Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Clark, Michael

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Emigration and immigration--Political aspects; Emigration and immigration--Government policy; Political science


This thesis investigates whether different types of electoral institutions produce substantively different immigration policies. The difference between majoritarian and proportional electoral systems is the type of influence that anti-immigrant parties can have. In majoritarian systems, their influence is indirect through mainstream parties who co-opt anti-immigrant rhetoric to appeal to supporters of anti-immigrant parties because their support could provide the winning margin in the close elections typically seen in majoritarian systems.||The situation is vastly different in proportional representation systems. The need for a coalition for government functionality gives large anti-immigrant parties the opportunity to have direct influence over immigration policy by blackmailing mainstream governing parties into adopting more extreme immigration policies in exchange for supporting the government. I therefore argue that proportional representation systems will have more restrictive immigration policies than majoritarian systems. To test this theory, I performed a study of four cases: Australia, France, Denmark, and Switzerland.


Advisors: Michael Clark.||Committee members: Scot Schraufnagel; Kheang Un.


128 pages




Northern Illinois University

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