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The Social and Political Background of Citizens of Immigrant Origin MPs: Are they any Different from other MPs?

Citizenship
Elites
Parliaments
Representation
Identity
Immigration
Jérémy Dodeigne
Université catholique de Louvain
Jérémy Dodeigne
Université catholique de Louvain
Laura Morales
Sciences Po Paris
Daniela Vintila
Université de Liège

Abstract

This paper describes the profiles of citizens of immigrant origin (CIO) MPs in terms of social backgrounds and previous careers in eight Western democracies (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom). The first research goal of this paper is descriptive: it examines to what extent CIO MPs present different social backgrounds and career paths to parliaments in comparison with non-CIO MPs. Are they any different from the ‘average’ non-CIO MPs? Are they more or less representative of the voters than non-CIO MPs? Do CIO MPs follow the same career paths to become MPs than the rest of the MPs, or do they differ significantly from them? Based on the empirical findings to these questions, the second research goal is to identify patterns in the recruitment of non-CIO MPs within and across the eight democracies under examination. The establishment of regional/national patterns is a preliminary and necessary condition for further and more refined ‘explanatory’ research studying the causes of cross-national variance.