As the far right movement in much of Western Europe has grown stronger, many people have been shocked that liberal Europe opposes the inclusion of immigrants and refugees in society. However, as this article explains, far right supporters have always had a place in Europe. Even in a small suburb, like the one discussed in this article, can give an indication of the growth of the far right movement.

One interesting phenomenon the article discusses is called the halo effect. The halo effect explains that it isn’t people in areas that are the most diverse who tend to oppose immigration, but the people in the suburbs around such diverse areas. However, as immigrants and people from different backgrounds spread to the suburbs, the large population of far right supporters moves farther out.

I can think of two reasons that explains this. First, as immigrants move farther out, more people see the good they can bring to society and realize that they are real people who are actually quite similar to everyone else. For example, a gentleman interviewed for the article said that he developed a more positive opinion of refugees after working as a security guard in a refugee area. Because of his direct contact with refugees, he began to respect and appreciate them. So maybe as people have more direct contact with refugees, they will change their views. Or, it could just be that as immigrants move farther into the suburbs, far right supporters move even farther out.

Advertisements