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Authoritarianism and immigration attitudes in the UK

Peresman, Adam and Carroll, Royce and Back, Hanna (2021) 'Authoritarianism and immigration attitudes in the UK.' Political Studies. 003232172110324-003232172110324. ISSN 0032-3217

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Opposition to immigration has featured prominently in the ‘cultural backlash’ to globalizationin Western nations and was a key determinant of Britain’s Brexit referendum. In this paper, we draw on theories of intergroup threat to examine the effect of ‘right-wing authoritarianism’ (RWA) on immigration attitudes in the UK. Previous research suggests that cultural aspects of immigration are especially important in shaping anti-immigrant attitudes. We use an original survey measuring attitudes towards immigration from differing skill levels and national origins. We find that RWA is a much stronger predictor of immigration attitudes than other attributes. Additionally, the effect of RWA varies by origin, most strongly predicting opposition towards culturally distant immigrant groups. We also find evidence that these effects are driven by the ‘aggression’ component of RWA, a facet of authoritarianism that captures a predisposition toward the enforcement of group norms.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: authoritarianism; immigration attitudes; RWA; UK
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2021 08:49
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 14:25

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