Chat with us, powered by LiveChat Following the fall of communism in Europe since 1989, discuss how nationalism has restricted immigration and contributed to immigration sentiments and policies in Europe. Are these - Writeden

Question: Following the fall of communism in Europe since 1989, discuss how nationalism has restricted immigration and contributed to immigration sentiments and policies in Europe. Are these sentiments prevalent today? How has this challenged the idea of Europe without borders? Additional instructions are included in the document below. 14-16 page (approximately 4000 words


Anti-Immigration Attitudes in Contemporary Polish Society: A Story of Double Standards?

Lenka Thérová

Department of Politics and European Studies, Palacký University Olomouc, Czech Republic Email: [email protected]

Abstract From 2015 up until the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Polish citizens have undergone amajor decline in their willingness to allow foreigners to reside in Poland. The following text empirically investigates whether antipathy to newcomers is driven more by cultural or economic concerns, and what role the ethnicity of immigrants plays in this antagonism. The findings suggest that the ethnicity of immigrants is significant in both the salience of the expressed hostility and in the importance given to individual factors. When considering the acceptance of immigrants of different ethnicity, Poles are most concerned about preserving their national culture, whereas worries about the burden on the national economy are uppermost when considering ethnically similar newcomers. Antipathy against ethnically similar immigrants is also muchweaker than against those of different ethnicity. The over-time comparison tells us that support for the government, religiosity, and opposition to universalism values became the most important predictors of restrictionism after 2015. We assume that the increase in anti-immigration attitudes was not that much caused by the unprecedented wave of immigration, but rather by the rule of the nationalist-conservative government which politicized the issue of non-European migration and contributed to the change of public discourse.

Keywords: Anti-immigration Attitudes; Social Identity; Economic Self-Interest; Poland

Introduction Migration flows of ex-colonials and labor migrants looking for a new home have been part of the Western European countries’ reality since the mid-20th century. In contrast, Poland has been considered a relatively homogenous society in terms of ethnicity and religion, and traditionally the immigration issue has been far less discussed than the emigration of Poles to other countries (Kotras 2016; Żołędowski 2020).1 According to Poland’s national census from 2011, only 0.2% of respon- dents declared themselves to be foreign nationals, and almost 89% of those who answered questions about their religious affiliation acknowledged the Roman Catholic faith (GUS 2012, 2014). In the first few years after the census, the number of residence permits granted by Poland to foreign nationals remained relatively low, in comparison with other European Union countries, and up until 2015, the salience of the immigration issue in public debate was negligible (Górny et al. 2017; Horolets et al. 2020).

However, as the migration crisis and the EU discussions about a relocation program coincided with the parliamentary election campaign in Poland in 2015, themigration issue “stepped out of the shadows” and became broadly discussed, not only by the media but also by the politicians who used it as an effective means of mobilizing voters and gaining political power (Kubicki et al. 2017).

© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Association for the Study of Nationalities.

Nationalities Papers (2022), 1–16 doi:10.1017/nps.2022.71 Published online by Cambridge University Press

At that time themain opposition party – Law and Justice – did not accept the proposedmigrants’ redistribution system and asserted the idea of inviolable national sovereignty. The representatives of the party held that each state should have the right to decide on the number of immigrants in its territory. They warned against the danger of Muslim immigrants2 unwilling to respect Polish laws and customs, trying to impose their way of life on Polish society, and thus undermining Poland’s national identity and traditional values (Szczerbiak 2017). The Law and Justice party gained significant support from the conservative and nationalistic part of the population and won the general election of 2015. While keeping alive the nationalistic and anti-immigration public discourse in Polish society, they managed to succeed in the following parliamentary election in 2019, too.

Nevertheless, once the Law and Justice came to power, its opinion on immigration becamemuch less straightforward. In 2015 and 2016, Poland was the second-highest country, surpassed only by the United Kingdom, which issued more residence permits to non-EU citizens than any other EU- member state. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, Poland took first place (Eurostat 2020). However, these citizens were not refugees from Syria or other Middle Eastern countries. As of December 2019, by far themost numerous3 nation group among those with temporary or permanent residence permits are Ukrainians. According to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), the number of Ukrainian citizens holding a residence permit in Poland rose from 7,168 in 2014 to 107,103 in 2019, and work permits issued toUkrainians in this period increased evenmore: from 26,315 to 330,495 (GUS 2015, 2020). And this case continued after the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, when Poland has accepted the highest number of Ukrainian refugees (, May 3, 2022).

