Visible Ethnic Minorities in Local Political Parties: A Case Study of Two Belgian Cities (Antwerp and Ghent)

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Abstract

The central concern of this article is the extent of political party commitments to the inclusion of ethnic minorities. The study of two Belgian cities and four parties shows a marked discrepancy between the efforts to include ethnic minority candidates and their level of inclusion in the local party structures as individual members, as party officials or as a party subdivision. A possible explanation is that political parties only promote the representation of ethnic minorities out of concern for their own electoral competitiveness, and not based on an unconditional commitment to the full political integration of ethnic minorities.

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