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Ethnic minority MPs as reputational shields? How Western European political parties respond to public opinion shifts on immigration policy

van de Wardt, Marc, Sobolewska, Maria and English, Patrick (2024) Ethnic minority MPs as reputational shields? How Western European political parties respond to public opinion shifts on immigration policy. European Political Science Review. ISSN 1755-7739

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Identification Number: 10.1017/S175577392400002X

Abstract

In recent decades, representation of ethnic minorities increased significantly across Europe, while concurrently many political parties moved to the right on multiculturalism and immigration, a seeming paradox. We explain it by arguing that often it is the same parties that move to the right and simultaneously increase representation. They use this dual strategy in an attempt to positionally converge to the median voter, where the increased minority representation acts as a reputational shield to prevent allegations of intolerance. Looking at parliaments of eight European countries between 1990 and 2015, we find that parties that shifted to the right in response to a public mood swing to the right are indeed significantly more likely to bring more ethnic minority politicians into parliament. This has important implications for the literature on descriptive representation and party platform change.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/european-p...
Additional Information: © 2024 The Author(s)
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2024 08:54
Last Modified: 21 May 2024 11:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/122175

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