Migrants as parliamentary actors in Germany
Aims of the chapter This chapter aims to shed more light into the parliamentary representation of politicians with a migratory background in Germany. Respective MPs are identified longitudinally at each political level (national, regional, local and for the European Parliament). Analyses are then presented based on three sources of data. First, the main analyses are based on elected members, for whom data on individual background (socio-demographic, ethnic), political affiliation, and on their work in Parliament (committee membership, parliamentary activities) have
been systematically collected. Some of these data are so far only available for the current legislative periods (cross-sectional data). Second, the analysis in the last section draws on survey data of the German Candidate Study 2005. Third, the chapter reports on qualitative data collected through interviews and participatory observation. Analytically, the chapter draws first on the political opportunity structure approach (Kittilson and Tate 2004) to look at party-and level-specific variations in descriptive representation. Subsequently, it refers to the politics of presence (Phillips 1995) to find out to what extent the migratory background is ‘present’ in the parliamentary activities. Finally, variation in presence is expected to be caused by the different roles that MPs with a migratory background play (Searing 1994) and consequently by the parliamentary strategies they might pursue.