American Behavioral Scientist vol:59 issue:6 pages:747-768
Migration and ethnic minority integration remain heavily contested issues in numerous European countries. Over the past decade, researchers and political commentators have observed an apparent retreat from multiculturalist policies, related to a belief that multiculturalism has lost support among the majority public. Recently, however, based on analyses of the evolution of migrant integration policies, it has been demonstrated that multiculturalist policies were largely left in place. To investigate the effect of multiculturalist policies on public opinion, we use a multilevel analysis of three policy indicators (MCP, ICRI-CD and MIPEX) and European Social Survey data in twenty European countries. Results show that multiculturalist policies, as measured by MCP and ICRI-CD, and migrant integration policies more generally, as measured by MIPEX, to some extent are associated with lower levels of anti-immigrant sentiments, while they do not affect public attitudes toward political institutions. Regarding political attitudes, especially respondents with higher education levels tend to respond in a more positive manner to multiculturalist policies than respondents with lower education levels.