Integration and Transnational Political Interest among Immigrant-Origin Voters: An Analysis of Germans from Turkey and their Children in the Immigrant German Election Study 2017
20 Pages Posted: 24 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 20, 2021
What is the effect of integration in Germany on transnational political interest among Germans from Turkey and their children? Using data from the 2017 Immigrant German Election Study, we operationalise three dimensions of integration and two dependent variables of transnational political interest: the mean level of political interest in German and Turkish politics and net political interest as the difference of those two levels. Our analysis reveals:
(1) For general political interest: social integration, by far, has the strongest impact with an estimated 28 % maximum impact on the scale of mean political interest whereas neither, economic or cultural integration nor discrimination experience hardly matter.
(2) For net political interest, all three dimensions of integration tilt political interest in favour of German politics with social and economic integration mediating the effect of cultural integration. Economic integration maintains the most sizeable impact with the maximum impact at 11 % of the scale of net political interest.
Overall, Germans from Turkey and their children empirically show a clear picture that more integration into German society leads to higher general political interest and a profile of transnational political interest tilted more towards German politics. Theoretically, these findings allow reconciling the expectations of the assimilation-mobility thesis (immigrant-origin voters become less distinguishable the less cohesive their group is) and of the international political theory (immigrant-origin voters are pluri-local political beings who are much less bound by national territories).
Keywords: political interest, immigration, integration, Germany, Turkey, transnationalism, political behaviour, immigrant-origin voters
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