MERCI - Mobilization on Ethnic Relations, Citizenship, and Immigration

Project Description

The MERCI project compares collective actions by migrants, xenophobes, and antiracists in Germany, Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Revealing striking cross-national differences in how immigration and diversity are contended by different national governments, this project finds how citizenship is constructed is the key variable defining the experience of Europe’s immigrant populations. The project provides nuanced policy recommendations, and challenges the truism that multiculturalism is always good for immigrants. Even in an age of European integration and globalization, the state remains a critical actor in determining what points of view are sensible and realistic—and legitimate—in society. 


Team Information

  • Université de Genève, Marco Giugni and Florence Passy
  • Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung, Ruud Koopmans and Paul Statham


Data Description 

Dataset 1: Citizenship Indicators

Broad set of indicators impacting upon people of migrant background, and which can be taken together to assess the overall institutional and political opportunity structures within which they are located across different milieus. Two main dimensions: (1) individual rights and (2) cultural group rights.

Spatial Coverage: France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK

Time Method: Time series

Analysis Unit: Standardized scores based on content analysis of policy documents and practices

Universe: Not applicable

Mode of Data Collection: Compilation / Synthesis

Sampling Description: Not applicable

Data Collection Instruments: Included in the dataset

Further Documentation: Estimation of the electorate of immigrant origin, Tables with corrected scores, Sources and references

How to Get the Data?  To access the dataset, click here

How to Cite? 

Note: The available file is an expanded dataset on citizenship rights for immigrants integrating the original data. See here.


Dataset 2: Content Analysis of Political Claims-Making

Sample of political claims in the field of immigration and ethnic relations. An instance of claim-making (shorthand: a claim) is a unit of strategic action in the public sphere. It consists of the purposive and public articulation of political demands, calls to action, proposals, criticisms, or physical attacks, which, actually or potentially, affect the interests or integrity of the claimants and/or other collective actors.

Spatial Coverage: France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, UK

Time Method: Time series

Analysis Unit: Instances of claims-making

Universe: Claims which belong thematically to the issue field of immigration and ethnic relations.

Mode of Data Collection: Content coding

Sampling Description: One national newspaper for each country: Frankfurter Rundschau (Germany), Le Monde (France), The Guardian (UK), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland). Monday, Wednesday and Friday issues for each country. Period: from 1990 to 1999. All claims are coded which belong thematically to the issue field of ethnic relations, citizenship and immigration. All political decisions, verbal statements, and protest actions are coded relating to immigration, migrant integration, and racism and xenophobia. For two collective actors of special interest to us—migrants and extreme-right organizations and groups—we also coded claims that were not related to immigration issues, e.g., homeland political issues in the case of immigrants, and claims on the Nazi regime or the Holocaust in the case of the extreme right.

Data Collection Instruments: Codebook

Further Documentation: Notes on the comparative dataset

How to Get the Data? To access the data, click here

How to Cite? MERCI - Mobilization on Ethnic Relations, Citizenship, and Immigration: Content Analysis of Political Claims-Making [Dataset]. Distributed by FORS, Lausanne, 2020.


Selected Publications

Giugni, Marco; Passy, Florence. 2006. La citoyenneté en débat: Mobilisations politiques en France et en Suisse. Paris, L’Harmattan.

Koopmans, Ruud; Statham, Paul; Giugni, Marco, Passy Florence. 2005. Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press.