Poland thus undoubtedly presents the unique case of a two-faced immigration strategy, which raises the question: Are the citizens’ responses to immigration also unique to Poland?

According to recent cross-national comparisons (see Figure 1 for ESS data from 2018 or, for example, Ray, Pugliese, and Esipova 2017 and Esipova, Ray, and Pugliese 2020 for Gallup World Poll 2016-2019, Global Views on Immigration and Refugee crisis from IPSOS 2017, and Gonzalez- Barrera and Connor 2019), Eastern European countries display much greater opposition to immigrants than countries of Northern and Western Europe, even though their countries only have a small population of foreign-born citizens (Ray, Pugliese, and Esipova 2017; Esipova, Ray, Pugliese 2020; Gonzalez-Barrera and Connor 2019). The strongest negative sentiments are observed in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, followed by Bulgaria and Poland. Other

Figure 1: Cross-National Comparison of Attitudes to Immigration Data source: ESS Data, Round 9 Note: X-axis describes ESS countries (Hungary is omitted due to lack of data); Y-axis includes a range from 1 (Allow many to come and live here) to 4 (Allow none).

2 Lenka Thérová Published online by Cambridge University Press

post-communist countries included in the sample, such as Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia, also show significantly lower support for immigration than most Western European countries. While less than 4% of Icelanders stated that they would accept only a few or no immigrants of the same ethnicity, in Poland this figure wasmore than 40% and in the Czech Republic, it was 57%. Regarding immigrants of different ethnic backgrounds, 27% of Germans chose to accept only a few (23.5%) or none (3.6%), while in Poland this was more than 64%, in Slovakia 75%, and in the Czech Republic more than 78%.

Indeed, as theory suggests, while the nationalism of Western Europe is characterized by a stress on the importance of democratic governance and civil liberties (Kohn 1946; Snyder 1968), ethnically oriented nationalism, typical of the Eastern Europe, on the other hand, advocates nativism and an exclusionary approach to citizenship (Kohn 1946; Brubaker 2017), and this can be, alongside economic factors (Mayda 2006), 4 one possible explanation for the declared hostility to newcomers, especially if this issue is politicized and becomes salient in the public discourse as it happened in theVisegrád Four countries andAustria (see the shift towardmore restrictive opinions on immigration in Poland in Figure 2, Table 1 and Table 2).

This article aims to contribute to the debate on anti-immigration attitudes in different countries by focusing on an East European representative, Poland. This article will compare the rationale behind the rejection of immigrants with studies of other societies, and it will attempt to find factors that explain the differences in sentiments toward people of diverse ethnic backgrounds. The proposed research will seek to provide answers to the following questions: Is negative opinion on immigration in Poland influenced by economic considerations (personal and collective), or is it more driven by the defense of cultural identity? Is the main trend that explains the rejection of immigrant minorities in Poland different from that identified in studies of the relatively richer countries of Western Europe and North America? Could we observe any dissimilarities in Poles’ views on citizens of European states and the people of non-European origin when related to members of both groups intending to reside in Poland?

Figure 2: Opposition to Immigration Development in Poland 2002–2018 Data source: ESS data, Poland, Round 1–9 Note: X-axis describes ESS rounds 1–9; Y-axis includes a range from 1 (Allow many to come and live here) to 4 (Allow none).

Nationalities Papers 3 Published online by Cambridge University Press

Social Identity or Economic Self-Interest? Theories and Explanations There is a long history of academic debate trying to explain what engenders negative attitudes toward immigration. Various studies have attempted to explore the causes of hostility toward foreigners and to find why some societies are generally more welcoming to immigrants than others. Up to now, the scholarly research on the acceptance of immigrant minorities has been mostly focused onWestern European countries, Canada, and the United States – countries with significant numbers of foreign-born people (see Hainmueller andHopkins 2014). However, little attention has been paid to the countries of Eastern Europe, as most of them have not been particularly affected by immigration flows, until recently. As was mentioned above, in Eastern European countries we have observed a significant drop in the willingness to support immigration since 2015, despite the relatively negligible rise in the number of immigrants to those countries. This phenomenon has not yet been thoroughly described; however, it suggests to us that people’s individual beliefs rather than the actual number of immigrants matter the most.

