Do Neighborhoods Empower or Disenfranchise? Co-ethnic Concentration, Spatial Disadvantage, and Voter Registration in France

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Ethnoracial inequalities in political participation are a key feature of advanced democracies. Prior research suggests that the socioeconomic and ethnoracial composition of citizens’ local communities could be driving these disparities. Drawing on the case of France, this article uses two unique datasets to explore the role of neighborhoods in shaping voter registration. In both datasets, we show that living in a deprived neighborhood hinders the likelihood of registration among most citizens. Yet the effect of spatial proximity to co-ethnics increases registration among citizens of Sub-Saharan, North African and other non-European origins, while depressing it among European-origin citizens. Applying panel data allows us to control for individual heterogeneity to better disentangle neighborhood effects from residential self-selection. The complementary use of survey data further points to discrimination and marginalization as the driving mechanisms of African-origin citizens' propensity to register in co-ethnic dense neighborhoods.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Politics
Early online date31 May 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2024 Southern Political Science Association. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the University’s Research Publications and Open Access policy.


  • Voter registration
  • Discrimination
  • Co-ethnic concentration
  • Spatial disadvantage
  • Political participation

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