Within and without: identity and immigration in contemporary European politics Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Fox, Lisa Courtney
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • How do feelings of national identity shape the attitudes of Western Europeans toward immigrants and immigration policy? The three empirical studies presented in this dissertation explore this question. The first study develops a typology of national identities and maps them onto the commonly-used left-right dimension of political positionality. Then, by using each type in a multivariate regression analysis, I show that each the identity types have a differential impact on attitudes toward immigrant groups and immigration policy. Finally, I also show that the salience of each type of identity varies between countries in Western Europe. This analysis uses the large-N, cross-national survey data from thirteen Western European countries polled by the International Social Survey Program in 2003. The results provide insight into reason why debates about national identity and sovereignty are almost entirely absent in some Western European countries political discourse, while hotly contested in others. In the second study, the Netherlands is taken as a critical case study in the development of anti-immigrant attitudes. The data for this paper was drawn from two surveys, administered ten years apart: one administered in 1998 with the aid of the University of Utrecht, and my own survey in 2007. The shocking events that took place in the Netherlands during this decade were connected to the immigrant community either tangentially or directly. These unforeseeable events presented a natural experiment, making it possible to infer the impact of these events on attitudes toward immigrants. I show that negative attitudes toward Muslims increased significantly between the two surveys. The third paper adds an explicitly political dimension to the analysis of anti-immigrant sentiment. Using a multi-level model, I examine the relationship between strength of party cue and anti-immigrant sentiment. There is significant variation at the party level on this issue. The results show that political parties on the right have more coherent positions on immigration than parties on the left, and that the relationship between party cues and anti-immigrant sentiment is strong and significant: political cues do impact individual attitudes on this issue.
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  • In Copyright
  • "... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Political Science."
  • Hooghe, Liesbet
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Place of publication
  • Chapel Hill, NC
  • Open access

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