Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-jlg5l Total loading time: 0.415 Render date: 2022-01-28T16:58:20.819Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Does Immigration Produce a Public Backlash or Public Acceptance? Time-Series, Cross-Sectional Evidence from Thirty European Democracies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 July 2021

Christopher Claassen*
Affiliation:
School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK
Lauren McLaren
Affiliation:
School of History, Politics and International Relations, University of Leicester, UK
*
*Corresponding author. E-mail: christopher.claassen@glasgow.ac.uk

Abstract

After decades of relatively high inflows of foreign nationals, immigration is now at the center of substantial political divisions in most European countries and has been implicated in one of the most vexing developments in European politics, the rise of the xenophobic right. However, it is not clear whether high levels of immigration actually do cause a public backlash, or whether publics become habituated to, and supportive of, immigration. This study tests these backlash and habituation theories using novel measures of immigration mood and immigration concern produced by combining over 4,000 opinion datapoints across twenty-nine years and thirty countries. The authors find evidence of a public backlash in the short to medium run, where mood turns negative and concern about immigration rises. Yet the study also finds evidence of a longer-run process of habituation that cancels out the backlash effect within one (concern) to three (mood) decades.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Abrajano, M and Hajnal, ZL (2017) White Backlash: Immigration, Race, and American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Adida, CL, Laitin, DD and Valfort, M-A (2016) Why Muslim Integration Fails in Christian-Heritage Societies. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alesina, A and La Ferrara, E (2000) Participation in heterogeneous communities. Quarterly Journal of Economics 115(3), 847904.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Alesina, A and La Ferrara, E (2002) Who trusts others? Journal of Public Economics 85(2), 207234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Azrout, R and Wojcieszak, ME (2017) What's Islam got to do with it? Attitudes toward specific religious and national out-groups, and support for EU policies. European Union Politics 18(1), 5172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bloemraad, I and Wright, M (2014) ‘Utter failure’ or unity out of diversity? Debating and evaluating policies of multiculturalism. International Migration Review 48(S1), S292S334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Blumer, H (1958) Race prejudice as a sense of group position. Pacific Sociological Review 1(1), 37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bohman, A and Hjerm, M (2016) In the wake of radical right electoral success: a cross-country comparative study of anti-immigration attitudes over time. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 42(11), 17291747.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Böhmelt, T, Bove, V and Nussio, E (2020) Can terrorism abroad influence migration attitudes at home? American Journal of Political Science 64(3), 437451.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Boomgaarden, HG and Vliegenthart, R (2009) How news content influences anti-immigration attitudes: Germany, 1993–2005. European Journal of Political Research 48(4), 516542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Castles, S, de Haas, H and Miller, MJ (2014) The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern World, 5th edn. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caughey, D, O'Grady, T and Warshaw, C (2019) Policy ideology in European mass publics, 1981–2016. American Political Science Review 113(3), 674693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Caughey, D and Warshaw, C (2015) Dynamic estimation of latent opinion using a hierarchical group-level IRT model. Political Analysis 23(2), 197211.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claassen, C (2019) Estimating smooth country-year panels of public opinion. Political Analysis 27(1), 120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claassen, C (2020) In the mood for democracy? Democratic support as thermostatic opinion. American Political Science Review 114(1), 3653.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Claassen, C and McLaren, L (2021), Replication data for: Does immigration produce a public backlash or public acceptance? Time-series, cross-sectional evidence from thirty European democracies, https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/9FO6LD, Harvard Dataverse, V1, UNF:6:c+gv9uQkfVcDX1pnsWSqeQ═ [fileUNF]Google Scholar
Coenders, M and Scheepers, P (1998) Support for ethnic discrimination in the Netherlands 1979–1993: effects of period, cohort, and individual characteristics. European Sociological Review 14(4), 405422.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coenders, M and Scheepers, P (2008) Changes in resistance to the social integration of foreigners in Germany 1980–2000: individual and contextual determinants. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 34(1), 126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dancygier, RM and Donnelly, MJ (2013) Sectoral economies, economic contexts, and attitudes toward immigration. Journal of Politics 75(1), 1735.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Dennison, J and Geddes, A (2019) A rising tide? The salience of immigration and the rise of anti-immigration political parties in Western Europe. The Political Quarterly 90(1), 107116.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Döring, H and Manow, P (2019) Parliaments and Governments Database (ParlGov): Information on Parties, Elections and Cabinets in Modern Democracies. Technical report. Available from http://www.parlgov.org/.Google Scholar
