Immigration Policies and Political Support. A Survey Experiment in Germany.

Stephan Simon, M.A., University of Bamberg, Germany (visiting researcher at FASoS and MACIMIDE)

Few studies examine how immigration policies affect citizens’ political support orientations. Existing studies on this topic mostly use abstract policy indices to test effects of immigration policies on political support but these studies may be struck with unobservable variable bias. We test the validity of the link between immigration policies and political support by conducting a unique survey experiment in which we prime respondents’ political support with real specific immigration laws that were adopted in Germany between 2012 and 2015. The results of our analyses validate the link between immigration policies and political support. We also test how immigration policies affect the association of various social groups with political support. We find that immigration policies affect the association of social groups that are in favor or against immigration with political support differently. Based on our results we make two arguments: First, if governments want to restrict immigration in order to increase political support of those opposed to immigration they face a tradeoff, as restrictive policies also decrease diffuse political support of social groups that support immigration. Second, our results suggest that in order to increase diffuse political support among those opposed to immigration signaling ‘control’ over immigration flows may be equally efficient as merely containing them.



About the speaker

Stephan Simon is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at the University of Bamberg, Germany.Stephan is currently a FASoS and MACIMIDE guest researcher. He is interested in the effects of national immigration policies on people with and without and immigrant background. He currently works on the impact of selective immigration policies on the integration outcomes of immigrants, and on how different types of immigration policies affect the attitudes toward the political system among citizens without an immigrant background. Furthermore, he works on domestic political explanations for more/less restrictive immigration policies in the areas of asylum and labor migration. His methodological focus is on comparative analyses and survey experiments.



Venue: 0.18

Date: 19 February 2020

Time: 13:00 - 14:00


UNU-MERIT