Maureen Eger – ‘Last Night in Sweden’: Explaining Perceptions of Immigrants and Crime




Event Date: 15 – 17 May 2019
Richmond University – The American University in London
Queen’s Rd,
Richmond TW10 6JP

The Centre for Analysis of the Radical Right in partnership with Richmond, the American University in London presents:

A Century of Radical Right Extremism: New Approaches

Dr Maureen Eger (Umeå University) – ‘Last Night in Sweden’: Explaining Perceptions of Immigrants and Crime

In recent years, the notion that immigration leads to an increase in crime has gained political traction in Europe and the United States. This article does not examine the veracity this claim, but instead asks what explains this perception among native-born in Sweden. To do this, I rely on the Social Networks and Xenophobia Survey (2013) combined with municipality-level data from Statistics Sweden (SCB) and the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention (BRÅ). Results from multilevel models indicate that neither personal experiences with crime nor exposure to crime in one’s municipality of residence play a significant role in this perception. Further, interpersonal relationships with immigrants and immigrant presence at the municipality-level are also weakly related to attitudes. However, personal politics and the local political context appear to matter. Personally sympathizing with the Sweden Democrats (SD) is positively associated with this perception. Moreover, in municipalities where SD received a higher share of the vote in the previous nation election, individuals are more inclined to believe that immigration increases crime.



<<return to conference page>>

share this entry: