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Does Brexit trigger racism? An Experiment among British and Europeans residents in the UK

This project aims to understand the impact of Brexit on the way that Europeans and British residents interact

Principal Investigator: Dr Fernanda Leite Lopez de Leon, University of Kent


The recent Brexit vote was perceived as a statement against immigration and has repercussions for the 2.5 million Europeans (or 4% of the population) living in the UK (2011 Census). This project aims to understand the impact of Brexit on the way that Europeans and British residents interact. To do that, we combine psychological and economic approaches to measure individual attitudes towards European residents of the UK and test the role of Brexit in triggering anti-social behaviour. We use an experimental design to assess whether Brexit elicits racial prejudice, and how this might affect allocations towards European residents in the UK. We not only apply explicit measures of prejudice, but highly sensitive implicit measures to determine whether Brexit might even elicit such feelings covertly in pro-European British residents that had voted to remain.

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We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.

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