Back in 2018, Daniel Auer and Didier Ruedin were conducting a research experiment on prejudice in the Swiss housing market. That same summer, a footballer at the FIFA World Cup made a controversial gesture that got the nation talking. After he did so, our researchers observed a significant drop in ethnic discrimination. Were the two phenomena connected?
My co-author Daniel Auer explains why football and political science go together, and also how we captured ethnic discrimination in the field experiment to find that ethnic discrimination decreased drastically after a controversial gesture by footballers. If you know German, a great summary of the work we’ve done!
Can a single gesture really reduce ethnic discrimination in the housing market? In very specific situations, it does indeed appear so! In an article out now at the European Journal of Political Research, jointly with Daniel Auer, we combine a natural experiment with a controlled field experiment to show that after the controversial double-headed Eagle gesture by Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri, and Stephan Lichtsteiner led to lower levels of discrimination in the Swiss housing market for at least 3 months — that’s when our observations end.
We discuss the enormous attention the gesture got, but also what made the situation so special: a discussion of double loyalties, immigrant integration, etc. in a positive context. While research has focused on the drivers of exclusion and discrimination, here we hope to contribute something that helps us understand how to counter these negative factors.
Here’s a new series of podcasts by Declan Hill, award winning investigative journalist and colleague during my doctoral studies. Declan is perhaps best known for his investigations into match fixing in football.
The podcast called Crime Waves is a series of interviews about some extraordinary investigations. The first series is called ‘Blood Sports’ and is about his passion of organized crime in sports. The second series is “How to Solve a Murder” and features interviews with a range of forensic experts on the techniques used by detectives and crime scene investigators. There will be more seasons with some incredible investigators in different fields.
If you are into podcasts, add this to your list. If you’re not into podcasts, make an exception for this!