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The Political Representation of Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands: Nominated and Elected Ethnic Minority Candidates

Democracy
Elections
Parliaments
Political Participation
Representation
Immigration
Roos van der Zwan
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Roos van der Zwan
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
Marcel Lubbers
Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
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Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on the political representation of minority groups by examining the representation of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands. Considering that the composition of candidate lists is likely to affect the composition of the House of Representatives, we not only study ethnic minority representation among the in 2012 elected Members of Parliament but also the representativeness of political parties’ candidate lists. Additionally, it is tested to what extent the level of representation can be explained by political party characteristics. The results show that most ethnic minority groups in the Netherlands are underrepresented, except for ethnic minorities of Turkish and Moroccan origin. Moreover, party characteristics partly explain the representativeness of candidate lists. More specifically, it is the party’s standpoints on integration and migration that affects the share of ethnic minorities on the candidate list and the relative position of ethnic minorities on the list.