Duffy, B (2014) Perceptions and reality: ten things we should know about attitudes to immigration in the UK. The Political Quarterly 85(3), 259266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Evans, G and Need, A (2002) Explaining ethnic polarization over attitudes towards minority rights in Eastern Europe. Social Science Research 31(4), 653680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ford, R (2011) Acceptable and unacceptable immigrants: how opposition to immigration in Britain is affected by migrants’ region of origin. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 37(7), 10171037.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Geddes, A and Scholten, P (2016) The Politics of Migration and Immigration in Europe, 2nd edn. Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gorodzeisky, A and Semyonov, M (2016) Not only competitive threat but also racial prejudice: sources of anti-immigrant attitudes in European societies. International Journal of Public Opinion Research 28(3), 331354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gorodzeisky, A and Semyonov, M (2018) Competitive threat and temporal change in anti-immigrant sentiment: insights from a hierarchical age-period-cohort model. Social Science Research 73, 3144.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Helbing, M and Traunmüller, R (2020) What is Islamophobia? Disentangling citizens’ feelings toward ethnicity, religion and religiosity using a survey experiment. British Journal of Political Science 50(3), 811828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hewstone, M and Swart, H (2011) Fifty-odd years of inter-group contact: from hypothesis to integrated theory. British Journal of Social Psychology 50(3), 374386.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Hiers, W, Soehl, T and Wimmer, A (2017) National trauma and the fear of foreigners: how past geopolitical threat heightens anti-immigration sentiment today. Social Forces 96(1), 361388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hopkins, DJ (2010) Politicized places: explaining where and when immigrants provoke local opposition. American Political Science Review 104(1), 4060.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ivarsflaten, E (2008) What unites right-wing populists in Western Europe? Re-examining grievance mobilization models in seven successful cases. Comparative Political Studies 41(1), 323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Jennings, W (2009) The public thermostat, political responsiveness and error-correction: border control and asylum in Britain, 1994–2007. British Journal of Political Science 39(4), 847870.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Judson, RA and Owen, AL (1999) Estimating dynamic panel data models: a guide for macroeconomists. Economics Letters 65(1), 915.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaufmann, E (2014) ‘It's the demography, stupid’: ethnic change and opposition to immigration. The Political Quarterly 85(3), 267276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kaufmann, E and Goodwin, MJ (2018) The diversity wave: a meta-analysis of the native-born white response to ethnic diversity. Social Science Research 76, 120131.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Kaufmann, E and Harris, G (2015) ‘White flight’ or positive contact? Local diversity and attitudes to immigration in Britain. Comparative Political Studies 48(12), 15631590.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kellstedt, P (2000) Media framing and the dynamics of racial policy preferences. American Journal of Political Science 44(2), 245260.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kentmen-Cin, C and Erisen, C (2017) Anti-immigration attitudes and the opposition to European integration: a critical assessment. European Union Politics 18(1), 325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Levy, M, Wright, M and Citrin, J (2016) Mass opinion and immigration policy in the United States: re-assessing clientelist and elitist perspectives. Perspectives on Politics 14(3), 660680.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lucassen, G and Lubbers, M (2012) Who fears what? Explaining far-right-wing preference in Europe by distinguishing perceived cultural and economic ethnic threats. Comparative Political Studies 45(5), 547574.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Maxwell, R (2019) Cosmopolitan immigration attitudes in large European cities: contextual or compositional effects? American Political Science Review 113(2), 119.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McLaren, LM (2003) Anti-immigrant prejudice in Europe: contact, threat perception, and preferences for the exclusion of migrants. Social Forces 81(3), 909936.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
McLaren, LM, Boomgaarden, HG and Vliegenthart, R (2018) News coverage and public concern about immigration in Britain. International Journal of Public Opinion Research 30(2), 173193.Google Scholar
