How do terrorist attacks influence migration attitudes? We argue that the influence of attacks depends on the location of whoever receives the terrorist news, and derive two hypotheses from this logic of spatial conditionality. First, if terror attacks affect citizens’ views of migration through sensations of imminent danger and fear, then proximity to the terrorist attack would be the main conditioning factor. Second, rather than distance to attack, the local migration context of the news receiver might condition the effect. In homogenous societies with little immigration experience, citizens may be more receptive to discourses linking migration to terrorism and thus more susceptible to negative attitude change. We evaluate the observable implications of these claims with the 2015 Bataclan attack using data from a Eurobarometer survey. This data was collected right before and after the attack which allows for a quasi-experimental research design. In line with the migration context hypothesis, we find more negative attitudes toward migrants and refugees particularly in countries with relatively homogenous societies and few immigrants. No evidence was found to support the proximity to attack hypothesis. These results have important implications as the public discourse of a migration-terrorism nexus has shaped the policy debate in Europe.

The consequences of terrorism on migration attitudes across Europe

Bove V.;
2019

Abstract

How do terrorist attacks influence migration attitudes? We argue that the influence of attacks depends on the location of whoever receives the terrorist news, and derive two hypotheses from this logic of spatial conditionality. First, if terror attacks affect citizens’ views of migration through sensations of imminent danger and fear, then proximity to the terrorist attack would be the main conditioning factor. Second, rather than distance to attack, the local migration context of the news receiver might condition the effect. In homogenous societies with little immigration experience, citizens may be more receptive to discourses linking migration to terrorism and thus more susceptible to negative attitude change. We evaluate the observable implications of these claims with the 2015 Bataclan attack using data from a Eurobarometer survey. This data was collected right before and after the attack which allows for a quasi-experimental research design. In line with the migration context hypothesis, we find more negative attitudes toward migrants and refugees particularly in countries with relatively homogenous societies and few immigrants. No evidence was found to support the proximity to attack hypothesis. These results have important implications as the public discourse of a migration-terrorism nexus has shaped the policy debate in Europe.
/doi.org/10.1016/j.polgeo.2019.102047
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3718016
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