Images of Nationhood and Tolerance of Ethnic Minorities: A Comparative Analysis of Western Europe
- Author(s): Weldon, Steven
- et al.
In recent years, scholars of nationalism have brought renewed focus on political and cultural conceptions of nationhood and citizenship. Drawing on this literature, namely the idea of citizenship regime types, I develop a macro-theoretical framework for understanding cross-national variations in tolerance levels toward ethnic minorities and immigrants. Specifically, I hypothesize that nation-states with more exclusive legal and cultural conceptions of citizenship will have lower aggregate levels of both political and social tolerance. Employing empirical data from a 1997 Eurobarometer survey, I then systematically test the framework, as well as competing explanations, for all member states of the European Union. The results confirm the hypotheses and indicate a strong and significant relationship between citizenship regime type and native populations' tolerance of ethnic minorities and immigrants.