Meuleman, B, Davidov, E and Billiet, J (2009) Changing attitudes toward immigration in Europe, 2002–2007: a dynamic group conflict theory approach. Social Science Research 38(2), 352365.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Nickell, S (1981) Biases in dynamic models with fixed effects. Econometrica 49(6), 14171426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, P (2005) Radical Right: Voters and Parties in the Electoral Market. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, P and Inglehart, R (2019) Cultural Backlash: Trump, Brexit and Authoritarian-Populism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Putnam, RD (2007) E pluribus unum: diversity and community in the twenty-first century: the 2006 Johan Skytte prize lecture. Scandinavian Political Studies 30(2), 137174.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quillian, L (1995) Prejudice as a response to perceived group threat: population composition and anti-immigrant and racial prejudice in Europe. American Sociological Review 60(4), 586611.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rayp, G, Ruyssen, I and Standaert, S (2017) Measuring and explaining cross-country immigration policies. World Development 95, 141163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rooduijn, M et al. (2019) The PopuList: An Overview of Populist, Far Right, Far Left and Eurosceptic Parties in Europe. Technical report. Available from www.popu-list.org.Google Scholar
Rydgren, J (2008) Immigration sceptics, xenophobes or racists? Radical right-wing voting in six West European countries. European Journal of Political Research 47(6), 737765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Scheepers, P, Gijsberts, M and Coenders, M (2002) Ethnic exclusionism in European countries: public opposition to civil rights for legal migrants as a response to perceived ethnic threat. European Sociological Review 18(1), 1734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Semyonov, M, Raijman, R and Gorodzeisky, A (2006) The rise of anti-foreigner sentiment in European societies, 1988–2000. American Sociological Review 71(3), 426449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sides, J and Citrin, J (2007) European opinion about immigration: the role of identities, interests and information. British Journal of Political Science 37(3), 477504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sniderman, PM and Hagendoorn, L (2009) When Ways of Life Collide: Multiculturalism and Its Discontents in the Netherlands. Princeton. NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stein, RM, Post, SS and Rinden, AL (2000) Reconciling context and contact effects on racial attitudes. Political Research Quarterly 53(2), 285303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stimson, JA (1991) Public Opinion in America: Moods, Cycles, and Swings, Transforming American Politics. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
Strabac, Z and Listhaug, O (2008) Anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe: a multilevel analysis of survey data from 30 countries. Social Science Research 37(1), 268286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
van der Meer, T and Tolsma, J (2014) Ethnic diversity and its effects on social cohesion. Annual Review of Sociology 40, 459478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Hauwaert, SM and English, P (2019) Responsiveness and the macro-origins of immigration opinions: evidence from Belgium, France and the UK. Comparative European Politics 17, 832859.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wagner, U et al. (2003) Ethnic prejudice in East and West Germany: the explanatory power of intergroup contact. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations 6(1), 2236.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weber, H (2019) Attitudes towards minorities in times of high immigration: a panel study among young adults in Germany. European Sociological Review 35(2), 239257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Weldon, SA (2006) The institutional context of tolerance for ethnic minorities: a comparative, multilevel analysis of Western Europe. American Journal of Political Science 50(2), 331349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Williams, LK and Whitten, GD (2012) But wait, there's more! Maximizing substantive inferences from TSCS models. Journal of Politics 74(3), 685693.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wlezien, C (1995) The public as thermostat: dynamics of preferences for spending. American Journal of Political Science 39(4), 9811000.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Claassen and McLaren Dataset

Link
Supplementary material: PDF

Claassen and McLaren supplementary material

Claassen and McLaren supplementary material

Download Claassen and McLaren supplementary material(PDF)
PDF 2 MB
1
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Does Immigration Produce a Public Backlash or Public Acceptance? Time-Series, Cross-Sectional Evidence from Thirty European Democracies
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Does Immigration Produce a Public Backlash or Public Acceptance? Time-Series, Cross-Sectional Evidence from Thirty European Democracies
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Does Immigration Produce a Public Backlash or Public Acceptance? Time-Series, Cross-Sectional Evidence from Thirty European Democracies
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *