Gunnar Myrberg, Per Strömblad 2012
Urban Studies, DOI: 10.1177/0042098012458549
This paper provides evidence of segregation-generated differences in political recruitment. Focusing on social-geographical differentiation in the urban landscape, we evaluate—in prior work largely neglected—contextual effects on requests for political participation. Consistent with previous research, our analyses suggest that political activists, who try to convince others to participate, systematically use a set of selection criteria when deciding whom to approach. However, using data based on a sample of inhabitants of Swedish cities and properties of their neighbourhoods, we also present evidence for aggregate-level social exclusion influences on individual-level recruitment efforts. Consistent with our theoretical framework, results indicate that the contextual effect stems both from the disproportional population composition in residential areas, and from recruiters‘ rational avoidance of areas marked by high levels of social exclusion. The net result, we conclude, is a reinforcement of urban inequalities when it comes to the chances to be invited to political life.