Do Immigration Policies Converge Over Time?

Do immigration policies in Europe converge over time? As part of the SOM project, we collected data to examine this. Using the MIPEX criteria, we cover seven countries 1995 to 2010. We complemented this with an indicator on asylum policies.

Strand Higher Lower SD
Labour Market 7 -7
Family Reunion 3 4 +3
Long-Term Residence 4 3
Political Participation 4 3 -3
Access to Nationality 4 3 +6
Anti-Discrimination 6 1 -7
Asylum Seekers 2 4

This table gives the number of countries where MIPEX scores in 2010 are higher than in 1995 (respectively lower), as well as the difference in standard deviations (AT, BE, CH, ES, IE, NL, UK). So we can see convergence in two strands only: labour market and anti-discrimination.

Do Civil Society Organizations See Immigration Positively?

Civil society organizations (CSO) are important political actors in the debate on immigration. As part of the SOM project we examined the politicization of immigration in seven Western European countries, 1995 to 2009. Civil society organizations are responsible for between 11 and 28 per cent of claims in the news.

With the exception of the UK, most of the claims by civil society organizations are positive: Between around 70 and 80 per cent of claims by civil society organizations on immigration are positive.

Edited on 1 Feb 2013: Removed some incorrect numbers; the patterns is generally observed.

Women in Claims-Making

In the project SOM we use a large media analysis to examine claims-making in the news. I looked at the gender aspect. Since the original data does not record the gender of the claimant, I used the first name of the 200 most common first names and manually assigned the gender.

This gives me 531 claims by women (16%), and 2729 claims by men (84%).

I find significant differences across countries in the proportion of claims made by women (as opposed to men):

AT BE CH ES IE NL UK
Women 23.5% 9.4% 17.2% 24.7% 18.5% 16.9% 5.55%
Men 76.5% 90.6% 82.8% 75.3% 81.5% 83.1% 94.5%

My initial thought was that these differences are just another reflection of the different levels of descriptive representation. This isn’t the case, though (r=0.08):

I also looked at the frames used in political claims; men tend to use identity frames a bit more often, women moral arguments more often and instrumental frames. Instrumental frames are dominant for men and women.