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Lecture | LIAS Lunch Talk Series

Public Support for Citizenship Expansion in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan

Wednesday 15 May 2024
LIAS Lunch Talk Series
Matthias de Vrieshof
Matthias de Vrieshof 1-4
2311 BZ Leiden
Vrieshof 3 / 1.04 (Verbarium)


This study investigates the factors influencing public attitudes toward immigrant integration in South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan. It examines how civic legacies and social integration cues shape public opinion on integration policies. Existing studies focus on preferences for high-skilled immigrants and co-ethnic returnees, this study pivots to the understudied aspect of integration concerns. It explores how signals of migrant integration, like the adoption of host culture values, elicit public support.

Furthermore, recent literature emphasizes the significant role of civic legacies in East Asian democracies, shaped by civil society actors, in facilitating societal acceptance of immigrant communities. This research builds on these findings, examining whether variations in civic legacies and civil society movements lead to different levels of support for immigrant integration.

The study employs three choice-based conjoint survey experiments with representative online samples of native-born adults. These experiments use vignettes describing a hypothetical new naturalization policy, asking respondents to choose between two hypothetical immigrant profiles for naturalization. The profiles include attributes like the immigrants’ origin and ethnicity, representing identity markers, and a 'social integration' cue, reflecting their integration into the host society. This approach offers new perspectives on the dynamics of immigration and societal integration, particularly regarding the impact of civic legacies and social integration cues on public attitudes toward immigration.

About the speaker

Dr. Steven Denney is an assistant professor in the Leiden Institute for Asia Studies (LIAS) at Leiden University. As a comparativist specializing in East Asian affairs and the Koreas, his core research interests include migration and governance, nations and nationalism, and international organization. He is the co-editor of Decoding the Sino-North Korean Borderlands (2021) and a senior editor for SinoNK.com.

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