A Comparative Study of Chicago and Madrid
Edited By Francisco Velasco Caballero and María de los Angeles Torres
Chapter Ten: Immigrant Associations and Local Politics in Madrid
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Immigrant Associations and Local Politics in Madrid
CARMEN NAVARRO, AUTONOMOUS UNIVERSITY OF MADRID
Political participation constitutes an attribute of citizenship and is linked with the diverse ways in which individuals participate in the collective issues of a community, whether it be by conventional means (to vote or stand as a candidate in elections, participate in parties, trade unions, associations, or other interest groups) or others (protests, demonstrations, hunger strikes, boycotts, etc.).
Of all the dimensions that relate to the political integration of immigrants, in this chapter we dedicate special attention to one in particular: political participation through the constitution of associations and of their dialogue with local government institutions. We therefore analyze the dynamic of the structure of organized interests of these associations and its consequent involvement in public life, investigating the various mechanisms that immigrants employ in order to make their voices heard in the political process.
Despite being only another way to participate politically, an analysis of associative dynamics is of enormous interest for its multitude of functions that can be explored in terms of integration. Drawing closer to this reality allows us to test the involvement of immigrants in the public sphere and in the decision-making processes. This is not only because the associations are key institutions in the phase of first reception and in the maintenance of identity after establishment, but also because they are called upon...
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