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Immigrant Representation in a Party Democracy: Evidence from Germany

Comparative Politics
Parliaments
Immigration
David Schmuck
University of Bamberg
David Schmuck
University of Bamberg
Lucas Geese
University of Bamberg
Thomas Saalfeld
University of Bamberg
Andreas Wüst
Universität Mannheim

Abstract

This paper will use data collected from the PATHWAYS project to provide a concise introduction to the institutional context, dynamics and evolution of the representation of CIOs in Germany. The introduction will identify a number of contextual features that are specific to Germany, including the composition of the immigrant population consisting of ‘guest workers’ mainly from Turkey, Yugoslavia and Italy on the one hand and ethnic German refugees and migrants from Central and Eastern Europe on the other. Further peculiarities include the constitutional rules on political asylum, the long adherence to a ‘guestworker model’ immigrant incorporation and high legal hurdles towards naturalization until the 1990s. Following this introduction, the authors will provide a brief review of the standard literature on the subject, a section of the history of post-war immigration and demographic change; a section on the history of immigration and integration policy; a brief analysis of the institutional and partisan contexts of representation and a discussion of the material relating to support and opposition to immigrants in German civil society. The focus of this paper will be on data collected in the PATHWAYS project and other projects on the descriptive and substantive representation of CIOs and their interests in the Bundestag and Germany’s regional parliaments. This will be followed by a brief discussion of the bifurcated partisan patterns of descriptive representation with the Christian Democratic parties advocating some of the interests of ethnic German refugees and the left-of-centre parties having a stronger emphasis on the demands of immigrants from Turkey, the Balkans, Southern Europe and Northern Africa. The paper will conclude with a brief interpretation of the similarities and differences Germany presents in comparison to other countries covered in the PATHWAYS project and beyond (e.g., Canada or the United States).