How Different? The Political Participation of Ethnic Minorities in Eastern Europe

    • IMG_6431
    • Presentation speakers
      • Sergiu Gherghina, GESIS Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany


    Existing research indicates that ethnic parties are among the most electorally stable political actors in Eastern Europe. Similarly, their electorates are seen as the most organized, disciplined, and involved. Whereas the discipline and voting preferences of ethnic groups have been intensely investigated, their involvement has not been studied. This paper seeks to address this gap in the literature by answering two research questions: how does the political participation differ in the case of ethnic minorities (compared to the majority population) and what factors enhance it? Political participation is a composite index of voting (the most frequent form), campaign involvement and discussions to persuade other voters. The study is carried at individual level using data from the Candidate Study of Electoral Systems (CSES). It includes three Eastern European countries with relevant ethnic minorities (i.e. relevance according to several criteria) and provides a cross-national analysis. The empirical tests account for three types of determinants enhancing the electoral participation of citizens belonging to ethnic minorities: political (i.e. satisfaction with democracy, government performance, closeness to a party), economic (retrospective and prospective evaluations), and social (income, education, residence) variables.