Politics and citizenship
in Immigration and social cohesion in the Republic of Ireland
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This chapter examines the political participation of immigrants and the role of citizenship in the political integration of immigrants in Ireland. Drawing on interviews with almost half of all immigrant candidates who contested the 2009 local government elections, it considers bottom-up efforts of immigrants to participate in electoral politics since 2004, when two former asylum seekers were elected as councillors in the local government elections. It also examines the institutional responsiveness of Irish political parties to immigrants as voters, candidates, and party members, based on interviews and written responses from each of the political parties in 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2009. Most immigrants are entitled to vote in Irish local government elections, where the franchise depends on residency rather than citizenship.


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