“Immigration and the Public” – Center for Migration Studies Working Paper 2023/5

Questions about immigration – how many should be allowed to come, who should be allowed to come, and on what terms – cut to the core of what political communities are about. In democratic societies, political elites mobilize public sentiment to gain office, and they depend on public support to stay there and, ultimately, make policy. 

In what follows, we present, in condensed form, the findings of a May 2022 workshop generously supported by the Konrad-Adenauer-Siftung. For this workshop, titled, “Public Views of Immigration and Diversity: Causes and Consequences for Policy,” we assembled a group of leading scholars of public opinion to present cutting-edge work describing what people in modern, immigrant-receiving countries think about immigrants and immigration, why they think it, and how knowing the answers to these questions shapes the policy-making process.  

In addition, we asked these scholars to reflect on how their work, considered holistically, informs broader relationships between researchers, media, the punditocracy, and the political class. 

It is edited by Matthew Wright, and includes contributions from the following authors: Keith Banting, Michael Donnelly, Marc Helbling, Andrea Lawlor, Rahsaan Maxwell, Angela X. Ocampo, Mireille Paquet, Margaret Peters, Richard Traunmüller, Paul Vierus, and Conrad Ziller. 

Click here to read this Working Paper. Check this page for our other publications under the Working Paper Series.