The two most prominent theoretical approaches of research into the acceptance or rejection of immigrants which are believed to be relevant in gaining an understanding of people’s opinions and behavior revolve around, on one hand, the issue of self-interest, and on the other hand, the role of social identity. The first primarily describes individual economic concerns and identifies compe- tition for resources as a crucial factor in the rejection of immigrants, while the second theory explains antipathy for foreigners in terms of apprehension that minorities would undermine the traditional culture and shared customs of the host country. There are also authors who, in their anti- immigration research, use details from political and media campaigns (Barna and Koltai 2019;

Table 1. Distribution of Attitudes toward the Immigration of People of the Same Ethnicity

Immi. same ethnicity

Frequency Percent Cumulative percent


Allow many to live here 532 172 28.9 11.8 28.9 11.8

Allow some 893 692 48.5 47.6 77.5 59.5

Allow a few 341 423 18.5 29.1 96.0 88.6

Allow none 74 166 4.0 11.4 100.0 100.0

Total 1,840 1453 100.0 100.0

Data Source: ESS Round 6 & ESS Round 9, Poland

Table 2. Distribution of Attitudes toward the Immigration of People of a Different Ethnicity

Immi. different ethnicity

Frequency Percent Cumulative Percent


Allow many to live here 429 66 23.3 4.6 23.3 4.6

Allow some 846 448 46.0 31.1 69.3 35.6

Allow a few 443 561 24.1 38.9 93.4 74.6

Allow none 122 367 6.6 25.5 100.0 100.0

Total 1,840 1,442 100.0 100.0

Data Source: ESS Round 6 & ESS Round 9, Poland

4 Lenka Thérová Published online by Cambridge University Press

Boomgarden andVliegenthart 2009; Branton et al. 2011; Valentino et al. 2013), while others refer to contact theory and neighborhood effects (Citrin et al. 1997; Scheve and Slaughter 2001; Hopkins 2011) as well as individual security fears (Duman 2015) and more complex sociological and psychological concepts, such as social capital (Herreros and Criado 2009) and basic human values (Van Hootegem, Mueleman, and Abts 2020).

Even though a larger part of recent studies considers collective cultural threat (as a component of the social identity theory) to be the most substantial cause of opposition to immigration (see literature review on Public Attitudes Toward Immigration by Hainmueller and Hopkins 2014), it is important to note that these studies often neglect to acknowledge the origins of the foreigners. Naturally, these concerns should be less relevant when the minorities come from a similar cultural background to the host country. As Van Hootegem, Meuleman, and Abts (2020) and Green et al. (2010) confirm, regardless of any dissimilar historical, socio-cultural, or demographic context in the observed countries, differences in their hostility level to foreigners might be partly caused by the ethnicity of the immigrants. Individual-level data from European countries show a clear difference between the acceptance of immigrants from Europe and those of different ethnic or racial origins, and this suggests we should study these phenomena separately. By using survey data, we can distinguish between people’s opinions on the in-group and out-group citizens, and we can control for other variables thatmay explain the attitudinal shift that occurred in countries that have not had a significant rise in the number of immigrants.

In the existing literature relating to self-interest as an explanation for animosity toward minorities, there are several determinants believed to influence people’s acceptance or rejection of immigrants in their country – such as low level of education, unsatisfactory income, unemploy- ment, etc. In general, those studies suggest that anti-immigration attitudes are associated with low socioeconomic status and dissatisfaction with the economic situation – both on the macro-level of the economic prosperity of the country (e.g. Citrin and Sides 2008), and on the level of the personal situation of individuals (Cook et al. 2012; Citrin et al. 1997; Herreros and Criado 2009; Bandelj and Gibson 2020; Oliver andMendelberg 2000; Olzak 1992;Mayda 2006; Scheve and Slaughter 2001). It is argued that nationals who are at the bottom of the labor market feel threatened by immigration because they reckon immigrants as mostly unskilled workers and cheap labor; individuals whomay compete with them for work opportunities and/or welfare benefits (Espenshade and Hempstead 1996). Hence, we should expect a poor economic performance and unsatisfactory personal financial situation to be factors that reduce citizens’ support for immigration.

While the self-interest theory proves to be plausible in some cases, there has been a growing consensus that social identity theory, which concerns immigration’s impact on a group’s well-being, rather than on an individual’s prosperity, is much more influential (Card, Dustmann, and Preston 2012; Haimueller and Hopkins 2014). This theory is based on the assumption that an individual’s identity is, to a great extent, determined by group belonging. Therefore, not only do people tend to see the groups they are members of in a more positive light, but because of their prejudices, they are often hesitant to accept foreign elements that might interfere with their group’s integrity (Tajfel 1981). This theory may not only explain the general suspicion of foreigners but also the distinctions people make in their appraisal of immigrants based on their origins. Relying on social identity theory, the cultural threat hypothesis suggests that nationals tend to protect their culture and collective identity which, they believe, can be threatened by immigrants (Sniderman, Haagendorn, and Prior 2004).

