Tiziana Caponio and Andrea Pettrachin (CCA, University of Turin)
3 February 2023 @ 13:00 - 14:15
- Past event
When local migration governance meets politics. Evidence from a cross-country and cross-locality study in European small localities.
Abstract. The management of migration in European localities poses complex challenges that need to be faced through interactions between governmental and nongovernmental actors. At the same time, migration is an increasingly politicised and polarizing political issue at the national and local levels. This paper explores the link between local politics and governance asking whether the political affiliation of local governments and the presence of radical right parties within local councils influences the frequency and quality of governance interactions between local governments and nongovernmental actors in small European localities. It does so, by developing a multilevel regression analysis, using a unique dataset of policymaking interactions across 36 rigorously selected case-localities in 7 EU countries, based on data collected through 338 interviews with local policymakers and other stakeholders. The paper crucially shows that both the political affiliation of local governments and the presence of radical right parties within local councils influence the frequency and quality of policymaking interactions in small localities. More specifically, we show that progressive local governments of European small localities are involved in more frequent and more collaborative interactions with non-governmental actors on immigrant integration compared to conservative local governments. The presence of far-right parties within local councils has a diverse impact on local networks, reducing the frequency of interactions between nongovernmental actors and conservative governments but boosting the frequency of interactions between nongovernmental actors and progressive local governments, especially with NGOs and civil society organizations. These results suggest that local migration governance does not arise out of local governments willingness to act pragmatically in order to cope with the complexity of migration challenges but is rather highly dependent on (favourable) political pre-conditions.