Help Privacy Policy Disclaimer
  Advanced SearchBrowse




Journal Article

Local immigrant councils as a form of participation and governance: How institutional design and agency matter


Schiller,  Maria       
Socio-Cultural Diversity, MPI for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Max Planck Society;

External Resource
Fulltext (restricted access)
There are currently no full texts shared for your IP range.
Fulltext (public)

(Publisher version), 702KB

Supplementary Material (public)
There is no public supplementary material available

Schiller, M. (2023). Local immigrant councils as a form of participation and governance: How institutional design and agency matter. Journal of International Migration and Integration. doi:10.1007/s12134-023-01038-4.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000D-3C01-F
Over the past decades, Western European municipalities increasingly reacted to the presence of immigrants with efforts to include these new residents in local policymaking. As part of this, many cities installed local immigrant councils, allowing newcomers to participate in the political sphere and to bring their needs and interests into the political process. Even though immigrant councils became strongly institutionalized in countries like Germany, their role has been described as ambiguous and their relationship with local authorities as unequal. Existing research has examined immigrant councils as a form of political participation and urban governance and investigated their institutional design and agency of involved actors. Yet, to date, we have little research that systematically links institutional structures and agency of immigrant councils with these bodies’ participation in local policymaking and their collaboration with municipal actors. Based on qualitative research on immigrant councils in two German cities, this article takes a fresh look at this form of immigrant political involvement in cities. It finetunes previous findings by showing that these bodies do not necessarily have to be tokenistic. Strengthening their political rights, countering forms of discrimination and side-lining of immigrant councils and bolstering the ownership of local officials and political leaders for these bodies are three strategies that can support these bodies’ political participation and their role in urban governance.