Public attitudes towards immigration and immigrants: what are the factors affecting them and what can we do about it?

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from: 15:00
to: 16:15

This MPC Webinar will examine what are the most influential factors affecting public attitudes to immigration and immigrants, with a special focus on disentangling the differential effects of economic factors and cultural values. Drawing on empirical evidence from global data, the Webinar will also provide recommendations for future action by actors seeking to influence these attitudes.
Attitudes to immigration and immigrants have become a highly salient issue in many countries, particularly in the aftermath of the so-called “migration crisis”. While increasing proportions of immigrants in Western societies are viewed positively by some, stressing immigration benefits, others view these demographic changes with suspicion. Consequently, social scientists have dedicated considerable attention to the factors that might explain individual attitudes toward immigration in recent years. However, as many hypotheses and factors have been proposed, ranging from intergroup contact and personal predispositions to the role of economic factors, it has become increasingly difficult to see the wood for the trees.
For this MPC Webinar, we will provide a summary of factors affecting attitudes to immigration and immigrants in a systematic manner while highlighting the differential effects of economic and cultural influences. This allows us to bridge together the state-of-the-art knowledge about what people think of immigration, why they do so and how can we potentially influence their attitudes. We will also highlight how evidence on attitudes towards immigration can be used to inform future migration policy, advocacy and practice.


  • Lenka Dražanová, MPC, RSCAS, EUI
  • Jerome Gonnot, MPC, RSCAS, EUI
  • Karen Hargrave, independent consultant specialising in migration/displacement research and policy engagement
    Chair: James Dennison, MPC, RSCAS, EUI