The Language of Political Incorporation

Chinese Migrants in Europe

Amy H. Liu
Book Cover

PB: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2013-8
Publication: Mar 21

HC: $110.50
EAN: 978-1-4399-2012-1
Publication: Mar 21

Ebook: $34.95
EAN: 978-1-4399-2014-5
Publication: Mar 21

228 pages
6 x 9
38 tables, 28 figs., 11 halftones

How the language of migrant networks affects political incorporation

Read the Introduction (pdf).


In this groundbreaking study, The Language of Political Incorporation, Amy Liu focuses on Chinese migrants in Central-Eastern Europe and their varying levels of political incorporation in the local community. She examines the linguistic diversity of migrant networks, finding institutional trust and civic engagement depend not on national identity, but on the network’s linguistic diversity—namely, whether the operating language is a migrant’s mother tongue or a lingua franca.

The Language of Political Incorporation uses original survey data to assess when the Chinese engage positively with the authorities and when they become civic minded. The results are surprising. In Hungary, the Chinese community has experienced high levels of political incorporation in part because they have not been targeted by anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. In contrast, migrants in Romania sought the assistance of the Chinese embassy to fight an effort to collect back taxes.

Liu also compares the Chinese experiences in Central-Eastern Europe with those of Muslims in the region, as well as how the Chinese are treated in Western Europe. Additionally, she considers how the local communities perceive the Chinese. The Language of Political Incorporation concludes by offering best practices for how governments can help migrants become more trusting of—and have greater involvement with—locals in their host countries. Ultimately, Liu demonstrates the importance of linguistic networks for the incorporation of immigrants.

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. A Theory about Languages and Migrant Networks
3. The Chinese in Central-Eastern Europe
4. Survey Evidence from Central-Eastern Europe
5. Political Incorporation amid Right-Wing Nationalism in Hungary
6. Tax Collection and Political Incorporation: A Natural Experiment in Romania
7. Beyond the Chinese: The Muslims in Central-Eastern Europe in Comparative Perspective
8. Beyond Central-Eastern Europe: The Chinese in Western Europe in Comparative Perspective
9. Implications: Local Attitudes toward the Chinese (and Other Out-Groups)
10. Implications: Best Practices


About the Author(s)

Amy H. Liu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. She is the author of Standardizing Diversity: The Political Economy of Language Regimes.