Politicising immigration in times of crisis: empirical evidence from Switzerland

Marco Bitschnau, Leslie Ader, Didier Ruedin & Gianni D'Amato

Résumé This article investigates the politicisation of immigration in Switzerland during two major socioeconomic crises: the oil crisis of the 1970s and the financial crisis of the late 2000s. Based on 2,853 newspaper claims from 1970 to 1976 and 1995 to 2018, we measure and compare differences in salience, polarisation, actor diversity and frame use between crisis and noncrisis periods. We find that while claims-making on immigration was indeed more salient, polarised, and diversified during the oil crisis, the empirical data for the financial crisis are inconclusive or show a slight decrease. Nonetheless, we still find a noteworthy increase in the use of identity frames during both periods. We conclude that while crises may influence claims-making about immigration and thus affect the politicisation of the matter, their contextual links to particular immigrant groups appear to be of importance as well. Crises do not increase politicisation automatically but may provide important opportunity structures that foster it.
Mots-clés Politicisation, immigration, integration, claims-making, crisis, Switzerland
Citation Bitschnau, M., Ader, L., Ruedin, D., & D'Amato, G. (2021). Politicising immigration in times of crisis: empirical evidence from Switzerland. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(17), 3864-3890.
Type Article de périodique (Anglais)
Date de publication 2021
Nom du périodique Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Volume 47
Numéro 17
Pages 3864-3890
URL https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2021.1936471