“A Public of Two Minds: Social Norms, Opposition to Immigration and Support for Extreme Right Parties” The politics of immigration in Europe presents a two-sided puzzle: with anti-immigration sentiments so strong and widespread, why do most anti-immigration parties fail? And, on the other side, why does anti-immigration sentiment persist despite broad acceptance of anti-prejudice norms? Scott Blinder accouts for these tensions by developing a dual process model of political behavior. Negative socially-shared understandings of “immigrants” shape underlying attitudes, but at the same time internalized anti-prejudice norms provide sharp limits on how far these underlying attitudes can shape political behavior. Supporting evidence comes from original surveys conducted in Britain and Germany, with embedded survey experiments, as well as automated textual analysis of 58,000 articles in British newspapers that mention immigration.
Scott Blinder is currently Director of the University of Oxford’s Migration Observatory, a project of COMPAS (Centre on Migration, Policy and Society). In the fall he will take up a faculty position in the Department of Political Science at UMass-Amherst. Blinder’s research focuses mainly on attitudes toward immigration and integration, with a particular interest in how the social norm against prejudice shapes both positive and negative responses to national, ethnic, and religious differences. He also leads a project that monitors and analyzes media coverage of migration, and has conducted work explaining the gender gap in partisanship in the US. His work has appeared in leading academic journals in the US and UK and has been discussed in a wide variety of venues by NGOs, civil servants, and government ministers.
Center for Comparative Immigration Studies
University of California, San Diego
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