Marc Helbling

Marc Helbling
WZB Berlin Social Science Center · Emmy Noether Junior Research Group Immigration Policies in Comparison

PhD

About

83
Publications
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2,861
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Publications

Publications (83)
Article
Full-text available
Immigrant non-citizens are often considered less deserving than citizens of welfare and other public services. The logic is that valuable and scarce public resources must be limited somehow, and the club of citizens is one way of drawing a boundary. In this paper, we examine how far that boundary extends, by analyzing the extent to which Germans pr...
Article
Several studies have shown that attitudes toward immigrants to Europe are marked by a Muslim bias. More recently, Helbling and Traunmüller (2020) have suggested that this Muslim bias is in fact driven by a religiosity bias and thus that the strength of migrant’ religiosity has a bigger effect on attitudes towards them than their nominal faith. The...
Article
Full-text available
While a growing literature studies the effects of climate change on international migration, still only relatively little is known about the individual mechanisms linking migration decisions to climate change. We argue that climate change literacy (i.e., knowledge about climate change) is a major determinant of why some individuals consider migrati...
Article
Full-text available
We study the effect of climate change on migration from 121 developing and emerging countries to 20 OECD countries between 1980 and 2010. In contrast to earlier studies, we differentiate between low- and high-skilled migrants to account for the fact that not all groups are equally vulnerable and responsive to climate change. This is also the first...
Article
Full-text available
While climate change has become a salient political and social issue in Western societies, we know relatively little about how these societies will react to one of the potentially important consequences of climate change: increasing migration flows. By means of a representative online survey in Germany, this paper therefore investigates for the ver...
Article
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Elaborating a popular assumption about the effects of immigration policies on the integration of migrants, we argue in this article that more restrictive immigration policies lead to the selection of immigrants with greater integration potential, and that this selection should foster migrant integration. To test this argument, we combine country-le...
Article
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In recent decades, a new integration-demarcation cleavage has emerged in Europe, pitting political parties in favour of globalisation against those opposing globalisation. Although a lot is known about the socio-structural basis and the political organisation of this cleavage, we do not know the extent to which these political divides have led to s...
Article
Cambridge Core - Political Sociology - The Struggle Over Borders - edited by Pieter de Wilde
Article
With the recent upsurge of populism in developed and transition democracies, researchers have started measuring it as an attitude. Several scales have been proposed for this purpose. However, there is little direct comparison between the available alternatives. Scholars who wish to measure populist attitudes have little information available to hel...
Article
What citizens think about Muslim immigrants has important implications for some of the most pressing challenges facing Western democracies. To advance contemporary understanding of what ‘Islamophobia’ really is – for example, whether it is a dislike based on immigrants’ ethnic background, religious identity or specific religious behaviors – this st...
Article
The aim of this article is to investigate whether or not and how immigration policies affect immigration flows. Such policy impacts have hardly been investigated so far as the necessary data is lacking. For the first time, two new datasets are combined to systematically measure immigration policies and bilateral migration flows for 33 Organisation...
Article
Full-text available
In light of ongoing debates that discuss the link between Muslim migration and terrorist attacks in various European cities, this paper investigates how attitudes toward (Muslim) immigrants have been affected by these attacks. We draw on a German student survey conducted immediately before and after the attacks in Paris in November 2015. The experi...
Preprint
In light of ongoing debates that discuss the link between Muslim migration and terrorist attacks in various European cities, this paper investigates how attitudes toward (Muslim) immigrants have been affected by these attacks. We draw on a German student survey conducted immediately before and after the attacks in Paris in November 2015. The experi...
Article
Employing a comparative experimental design drawing on over 18,000 interviews across eleven countries on four continents, this article revisits the discussion about the economic and cultural drivers of attitudes towards immigrants in advanced democracies. Experiments manipulate the occupational status, skin tone and national origin of immigrants in...
Article
This article investigates whether migration policies in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries have become more liberal or restrictive over the last decades and whether or not these policies have converged, especially among European Union (EU) countries. Owing to a lack of data, the few existing studies in this fiel...
