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    "It's the Demography, Stupid": ethnic change and opposition to immigration

    Kaufmann, Eric P. (2014) "It's the Demography, Stupid": ethnic change and opposition to immigration. The Political Quarterly 85 (3), pp. 267-276. ISSN 0032-3179.

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    It is often forgotten that, regardless of time or place, periods of high immigration are almost always periods of high anti-immigration sentiment. When ethnic change is rapid, driven by immigration or differences in ethnic natural increase, the ethnic majority often responds with a politics of immigration. This was true, for instance, in Britain in the 1960s, in the US during 1890–1925 and in interwar Scotland. I show that White British people in locales experiencing rapid ethnic change are more likely to call for lower immigration and to vote BNP. On the other hand, where there is already a high level of ethnic minorities, white opinion is less hostile to immigration: UKIP does poorly among whites in diverse areas. Habituation to change, typically within a decade, and assimilation—especially of Europeans—over a generation reduces hostility to immigration. If the rate of ethnic change slows, we should therefore expect a reduction in the salience of immigration. Ironically, because the children of European migrants are more readily accepted into the ethnic majority than is the case for non-Europeans, a shift from EU free movement to non-European skilled migrants, as is advocated by UKIP, could run counter to the wishes of its own supporters.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Immigration, UKIP, BNP, ethnic change, national identity, White British, ethnic majority, individualism, political demography
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2014 13:57
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:13


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