Waking Up to a Golden Dawn: How Exposure to the Refugee Crisis Shapes Political Behaviour

Copyright © Harry van Versendaal

Since the summer of 2015 Europe has been faced with a massive refugee crisis. Despite heated debates about asylum policies and the welcoming of refugees across Europe, we still have little knowledge about the impact of the influx of asylum seekers on native voters’ political attitudes and behavior. We will try to fill this gap by examining the impact of exposure to the refugee crisis on political attitudes and behavior in Greece, a country that has received huge numbers of arriving asylum-seekers. Our study builds on the fact that for most refugees the major access point to Europe is, via Turkey, the Greek islands. We use variation in the density of refugees both between and within islands to estimate the impact of the crisis on voting for the Golden Dawn (GD), one of Europe’s most radical right parties. The project complements our aggregate-level analysis with individual-level data, which will allow us to delve into the attitudinal mechanisms driving support for the GD. To pursue this goal, we plan to administer a survey tailored to focus on this region and to tap various attitudinal indicators.


British Academy


BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant

Project Start / End

Sep 2016 - Nov 2017

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