Immigration and Citizenship: Participation and Self-organisation of Immigrants in the Veneto (North Italy)

Claudia Mantovan


The changes related to globalisation and to the increasing presence of immigrants in Western Europe place the traditional concept of citizenship in crisis: formal citizenship is no longer a means to inclusion for an increasing number of people, such as non-EU immigrants. A research project, like the one presented in this paper, which seeks to study immigrants' citizenship demands (MEZZADRA, 2001), needs, therefore, to concentrate on a more pragmatic meaning of citizenship. Partly following the suggestions of some authors who have researched this topic, I have built a multidimensional model for analysing immigrants' self-organisation and political participation in Italy and, in particular, in the Veneto region. The model takes into consideration four factors that can have an influence on immigrants' civic and political participation, namely: 1) supranational and national context, 2) local immigration field, 3) infra-political sphere, cultural background, transnational dimension and 4) some variables related to the individual (like gender, age, length of time in host country, etc). The findings show that these factors are important in shaping "immigrants' citizenship demands" and that for many immigrants formal citizenship is neither a salient issue nor a fundamental tool for participation in the society of arrival.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs060347


citizenship; immigrants; self-organisation; participation; Veneto; Italy

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Copyright (c) 2006 Claudia Mantovan

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