Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States

Immigration Phobia and the Security Dilemma: Russia, Europe, and the United States

By: Mikhail A. Alexseev (author)Hardback

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Immigration phobia is a paradoxical global phenomenon: neither theories that link conflict to symbolic and realistic threats, nor the 'contact hypothesis' can systematically explain intense anti-migrant alarmism and exclusionism toward marginally small migrant minorities. Through a careful comparative study of immigration attitudes in the Russian Far East, the EU, and the United States, this book is the first to demonstrate that concerns about national identity and economic interests associated with migration are themselves ignited by a unique perceptual logic of the security dilemma. Regression analysis and case studies trace support for expulsion of migrants to human yearning for pre-emptive self-defense under uncertainty. Alarmism and hostility arise from ambiguities about immigration consequences and migrants' motivations. Framing migration as a national security problem is therefore logical, but counterproductive. The book instead recommends managing migration through economic incentives and new institutions at the global, national, and local level.

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About Author

Mikhail A. Alexseev is an associate professor of political science at San Diego State University. A former Kremlin correspondent of the News from Ukraine weekly, Alexseev was the first Soviet citizen to receive a Reuters' Fellowship at the University of Oxford and the NATO Democratic Institutions Fellowship in 1990. He is the author of Without Warning: Threat Assessment, Intelligence, and Global Struggle (St. Martin's Press, 1997) and is the editor of Center-Periphery Conflict in Post-Soviet Russia: A Federation Imperiled (St. Martin's Press, 1999). His articles have appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines including Political Science Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, Political Communication, The New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, and The Seattle Times.


1. Immigration phobia and its paradoxes; 2. The immigration security dilemma: anarchy, offensiveness, and 'groupness'; 3. The two faces of socioeconomic impact perceptions; 4. In the shadow of the 'Asian Balkans': anti-Chinese alarmism and hostility in the Russian Far East; 5. Who's behind 'Fortress Europe'? Xenophobia and anti-migrant exclusionism from Dublin to the Danube; 6. Los Angeles ablaze: anti-migrant backlashes in the nation of immigrants; 7. Immigration and security: how worst-case scenarios become self-fulfilling and what we can do about it.

Product Details

  • publication date: 07/11/2005
  • ISBN13: 9780521849883
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 294
  • ID: 9780521849883
  • weight: 532
  • ISBN10: 0521849888

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