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Political Participation of Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands

John Rath
The International Migration Review
Vol. 17, No. 3 (Autumn, 1983), pp. 445-469
DOI: 10.2307/2545797
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2545797
Page Count: 25
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Political Participation of Ethnic Minorities in the Netherlands
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Abstract

In a relatively short time the Netherlands has developed into a multiethnic society with consequences for all sectors of the Dutch society, including politics. An important part of the ethnic minorities does not have the Dutch nationality and are consequently excluded from the franchise. However, Dutch laws have been changed in such a way that non-Dutch residents will get the municipal vote soon. The immigrants with Dutch nationality already make use of the right to vote and to be elected at all political levels, albeit to a lesser extent than the Dutch themselves (although there are some interesting local exceptions). The inferior socioeconomic positions and specific cultural backgrounds of the ethnic minorities interfere with their participation in Dutch politics, and besides, the Dutch political parties are not very aware of their responsibilities to this `new' electorate. This article illustrates the present state of affairs regarding the political participation of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands.

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