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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

Inclusion Vs. Exclusion in European Integration: Identities and Attitudes to Migration

European Politics
European Union
Aleksandra Sojka
Universidad de Granada
Aleksandra Sojka
Universidad de Granada

Processes of international migration challenge directly the self-definition of a political community and its boundaries. However, in the context of European integration these processes become more complex, since the breaking down of borders within European Union (EU) is concomitant with the creation of a supranational level of citizenship in addition to the national one. The community underlying the EU is envisaged as inherently inclusive. One would thus expect its citizens to gradually become more open to migration from other EU states. At the same time, social identity theory suggests that boundaries between in- and out-groups are inherent to collective identities (Kaina and Karolewski 2013; Kaina and Kuhn 2016). This invites the expectation that EU citizens will increasingly distinguish between EU and non-EU migrants and become more close to the latter than to the former. Such a development would, however, run against the EU’s cosmopolitan ideal. The goal of this paper is to test at the empirical level which logic prevails: the logic of identity and boundary-drawing or the EU’s cosmopolitan vision. This question is tackled through a multilevel analysis of recent public opinion data regarding the perception of migrants of different origins, and its connection to different configurations of national and European identities.
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