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Who can enter? A Multilevel Analysis on Public Support for Immigration Criteria across 20 European Countries

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  • Economics
  • Linguistics
  • Psychology


41-60_GPI_098776.indd Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 2009 Vol 12(1) 41–60 Who Can Enter? A Multilevel Analysis on Public Support for Immigration Criteria across 20 European Countries Eva G. T. Green Utrecht University, the Netherlands and University of Lausanne, Switzerland Drawing on social psychological threat theories and extending them to a national level, this study investigated individual- and country-level predictors of Europeans’ support for immigration criteria. Endorsement of ascribed and acquired immigration standards was analysed with survey data across 20 nations. Multi-level regression analyses revealed that among the individual-level predictors, perceived threat had the strongest relationship with support for both entry criteria. Low gross domestic product (GDP) and low refugee rate predicted approval of ascribed criteria. Cross-level interactions revealed that relationships between perceived threat and approval of acquired entry criteria were intensifi ed in high GDP and high refugee rate contexts. The results corroborate predictions of social psychological threat theories and underscore the importance of including macro-social factors in the cross-national study of immigration attitudes. keywords country-level indicators, European Social Survey, immigration attitudes, perceived threat Author’s note Address correspondence to Eva G. T. Green, Research Unit: Methodology, Inequality and Social Change, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland [email: [email protected]] Copyright © 2009 SAGE Publications (Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore and Washington DC) 12:1; 41–60; DOI: 10.1177/1368430208098776 Despite prevailing multicultural and egalitarian discourses, hostile reactions towards immigrants remain common in Europe and other parts of the world. For example, the implementation of the Schengen Agreement, facilitating the movement of people within the member states o

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