07.02.2019 MACIE Public Lecture: ‘Mass Attitudes Towards the Right of Asylum in Germany’

Successful event at Marburg´s historic city hall

On 30 January, Bernd Hayo (Philipps-Universität Marburg) and Florian Neumeier (ifo Institut München) presented results of a survey of the German population on the right of asylum. The event took place in the old city hall in Marburg and was introduced by the mayor Thomas Spieß.

The survey was part of an omnibus survey administered between 6 February and 2 March 2018 by Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK). It is designed to elicit the interviewees’ preferences in regard to granting asylum in Germany.

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There are six different versions of introductory text, which allows us to see whether a specific framing has a notable impact on respondents’ answers. The core question asks people to evaluate the right of asylum. They were given three options to choose from: (i) The right of asylum ought to be maintained as a basic right, independent of its consequences, like a large migration wave. (ii) In general, the right of asylum ought to be maintained as a basic right, but it should be restricted, for instance, when immigration increases too much. (iii) The right of asylum should no longer be maintained as a basic right, as it could be the case that too much immigration undermines the structure of our society.

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The Germans are highly critical towards refugees. Regarding (i), Only about 15 per cent are in favour of maintaining the right of asylum as it stands. More than 60 per cent are in favour of restricting the right of asylum as suggested in (ii). Finally, with respect to iii, about 27 per cent would be willing to abandon that right as given. These attitudes depend very little on the variation of information that we provided randomly.

More information on this and other questions is provided in the documentation paper.