Immigration, Integration, and Naturalisation: New Immigrants, Policy Decisions, and Citizens’ Responses

Research question/goal: 

The way migration flows and immigrant integration are regulated has become of crucial interest in both scholarly and public debates. While there is now ample research on the general question of whether more or less migrants should be allowed to access one’s country we still know very little about how specific regulations are perceived by citizens and how they impact on their attitudes and behaviours and thus, ultimately, their acceptance of newcomers. This project aims at providing evidence-based answers to the following question: What are the consequences of immigration, integration and naturalisation policies for citizens’ attitudes and actual behaviour related to the acceptance of new immigrant groups? In order to reach our intended research goals we will design a survey including different survey experiments which will be conducted among the general native population in Germany. The experiments will allow us to identify the causal impact of policies on attitudes and behaviour in a more thorough way. To get a more nuanced picture of policy effects we will confront respondents with policies by means of survey vignettes. Finally, to get a grasp of the rational interests of ordinary citizens we will measure the effects of policies on attitudes towards migrants as a function of the degree of agreement with these policies and as a function of whether these policies change the status quo for natives (or not).

Current stage: 

Last year, we conducted an original survey of the German population to investigate whether immigration policy preferences across a range of policy dimensions are consistently open or closed. There is a broad consensus in the German public whether to be open or closed regarding specific immigration policies. Our findings promote a more detailed approach to studying immigration preferences, which adds nuance to the idea of immigration as a grand societal conflict.

Fact sheet

2020 to 2024
Geographic Space: