Marc Debus, Felix Schulte
How Party Competition Shapes Ethnic Parties’ Positions on Migration and Immigration

Party Politics, 2024: 30, issue 1, pp. 126-138
ISSN: 1354-0688 (print), 1460-3683 (online)

What positions do ethnic parties adopt on issues related to migration and immigration? We argue that, first, the specific characteristics of the party system – that is, if there are further ethnic parties that compete for votes, in particular among the same ethnic group – matter for the policy profile of ethnic parties on immigration policy. Secondly, we expect that the ideological position of an ethnic party should matter for their immigration policy position: ethnic parties with a more right-wing ideological profile should adopt more negative positions on immigration, in particular, if they face competition from another ethnic party. We use regression analysis and a manually coded sample of ethnic parties based on the Comparative Manifesto Project to test these assumptions. The empirical analysis provides support for our expectations: ethnic parties take more negative immigration positions if they compete with other parties among the same group of ethnic voters and the more the ethnic parties belong to the right wing of the ideological spectrum.