A magnificent atmosphere? Romanian immigration in the political debate of Madrid, Spain

Simon McMahon

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Immigration has consistently been one of the most controversial political topics in many European countries over recent years. Much research has consequently focused on highlighting and describing negative views of immigrants which dominate political debate. This has been particularly the case in studies of Spain. Yet such studies rarely examine positive views of immigration or explain the dominance of some views over others. This article offers a distinct contribution by examining the contested framing of Romanian immigration in Madrid's politics. At the same time that Romanian immigration has increased rapidly to form the largest single nationality population in the country and public opinion has registered specific concerns regarding this nationality, political debate has declared a ‘magnificent atmosphere’ of coexistence. The article explores why, highlighting the stability of discursive and institutional structures which emphasise values of democracy, equality and tolerance over potentially discriminatory acts and statements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2022-2040
JournalEthnic and Racial Studies
Issue number11
Early online date8 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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  • Discrimination
  • immigration
  • discourse analysis
  • Romania
  • Spain

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