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NIAS Seminar

How Does Diversity Work? Political representation of minorities with a migration background

When 1 June 2017 from 11:30 to 12:30 hrs
Where Conference Room, Jorishof, Korte Spinhuissteeg 3
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Political scientist Liza Mügge discusses her project on diversity and political representation. 

About the Seminar

Ideal democracies should accommodate the full diversity of their citizenries. The follow-up assumption is that our elected representatives should mirror the ethnic make-up of the population: if there are enough “German-Turks” in the Bundestag, the Turkish minority is thought to be properly represented. But in fact, it is wrong to assume that citizens share interests and worldviews because their parents were born in the same country. Top-down ethnic pigeonholing of citizens and politicians distorts the enormous social diversity within groups and may thus create much less democratic enfranchisement than we would hope. 
 
In this presentation I suggest a bottom-up analysis of the mechanisms that drive representation in ethnically diverse societies. I suggest to break with scholarly and political practice by empirically investigating how citizens and politicians themselvesexperience diversity in politics and fill it with life. It reverses the usual telescope: instead of assuming that we can read people’s identities from their birth certificates, it researches how and with whom politicians and citizens identify, and how they give meaning to their backgrounds. I will focus on four sources of variation to understand representational politics: personal experiences with minority identity, migration histories, political party ideologies, and the way identity politics is encouraged or discouraged by national integration regimes.

About NIAS Seminars

NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community, but seminars are open to others who are interested. Please  if you wish to attend.

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