In and Out: A Study on the Effects of Terrorism on Ethnic Boundary Making and In-Group Attitudes for Native and Immigrant Populations in Europe

Daniel Ramirez , Pennsylvania State University
Javier Polavieja, The Carlos III-Juan March Institute

Research on how terrorist attacks increase shape in-group and out-group attitudes has consistently focused on natives. But what about immigrants and their descendants? Are their sociopolitical attitudes and identities also affected by terrorist attacks? And if so, do terrorist attacks (re)activate ethnic ancestry identities that reinforce ethnic boundaries with the majority population, or do attacks draw immigrants closer to the host society, thus facilitating their sociopolitical integration? This paper studies the heterogeneous effects of the Charlie Hebdo attack for native and immigrant populations on social and political trust in Europe. Using the date of the interview to leverage a natural experiment framework, this study finds the attack increased social and political trust for natives -enhancing in-group solidarity- whereas the attack decreased social and political trust for 1st generation immigrants. We conclude the effects of terrorism on social and political trust are strongly interrelated with assimilation processes and ethnic boundary making.

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 Presented in Session 7. Migration & Urbanization