Intensified by the recent influx of refugees and generally increasing levels of ethnic diversity, Swiss and European governments are struggling with the design of policies that catalyze the integration of immigrants and facilitate the social cohesion of host communities. Against this background, we want to evaluate the effectiveness of non-citizen voting rights and naturalization for social cohesion.
Subproject 1: The Role of Non-Citizen Voting Rights in Migrants’ Integration
Non-citizen voting rights are hypothesized to reduce perceptions of social exclusion and to motivate immigrants to integrate in the host society. Our goal is to better understand the impact of non-citizen voting rights on a wide range of economic, political, social, psychological, and health outcomes. We propose the analysis of non-citizen voting rights in different contexts (i.e. in Geneva/Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden), where foreigners get the right to vote in municipal and/or regional elections.
Subproject 2: Naturalizing Switzerland
Following recent evidence that naturalization fosters the long-term political and social integration of immigrants in Switzerland, our study will estimate the effectiveness of various nudges designed to increase the propensity to apply for citizenship along with the impact of citizenship on economic success. For this project, we collaborate with several cantons and cities in Switzerland.