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The other ‘other’: Party responses to immigration in eastern Europe

Abstract : Eastern Europe has traditionally been a region of emigration, sending thousands of refugees and migrants to the more developed and democratic west. The recent democratization and rising affluence of some eastern European countries, however, make them increasingly attractive destinations of migrant workers, slowly but surely turning them into immigrant societies. This article addresses the responses of political parties to the issue of immigration and immigrant integration. Through large-N quantitative analyses of 11 eastern European countries using the Chapel Hill Expert Surveys, the 2009 European Election Study, the Database of Political Institutions and World Bank indicators, it analyzes the causes of immigration salience, as well as the reasons behind immigration and integration policy positions. The article argues that partisan and voter views on immigration in eastern Europe are guided by ideological views on ethnic minorities, which have been the traditional ‘out-groups’ in the region. Partisan positions on immigration and immigrant integration are consequently determined by underlying ideological principles concerning cultural openness and acceptance of ‘otherness’. Immigrants to eastern Europe are consequently viewed as the other ‘other’.
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Jan Rovny. The other ‘other’: Party responses to immigration in eastern Europe. Comparative European Politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014, 12 (6), pp.637-662. ⟨10.1057/cep.2014.25⟩. ⟨hal-02186431⟩

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