Nationalism and patriotism as predictors of immigration attitudes in Switzerland:
A municipality-level analysis



Abstract: Using Swiss data from the 2003 International Social Survey Programme (N = 902), this multilevel study combined individual and municipality levels of analysis in the explanation of nationalism, patriotism and exclusionary immigration attitudes. On the individual level, the results show that in line with previous research nationalism (uncritical and blind attachment to the nation) increased exclusionary immigration attitudes, while patriotism (pride in national democratic institutions) was related to greater tolerance towards immigration. On the municipality level, urbanization, socioeconomic status and immigrant proportion (and their interaction effects) were found to affect nationalism, patriotism and immigration attitudes. Nationalist and patriotic forms of national attachment were stronger in German-speaking municipalities than in the French-speaking municipalities. Path analyses further revealed that living in a Swiss-German municipality indirectly led to more negative immigration attitudes through an increase in nationalism. The research is discussed in light of social psychological and political science literature on political attitudes.