Authoritarianism and Immigration Attitudes in the UK
Summary, in English
Opposition to immigration has featured prominently in the “cultural backlash” to globalization in Western nations and was a key determinant of Britain’s Brexit referendum. In this article, we draw on theories of intergroup threat to examine the effect of “right-wing authoritarianism” 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 toward immigration from differing skill levels and national origins. We find that right-wing authoritarianism is a much stronger predictor of immigration attitudes than other attributes. In addition, the effect of right-wing authoritarianism varies by immigrant origin, most strongly predicting opposition toward immigrant groups that may be perceived as culturally distant. We also find evidence that these effects are driven by the “aggression” component of right-wing authoritarianism, a facet of authoritarianism that captures a predisposition toward the enforcement of group norms.
- immigration attitudes
- ISSN: 0032-3217