Of Citizenship and Conflict: Immigrant Political Incorporation in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland
affiliation not provided to SSRN
April 12, 2012
MIT Political Science Department Research Paper No. 2012-10
Why do some political actors choose to engage in the process of political incorporation - or ‘incorporative activities’ - with new immigrants? Historical analysis of Northern Ireland - a least likely case for successful political incorporation of new immigrants due to its contentious political history - and a brief comparison with the Republic of Ireland suggests that how governments and political actors settle the past demands of minority groups – whether ethnic or political – may have future unintended consequences for the political incorporation of new immigrants. In places where these demands are accommodated, institutions are changed to be more open to minority participation, and ‘old’ minority political organizations may serve as political advocates and allies for newcomers. In places where these demands are ignored or actively squashed, there may be neither the institutional ‘space’ nor the civil society capacity to engage in political incorporation. Therefore, a legacy of deep social conflict, while perhaps negatively impacting some variables such as social trust, can also lead to the kinds of institutional changes and organizational capacity that actually enhance the ability of some societies to cope with the changes and challenges presented by new migration.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40working papers series
Date posted: May 16, 2012
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