A comparative analysis of changes in anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim attitudes in Europe: 1990–2017
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Muslims and immigrants have both been subjected to negative attitudes over the past several decades in Europe. Using data from the European Values Study, this study analyses the changes in these attitudes in the period 1990–2017. We find that negative attitudes have been increasing on average in Europe as a whole, with anti-Muslim attitudes being more prevalent than anti-immigrant attitudes. However, when split into a Western European set and an Eastern European set, from 2008, there is a divergence between the two halves. Our findings reveal that negative attitudes towards Muslims and immigrants have decreased in Western Europe, whereas they have increased significantly in Eastern Europe. Further analyses find that there are large discrepancies between anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant attitudes in different countries. These discrepancies are discussed in detail and related to several relevant factors, such as the differences in size of the Muslim and immigrant populations, variations in the refugee influx and other possible factors and developments.