Getting Ethnic Questions on the Agenda: Party Formation as a Strategy for Social Movements

Pontus Odmalm, Charles Lees

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this article is twofold: firstly, to examine party formation as an option for social movements; secondly, to explore in more detail the reasons and conditions as to why a party with an explicit ethnic agenda and with an aim to represent various migrant communities emerged in the Swedish but not in the Dutch context. The article argues that this type of mobilization should be viewed as a strategy adopted by social movements rather than as a traditional party and as such should be related to the prevailing political opportunity structures. The Swedish context offers more favourable conditions for this type of mobilization than the Dutch, although structural arrangements and dominating cleavage lines influence the type of success this type of option has in the long run.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Movement Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Political Opportunity Structures
  • Ethnic Mobilization
  • Party Formation
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Migration


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