Policy Brief: “Immigration, Immigration Perception and the Radical Right-Wing Vote in Europe: What is the empirical link?” by Daniel Stockemer

Policy Brief: “Immigration, Immigration Perception and the Radical Right-Wing Vote in Europe: What is the empirical link?” by Daniel Stockemer

New policy brief by Daniel Stockemer, University of Ottawa.

The pictures of immigrants trying to reach the Italian, Greek, and Spanish shores from the Middle East are a constant in the news. Escaping war, violence, and poverty, hundreds of illegal immigrants try to reach the European Union daily. In addition to the nearly 500,000 asylum seekers, the pictures of these newcomers arriving clandestinely may create some fears among the inhabitants in the European Union. Who are these newcomers? Do they have criminal tendencies? Are there possibly even terrorists among them? Do they come to invade us, and do they want to push a foreign culture? In keeping with an ethno-centric worldview, radical right-wing parties stir these fears.

This policy brief evaluates whether the hard data on immigration and individuals’ perceptions about immigration are related. It then examines whether individuals who have a more negative opinion about foreigners are more likely to vote for the radical right than individuals who have a more positive opinion about foreigners. Finally, it tests whether more immigrants in a country are correlated with more support for the radical right in that country.

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