Immigrant political integration in Ireland: unpacking the puzzle


The involvement in of Africans in various forms of political activities in Ireland is manifest in the emergence of two first-generation Africans as local representatives in the 2004, the subsequent election of one of them as the first black mayor in Ireland in 2007, the 2011 candidacy of four Africans as national parliamentary candidates and the high number of African candidates in the June 2009 local elections (42.2% of the total immigrant local election candidates and 1.7% of the total candidates nationwide). Drawing strongly from the findings of my recent research on African immigrants in Ireland, I argue that both institutional and structural factors in Ireland serve to enhance certain forms of political behaviour, while limiting others. My research illustrates that the significant presence of African candidates in Irish local elections remains a puzzle that has failed to ‘ignite’ or rather stimulate a plethora of participation in traditional forms of political activities like voting, registering to vote and join Irish political parties, and part of the puzzle can be explained by their unique characteristics.

Source: African Identities, published online 27 Jan 2014

Author(s):Emmanuel Anuli Okigbo
Publisher:Taylor & Francis Online
Publication Date:27 Jan 2014
Geographic Focus:null
Go Back