Public Attitudes towards Refugees in Germany: What Drives Attitudes towards Refugees in Comparison with Immigrant Workers from European Union Countries? (2019)
in: Journal of refugee studies, Volume 32, Issue Special_Issue_1, p. i209-i218
ISSN: 0951-6328 (print), 1471-6925 (electronic)
The current global refugee crisis puts both refugees and Western societies to the test. The challenges refugees face within their host countries depend on not only situational circumstances, but also the attitudinal climate they confront. A negative public can have severe consequences for refugees' integration. This article asks two basic questions that have received little attention in previous studies: How do attitudes towards refugees with different flight reasons differ when compared with attitudes towards immigrants from European Union countries? What factors influence those attitudes? These questions are answered for the exemplary case of Germany based on new data from the German General Social Survey, which was conducted during the height of the refugee crisis in mid-2016. Our results reveal that refugees are perceived less positively than European Union immigrants and the origin of this negative perception mainly lies in increased feelings of threat.