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When Issue Salience Affects Adjudication: Evidence from Swiss Asylum Appeal Decisions

Spirig, J; (2021) When Issue Salience Affects Adjudication: Evidence from Swiss Asylum Appeal Decisions. American Journal of Political Science 10.1111/ajps.12612. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Immigration is a top concern among citizens across the globe. Research shows that the salience of immigration shapes voters' political behavior, but little is known about whether it influences judicial behavior. This article theorizes that variation in issue salience influences judges' behavior when there is a clear connection between the legal and a generally salient, politicized issue. I test this argument drawing on all Swiss asylum appeal decisions reached between 2007 and 2015. I find that higher asylum salience leads judges to decide otherwise similar asylum appeals less favorably. This effect is not restricted to judges affiliated with anti-immigrant parties, unlikely to be driven by accountability pressures, and strongest for those topics known to drive anti-immigrant sentiment in the general public. Together, these findings raise concerns that issue salience threatens the consistency of judicial decisions.

Type: Article
Title: When Issue Salience Affects Adjudication: Evidence from Swiss Asylum Appeal Decisions
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12612
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12612
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. American Journal of Political Science published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Midwest Political Science Association This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127844
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