After the arrivals: How rural and urban areas differ in their reactions to asylum seekers
We kindly invite you to a public session in our online Seminar Series at the Transformations of Democracy unit.
On Thursday, 17 February at 3 pm (CET), Ilona Lahdelma (Carlos III - Juan March Institute of Social Sciences) will present “After the arrivals: How rural and urban areas differ in their reactions to asylum seekers.”
The event is held in English.
Please register here.
Research has increasingly attempted to uncover the mechanisms of hostility and hospitality towards refugees and asylum seekers. There seems to have emerged a unanimity that mere exposure to asylum seekers and refugees increases hostility in natives, but more and more research points in the direction that prolonged contact between natives and refugees increases hospitality, in line with the contact hypothesis. However, levels of urban density are an important, but yet missing factor, when it comes to measuring contact: refugee arrivals are more visible in a village than in a city, and this fact is likely to determine the level of exposure to refugees among natives. This paper tests the hypothesis that urban density matters when examining natives' reactions by running an original survey among rural and urban dwellers that either witnessed or did not witness asylum seekers' arrivals in their municipality. Results show that reactions to asylum seekers are more favorable in rural areas that accommodated asylum seekers than anywhere else and this spills over to favorable attitudes to immigration in general.