The political participation of migrants, especially refugees, who represent one of the most marginalized groups in society, in policymaking processes is a rare phenomenon. This study focuses on STEM as a case study, which involves refugees in Utrecht, the Netherlands. The research delves into the setup of the participation process, examines the dynamics between various actors involved, identifies obstacles and opportunities perceived by these actors, and evaluates the influence of these obstacles and opportunities on the overall participation process. The study employs an in-depth qualitative data analysis combined with the observation of monthly STEM meetings, to gain valuable insights into the participation process and the perceptions of the involved actors. By specifically investigating local-level refugee political participation, this research contributes to the existing literature on migrant political engagement and presents a comparative analysis of the perceptions of different actors in the participation process. The findings reveal that despite varying perceived opportunities of different groups towards the participation process, there are overlapping obstacles. Primarily, barriers related to the design of the participation process and interactions among participants significantly undermine the process's quality and the satisfaction of the participants with the process. These findings provide valuable insights for governments aiming to enhance refugee participation at the local level and serve as a motivating study for migration scholars to conduct further research in this area

Dr. M. Schiller, Dr. A. Pisarevskaya
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Fatma Köse. (2023, August 9). Refugee Participation in Policymaking: The Case of STEM Refugees in the Municipality of Utrecht. Public Administration. Retrieved from