ABSTRACT

Following Brunsson's [1989. The Organization of Hypocrisy: Talk, Decisions, and Actions in Organizations. Chichester: Wiley] neo-institutional approach to differentiate between talk, decision and action, this article analyses discourses on and related practices of diversity incorporation within political parties in Germany. In the light of demographic change political parties in Germany have begun to step up to immigrants and propagate diversity as potential. While still underrepresented as a whole, politicians with migration background are becoming more prominent and visible in leading positions. However, their roles appear manifold: They are expected to function as “bridge-builders” between the immigrant population and the supposed “majority”. Ethnicization takes place in various contexts. Discourses on diversity within parties are contradictory and reflect contested concepts of homogeneity and diversity. How do parties and their members negotiate these various discourses? Can parties actively open themselves to diversity, and how do they deal with the ensuing power struggles and issues of representation?