Associational membership and political involvement among ethnic minority groups in Brussels

  • Jacobs D
  • Phalet K
  • Swyngedouw M
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In this article we look into the relationship between associational membership and political involvement in the case of the two largest groups of non‐EU citizens in Brussels, Moroccans and Turks. The aim is to evaluate the claim by Fennema and Tillie that differences in political participation between groups are to be explained by different levels of ‘ethnic civic community’, and more specifically by the differential presence of social capital (as participation in associational life). Primarily making use of data of a survey among Moroccans, Turks and lower‐educated Belgians, we conclude that the Fennema and Tillie hypothesis does not work in a straightforward way for Brussels. Although we see a high score of Turks on a number of indicators of ‘ethnic civic community’, it is the Moroccans who have a higher level of political involvement. Moreover, on the individual level, we did not find proof of a strong positive link between membership participation in ethnic associations as such and political involveme...

Author-supplied keywords

  • Belgium
  • Brussels
  • Ethnic minorities
  • Political participation
  • Social capital

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  • Dirk Jacobs

  • Karen Phalet

  • Marc Swyngedouw

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