Research into active citizenship and the contributions of diaspora reveals multiple patterns of civic and political participation by migrants. Societies experiencing immigration can benefit substantially from these engagements. This policy brief explores how stakeholders may tap into such forms of participation. What can we learn from newcomers about our own society? Can the transnational ties and multi-lingual and multicultural competence of migrants benefit others? And could those who have experienced violent conflict and repression play important roles in political action in Europe today?
In order to tap into all available human resources in culturally and religiously diverse societies like Norway, it is necessary to explore the civic and political participation of migrants in new ways.
First, migrants can bring original perspectives to taken-for-granted societal practices, allowing us to see them in a new light.
Second, migrants have access to transnational networks and are important lobby groups that can benefit Norway’s foreign policy work.
Third, those who have fled violent conflict and war can feel a strong sense of social responsibility that drives political action in times of uncertainty.