Moreover, the cultural threat is not the only channel through which social identity shapes attitudes to immigration. Religious beliefs can also be a factor in explaining the variation in anti- immigration sentiments. While some studies (e.g. Scheepers, Gisbert, and Hello 2002; McDaniel, Nooruddin, and Shortle 2011) have found a negative correlation between religiosity and acceptance of immigrants, others (Boomgaarden and Freire 2009; Lubbers, Coenders, and Scheepers 2006; Knoll 2009) have observed that religious beliefs can fuel feelings of sympathy for asylum seekers. Bloom, Arikan, and Courtemanche (2015) point out that these discrepancies are mostly based on

Nationalities Papers 5 Published online by Cambridge University Press

the particular religious and ethnic backgrounds of immigrants. While religious identity produces welcoming attitudes toward individuals who share the same ethnicity and faith, it has the opposite effect on immigrants whose ethnic background and religious beliefs differ from the majority of the population. The social identity theory suggests that identification with a religious group leads to stronger negative sentiments toward immigrants, especially when they do not share common religious or ethnic backgrounds and are thus viewed as an identity threat (Brader, Valentino, and Suhay 2008). On the other hand, the religious compassion hypothesis proposes the idea that religion teaches its followers the necessity of compassion and caring for those in need. This theory presumes that religiosity should contribute to more positive feelings toward immigrants, and even more so if they are from similar socio-cultural and ethnic backgrounds (Norenzayan 2013). Nevertheless, it is important to keep in mind that some of the inconsistencies in the research could be simply caused by different measurements or diverse concepts of religiosity, too (see Smidt, Kellstedt, and Guth 2009).

Data and Operationalization The study of anti-immigration attitudes in contemporary Polish society is based on data from the European Social Survey (ESS). This international cross-country survey has been conducted every two years since the year 2002 in several European countries. This ensures that all the analyses will be reproducible in the future and comparable across countries. All the datasets include a battery of immigration-related questions. Figure 1 uses all available samples from countries that partici- pated in Round 9. For the construction of Figure 2, Polish data fromRounds 1–9 are used. Themain analysis, however, is only based on the Round 6 and Round 9 data, with the focus solely on Poland. The survey data from Round 6 was collected between September 22, 2012 and February 9, 2013 and the data from Round 9 was collected between October 26, 2018 and March 20, 2019. The datasets are comprised of answers from 1,989 and 1,500 respondents respectively.

In compliance with the ESS weighting manual (European Social Survey 2014), to minimize possible bias which can result from coverage, sampling, and non-response errors, post-stratification and design weight are used before running the analyses.

Dependent Variables The presented analyses were performed on two dependent variables – attitudes toward the immigration of people of the same ethnicity, and attitudes toward those of different ethnicity. The responses were taken over two different periods. The first dependent variable is operationalized as the question: “Towhat extent do you think Poland should allow people of the same race or ethnic group as themajority of Poland’s citizens to come and live here?”with possible answers on a 4-point scale, with 1 being “allowmany to come and live here,” and 4 “allow none” (see Table 1). The second dependent variable is operationalized as the same question with the same possible answers but refers to people of a different race or ethnic group from the majority of Poland’s citizens (see Table 2).

Explanatory Variables and Their Operationalization To test the economic self-interest theory, three indicators are included in the analysis. The first measures the respondents’ income. Rather than asking about the actual income, a question about satisfaction with their income is used. For two reasons – the first is the general unwillingness of some respondents to answer questions about their salaries (they refuse to answer, or they lie), and the second concerns personal and regional differences; meaning that everyone has different expenses and what might be a reasonably high salary for someone in a small town may hardly cover the cost of essential goods for someone living in a bigger city (note that there are significant

6 Lenka Thérová Published online by Cambridge University Press

economic differences across Poland). After all, it should be their personal feelings about the issue, not the exact financial amount, that affects peoples’ values and opinions. The question “Howdo you feel about your household’s income nowadays?” is measured on a 4-point scale, where 1 equals “living comfortably on present income” and 4 equals “finding it very difficult on present income” (ESS Round 9 2020).

The second indicator used to test the economic self-interest theory concerns the respondents’ unemployment. This is used as a dummy variable and it includes people who declared themselves to be unemployed and actively looking for work (ESS Round 9 2020).

