The democratic engagement of Britain's ethnic minorities

David Sanders, Stephen D. Fisher, Anthony Heath, Maria Sobolewska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Democratic engagement is a multi-faceted phenomenon that embraces citizens' involvement with electoral politics, their participation in 'conventional' extra-parliamentary political activity, their satisfaction with democracy and trust in state institutions, and their rejection of the use of violence for political ends. Evidence from the 2010 BES and EMBES shows that there are important variations in patterns of democratic engagement across Britain's different ethnic-minority groups and across generations. Overall, ethnic-minority engagement is at a similar level to and moved by the same general factors that influence the political dispositions of whites. However, minority democratic engagement is also strongly affected by a set of distinctive ethnic-minority perceptions and experiences, associated particularly with discrimination and patterns of minority and majority cultural engagement. Second-generation minorities who grew up in Britain are less, rather than more, likely to be engaged. © 2013 © 2013 The Author(s). Published by Routledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-139
Number of pages19
JournalEthnic and racial studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • acculturation
  • cognitive mobilization
  • democratic engagement
  • discrimination
  • embeddedness
  • second generation


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