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Empirical results for xenophobia

The 60 countries identified in the WVS6 were, for the purposes of this chapter, aggregated into six regions: (1) Islamic countries, (2) African countries, (3) ex-Soviet Union countries, (4) Western countries, (5) Latin American countries, and (6) Asian countries.14 The individual countries associated with these broad regions are shown in Table 6A.1. Table 6.1 shows the values of the XCR, the MGR, and the XGR associated with these six regions.

The lowest levels of xenophobia were recorded for countries of Latin America and the West. Only 17.9% of respondents in Latin American countries, and only 23.2% of respondents in Western countries, were xenophobic, meaning that they would have objected to persons from one or more of the three types of “strangers” - different country, race, or religion - as neighbours. By contrast, 55.6% of respondents in Islamic countries, 45.1% of respondents in Asian countries, and 41.5% of respondents from ex- Soviet Union countries were xenophobic.

Table 6.1 Xenophobia scores by world region

Xenophobia Count Ratio (XCR, %)

Mean Gap Ratio (MGR, %)

Xenophobia Gap Ratio (XGR, %)

Islamic

55.6

71.3

39.7

Africa

36.2

54.3

19.7

Ex-Soviet Union

41.5

61.8

25.6

Western

23.2

52.5

12.2

Latin America

17.9

66.0

11.8

Asia

45.1

68.2

30.8

All countries

37.9

64.4

24.4

Source: Own calculations, World Values Survey 6.

Note: See Table 6A.1 for the grouping of 60 countries by region.

The MGR shows that mean xenophobia surplus (of the xenophobic) was lowest in countries of the West (52.5%) and Africa (54.3%) while it was highest in Islamic countries (71.3%), followed by Asian countries (68.2%), Latin American countries (66%), and ex-Soviet Union countries (61.8%). The Islamic and Latin American countries offer a study in contrasts. The latter had a small proportion of persons who were xenophobic (17.9%), and the former had a large proportion of persons who were xenophobic (55.6%). In both sets of countries, however, those who were xenophobic were also very xenophobic - the MGR was 71.3% for Islamic countries and 68.2% for Latin American countries. The XGR shows that the mean xenophobia surplus (computed over xenophobic and non-xenophobic persons) was lowest in countries of the West (12.2%) and Latin America (11.8%) while it was highest in Islamic (39.7%) and Asian (30.8%) countries.

The contributions that each region made to global xenophobia, and the risk of facing xenophobia in the different regions, are shown in Table 6.2. Whether one measures xenophobia by the count ratio, XCR, or by the gap ratio, XGR, the largest contributions to xenophobia were from Islamic countries: 31.2% and 34.5% of the world’s xenophobia as measured by, respectively, XCR and XGR, was from countries in this group. Table 6.2 also shows that the smallest contributions were from Latin American (6.5% for XCR and 6.7% for XGR), African (11.3% for XCR and 9.5% for XGR), and Western countries (11.4% for XCR and 9.2% for XGR). Sandwiched in between these two extremes were countries of the former Soviet Union and Asian countries contributing, respectively, 19.5% and 20.2% to global xenophobia on the basis of XCR and 18.7% and 21.4% on the basis of XGR.

Consistent with these results, Table 6.2 also shows that the risk of facing xenophobia was highest in Islamic countries. The XCR value of 1.5 for

148 Prejudice

Table 6.2 The decomposition of xenophobia by region using the FGT index

Regional Contribution to Xenophobia * (%)

Regional Contribution to the Risk of Xenophobia**

Islamic

31.2

34.5

1.5

1.6

Africa

11.3

9.5

1.0

0.8

Ex-Soviet Union

19.5

18.7

1.1

1.1

The West

11.3

9.2

0.6

0.5

Latin America

6.5

6.7

0.5

0.5

Asia

20.2

21.4

1.2

1.3

Total

100

100

Source: Own calculations, World Values Survey 6.

Note: XCR = Xenophobia Count Ratio; XGR = Xenophobia Gap Ratio. This is defined by equation (6.6). ** This is defined by equation (6.7).

this bloc means that the contribution of the Islamic bloc to xenophobia, computed using the count ratio, was 50% more than its population share,15 while the XCR values of 0.5 and 0.6 for, respectively, Latin American and Western countries meant that their contributions to xenophobia - again on the basis of the count ratio - were, respectively, 50% and 40% lower than their population shares. For the other blocs - Africa, Asia, and ex-Soviet Union - the contributions to xenophobia were roughly the same as their population shares.

 
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