IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The making of a new cleavage? Evidence from social media debates about migration


  • Ademmer, Esther
  • Stöhr, Tobias


Immigration has been considered critical for the emergence of a new cleavage in the European Union that pits the winners of globalisation against the losers. Ample research has demonstrated the social structure and the organisational base of this new cleavage. So far, however, there is no study showing that the rise of new parties is also associated with a stronger political identification of individuals with issues that these parties promote - a key feature to speak of a cleavage in the tradition of Lipset and Rokkan. In this paper, we provide systematic evidence on whether immigration contributes to the collective identification with the new cleavage on the micro-level. We show that an increase in immigration is strongly associated with this process and contrast our argument against alternative explanations that scrutinize the dealignment of individuals and political parties. We analyse a dataset of about 600 000 comments made on Facebook below articles of regional German newspapers using topic models to add to the debate about the emergence of new cleavages in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Ademmer, Esther & Stöhr, Tobias, 2019. "The making of a new cleavage? Evidence from social media debates about migration," Kiel Working Papers 2140, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2140

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item


    cleavages; globalisation; migration; Facebook;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2140. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.