The articulation between contentious dynamics, political engagement and recognition: A focus on immigrants in North-Eastern Italy

Author/s Michela Semprebon
Publishing Year 2013 Issue 2012/3
Language Italian Pages 24 P. 101-124 File size 353 KB
DOI 10.3280/PACO2012-003005
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Italian scholars have demonstrated growing interest in immigrants’ political engagement. Most studies have focused on associationism and conventional forms of political participation, while little research has investigated their unconventional involvement. Additionally, in the context of urban conflicts, they have been assumed as passive political actors, or at least this can be deduced from the scarce attention dedicated to them. The paper aims to question this interpretation, while at the same time contributing to research on immigrants’ unconventional engagement, through an examination of two conflicts that exploded in north-eastern Italy. In particular, the following questions will be addressed: what shapes can immigrants’ political engagement take? How does it articulate with contentious dynamics? Can any form of recognition emerge from it? In order to answer these questions, evi- dence will be drawn from a research carried out in the cities of Modena and Verona, between 2008 and 2010. The analysis will build on the theoretical perspective by Dancygier (2010) to then criticise its scarce dynamicity with respect to a pragmatic approach. Contentious dynamics will be inspected alongside their articulation with immigrants’ political engagement. This will provide empirical material to test the key hypothesis by Dancygier, according to whom it is power which mainly contributes to the emergence of native-immigrants conflicts, and the lack of it which anticipates the emergence of immigrants-state actors conflicts. The analysis will then be taken further to explore the type of ‘recognition’ (Fraser and Honneth 2007) that can derive from urban conflicts.

Keywords: Immigrants, Political Engagement, Pragmatism, Political Opportunity Structure, Recognition

  • Governing agricultural migrant workers as an “emergency”: converging approaches in Northern and Southern Italian rural towns Michela Semprebon, Roberta Marzorati, Anna Mary Garrapa, in International Migration /2017 pp.200
    DOI: 10.1111/imig.12390

Michela Semprebon, L’articolazione tra dinamiche conflittuali, coinvolgimento politico e riconoscimento dei migranti. Uno studio di caso nella Terza Italia in "PARTECIPAZIONE E CONFLITTO" 3/2012, pp 101-124, DOI: 10.3280/PACO2012-003005