Immigration and Populism

Sergei Guriev

Research output: Other contribution

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The rise of populism has become a top political and economic issue in the US and Europe. Immigration is certainly not the only explanation for this, but for many today’s populists, immigration is one of the top issues on their policy agenda and they frequently refer to both economic and identity arguments related to immigration. This policy brief summarizes recent work on the impact of increasing immigration on the growing support for populism. It highlights that immigration does not necessarily need to fuel populism; in fact, the sign and size of its impact may vary depending on many factors. If immigrants and refugees are settled and integrated, the attitudes toward them are more positive and anti-immigration parties are less likely to gain votes. Another important takeway is that, to beat populists on their own ground, it is crucial to stand up to populist leaders in the public debate, in particular, online. Fact-checking the populists’ claims is necessary but not sufficient. There is a need for innovative approaches to political communication and engagement, for example, deliberative democracy.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Place of PublicationEsch-sur-Alzette
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2020

Publication series

NamePolicy Brief
ISSN (Electronic)2716-7437


  • immigration
  • populism
  • US
  • Europe
  • democracy
  • immigrants and refugees

LISER Collections

  • Policy Brief

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