New Paper on Muslim Immigrant Groups as Objects of Political Claims

Our paper on Muslim immigrants as objects of political claims on immigration is finally available online. It started as an exercise to get to know the data from the SOM project and grew from there. In the paper, Joost Berkhout and I examine under which circumstances politicians differentiate among immigrants, and specifically when they in focus on Muslim immigrants rather than national or other groups in some countries. We draw on a political claims analysis 1995 to 2009 in 7 Western European countries. We find that Muslim-related claims-making is associated with the parliamentary presence of anti-immigrant parties and the policy topic under discussion.

There is supplementary material on Dataverse, where we examine claims on asylum seekers (alternative specification) and present the main actors and positions towards Muslim immigrants.

Berkhout, Joost, and Didier Ruedin. 2016. “Why Religion? Immigrant Groups as Objects of Political Claims on Immigration and Civic Integration in Western Europe, 1995–2009.” Acta Politica. doi:10.1057/ap.2016.1.

JEMS Special Issue: The public and the politics of immigration controls

jemsThe JEMS special issue “The public and the politics of immigration controls” is now available. The contributions to the special issue question the received wisdom that the public in Europe and the United States have negative attitudes towards immigration, and that governments necessarily react to these attitudes by introducing stricter immigration policies.

The special issue in JEMS covers the US, UK, and the Netherlands, as well as a comparative study by Laura Morales, Jean-Benoit Pilet et myself. We use data from the SOM project and MIPEX to examine the opinion-policy gap in seven countries, 1995 to 2010.

Strength of Anti-Immigrant Parties Unrelated to Opinion–Policy Gap

Our paper in JEMS on the opinion-policy gap is now out. We examine the gap between public opinion on immigration and policies, combining public opinion data with data from the SOM project and MIPEX. Contrary to what is commonly assumed, our analysis over time suggests that the strength of anti-immigrant parties is not associated with the opinion–policy gap on immigration. Instead, it seems that the salience of immigration and the intensity of the public debate are. When negative attitudes are combined with extensive media coverage policy congruence on immigration seems more likely.

Morales, Laura, Jean-Benoit Pilet, and Didier Ruedin. 2015. “Does the Politicization of Immigration Increase Congruence between Public Attitudes towards Immigration and Immigration Policies?” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 41(9):1495-1516.