Dissecting Intersectionality: Ethnicity, Gender, Race and Religion in Political Representation

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Gilbert Scott Building - Room 253 (University of Glasgow)
Silvia Erzeel , Vrije Universiteit Brussel
co-authors: Karen Celis (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Laura Morales (University of Leicester), Liza Mügge, & Daphne van der Pas (both Universiteit van Amsterdam)

This paper provides a cross-national analysis of the descriptive representation of citizens of immigrant origin (CIOs) in Europe and explores how ethnicity, gender, race and religious attributes intersect in the selection of MPs. Are there noticeable gender patterns in relation to which CIOs become MPs? Some scholars have suggested that women minority candidates often have a competitive advantage because they ‘tick’ several boxes at a time in party candidate nomination processes. Is this the case or does it depend on contextual characteristics? How do religion and visibility interact with ethnicity and gender in these choices?
Five sets of explanations will be taken into account: 1) the effects of the electoral system, 2) the role of affirmative action, 3) public opinion, 4) party ideology, and 5) internal organisation and candidate selection processes within parties. The analysis is based on original and unique data gathered through the Pathways project (http://www.pathways.eu/) on all MPs elected to the lower chambers in eight European countries – Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom – between the early 1990s and the mid-2010s.