Amsterdam and Los Angeles show divergent trends in minority politics. In Los Angeles, minority organisations that were divided along ethnic lines in the 1960s and 1970s joined together in a broad alliance for social justice in the 1980s and 1990s. In Amsterdam, by contrast, minority organisations became increasingly divided. Whereas, in the 1970s and 1980s, minority organisations were central actors in a broad alliance for social justice, they were marginalised in the 1990s. Contemporary leaders of minority background in Amsterdam do not call for social justice but, instead, in complete contrast to their counterparts in Los Angeles, allocate responsibility for minorities' marginalisation first and foremost to individual migrants and their culture. This paper develops a specific variant of field analysis to chart and explain these divergent developments in minority politics in both cities. It argues that the progressive alliance of Los Angeles could flourish because the local state did not have the capacity to selectively co-opt migrant organisations. The Amsterdam government, by contrast, saw an increase in its power to selectively co-opt them. © 2013

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Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Erasmus School of Economics

Nicholls, W., & Uitermark, J. (2013). Post-Multicultural Cities: A Comparison of Minority Politics in Amsterdam and Los Angeles, 1970-2010. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 39(10), 1555–1575. doi:10.1080/1369183X.2013.833686