1st Edition

Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies

Edited By Gary P. Freeman, Randall Hansen, David L. Leal Copyright 2013
    402 Pages
    by Routledge

    422 Pages
    by Routledge

    Although ambivalence characterizes the stance of scholars toward the desirability of close opinion-policy linkages in general, it is especially evident with regard to immigration. The controversy and disagreement about whether public opinion should drive immigration policy are among the factors making immigration one of the most difficult political debates across the West. Leading international experts and aspiring researchers from the fields of political science and sociology use a range of case studies from North America, Europe and Australia to guide the reader through the complexities of this debate offering an unprecedented comparative examination of public opinion and immigration.

    • part one discusses the socio-economic and contextual determinants of immigration attitudes across multiple nations
    • part two explores how the economy can affect public opinion
    • part three presents different perspectives on the issue of causality – do attitudes about immigration drive politics, or do politics drive attitudes?
    • part four investigates how several types of framing are critical to understanding public opinion and how a wide range of political factors can mould public opinion, and often in ways that work against immigration and immigrants
    • part five examines the views of the largest immigrant group in the U.S. – Latinos – as well as how opinions are shaped by contact with and opinions about immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.

    An essential read to all who wish to understand the nature of immigration research from a theoretical as well as practical point of view.

    Introduction, Gary P. Freeman, Randall Hansen, David L. Leal. Section I: Demography and Public Opinion. Chapter 1: Resistance to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers in the European Union: Cross-National Comparisons of Public Opinion, Marcel Coenders, Marcel Lubbers, Peer Sheepers. Chapter 2: Cross-National and Cross-Time Views of Immigration: Evidence from the Eurobarometer, Lauren McLaren. Chapter 3: The Paradox of Immigration Attitudes in Luxembourg: A Pan-European Comparison, Joel Fetzer. Chapter 4: The Structure of Self-Interest(s): Applying Comparative Theory to U.S. Immigration Attitudes, D. Stephen Voss, Jason E. Kehrberg, Adam M. Butz. Section II: Economics. Chapter 5: Individual Attitudes towards Immigration: Economic vs. Non-Economic Determinants, Giovanni Facchini, Anna Maria Mayda, Riccardo Puglisi. Chapter 6: Voter Attitudes towards High- and Low-Skilled Immigrants: Evidence from a Survey Experiment, Jens Hainmueller, Michael Hiscox. Section III: Framing and Institutional Effects. Chapter 7: Amnesty, Guest Workers, Fences! Oh My! Public Opinion about ‘Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Deborah Schildkraut. Chapter 8: Threat and Immigration Attitudes in Liberal Democracies: The Role of Framing in Structuring Public Opinion, Gallya Lahav. Chapter 9: Media Effects and Immigration Policy in Australia, Bob Birrell. Chapter 10: Party Politics and Public Opinion on Immigration and Anti-Discrimination Policy, Terri Givens, Ernest McGowan. Chapter 11: Who’s Afraid of Immigration? The Effects of Pro- and Anti-Immigrant Threatening Ads among Latinos, African Americans, and Whites, Bethany Albertson, Shana Kushner Gadarian. Section IV: Diversity and Opinion. Chapter 12: Native Born and Foreign Born Attitudes towards Receptivity and Conformity: The Dynamics of Opinion Change in Canada, Steven White, Neil Nevitte. Chapter 13L Immigration Reforms from the Perspective of the Target of the Reform: Immigrant Generation and Latino Policy Preferences on Immigration Reform, Louis DeSipio


    Gary P. Freeman is Chair of the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin, USA 

    Randall Hansen is a political scientist and historian at the University of Toronto, where he has held the Canada Research Chair in Political Science since 2005.

    David L. Leal is an Associate Professor of Government, Faculty Associate of the Center for Mexican-American Studies, and Director of the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin, USA.

    "With contributions by a veritable who's who of leading migration scholars from Europe and North America, this book critically scrutinizes the complex relationship between immigration and public opinion in contemporary liberal democratic states. Anyone interested in developing a sophisticated understanding of how public opinion shapes (and is shaped by) one of the most contentious political issues of our time will find this work indispensable."

    —Matthew J. Gibney, University of Oxford

    "Bringing together an impressive number of experts, this volume is a central resource and a necessary stop for anyone interested in public attitudes toward immigrants and immigration."

    —Alin M. Ceobanu, University of Florida