britain

3 Theories Orientations Lack of interest (more oriented to origin country/ethnic community, short-term orientation to life in Britain, economic not political motives) Lack of skills (language, education, economic resources) Hence ‘exit’ (withdrawal) Barriers Access to citizenship Discrimination in the labour market (hence relative deprivation) Political exclusion/lack of access to the mainstream agenda Hence ‘voice’ (protest)

4 The questions in this paper How do minority rates of electoral and non- electoral participation, party identity and support for violent protest in Britain compare with those of the majority group? Do we see ‘exit, voice or loyalty’? How do these patterns vary across ethnic groups? And how do patterns change across generations – towards greater integration or greater exit or voice?

5 The conventional wisdom Muslim groups will be less loyal – more inclined to withdrawal and/or (violent) voice Economically successful groups like Indians will be more integrated/loyal Less successful groups like Blacks will be more inclined to protest (the ‘weapon of the weak’) Exit will be more common in the first generation Voice/Radicalization will be seen in the second generation (especially among Muslims and Blacks)

6 The data Ethnic Minority British Election Survey (EMBES) Representative probability survey with many questions identical to those in the main BES Focus on five main ‘visible’ minorities Over-sampled in high density areas Excellent response rate (circa 60%) with 2787 respondents

7 Party identification Noneweakstrong Majority 22 2553 Indian 17 2558 Pakistani 15 2957 Bangladeshi 18 2754 Black Caribbean 15 2659 Black African 15 2263 All minorities 16 2658

8 Turnout Registered self-reportedvalidated Majority908178 Indian788376 Pakistani818176 Bangladeshi778178 Black Caribbean797678 Black African647672 All minorities777876

9 Non-electoral participation volunteered petitioned protested Majority44NA5 Indian46227 Pakistani36208 Bangladeshi39189 Black Caribbean46206 Black African52164 All minorities44206

10 Support for violent protest Majority15 Indian15 Pakistani15 Bangladeshi18 Black Caribbean11 Black African15 All minorities15

11 Myths debunked High levels of political integration overall – only real exception is registration No sign of Muslim lack of integration No sign that more ‘successful’ minorities are more politically integrated No sign that protest is a ‘weapon of the weak’

12 Modelling the data Test theories of Grievance (relative deprivation) Ethnic (and British) consciousness Bonding (and bridging) social capital Resources and skills Political interest and efficacy Sense of political representation Generational change

13 Significant estimates (minorities only) Turnout Volunteer Protest Violence Unrepresented *** - - - Consciousness* - - - Interest *** ****** - Bonding *** ****** ** Education - *** * - 2 nd generation- -*** ** Grievance - - - ***

14 Average marginal effects Turnout Volunteer Protest Violence Unrepresented -.11 - - - Consciousness -.07 - - - Interest +.24 +.20+.06 - Bonding +.12 +.11+.06 +.06 Education - +.11+.04 - 2 nd generation - - +.04 +.04 Grievance - - - +.10

15 Conclusions Different drivers of different outcomes only bonding social capital is consistently important and has positive effects Turnout only outcome affected by ‘anti-system’ feelings Volunteering and protesting driven by similar factors (skills) – different sides of the same coin? Support for violence only outcome to be related to relative deprivation Maybe relative deprivation, protest and support for violent demonstrations are learned in Britain

16 Discussion A highly positive picture of political integration – generally positive orientations and absence of major barriers Bonding social capital seems to be a ‘good thing’ for integration rather than the villain of the piece Muslims (and Blacks) just as integrated as Indians Probably the legacy of Old Labour’s record of incorporation and pursuit of social justice But might be under threat as the second generation come to expect fair and equal treatment – which they don’t receive

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