Contextualizing Anti-Immigrant Attitudes of East Europeans

  •  Nina Bandelj    
  •  Christopher W. Gibson    


This article examines attitudes toward immigrants by analyzing data from the 2010 and 2016 waves of the EBRD’s Life in Transition Survey among respondents from 16 East European countries. Logistic regressions with clustered standard errors and country fixed effects show significantly higher anti-immigrant sentiments after the 2015 immigration pressures on the European Union borders compared with attitudes in 2010. Almost two thirds of the respondents agreed in 2016 that immigrants represented a burden on the state social services, even when the actual immigrant population in these countries was quite small. In addition, East Europeans expressed greater negative sentiments when the issue of immigration was framed as an economic problem—a burden on state social services—than as a cultural problem—having immigrants as neighbors. On the whole, these results point to the importance of contextualizing anti-immigrant attitudes and understanding the effect of external events and the framing of immigration-related survey questions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1918-7173
  • ISSN(Online): 1918-7181
  • Started: 2009
  • Frequency: quarterly

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