This project will study ethnic stereotypes in the Flemish political context. More specifically, it will
focus on stereotypical expectations party leaders and voters have about ethnic minority
The underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in elected assemblies is hotly debated by citizens and
scholars alike. Thus far, scholars have tried to explain their political underrepresentation by
examining institutional factors such as the electoral system, whereas cultural variables, such as
ethnic attitudes, were oftentimes disregarded. Therein lies the added value of this project.
We will focus on both local party gatekeepers and voters, as they both influence which candidates
will eventually get elected. Party gatekeepers because they are the party elite who are responsible
for choosing who will occupy a position on the ballot list and voters because they ultimately elect
the representatives.This project can be divided into three parts. First, we examine whether gatekeepers and voters in
general hold stereotypes on ethnic candidates. Second, we dig deeper into which voters and
gatekeepers are more likely to hold stereotypes compared to others. Third, we review whether
stereotypical views in gatekeepers’ and voters’ minds have an influence on respectively candidate
selection procedures and voting behaviour. This way, we can make a link between the prevalence
of ethnic stereotypes and the actual underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in politics.