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Discourse, Politics and Policy: The Dutch Parliamentary Debate about Voting Rights for Foreign Residents

Dirk Jacobs
The International Migration Review
Vol. 32, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 350-373
DOI: 10.2307/2547187
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2547187
Page Count: 24
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Discourse, Politics and Policy: The Dutch Parliamentary Debate about Voting Rights for Foreign Residents
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Abstract

This article contains the results of research concerning parliamentary debate about voting rights for foreign residents in the Netherlands (1970-1996) using a discourse analytical framework. Due to the characteristics of the Dutch political field, a large majority of the political actors has to be willing and able to combine political interests and ideological narratives into one story line propagating franchise for foreign residents in order to grant voting rights to nonnationals. It is claimed that the success and failure of policy changes regarding the political participation of nonnationals is foremost determined by the extent of the discursive affinity of argumentative clusters used by parties of the "center-right" with the (leftist) discourse which propagates enfranchisement.

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