A Two-Level Approach to Anti-Immigrant Prejudice and
Discrimination: The European Case
Millions of immigrants have come to Western Europe during
the last four decades. This massive movement to a continent
more accustomed to out- than in-migration triggered a range
of negative responses - from prejudice to open violence.
Two distinct research literatures studying these phenomena
have developed in the social sciences. One is largely social
psychological and works at the individual and intergroup
levels of analysis. It finds that anti-immigrant prejudice
and discrimination closely resemble results involving non-immigrant
target groups. A second research literature focuses on structural
and cultural factors and reaches a different conclusion.
Anthropologists, political scientists, and sociologists
demonstrate that resistance to immigrants often varies sharply
across nations and presents contrasting patterns to those
faced by native minorities.
This project aims to unite these two research traditions.
Using European survey, structural, and cultural data, the
research design envisages developing hierarchical and mediational
models for a diversity of indicators of intergroup conflict.
By combining the two approaches, these more robust models
would allow a broader view of the European reception of
immigrants. The new models should help to untangle theoretical
discrepancies between the two research traditions as well
as to isolate the factors that differentiate between low-
and high-conflict areas. To achieve these goals, the continuation
of my long-term collaboration with European colleagues is
Thus, this research addresses the 2003 NCS theme to understand
"sectarian, ethnic, and cultural conflict within and
across borders" by attempting to develop " innovative,
theoretical, conceptual and empirical comparative"