SPIRe Seminar Week 9: Socialization, Naturalization and Immigrant Political Participation in Europe: Testing Transferability Theory

SPIRe’s Dr. Derek Hutchenson and Kristen Jeffers will be presenting their paper (along with Tijana Prokic-Breuer and Maarten Peter Vink of Maastricht University) titled “Socialization, Naturalization and Immigrant Political Participation in Europe: Testing Transferability Theory” Thursday November 15th from 13:00-14:00 in G317 Newman (Arts) Building, UCD Belfield.


While there is broad consensus that immigrants are less prone to political activism, compared to natives, there is less agreement on the determinants of differences between immigrant groups. This paper investigates how citizenship acquisition affects conventional (but non-electoral) and unconventional political participation among immigrants in Europe, in the context of their formative experiences in the origin country and their re-socialization in the destination country. We find partial support for the hypothesis that immigrants ‘transfer’ their skills for political engagement from their origin country and, hence, that immigrants from more democratic countries are likely to engage more in forms of political participation in democratic destination countries. Yet we find no support for the related hypothesis that citizenship acquisition helps overcome origin country socialization experiences that are inauspicious for political engagement. Naturalization increases exposure to the democratic political process in the destination country, but it is no panacea for political engagement. 


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