Literature Review: Candidate Supply Is Not a Barrier to Immigrant Representation

n their recently published article in the American Journal of Political Science, Rafaela Dancygier, Karl-Oskar Lindgren, Pär Nyman and Kåre Vernby study why demographic changes do not translate into more diverse elected bodies. While the number of migrated people increases in West-European countries, politicians with foreign origin remain an exception. Previous research engaging with the underrepresentation of immigrants in parliaments identify the role of party gatekeepers or structural factors as cause. The authors now shift our attention to the supply side and individual-level characteristics to answer the research question: Is it possible that immigrants are simply less interested in political engagement? Having to cope with economic and social integration, migrants might not prioritize political involvement, especially if they are confronted with unknown political and institutional structures. Hence, studies emphasizing the crucial role of party gatekeepers might have overlooked the supply-effect dimension in the multiple stages of the election process. For the analysis, the authors focus on the 2014 municipal election in Sweden as the municipal office works as a political career’s starting point and is of high importance for the Swedish welfare system.… Read More Literature Review: Candidate Supply Is Not a Barrier to Immigrant Representation

Literature Review: Direct Democracy and Women’s Political Particiption

In a recently published article in the American Journal of Political Science, Jeong Hyun Kim shows us how direct democracy can enhance women’s political participation. She argues that direct decisions on policy initiatives increase, firstly, women’s perceived efficacy and, secondly, their political knowledge. Given that women were traditionally excluded from politics, direct democracy signals to women that all citizens, their opinions and preferences are valued during political debates, making it more likely that they also feel like their vote matters.… Read More Literature Review: Direct Democracy and Women’s Political Particiption