The Refugee Next Door. Explaining Radical Right Voting Behaviour based on Spatial Inter-group Exposure. (Co-authored with Kimon Krenz (UCL))

24.04.2023 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Julia Leschke
Lecturer affiliation: 
European University Institute

The arrival of more than 960,000 refugees in Germany in 2015 is widely believed to have helped the radical right Alternative for Germany enter the Bundestag in 2017 and has since shaped the public debate about immigration and the acceptance of refugees. Still, hitherto, there are only a few studies that provide empirical evidence on how exposure to refugees influenced German natives’ voting behaviour. This study tests whether regular spatial exposure to refugees from mass accommodations electorally favoured radical right vote choice in several elections in Germany. Using an original dataset, we exploit the large spatial variation in locations of ad-hoc established mass accommodations to measure the exposure of the German electorate to refugees. As both groups move within the spatial network of streets, we estimate the probability of regular inter-group encounters for every electoral precinct using spatial network centralities as proxies for human movement potential on the granular resolution of each residential street. We test this for different elections in a selection of German regions and Länder.