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Out Now: The Liberal Script on State Sovereignty and the Admission of Immigrants. Do Citizens Distinguish between Voluntary and Forced Immigrants?

Jürgen, Gerhards, Lukas Antoine & Rasmus Ollroge (2023)

News from Aug 19, 2023

In: SCRIPTS Working Paper No. 28, Berlin: Cluster of Excellence 2055 “Contestations of the Liberal Script (SCRIPTS)“ |  Open access


Whether states should be allowed to reject immigrants and refugees is controversially discussed in politics and political philosophy. Nationalists believe the state has the right to control its borders and decide on admitting immigrants and refugees. Cosmopolitans argue that everyone has the right to immigrate. Cosmo-Nationalists take a middle position as they believe that states have the right to decide whether to admit voluntary immigrants but believe that they must admit refugees. Based on a comparative survey conducted in 26 countries, we show that Nationalists are the strongest group, with 44%, followed by Cosmopolitans, with 31%. Cosmo-Nationalists only account for about 15%. We use multinominal regression analysis to describe the different groups by means of structural and cultural characteristics (of the countries and the individuals). While the Cosmo-Nationalists have no clear profile, Cosmopolitans are overrepresented by women, younger people, post-materialists, and show a weak identification with their nation-state, and support human rights. In addition, Cosmopolitans come from countries that have often signed international treaties and whose existence has been less threatened in the past. Nearly all opposite characteristics apply to Nationalists.

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