Article
Given the widespread interest in political solutions to the current problems associated with immigration, we need to have an accurate understanding of existing policies in a cross-national perspective. To explain the coming into being and effectiveness of these policies, researchers have recently started to quantify immigration and citizenship poli...
Article
Over the last decade, the topic of national-identity has gained considerable importance after various heads of states have made it an important political issue in the context of ongoing globalisation and European integration processes. There is also a large, mainly historical literature that has emphasised the role of the political elite in the for...
Article
Despite a growing interest in migration questions, it is still not possible to systematically analyse immigration policies across time and a large number of countries. Most studies in this field have heretofore focussed on individual cases. Recently, there have been a series of studies that have proposed policy indices that allow for large-N analys...
Article
Radical right parties are not equally successful across or within all countries. Most studies have up to now relied on socio-economic, socio-structural and political factors to explain these differences. We examine whether the immigration-related political culture – consisting of integration policies and shared conservative values – in which voters...
Article
This article argues that governments play a considerable role in shaping citizens’ attitudes toward Muslim immigrants through the way they regulate religion. European democracies are far from secular, and matters of religious regulation cannot be reduced to abstract values or constitutional clauses. Under conditions of high state support of religio...
Article
This study investigates the impact of the social distance between immigrants and Swiss natives on wage inequalities. Social distance is assumed to be high when immigrants come from a different culture, a different education system and speak a different language. By combining these three aspects, this article goes beyond existing studies that only f...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on psychological and political science research on individuals' sensitivity to threat cues, the present study examines reactions to political posters that depict male immigrants as a sexual danger. We expect anti-immigrant attitudes to be more strongly predicted by feelings of insecurity or representations of men and women as strong and fra...
Article
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The accommodation of Muslim minorities in European countries has sparked controversies over the extension of religious rights. Previous research has mostly studied public institutions and debates. But which attitudes toward religious rights do Europeans hold and how can we explain these attitudes? To approach this question, we draw on the novel EUR...
Article
In this article, we investigate cosmopolitan attitudes among the people often considered the most cosmopolitan – the elite. Studying the typical class of frequent travellers provides a particularly good opportunity to study the relationship between transnational activities and cosmopolitanism. We also comprehensively investigate the link between po...
Article
Full-text available
A large literature argues that public opinion is vulnerable to various types of framing and cue effects. However, we lack evidence on whether existing findings, which are typically based on lab experiments involving low-salience issues, travel to salient and contentious political issues in real-world voting situations. We examine the relative impor...
Article
Full-text available
Mit Blick auf die Frage von Offenheit und Abschottung öffnet sich in Deutschland zwischen Führungseliten und übriger Bevölkerung ein besonders großes Delta. In diese Lücke stoßen rechtspopulistische Bewegungen
Article
While various studies have already shown that people prefer high- over low-skilled migrants, we know surprisingly little why this is so. This article tries to close this gap by investigating three explanatory models. (i) According to the labour market competition model, citizens oppose immigrants with the same skill levels who are perceived as comp...
Article
Full-text available
Based on a unique survey among members of top level elites in eleven fields of activity in Germany, we investigate (1) elite-mass opinion incongruence and (2) the polarization of elites’ positions on four contested denationalization issues. Our results show that the elite-mass attitudinal gap is significant for items directly tapping support for th...
Article
In the last decade, researchers have developed many innovative ideas for the construction of indices measuring immigration policies. Methodological considerations have, however, been largely absent from the discussion. To close this gap, this paper investigates the characteristics of existing indices by critically comparing and discussing them. We...
Article
This article reveals that while Muslims have a surprisingly good reputation in Western Europe, the wearing of the headscarf in schools is opposed by a large majority of people. Several arguments are developed in this article to explain why people make a distinction between Muslims as a group and legislation on their religious practices. While attit...
Article
While immigration has become one of the most controversial political issues in Western Europe, we know surprisingly little about what motivates political actors to oppose or support it. Investigating the ways political actors frame immigration enables us to understand how they perceive the issues involved, why they centre their debate on certain ca...
Article
Given the salience of political conflicts over Muslim immigration in many Western countries, it is surprising how little we know about the reasons why Muslims are resented and their religious practices opposed. This paper takes a look at political factors and argues that governments shape citizens’ attitudes toward the Muslim minority through the w...
