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The Descriptive Representation of CIOs in Europe: Cross-National, Cross-Level and Diachronic Variations

Comparative Politics
Migration
Parliaments
Political Parties
Representation
Immigration
Laura Morales
Sciences Po Paris
Laura Morales
Sciences Po Paris
Daphne van der Pas
University of Amsterdam

Abstract

This paper analyses in detail the cross-national, cross-level and over-time variations of the descriptive political representation of citizens of immigrant origin (CIOs) in Europe. It draws on data from a unique dataset of MPs of the lower national chambers in eight European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK) since the 1990s, and of the most recent regional assemblies in each country. The paper addresses in a systematic and comparative manner the following questions: How many CIO MPs are there at national and regional level? How has descriptive representation evolved over time across the eight countries studied? What are the cross-national differences, and their geographical distribution across districts? The paper examines the profiles of CIO MPs and whether and how they differ from those of non-CIO MPs on a number of key variables: gender balance, visible/invisible divide, ethnic identification, religious identification, the age profile, the left-right classification of their party affiliations, in which positions in the list they were elected, whether they are also regional MPs simultaneously, whether they are more likely to be newcomers to Parliament, the length of their parliamentary tenure, and whether they are more or less likely to become MPs from the start of the legislative term or are more/less likely to become MPs as replacements to other MPs. With this overview of the key aspects that describe CIO MPs and how they compare with non-CIO MPs this paper provides a unique first comprehensive picture of the descriptive representation of CIOs in Europe.