|Author (Person)||Geddes, Andrew, Statham, Paul|
|Series Title||West European Politics|
|Series Details||Vol.29, No.2, March 2006, p248-269|
|Publication Date||March 2006|
|Content Type||Journal | Series | Blog|
This article examines the role of the ‘organised public’, collective action by interest groups and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), in British immigration politics. The impact of the ‘organised public’ on policy outcomes has been a subject for theoretical speculation, especially by Gary Freeman. Here the authors test some of Freeman's assumptions regarding what political mechanisms could account for what he sees as a persistent ‘gap’ between expansionist policies and restrictive public opinion through recourse to original empirical evidence. Their findings largely go against Freeman's predictions. Immigration is an elite-led highly institutionalised field with a relatively weak level of civil society engagement. Elites dominate the field and hold a decisively restrictionist stance. This points toward an explanation where the direction of immigration policies is not an outcome of an organised pro-migrant lobby winning over a resource-weak diffuse anti-migrant lobby, as Freeman suggests, but determined in a relatively autonomous way by political elites.
|Countries / Regions||United Kingdom|