A tale of two logics: how solidarity and threat perceptions shape immigrant attitudes towards immigration in Western Europe

Scholars have paid considerable attention to the attitudes of host societies towards immigration. However, relatively little is known about whether and under which conditions immigrants themselves support immigration more or less than those without a migration background. This study argues that immigrant attitudes towards immigration are motivated by two competing logics, solidarity and threat, with each logic being activated under different circumstances. Specifically, the relative strength of the two logics depends on factors relating to (1) the immigrants themselves (e.g. how long they have been living in their host country), (2) the type of immigration in question (i.e. characteristics of the prospective immigrants) and (3) certain conditions in the host country (particularly the presence or absence of discrimination and assimilation pressure). Evidence from the European Social Survey in 15 West European countries over a period of 18 years (2002–2019) supports these theoretical expectations.