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Coenders, Marcel

Coenders, Marcel


Marcel Coenders, born in Sevenum, the Netherlands, in 1970. Ph.D. from Radboud University Nijmegen. Associate Professor of Cultural Diversity & Youth at Utrecht University.

Fellow (1 Sept 2016 – 31 Jan 2017)

Who deserves welfare support? The impact of migration and ethnic diversity on welfare attitudes

Research Question

Immigrants’ access to and use of welfare benefits has been the subject of heated debate in many European countries. According to public view, migrants are perceived as less deserving of welfare support. I examine the causes of these perceptions of deservingness and how public opinion towards welfare policies is affected by concerns about migration and growing ethnic diversity.

Project Description

This project investigates how migration and ethnic diversity are related to public opinion regarding welfare policies. To what extent and why do people regard recent migrants and those of migrant background as less deserving of welfare support? Do concerns about migration and diversity undermine support for specific welfare policies? And does diversity lead to new social cleavages in public support for the welfare state? To understand the determinants of deservingness and public support for welfare policies, I examine how they are related to characteristics of individual voters (such as their economic position and political ideology) and characteristics of welfare claimants (comparing natives and different migrant groups). Furthermore, I examine how the nature of the political debate and political messages affect solidarity with migrants and public support for welfare policies. For these aims data from a longitudinal study in the Netherlands and Great Britain will be analysed.

Selected Publications

Coenders, M., Lubbers, M., & Scheepers, P. (2012). Resistance to immigrants and asylum seekers in the European Union: Cross-national comparisons of public opinion. In Freeman, G. P., Hansen, R., & Leal, D. L. (Eds.) Immigration and Public Opinion in Liberal Democracies. New York: Routledge, pp. 21-50.

Coenders, M., Lubbers, M., & Scheepers, P. (2008). Support for Repatriation Policies of Migrants: Comparisons Across and Explanations for European Countries. International Journal of Comparative Sociology, 49 (2-3), 175-194.

Coenders, M. (2015 in press). Ethnocentrism. In J. Baxter (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.

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