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Immigrant Integration Policies and Perceived Group Threat: A Multilevel Study of 27 Western and Eastern European Countries


Schlueter, Elmar; Meuleman, Bart; Davidov, Eldad (2013). Immigrant Integration Policies and Perceived Group Threat: A Multilevel Study of 27 Western and Eastern European Countries. Social Science Research, 42(3):670-682.

Abstract

Although immigrant integration policies have long been hypothesized to be associated with majority members’ anti-immigrant sentiments, systematic empirical research exploring this relationship is largely absent. To address this gap in the literature, the present research takes a cross-national perspective. Drawing from theory and research on group conflict and intergroup norms, we conduct two studies to examine whether preexisting integration policies that are more permissive promote or impede majority group members’ subsequent negative attitudes regarding immigrants. For several Western and Eastern European countries, we link country-level information on immigrant integration policies from 2006 with individual-level survey data from the Eurobarometer 71.3 collected in 2009 (Study 1) and from the fourth wave of the European Value Study collected between 2008 and 2009 (Study 2). For both studies, the results from multilevel regression models demonstrate that immigrant integration policies that are more permissive are associated with decreased perceptions of group threat from immigrants. These findings suggest that immigrant integration policies are of key importance in improving majority members’ attitudes regarding immigrants, which is widely considered desirable in modern immigrant-receiving societies.

Abstract

Although immigrant integration policies have long been hypothesized to be associated with majority members’ anti-immigrant sentiments, systematic empirical research exploring this relationship is largely absent. To address this gap in the literature, the present research takes a cross-national perspective. Drawing from theory and research on group conflict and intergroup norms, we conduct two studies to examine whether preexisting integration policies that are more permissive promote or impede majority group members’ subsequent negative attitudes regarding immigrants. For several Western and Eastern European countries, we link country-level information on immigrant integration policies from 2006 with individual-level survey data from the Eurobarometer 71.3 collected in 2009 (Study 1) and from the fourth wave of the European Value Study collected between 2008 and 2009 (Study 2). For both studies, the results from multilevel regression models demonstrate that immigrant integration policies that are more permissive are associated with decreased perceptions of group threat from immigrants. These findings suggest that immigrant integration policies are of key importance in improving majority members’ attitudes regarding immigrants, which is widely considered desirable in modern immigrant-receiving societies.

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27 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Sociology
Dewey Decimal Classification:300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Language:English
Date:2013
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:28
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0049-089X
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.12.001

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