Does exposure to terrorism affect attitudes toward immigration policy? If so, is it the sense of threat that impacts these attitudes? Previous studies could not find conclusive evidence of increasing hostility toward out-groups as a direct consequence of terrorist events, as they struggle to separate attitudinal migration policy preferences and reactions to terrorism. Drawing on intergroup threat theory, we conducted two original public opinion polls (N = 954) in Israel, using a unique model that refined both the measure of the intensity of exposure to terrorism–more intensive (Study 1) and less intensive (Study 2)—and differences in the measure of different levels of geographic proximity to the attacks (high/low). Results indicate that in times of intense terror attacks, high levels of exposure to such attacks affect people’s conflict-related threat perceptions, which drive their support for exclusionary migration policies. These findings improve our understanding of the spillover effects of terrorism on public opinion about migrants who are not involved in the conflict that prompts the terror attacks.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
- asylum seekers
- Exposure to terrorism
- immigration policies
- Israeli-Palestinian conflict
- threat perceptions
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
- Sociology and Political Science
- Safety Research
- Political Science and International Relations