Backlash to Policy Decisions. How Citizens React to Immigrants’ Rights to Demonstrate

Political Science Research and Methods (forthcoming)

38 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2017 Last revised: 6 Oct 2020

See all articles by Richard Traunmüller

Richard Traunmüller

University of Mannheim - School of Social Sciences

Marc Helbling

University of Bamberg

Date Written: January 26, 2017

Abstract

Focusing on one specific aspect of immigrant political integration - how authorities deal with their political right to demonstrate - we show in a large-scale survey experiment that liberal policy decisions per-mitting demonstrations lead to a polarization in attitudes: Citizens who agree with a permission become more sympathetic, while those in favor of banning become more critical of immigrants. This notion of opinion backlash to policy decisions adds a new perspective to the literature on immigration attitudes which has either assumed a congruence between public opinion and policy or ignored political sources of anti-immigrant sentiment altogether. By exploring the unintended consequences of policy decisions, we provide an alternative view and demonstrate the inherent dilemma of balancing citizen opinion and minority rights.

Keywords: Opinion Backlash; Immigration Attitudes; Muslim Immigration; Policy Effects; Survey Experiment

Suggested Citation

Traunmüller, Richard and Helbling, Marc, Backlash to Policy Decisions. How Citizens React to Immigrants’ Rights to Demonstrate (January 26, 2017). Political Science Research and Methods (forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2906365 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2906365

Richard Traunmüller (Contact Author)

University of Mannheim - School of Social Sciences ( email )

Germany

Marc Helbling

University of Bamberg ( email )

Feldkirchenstrasse 21
Bamberg, 96045
Germany

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