The Baltic Region

2017 Vol. 9 № 2

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Territorial differences in the attitudes to the migration crisis in Germany: The political aspect



The European migration crisis has divided the population of Germany along the lines of the country’s migration policy and the attitude to immigrants. The antiimmigrant sentiment, supported by the rhetoric of the extreme right-wing parties and the criticism of current policies, have been growing in the society. This article reviews theoretical approaches to the study of public attitude to migrants proceeding from the effect that immigration has on the socioeconomic development of the host society. The authors propose a mechanism for analysing the political life of a society to develop viable approaches to managing the migration shock and mitigating its effect. The article considers the attitudes of the German population to immigration and immigrants in terms of the transformation of electoral preferences under the influence of the migration crisis. Recent data on the electoral standing of the Alternative for Germany party are used to develop a typology of states, based on the level of support for this party from the local population and on other measures of the migration situation and socioeconomic development. The authors identify northeastern regions with a high probability of popular support for the extreme right views on the migration crisis and northern and southwestern states that are most and least susceptible to the extreme right influence.


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