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Research project

Migration, Terrorism, and Democracy

This project has received funding via the CIVICA Research call 2021, which is funded from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the CIVICA Research project. Additionally, CIVICA research projects receive financing from national funding sources and partners' own resources.

This project examines whether and how terror attacks in Europe affect host societies’ attitudes and behaviour towards migrants. It asks what policy-relevant interventions can improve individual views towards migrants in their host countries, and promote inclusionary behaviour / eschew exclusionary and anti-democratic acts. Migration—and its alleged link with terrorism—continues to play a central role in public debates across Europe. Public opinion surveys point at soaring threat perceptions towards refugees. Indeed, radical right-wing parties often capitalise on these perceived dangers, and propagate anti-migrant exclusionary rhetoric. There is also evidence that the local population is becoming more supportive of hate crimes against.

The project sheds light on the connection between migration and terrorism, and advances the understanding of its effect on anti-democratic attitudes and behaviour in several ways:

(1) Analysing the impact of migration-related terror attacks in Europe (1970-present)—disaggregated by the target’s and perpetrator’s identity (migrant or local)—and linking them with attitudinal and behavioural indicators, such as participation in protests in support of or against migration, and voting for parties that support or oppose migration. This will provide a factual description of the connection between migration, terrorism, and political behaviour.

(2) Analysing experimentally how information about terrorism affects individual attitudes, and how anti-migration attitudes can be countered.

(3) Examining how information about terrorism affects individual level behavioural outcomes (generosity towards migrants or locals, or selfish behaviour). 

External Partners

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