Erica Dobbs F'12

Erica  Dobbs
Assistant Professor
Pomona College

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2012
Doctoral Candidate
Political Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Constituents without Citizenship: Migrant Political Incorporation in New Destination Countries

In countries with no prior history of immigration, why do some political actors treat new immigrants as citizens? Using Spain and Ireland as cases, this dissertation argues that how societies address past political demands from minorities—whether religious, ethnic, or cultural—affects both the institutions that give access to civic life and the behavior of key political organizations. Accommodation of demands can create both institutional and organizational political ‘space’ for minorities—and in turn future immigrants. Therefore, new immigrants may unintentionally benefit from past social conflict, suggesting that a capacity for change and institutional flexibility may matter more for their incorporation than historical state-building processes or a prior history of immigration.