Francesco Molteni

Anti-Immigration Attitudes in Europe, 2002-2016: A Longitudinal Test of the Group Conflict Theory

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Immigration; Ingroup; Outgroup; Threat; Europe.

The rise of anti-immigration attitudes spreading around Europe is a hot topic in both the academia and the public discourse. The literature is quite consistent in interpreting this change in the light of the competitive threats perceived by the majority of population. This contribution adopts a longitudinal framework and reads the evolution of anti-immigration attitudes as response to changing country-features. Results from a longitudinal multilevel model on the eight rounds of ESS demonstrate how enduring country-differences in economic conditions and size of the outgroup do not have any impact whereas the longitudinal change in the size of the outgroup shows a significant effect. In addition to this general finding, the model also points out that European countries which show a worsening in the anti-immigration attitudes report a negligible effect of this last figure. This suggests a reading which is based on the political appropriation of immigration issues.

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