Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Institute for Futures Studies

No 2010:12: Political Participation of Ethnic Associations: Exploring the Importance of Organisational Level Differences in Resources, Motivation and Recruitment Networks

Per Strömblad () and Bo Bengtsson ()
Additional contact information
Per Strömblad: Institute for Futures Studies, Postal: Institute for Futures Studies, Box 591, SE-101 31 Stockholm, Sweden
Bo Bengtsson: Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University, Postal: Institute for Housing and Urban Research, P.O. Box 785, SE-801 29 Gävle, Phone: +46 26 420 65 21, Fax: +46 26 420 65 01,

Abstract: In this paper, we apply the Civic Voluntarism Model (CVM) proposed by Verba, Schlozman and Brady on the organisational level. Simultaneously contributing to the research on the political integration of ethnic minorities, we examine resources, motivation and recruitment networks of ethnic associations, and probe the extent to which these mechanisms influence collectively organised political participation. We use data based on face to face interviews with representatives of 106 organisations of four different immigrant groups in Stockholm. Our results indicate that participation rates of ethnic associations vary with size, access to information technology, level of internal democracy, overall aspiration to influence society, and contacts with political elites. Noteworthy, however, our analyses suggest that members’ proficiency in the Swedish language is not important in this respect. Conceptually and methodologically the study demonstrates how the CVM can be fruitfully applied when analysing differences in the political activity of voluntary associations.

Keywords: Ethnic minorities; Political integration; Ethnic associations; Political participation; Civic Voluntarism Model; Voluntary associations

JEL-codes: J15; J24; J61; J71

20 pages, November 22, 2010

Price: 25 SEK

Note: ISSN: 1652-120X; ISBN: 978-91-85619-73-3

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