Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Public attitudes towards migration in Scotland: exceptionality and possible policy implications

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

DOI

Author(s)

David McCollum, Beata Nowok, Scott Tindal

Abstract

Scotland is often perceived as having a relatively welcoming view towards migrants and is presented as such by its politicians and policymakers. This positioning sits within a broader political context in which the Scottish Government favours immigration but has limited policy levers with which to directly influence it. This paper seeks to scrutinise the supposition that Scotland can be seen as ‘different’ to the rest of the UK in terms of how immigration is perceived in the public realm. This is pursued through the analysis of attitudinal data to explore public views on migration, the potential drivers of these perceptions and their implications for future immigration policy in the context of the 2014 referendum on the constitutional future of Scotland. The research finds that the public in Scotland does hold relatively positive views towards migration and that this could be related to Scotland's particular experience of population in and out movements. However there is evidence of some (growing) hostility towards migration on the part of the general public in Scotland and a possible link between nationalist leanings and opposition to ‘Others’. These findings have significant implications for debates regarding possible future immigration policies in Scotland.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-102
JournalScottish Affairs
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

    Research areas

  • constitutional change, immigration, public attitudes, referendum, Scotland, UK

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Protracted precarities: the residential mobilities of Poles in Scotland

    McCollum, D. & Trevena, P., May 2021, In: Population, Space and Place. 27, 4, 11 p., e2438.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. Scotland and Brexit: identity, belonging and citizenship in uncertain times

    McCollum, D., 11 Aug 2020, In: Scottish Affairs. 29, 3, p. 419-430

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. Mobile no more? The innovative use of administrative data linked to a census-based longitudinal study to investigate migration within Scotland

    McCollum, D., Ernsten, A., Feng, Z. & Everington, D., 27 Jan 2020, (E-pub ahead of print) In: Population, Space and Place. Early View, e2312.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. The case for a lifecourse perspective on mobility and migration research

    McCollum, D., Keenan, K. L. & Findlay, A. M., 2020, The Handbook of Demographic Change and the Lifecourse.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

  5. Negotiating Brexit: migrant spatialities and identities in a changing Europe

    Botterill, K., McCollum, D. & Tyrrell, N., 4 Jan 2019, In: Population, Space and Place. 25, 1, e2216.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Related by journal

  1. Scotland and Brexit: identity, belonging and citizenship in uncertain times

    McCollum, D., 11 Aug 2020, In: Scottish Affairs. 29, 3, p. 419-430

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  2. The dynamics of frame-bridging: exploring the nuclear discourse in Scotland

    Brown, A., 1 May 2017, In: Scottish Affairs. 26, 2, p. 194-211

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  3. The political economy of immigration policy: the example of Scotland

    McCollum, D., Tindal, S. & Findlay, A. M., Nov 2016, In: Scottish Affairs. 25, 4, p. 506-529 24 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

  4. 'I didn’t have a clue what we were doing': ( Not) engaging 16 and 17 year old voters in Scotland.

    Stewart, E., Wilson, I. G., Donnelly, P. D. & Greer, SL., 2014, In: Scottish Affairs. 23, 3, p. 354-368

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

ID: 81107913

Top