Prior research on the association between country-level patterns of international migration and anti-foreigner sentiment shows that larger foreign-born concentrations increase perceptions of threat among native-born individuals in receiving countries, which, in turn, give rise to exclusionary preferences. While recent work has assembled a list of limiting conditions that shape the strength of this association, I argue that these efforts are premature because they are based on a narrow way of conceptualising and measuring international migration. In contrast to concepts and measures privileging the size of the foreign-born population in receiving countries, I draw from other literatures highlighting the temporal dynamics of migration. In considering the role of the temporal dynamics of international migration in explaining variation in anti-foreigner sentiment, the question is whether and how the temporal stability of the foreign-born population in receiving countries matters. My results suggest that it does. The size and temporal stability of the foreign-born population play opposing roles in aggravating and ameliorating anti-foreigner sentiment, respectively, with each operating via different pathways at the individual level. My work thus breaks new ground by challenging existing theoretical constructs and operationalisations in the group-threat literature.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by center grant [#R24 HD041023] awarded to the Minnesota Population Center at the University of Minnesota by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
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- Anti-foreigner Sentiment
- Group Size
- Intergroup Contact