Beliefs on Refugees as a Terrorist Threat. The Social Determinants of Refugee-related Stereotypes

Bartłomiej Walczak,

Nikolaos Lampas


This article performs a cross-national analysis of the causes of refugee-related threat perception. We examine the hypotheses that the number of terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists should negatively coincide with positive attitudes toward refugees in a country. Secondly, we assess the relationship between the number of suspects arrested in relation to Muslim terrorist attacks and prejudicial attitudes toward refugees in a host country. In order to answer these hypotheses, we adopted a quantitative approach. Using data from the Pew Research Center Survey of 2016 we analyze the relationship between the number of terrorist attacks and arrests of Muslim extremists and their impact on the perception of the population in ten European countries. The findings suggest that there is no correlation between the number of terrorist attacks, arrests of Muslim extremists and prejudicial attitudes toward refugees. Among countries which experienced most fundamentalist Muslims attacks, the portrait of people sharing the stereotype is more nuanced. Political convictions were found to be the strongest and most common significant predictor, while age, gender and religiosity were significant in some countries only.

Słowa kluczowe: Refugee Crisis, Refugee-Related Threat Perception, Prejudicial Attitudes, Terrorist attacks, Terrorist Arrests

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