Article
Recent research on the consequences of ethnic diversity for social cohesion indicates that the effects of diversity are not necessarily universal. In this article we hypothesise that the rhetoric of political parties conditions whether diversity negatively affects generalised trust. Political campaigns might highlight the salience of cultural diver...
Article
After a long period of mostly case study research, in the recent past various integration and citizenship policy scholars have started to compare a relatively large range of countries by constructing policy indices. As there are almost as many indices as there are such studies, one might wonder whether it matters which indices we use. The main goal...
Article
This paper proposes to investigate why people prefer high- over low-skilled migrants. According to the labor market competition, the welfare state and the deservingness models low-skilled migrants might be opposed because they are perceived as competitors for low-skilled natives on the job market, because their use of public services is disproporti...
Book
Full-text available
What are the consequences of globalization for the structure of political conflicts in Western Europe? How are political conflicts organized and articulated in the twenty-first century? And how does the transformation of territorial boundaries affect the scope and content of political conflicts? This book sets out to answer these questions by analy...
Article
Do integration models exist beyond legal regulations? Do they shape public debates-or are these debates transnational in nature, and more influenced by international actors and liberal norms? To answer these questions, I investigated various political actors' positions and arguments in the context of select issues related to integration and immigra...
Article
Full-text available
A large literature argues that public opinion is vulnerable to various types of framing and cue effects. However, we lack evidence on whether existing findings, which are typically based on lab experiments involving low salience issues, travel to salient and contentious political issues in real-world voting situations. We conducted a panel survey e...
Article
Recent studies have started to use media data to measure party positions and issue salience. The aim of this article is to compare and cross-validate this alternative approach with the more commonly used party manifestos, expert judgments and mass surveys. To this purpose, we present two methods to generate indicators of party positions and issue s...
Article
This paper considers two common assumptions that often arise in the empirical literature on xenophobia – namely that xenophobic attitudes are found mostly among the poorly educated, and that xenophobia mainly concerns immigrants from low social classes and from geographically and culturally disparate nations. These arguments will be discussed in th...
Article
Full-text available
Whereas in most countries citizenship attribution is regulated at the cen-tral level of the state, in Switzerland each municipality is accorded the right to de-cide who can become a Swiss citizen. As the regulations at the national level are very sparse, even villages of as few as 400 inhabitants are empowered to establish formal procedures and cri...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores public debates regarding Islam and Muslim immigration in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland. The authors are interested in which issues dominate the debates, which actors participate, which positions are taken, and which arguments are mobilised. Exploring three countries with an ethnic model of citizenship allows them to contro...
Article
Full-text available
By analyzing public debates on integration and immigration and issues this paper investigates to what extent citizenship models can be considered a broader societal phenomenon. Do these models exist beyond legal regulations? Do they shape the way political actors struggle over such issues in public or are these debates transnational in nature and m...
Article
This article analyses how political parties frame European integration, and gauges the consistency of their argumentation. Over the course of investigation, one can see how actors' positions are justified, and how the European Union is perceived (i.e., what forces give rise to Euroscepticism and Europeanism). It is argued here that the parties' fra...
Article
I propose an analytical model to combine macro-sociological aspects of cultural boundary making with socio-psychological research on social influence networks. This model will help me investigate how the understanding of citizenship of Swiss local politicians is influenced by their interactions with their colleagues in the course of naturalization...
Conference Paper
This article proposes to study how national political parties frame the European integration process, in order to better understand how Europe actually figures into national political discourses. We argue that framing strategies depend strongly on parties’ positions and standing. To verify our hypotheses, we will account for the fact that political...
Article
Upon initial consideration, the logics of nationalism and democracy seem to be contradictory. Nationalism appears to be predicated upon a doctrine of exclusivity, whereas democracy appears to be based on an inclusivist one. Upon careful contemplation, however, one notices that, historically, these two phenomena have frequently coexisted; even today...
Article
Full-text available
This paper proposes to study how the European integration process is framed. Such an analysis helps us better understand how the European Union is perceived and which arguments are mobilized to support or oppose it. We will test a series of hypotheses that have so far only been tested in individual countries. Drawing on Habermas’ typology of pragma...
