English title: How Does the Rate of Change Affect Attitudes about Immigration?

Author(s): Peter Mohanty -

Language: English

Type: Conference paper/poster

Year: 2014


Recent work has shown in the American context that the volume of immigrants is less important for predicting opposition to immigration than starting levels and the rate of change—rapid increases lead to stiff opposition. This paper investigates whether this finding can be replicated in the multinational context using data from the European Social Survey. Drawing from political psychology literature which shows that those with certain personality profiles are disproportionately likely to oppose immigration, this paper assesses two causal mechanisms which may link macro level change to individual behavior. Do rapid immigration influxes affect all natives roughly equally or is there a polarizing effect whereby those with authoritarian tendencies have particularly stark reactions? Understanding these dynamics is important in the European context because countries on the EU’s frontiers (on the Mediterranean and in Central Europe) are experiencing unprecedented levels of migration. Understanding these dynamics is important in general because migration rates tend to follow economic boom-bust cycles and so it is important to understand the threshold after which one would expect ethnic discrimination and possibly even political violence.

Conference name: 21st International Conference of Europeanists

Location: Washington DC

Start date: Mar 14, 2014

Type: Paper

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