Push-Pull Factors and Immigrant Political Integration in Germany

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Drawing specifically on the German case, I argue that individuals' motivations for immigration, or so-called push-pull factors, have a lasting impact beyond the decision to immigrate and, in fact, profoundly influence immigrants' political integration in the host country. Specifically, economic push-pull factors are likely to impede immigrants' political integration, whereas political push-pull factors lead immigrants to remain more interested and engaged in politics while abroad. Methods.

I test these hypotheses using a combination of qualitative interviews conducted in 2002 with first-generation Turkish immigrants living in Berlin, and quantitative survey data from the 1998 German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). Results.

Results from both analyses lend considerable support to these assertions. Conclusions.

The positive findings suggest that factors unique to the immigrant experience contribute to a fundamentally different understanding of immigrants' political integration from that of natives.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2006.00418.x

Affiliations: Loras College

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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