Marc Debus, Noam Himmelrath, Christian Stecker
How a history of migration affects individuals’ political attitudes

Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 2024: 50, issue 8, pp. 1886-1903
ISSN: 1369-183X (print), 1469-9451 (online)

Migration has become an important and polarising issue on the political agenda, in particular since the migration movements to Europe in 2015. What attitudes migrants bring to the host societies is relevant for the stability of modern democracies in general and for political representation in particular. Several studies investigate differences in attitudes and preferences between migrants and non-migrants, on the one side, and within the heterogeneous group of migrants on the other. These (differences in) attitudes among migrants are often related to the dominant patterns of political attitudes in the countries of origin. We contribute new insights to this literature using novel survey data from Germany covering subsamples of respondents with an Italian, Russian and Turkish migrant background. We argue and show empirically that migrants’ positions on contentious issues like migration, the order of society, and welfare state policy are shaped not only by the cultural background of the migrant’s society of origin, but also by personal characteristics like the status of a first- or second-generation migrant and their religious orientation in terms of denomination and religiosity.