Universiteit Leiden

nl en


The limits of tolerance: before and after Brexit and the German Refugee Crisis

This study investigates how two social and political developments, in the UK and Germany, impacted on the experiences of minorities and the attitudes of majorities vis-à-vis tolerance in those two countries. The results provide a thought-provoking picture of the views of minority and majority groups in Germany and the UK at a time when both nations faced acute political challenges.

Marcin Kromczyk, Nabil Khattab & Tahir Abbas
16 June 2021
The limits of tolerance: before and after Brexit and the German Refugee Crisis

This comparative statistical analysis is of tolerance and how it was perceived and experienced by minorities and majorities in the UK and Germany before and after two defining national events that both focused on immigration and national identity. Based on combined sweeps of the European Social Survey (2012–2018), this study applied logistic regression modelling to determine that during the Brexit vote in 2016 and the German Refugee Crisis in 2015, majorities from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were more likely to be intolerant towards minorities, who were more likely to experience discrimination. Majority intolerance and minority perceptions of discrimination increased after both events among less well-off groups. However, majorities from higher socioeconomic backgrounds were less likely to exhibit intolerance towards minorities before these national events and after. This study offers an original perspective on race and ethnic relations at times of national crises over identity and belonging.

This website uses cookies.  More information.