Who Deserves to Be British?

Victoria Donnaloja , London School of Economics
Lucinda Platt, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Who deserves to become a citizen? This is a question that has been widely addressed by political and philosophical literature. Yet, little empirical work has investigated the preferences of the majority population. Such preferences may not behave similarly to attitudes towards immigrants and may not be in line with current government policy. We therefore make use of a conjoint-analysis experiment design on a British representative sample to indirectly ask this question. Respondents have to choose whether to grant naturalisation to profiles of fictitious applicants. The method allows to estimate the average effect of each profile characteristic (e.g. religious beliefs) on the probability of being granted naturalisation. Moreover, the data on respondent’s characteristics and voting behaviour (including Brexit) will enrich the analysis by allowing the estimation of the interaction of profile and respondent characteristics. Results will enhance our understanding of what factors are considered central to national belonging.

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 Presented in Session 3. Population, Development, & the Environment; Data & Methods; Applied Demography