New publication: How South African Parties Do Not Politicize Immigration in Their Manifestos

I am happy to announce a new publication on how South African parties do not politicize immigration in their electoral manifestos, despite many indications that we can expect them to do so. In a country where xenophobia appears widespread, we can expect political parties to politicize immigration and take positions against immigrants.

In this paper, I wanted to do two things. On a methodological side, I wanted to know whether the approaches to coding electoral manifestos we have developed in the context of European parties works elsewhere. I have applied them to the US context, but South Africa would provide a tougher test. The keyword tests worked fine, and the qualitative discussions with colleagues were encouraging to press on. On a substantive side, I wanted to know whether South African parties as parties drive politicization, or whether individual politicians do so. The systematic analysis of the electoral manifestos reveals that parties as organizations do not politicize much against immigrants and immigration. In this sense, we cannot find evidence for this supposedly perverse upshot of the post-apartheid nation-building project where parties would politicize against immigrants to bolster internal cohesion: not parties as formal organizations. From other research and the media we know, though, that individual politicians certainly play a role in politicizing immigration in South Africa.

Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘South African Parties Hardly Politicise Immigration in Their Electoral Manifestos’. Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies 46 (1).

Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 45 (7): 1108–26.

Ruedin, Didier, and Laura Morales. 2018. ‘Estimating Party Positions on Immigration: Assessing the Reliability and Validity of Different Methods’. Party Politics OnlineFirst.

Now in print: Attitudes to immigrants in South Africa: personality and vulnerability

I’m happy to announce that my article on attitudes to immigrants/foreigners in South Africa has finally made it into print. Most of the academic literature on the topics focuses on the Western world; here I show that the same mechanisms seem to apply more generally.

Part of the motivation for this article is quite topical at the moment: the common view in South Africa that we cannot discern patterns in who is more opposed to immigrants, and the view that South Africa is somehow an exceptional case. Another motivation was to test the validity of the work we do on Western countries.

Heerden, Sjoerdje van, and Didier Ruedin. 2019. ‘How Attitudes towards Immigrants Are Shaped by Residential Context: The Role of Neighbourhood Dynamics, Immigrant Visibility, and Areal Attachment’. Urban Studies 56 (2): 317–334.
Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2016. ‘A Foreigner Who Does Not Steal My Job: The Role of Unemployment Risk and Values in Attitudes toward Equal Opportunities’. International Migration Review 50 (3): 628–66.
Pecoraro, Marco, and Didier Ruedin. 2019. ‘Occupational Exposure to Foreigners and Attitudes towards Equal Opportunities’. Migration Studies.
Ruedin, Didier. 2019. ‘Attitudes to Immigrants in South Africa: Personality and Vulnerability’. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 43 (7): 1108–26.

S-SAM Call for Exchanges and Pilot Studies Closing 15 April 2019

The second call for bilateral research activities between Switzerland and Subsaharan Africa (S-SAM) closes soon. We fund research activities by late PhD and early postdoctoral researchers between Switzerland and Subsaharan Africa. Submit your proposal for short pilot studies or academic exchanges on the topic of human migration.

For further information see the website of the S-SAM:

Deadline: 15 April 2019.

Livecode: write document on Android

Android does not allow apps to write just anywhere as a matter of safety. That’s probably generally a useful feature, but this time I wanted to save data to a text file that is accessible to the user (me). The official guide wasn’t really helpful in this case, because there are ways to save data on Android that are not accessible by the users — e.g. for settings.

Apparently the ‘easiest’ way is to save like this:

set the defaultFolder to specialFolderPath("external documents")
put field "write" into URL ("file:test.txt")

The other (common) special folders (“documents”, “desktop”, “engine”) don’t seem to work on Android.

OK, but where is this file we created? Here:
Local/internal storage/Android/data/com.yourcompany.yourapp/files/test.txt

Not the most intuitive place to me, but whatever, I can access this file from the Android device.