CIPE Workshop - National identity and views about immigration in Quebec
Traditionally, nationalisms have been associated with exclusionary forces or opposition to immigration. Specifically, many studies suggest that identification with the nation-state is a predictor of opposition to immigration (Sides and Citrin 2007; Pettigrew et al. 2007; Mayda 2006). Yet, Citrin, Johnston and Wright (2012) demonstrate that Canada is an exception to this postulate; Canadians embracing a strong national identity would hold more positive attitudes toward immigration. Their study, however, does not investigate whether the same relationship holds in relation to “Quebec” identity. Does Quebec follow the Canadian exceptionalism, or does it follow the same tendency as observed in other national contexts? This study attempts to answer this question by examining the relationship between Quebec national identity and immigration looking at public opinion. The findings suggest that to understand Quebecers’ views about immigration, we must differentiate between federalists and sovereigntists. While Quebec federalists embracing a strong Quebec identity support immigration, Quebec sovereigntists embracing a strong Quebec identity express a stronger opposition to immigration. We explain this by Quebec sovereigntists’ perception that immigrants constitute a political threat to the aspiration to create a new, sovereign state, or some form of political self determination.
Antoine Bilodeau (PhD University of Toronto) is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University.
Audrey Gagnon is a PhD student in the Department of Political Science at Concordia University.
Event open to the public