Immigrant Political Incorporation: Comparing Success in the United States and Western Europe

By John Mollenkopf  and Jennifer Hochschild (Ethnic and Racial Studies, vol. 33, no. 1,  January 2010).

This paper explores why the United States incorporates immigrants more seamlessly than Western Europe. The authors find, first, that the history of the U.S. as a beacon for immigrants contributes to public attitudes toward immigrants. Its long history dealing with civil rights and racial issues has no comparable experience in Western Europe. The U.S. political system of nomination and election is more open to insurgent candidates (and newcomers), and its social welfare and school systems make incorporation slightly easier for immigrants.