The third variable for testing the self-interest theory is the respondents’ level of education.While there have been two opposing theories concerning the relationship between education and choice of immigration policy, the more widely held view is that the higher the education, the higher the support for immigration, or conversely, as this article focuses on negative attitudes toward immigration, the lower the education, the stronger the negative feelings toward immigrants. This variable is measured as total years of completed full-time education (ESS Round 9 2020).

As regards the theory of social identity, questions related to religiosity and cultural threat are its main determinants for this analysis. The first indicator – cultural threat – is based on the question “Would you say that Poland’s cultural life is generally undermined or enriched by people coming to live here from other countries?” This variable is also measured on an 11-point scale, ranging from zero “cultural life enriched” to 10 “cultural life undermined.” (ESS Round 9 2020).

The second social identity determinant – religiosity – can be measured in several ways, each of which could lead to different conclusions. To avoid multicollinearity, only the question “How religious would you say you are?” – which is expected to be negatively correlated with opinions on immigration – is used in this analysis. It is measured on an 11-point scale, where zeromeans “not at all religious” and 10 is “very religious” (ESS Round 9 2020).

Besides the main competing theories – self-interest and social identity – alternative explanations will also be tested. Therefore, economic threat, interpersonal trust, perceived neighborhood safety, satisfaction with government, and three basic human values of security, universalism, and confor- mity-tradition are included in the models.

As Citrin et al (1997) andDancygier andDonnelly (2012) conclude, restrictionist views aremore driven by concerns relating to the overall impact of migrant labor on the national economy rather than by self-interest. Variable economic threat is based on the question “Would you say it is generally bad or good for Poland’s economy that people come to live here from other countries?” This is measured on an 11-point scale ranging from zero to 10, where zero equates to “good for the economy” and 10 equates to “bad for the economy” (ESS Round 9 2020).

In line with previous research (e.g. Ekici and Yucel 2015 or Herreros and Criado 2009) we also expect interpersonal trust to determine people’s responses to the immigration issue. Therefore, the following question is added to the model: “Would you say that most people can be trusted, or that you can’t be too careful in dealing with people?”The scale of the answers ranges from a score of zero to 10, where zero means “most people can be trusted” and 10 means “you can’t be too careful” (ESS Round 9 2020). We assume that generally, less-trusting people would be less accepting and more mistrustful and judgmental toward foreigners.

Another possible explanation for animosity toward immigrants is personal security and safety concerns. Although few empirical studies on anti-immigration attitudes incorporate this issue, it remains one of the topics most frequently addressed by anti-immigration political parties (Duman 2015). As anti-immigration sentiments are often associated with uncertainty or fear regarding possible increased criminality due to immigrants from poorer countries, we expect higher levels of fear and anxiety when people are walking alone in their neighborhood after dark to trigger unspecified negative responses to the very idea of immigration (Rustenbach 2010). The variable neighborhood safety is framed in the following question: “How safe do you feel walking alone in this area after dark?”This is measured on a 4-point scale, with 1 standing for feeling “very safe” and 4 for “very unsafe” (ESS Round 9 2020).

Nationalities Papers 7 Published online by Cambridge University Press

Satisfaction with government should also be considered as a factor that shapes opinions on immigrants as it is the government that is responsible for immigration policy management. This variable is measured on an 11-point scale, where zero is for “extremely dissatisfied” and 10 for “extremely satisfied” (ESS Round 9 2020).

Political interest as a key indicator of political sophistication acted as a moderator of anti- immigration attitudes in some people and therefore is also important to be controlled for. It is measured on a 4-point scale, where 1 means “not at all interested” and 4 means “very interested” (ESS Round 9 2020). A higher level of political interest is associated with less frequent negative opinions about foreigners, and so it should appear negative in the model.

Additional to the previous explanations, Van Hootegem, Meuleman, and Abts (2020) point out that in anti-immigration research we should also not ignore the role of basic human values. These values serve as guiding principles in human lives and help people shape their views on societal issues, such as immigration. A value of universalism emphasizes understanding, tolerance, and the protection of universal welfare (Schwartz 1994, 22) and in our model, it is based on three ESS variables: the importance of treating everyone equally, listening to dissimilar people, and caring for nature and the environment. A joint value conformity-tradition which concerns complying with social norms and expectations, including respect for and preservation of customs and traditions (Schwartz 1994) is a latent variable composed of four variables from the ESS survey: the importance of doing what you are told, being humble and modest, behaving properly, and following traditions and customs. A confirmatory factor analysis proved the validity of these two latent constructs