Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies

Although ambivalence characterizes the stance of scholars toward the desirability of close opinion-policy linkages in general, it is especially evident with regard to immigration. The controversy and disagreement about whether public opinion should drive immigration policy are among the factors making immigration one of the most difficult political debates across the West. Leading international experts and aspiring researchers from the fields of political science and sociology use a range of case studies from North America, Europe and Australia to guide the reader through the complexities of this debate offering an unprecedented comparative examination of public opinion and immigration. * part one discusses the socio-economic and contextual determinants of immigration attitudes across multiple nations * part two explores how the economy can affect public opinion * part three presents different perspectives on the issue of causality - do attitudes about immigration drive politics, or do politics drive attitudes? * part four investigates how several types of framing are critical to understanding public opinion and how a wide range of political factors can mould public opinion, and often in ways that work against immigration and immigrants * part five examines the views of the largest immigrant group in the U.S. - Latinos - as well as how opinions are shaped by contact with and opinions about immigrants in the U.S. and Canada. An essential read to all who wish to understand the nature of immigration research from a theoretical as well as practical point of view.