Geschwister-Scholl-Institut für Politikwissenschaft (GSI)




New article of Dr. Lukas Rudolph in European Journal of Political Research


Dr. Lukas Rudolph just co-published a new article in the European Journal of Political Research:

Rudolph, L. and Wagner, M. (2021), Europe's migration crisis: Local contact and out‐group hostility. European Journal of Political Research.


Does a large influx of asylum seekers in the local community lead to a backlash in public opinion towards foreign populations? We assess the effects of asylum seeker presence using original survey and macro‐level municipality data from Austria, exploiting exogenous elements of the placement of asylum seekers on the municipality level. Methodologically, we draw on entropy balancing for causal identification. Our findings are threefold. First, respondents in municipalities receiving asylum seekers report substantially higher exposure on average, but largely without the stronger contact that would allow for meaningful interaction. Second, hostility towards asylum seekers on average increased in areas that housed them. Third, this backlash spilt over: general attitudes towards Muslims and immigrants are less favourable in contexts with local asylum seeker presence, while vote intention for the main anti‐immigration party is higher. Our findings go beyond existing work by examining contact directly as a mechanism, by showing a backlash effect in the medium term, and by focusing on a broad set of attitudinal and behavioural measures. Our results point to a need to design policy interventions that minimise citizen backlash against rapid migration inflows.