Support and Opposition to Migration

Support and Opposition to Migration

Support and Opposition to Migration (SOM) is a family of projects, with the core project funded by the European Commission as part of the Seventh Framework Programme. The projects look at the politicization of migration in several European countries. The aim of these comparative projects is to determine why and when potential conflicts over migration become politicized, examining both anti-immigration and anti-racist movements. The projects increase knowledge about the political dynamics related to migration, and provide policy-relevant information.

The projects focus on the role of four types of actors—the state, political parties, movements, and the media—in politicizing, or depoliticizing, the issue of immigration in several receiving countries. The core project covers seven countries: Austria, Belgium, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland.

Large-scale migration to European countries led to all sorts of tensions in the receiving countries. The presence of immigrants, however, has not become a politically contested issue everywhere. The ways in which the issue of immigration has become politicized differ significantly across countries.

The dependent variables of the projects measure the extent to which and the way in which the issue of immigration became politicized. This is measured on the basis of claims and counter-claims made by three types of movements: interest groups of immigrants, anti-immigration movements, and anti-racist solidarity groups. A comparative approach is used to study divergences and convergences between countries.

The aims of the projects include:

  • increasing knowledge about conflicts over the social and political participation of immigrants in Western Europe
  • determining why and when potential conflicts become politicized, examining both anti-immigration and anti-racist movements
  • increasing knowledge of how institutional conditions constrain processes of politicization
  • providing policy-relevant information by assessing which actions of state institutions are successful in managing conflict on immigration and integration
  • Key Facts of the core project:

Project Start: 1 October 2009

Project End: 30 September 2012

Coordinator: Université de Neuchâtel

EU Contribution: € 1 496 000

Grant Agreement Number: 225522

The project is coordinated by the Gianni D’Amato. For all enquiries, please contact: Didier Ruedin, Swiss Forum for Migration and Population Studies - University of Neuchâtel, Rue Abram-Louis-Breguet 2, CH-2000 Neuchâtel, didier.ruedin@unine.ch