Article
Switzerland could well have the most peculiar naturalisation system in the world. Whereas in most countries citizenship attribution is regulated by the central state, each municipality of Switzerland has the right to decide who can become a national citizen. By transcending for- mal citizenship models, the Swiss case thus casts citizenship politics...
Article
Full-text available
Die wachsende Präsenz muslimischer MigrantInnen und ihre religiös-kulturellen Forde-rungen an den Staat führen in vielen europäischen Ländern zu neuen Konflikten. Der vor-liegende Artikel untersucht die bislang wenig beachteten Fälle Österreich und Schweiz und konzentriert sich auf den Einfluss unterschiedlicher Partizipationsmodelle und Regulation...
Article
Full-text available
The increasing presence of Muslim migrants and their religious-cultural claims towards the state engender new conflicts in many European countries. This article investigates Austria and Switzerland-two so far neglected cases- and focuses on the influence of different participation models and regulations concerning the relationship between religion...
Book
Full-text available
La Suisse serait-elle un laboratoire pertinent pour mieux comprendre l'Union européenne ? En Suisse, comme dans l'Union, la variété des langues, des valeurs, des cultures ou des niveaux de développement crée des clivages difficilement surmontables. Comment favoriser des modalités communes d'action publique qui puissent tenir compte de cette diversi...
Article
Die SVP hat sich in den letzten 15 Jahren stark gewandelt. Früher nur in ländlichen und protestantischen Regionen angesiedelt, ist sie unter dem Einfluss von Christoph Blocher zur stärksten Partei auf nationaler Ebene geworden. Dieses Buch bietet eine detaillierte Analyse der Gründe dieses Aufstiegs.Nach den eidgenössischen Wahlen 2003 kam es zum e...
Article
ZusammenfassungSeit längerer Zeit kommt es in der Schweiz immer wieder zu heftigen Debatten über das schweizerische Einbürgerungsverfahren und die Diskriminierung gegenüber Gesuchstellern aus gewissen Herkunftsländern. Dieser Artikel präsentiert erste Resultate einer Umfrage in 207 Schweizer Gemeinden zu den Ursachen unterschiedlicher Ablehnungsquo...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this paper is to explore the characteristics of media data when we measure party positions and issue salience. We thereby contribute in developing new methodologies to analyze political parties and in operationalizing new theoreti-cal models of political competition. Following other studies that have compared in-dicators based on differe...
Article
This paper investigates to what extent attitudes towards foreigners are in- fluenced by one's social environment. It provides an interdisciplinary approach by building an analytical framework that combines the concepts of nationalism and ethnicity with theories in social psychology on attitudes and norm formations and network theories of social inf...
Article
This paper reveals that while Muslims have a surprisingly good reputation in Western Europe, the headscarf is opposed by a large majority. Several arguments are developed in this paper to investigate why people make a difference between Muslims as a group and their religious practices. While attitudes towards Muslims hardly vary across countries th...
Article
After a long period of case study research and small-N comparisons, over the recent past various scholars have started to compare a relatively large range of countries by constructing citizenship indicators. Since there are almost as many indices as there are large-N studies one might wonder whether it mat-ters which indicators we use. Surprisingly...
Article
Full-text available
"This paper considers two common assumptions that often arise in the empirical literature on xenophobia-namely that xenophobic attitudes are found mostly among the poorly educated, and that xenophobia mainly concerns immigrants from low social classes and from geographically and culturally disparate nations. These arguments will be discussed in the...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Are more restrictive immigration policies associated with higher levels of migrant integration? Based on the assumption that more stringent admission regimes can better select 'suitable' immigrants, conventional wisdom holds that immigration restrictions should indeed foster migrant integration. Yet, empirical analyses testing this hypothesis are rare. This project attempts to provide such a test. We investigate the relationship between external and internal aspects of admission regimes and various immigrant integration outcomes, namely socio-economic, socio-cultural, and political aspects. We also compare these relationships with the association between citizenship regimes and integration outcomes, which has been the dominant focus in the literature.