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
Date Written: January 26, 2017
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
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