Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Ph.D. in Political Science


Political Science

First Advisor

Susan Allen

Second Advisor

Gregory Love

Third Advisor

Yael Zeira

Relational Format



Scholarly studies of refugee crises have historically focused on the causes of refugee flight, the experience of the refugees themselves, or the impacts of refugees on host countries. More recently, a growing body of literature has examined the interaction of refugees and host populations, and more specifically the orientations of host individuals toward refugees. This study focuses on attitude formation during refugee crises, seeking to better understand the role of social and economic factors in shaping the attitudes of host populations. The core questions for this study are whether and how social identity and economic considerations relate to attitudes. Original data were generated through a randomized survey in Jordan in 2015, providing a unique dataset of attitudinal, social, and economic variables. Analysis of the data shows that macro-economic evaluations are better attitudinal predictors than individual-level economic position and experience, while perceptions of shared culture with refugees is the strongest correlate of attitudes, outperforming all other variables. The empirical evidence points to the importance of shared social identity in shaping attitudes toward refugees, while calling into question the role of direct economic impact.



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