Civil Society, Migrant Organisations and Political Parties
This chapter deals with the role of migrant associations in civil society and their relationship with the political parties. First, the ideas and rationale behind civil society are discussed. An ideal model of types and purposes of organisations is elaborated, and migrant associations, with reference to the five case countries, are then compared within this context. Second, the role and relevance of these associations are discussed with reference to the structural opportunities and constraints that exist within the Swedish and Dutch political environment. In the former, the intention is that migrant organisations should serve as partners in the integration process, functioning as bridges between the Swedish society and the new population. In the latter, organisations are founded under the label of ethnic minorities and are encouraged to do so under the Dutch policy of cultural pluralistic policies (Vermeulen, 2002). This suggests that migrant associations should be involved in the political process to some extent. Although official policy seems to encourage mobilisation according to ethnic belonging, structural conditions determine to what extent this is feasible. Therefore, the chapter will examine in more detail to what degree migrant organisations have been utilised as channels for claims-making and what type of relationship they have with the political parties.
KeywordsCivil Society Collective Action Social Movement Political Participation Migrant Group
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