MIDEX Series: How Agenda Setting Influences the Salience of Immigration in Europe by Dr João Carvalho, Mariana Duarte & Dr Didier Ruedin

18 January 2023

Immigration is a hot topic in Europe, but research on the media effects on public attention with immigration remains limited. We explore how media coverage affects the degree of importance attached to immigration in seven Western European countries. Data come from an extensive claims-making analysis of printed newspapers, and the Eurobarometer (2002-2009). The continuous sample of news coverage is aggregated into a biannual panel, and we relate this data to citizens’ perceptions of the most important issues in their country half a year later (lagged). Immigration is considered more important by the public in comparison to other policy-related issues when there is an increasing volume of news and political claims on this topic in the media. The media seems an exogenous actor that can have agenda-setting effects on the salience of immigration amongst the public. Our results highlight limitations in both the ‘policy-gap’ thesis and thermostatic models of policymaking.


João Carvalho is a PhD in Politics in the University of Sheffield and Principal Investigator after obtaining the first position in the 4th call for Scientific Employment Stimulus in the area of "Media and communication, law and political science" promoted by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. His research interest encompasses the politics of international migration and the far-right, mostly from a comparative approach. His research has been published in scientific journals such as: Journal of Common Market Studies, Party Politics, Government and Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs, Citizenship Studies, Comparative European Politics. His book entitled Impact of extreme Right Parties on Immigration Policy. Comparing Britain, France and Italy was published by Routledge in 2014.


Didier Ruedin (DPhil, Oxford) is a senior lecturer at the University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and affiliated research fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society at the University of the Witwatersrand. He uses experiments and quantitative analysis to examine discrimination and political reactions in policies and political debates. For more information, please visit his personal website.


Mariana Carmo Duarte is PhD Candidate in Political and Social Sciences at the European University Institute, Italy. Her research focuses on the politicization of the European Union and immigration, party competition, issue salience, and public opinion formation. Her work has been published in the Journal of Common Market Studies and Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research.


Wednesday 18 January 16.00-17.00- Online Link


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