THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ASYLUM SEEKER GROUP SIZE AND PEOPLE’S ATTITUDES TOWARDS IMMIGRATION DURING THE REFUGEE INFLUX 2014 - 2017 : A dynamic cross-national multilevel study of 28 European countries

University essay from Umeå universitet/Sociologiska institutionen; Umeå universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Abstract: The increase in right wing populist parties in Europe combined with the sudden influx of asylum applicants has given rise to the debate regarding immigration both politically and within research. This paper sets out to examine the relation between asylum seeker group size and people’s attitudes towards immigration. Based on group threat theory and ethnic competition theory we hypothesize that countries´ increases in asylum seekers is correlated with decreases in attitudinal support for immigration. We test this hypothesis using cross- national time series survey data from the Eurobarometer from 2014 to 2017 and conducting a multilevel analysis. Despite the extensive theoretical arguments that strengthen the hypothesis, we find no evidence that the group size of asylum seekers is related to attitudes towards immigration from outside EU.

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