Citizenship Configuration and Public Opinion towards Out-groups in the European Union
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This paper examines the sources of public opinion towards out-groups (including ethnic minorities and immigrants) in the European Union, using Eurobarometer data from the November-December 2006 survey on Social Reality, E-Communications, Common Agricultural Policy, Discrimination and the Media, and Medical Research. In particular, it investigates one national-level explanatory variable of interest– the state’s policy-based citizenship configuration (either segregationist, assimilationist, multiculturalist or universalist) based on a framework expounded by Koopmans, et al in Contested Citizenship: Immigration and Cultural Diversity in Europe. The study uses a hierarchical ordered logit model, analyzing over 25,000 individual responses from 25 different countries, in order to ascertain the effect that living under a particular citizenship configuration has on an individual’s attitude towards out-groups. Results, though mixed, indicate nominal support for the hypothesis that respondents in segregationist and multiculturalist countries exhibit higher tendencies towards positive opinions of out-groups than respondents in assimilationist countries. This finding has important implications for policymakers attempting to redress negative public opinion towards out-groups in their country.
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