Urban inequalities and the identity-to-politics link in the Netherlands and Nigeria

Main Article Content

Floris Vermeulen

Abstract

This article examines urban inequalities and minority politics in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Jos (Nigeria). Though advanced democracies are considered to be generally more egalitarian than their emergent counterparts, there is very little, if any, scholarly attention dedicated to understanding the specific ways in which the dimensions and parameters of inequalities resemble or contrast between the two contexts. Moreover, while there is growing interest in the identity-to-politics link among urban groups, there is very little comparative sense of how the processes play out across different contexts. Based on a critical analysis of theoretical and empirical perspectives, we show that in Amsterdam, an anti-Muslim discourse, rather than group level inequalities, led to the politicization of immigrant groups. In Jos, however, minority politics is driven by a strong overlap between ascribed identities and inequalities. Though the identity-to-politics link is characterised by a complex set of processes in both cases, the outcomes vary. While minority groups in Amsterdam articulate and pursue their interests within the confines of a well-regulated political space, parties in Jos deploy violent strategies in pursuing their interests because of the prevalence of weak institutions and an unregulated political space that operates on a winner-takes-all logic. The conclusion reiterates a few key insights derived from this cross-fertilization.

Article Details

Section
Articles (refereed)
Author Biography

Floris Vermeulen, University of Amsterdam

Dr. Floris Vermeulen is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Amsterdam. He has been co-director of the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES). His research focuses primarily on the civic and political participation of immigrants on the local level among other things. His work is published in several international volumes and journals such as Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Political Psychology, Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, Urban Studies, West European Politics, British Journal of Sociology and Terrorism and Political Violence.

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