Open or Closed Boundaries? Attitudes towards Sovereignty Issues in Australia

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This paper considers data from Australia on two dimensions related to the concept of sovereignty, namely public attitudes concerning the maintenance of economic boundaries and attitudes related to the social, economic and cultural impact of immigration. The data suggest that in general Australians are inclined to favour economic protection rather than openness but at the same time they tend to emphasise the benefits rather than the costs of immigration. Various theoretical propositions are tested concerning the social and attitudinal predictors of these dimensions. Despite some differences between the two dimensions, the most important variables prove to be occupational status, birthplace and education, plus attitudes towards multi-national companies and general feelings towards immigrants. These results imply that, other things being equal, public attitudes on both the immigration and economic dimensions are likely to become more open over time. © 2002 POLICY AND SOCIETY ASSOCIATES (APSS).




Bean, C. (2002). Open or Closed Boundaries? Attitudes towards Sovereignty Issues in Australia. Policy and Society, 21(1), 25–48.

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