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Muslim Immigrants and Political Agency: A New Perspective on Conflict Resolution

Conference contribution
Authors Y Lelkes
P Sniderman
Stefan Dahlberg
Published in MPSA 2012
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Political Science
Language en
Links www.mpsanet.org/Conference/Conferen...
Subject categories Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)

Abstract

The entry of Muslim immigrants into European countries has resulted in deep fissures between native Europeans and immigrant communities. The consequences have been tragic--on the one side, anti-Muslim legislation and riots; on the other side radicalization of a small number of Muslim immigrants and citizens. Studies of inclusiveness have focused on factors promoting intolerance in the majority community, appropriately enough. The objective of this paper, though, is to be exploration of ways in which Muslim immigrants have a measure of political agency. They are not just objects of the attitudes of the majority; they are – or can be – actors of consequence in the politics of inclusion. In a series of experiments, we explore a way Muslim immigrants may impact European attitudes towards them. Taking advantage of a unique facility at the University of Gothenborg, the Laboratory for Research on Public Opinion, we carry out an on-line experiment which randomly assigned participants to read short news-clippings about Muslim leaders either vowing loyalty to their new home or complaining about discrimination. Our analysis focuses on whether such gestures led respondents to adopt more positive beliefs about Muslim immigrants.

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