Race, Ethnicity, and the Participation Gap: Understanding Australia's Political Complexion
Published: November 2018© 2018
Imprint: University of Toronto Press
Page Count: 224 Pages
Dimensions: 6.10 x 9.10
224 Pages, 6.10 x 9.10 x 0.90 in
Race, Ethnicity, and the Participation Gap begins with the argument that political institutions in settler and culturally diverse societies such as Australia, the United States, and Canada should mirror their culturally diverse populations. Compared to the United States and Canada, however, Australia has very low rates of immigrant and ethnic minority political representation in the Commonwealth Parliament, particularly in the House of Representatives. The overall existence of racial hierarchies within formal political institutions represents an inconsistency with the democratic ideals of representation and accountability in pluralist societies.
Drawing on findings from the United States, Canada, and Australia, Juliet Pietsch reveals that the lack of political representation in Australia is significant when compared to the United States and Canada, revealing a serious democratic deficit. Her book is devoted to exploring this central puzzle: why is it that, despite having a similar history to other settler countries, Australia shows such comparatively low rates of political participation among its immigrant and ethnic minority populations from non-British and European backgrounds? In addressing this crucial question, Race, Ethnicity, and the Participation Gap examines the impact of Australia’s alternative path on the political representation of immigrants and ethnic minorities.
2. Representation: Comparisons with Canada and the United States
3. Historical and Legal-Institutional Context
4. Elites and Political Representation
5. Pan-Ethnic Identity and Political Behaviors
6. Home Country Politics and Political Attitudes
7. Discrimination and Unequal Outcomes
"Modern Australia is quintessentially projected as a successful player in the modern immigration game and is often compared favourably with other advanced liberal democracies. Meanwhile, its political system has been conspicuously slow to adapt and represent the country’s changing political complexion. Juliet Pietsch examines political opportunity structures to assess how far Australia’s political character has changed, and finds important barriers to successful long-term political integration. Her findings mean that big questions regarding political and social inclusion remain on the table in a way that some will find uncomfortable. Her excellent and timely study delivers a compelling rationale for policy makers to re-examine the capacity of modern Australian politics to successfully include immigrants and minorities and, crucially, to address race as a source of political division."Shamit Saggar, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex
"Race, Ethnicity and the Participation Gap is a major contribution to our current knowledge about migrants' political incorporation in established settler democracies, and will be of interest to a wide range of readers in Australia, North America and Europe."Laura Morales, professor in Political Science and Comparative Politics, Sciences Po