Although ambivalence characterizes the stance of scholars toward the desirability of close opinion-policy linkages in general, it is especially evident with regard to immigration. The controversy and disagreement about whether public opinion should drive immigration policy are among the factors making immigration one of the most difficult political debates across the West. Leading international experts and aspiring researchers from the fields of political science and sociology use a range of case studies from North America, Europe and Australia to guide the reader through the complexities of this debate offering an unprecedented comparative examination of public opinion and immigration.

  • part one discusses the socio-economic and contextual determinants of immigration attitudes across multiple nations
  • part two explores how the economy can affect public opinion
  • part three presents different perspectives on the issue of causality – do attitudes about immigration drive politics, or do politics drive attitudes?
  • part four investigates how several types of framing are critical to understanding public opinion and how a wide range of political factors can mould public opinion, and often in ways that work against immigration and immigrants
  • part five examines the views of the largest immigrant group in the U.S. – Latinos – as well as how opinions are shaped by contact with and opinions about immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.

An essential read to all who wish to understand the nature of immigration research from a theoretical as well as practical point of view.

chapter |18 pages


Immigration and Public Opinion

part 1|107 pages

Demography and Public Opinion

chapter 1|30 pages

Resistance to Immigrants and Asylum Seekers in the European Union

Cross-National Comparisons of Public Opinion

chapter 2|27 pages

Cross-National and Cross-Time Views of Immigration

A Review of Existing Findings and New Evidence from International Social Survey Programme Data

chapter 3|15 pages

The Paradox of Immigration Attitudes in Luxembourg

A Pan-European Comparison

chapter 4|33 pages

The Structure of Self-Interest(s)

Applying Comparative Theory to U.S. Immigration Attitudes

part 2|78 pages


chapter 5|29 pages

Individual Attitudes towards Immigration

Economic vs. Non-economic Determinants

chapter 6|47 pages

Voter Attitudes towards High- and Low-Skilled Immigrants

Evidence from a Survey Experiment

part 3|100 pages

Framing and Institutional Effects

chapter 7|25 pages

Amnesty, Guest Workers, Fences! Oh My!

Public Opinion about “Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

chapter 8|22 pages

Threat and Immigration Attitudes in Liberal Democracies

The Role of Framing in Structuring Public Opinion

chapter 11|19 pages

Who's Afraid of Immigration?

The Effects of Pro- and Anti-Immigrant Threatening Ads among Latinos, African Americans, and Whites

part 4|54 pages

Diversity and Opinion

chapter 12|28 pages

Native-Born and Foreign-Born Attitudes towards Receptivity and Conformity

The Dynamics of Opinion Change in Canada

chapter 13|24 pages

Immigration Reforms from the Perspective of the Target of the Reform

Immigrant Generation and Latino Policy Preferences on Immigration Reform