I joined the University of Leicester in the Autumn of 2018 as Professor of Politics. Prior to this I taught at the Universities of Glasgow, Nottingham, and Oxford as well as Bilkent University (Ankara, Turkey) and American University (Washington DC). I currently serve as the Director of Research for the School of History, Politics & International Relations.
My research generally focuses on public attitudes to immigration in European democracies including the UK, with recent publications on generational differences in attitudes to immigration in the UK, short- and long-term public responses to immigration in European democracies, and authoritarianism, threat and public opinion regarding immigration. More recently, I have been researching the blaming of minorities and immigrants for the spread of Covid-19 in the UK.
I currently convene and teach on Political Analysis I and II (second year core undergraduate modules) and have previously taught Comparative Public Opinion (third year undergraduate options module).
My research focuses on public attitudes to immigration in European democracies including the UK. I have published articles in peer-reviewed journals as well as three books examining opposition to immigration in Europe and the UK and the relationship between increasing public concern about immigration and distrust in politics; Euroscepticism; and democracy in Southern Europe with a particular focus on comparing Turkey with Southern Europe. More recently, I have been researching the blaming of minorities and immigrants for the spread of Covid-19 in the UK.
McLaren, L. M. (2015) Immigration and Perceptions of National Political Systems in Europe. Oxford University Press: Oxford. ISBN 9780198739463
McLaren, L. (2008) Constructing Democracy in Southern Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Italy, Spain and Turkey. Series: Democratization studies (13). Routledge: London. ISBN 9780415438193
McLaren, L.M. (2006) Identity, Interests and Attitudes to European Integration. Series: Palgrave studies in European Union politics. Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9781403992819
Claassen, C. and McLaren, L. (2021). Does Immigration Produce a Public Backlash or Public Acceptance? Time Series, Cross-Sectional Evidence from 30 European Democracies, British Journal of Political Science; doi:10.1017/S0007123421000260
Claassen, C. and McLaren, L. (2021) Do Threats Galvanize Authoritarians or Mobilize Non-Authoritarians? Experimental Tests from 19 European Societiesâ€™, with Chris Claassen Political Psychology 42(4), pp. 677-94. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12720
McLaren, L. Neundorf, A. and Paterson, I. (2020) Diversity and Perceptions of Immigration: How the Past Influences the Present, Political Studies 69(3): 725-47. (doi: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0032321720922774)
McLaren, L. and Paterson, I. (2019) Generational Change and Attitudes to Immigration, Journal of Ethics and Migration Studies 46(3): 665-82. (doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2018.1550170)
McLaren, L. Boomgaarden, H. and Vliegenthart, R. (2018) 'News coverage and public concern about immigration in Britain', International Journal of Public Opinion Research, 30(2), pp. 173-193. (doi:10.1093/ijpor/edw033)
McLaren, L. (2016) Immigration, national identity and political trust in European democracies. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 43(3), pp. 379-399. (doi:10.1080/1369183X.2016.1197772)
McLaren, L. M. (2013) Immigration and perceptions of the political system in Britain. Political Quarterly, 84(1), pp. 90-100. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-923X.2013.02425.x)
McLaren, L.M. (2012) The cultural divide in Europe: migration, multiculturalism, and political trust. World Politics, 64(2), pp. 199-241. (doi:10.1017/S0043887112000032)
McLaren, L. (2012) Immigration and trust in politics in Britain. British Journal of Political Science, 42(1), pp. 163-185. (doi:10.1017/S0007123411000251)
McLaren, L. and Cop, B. (2011) The failure of democracy in Turkey: a comparative analysis. Government and Opposition, 46(4), pp. 485-516. (doi:10.1111/j.1477-7053.2011.01344.x)
McLaren, L. and Johnson, M. (2007) Resources, group conflict and symbols: explaining anti-immigration hostility in Britain. Political Studies, 55(4), pp. 709-732. (doi:10.1111/j.1467-9248.2007.00680.x)
McLaren, L.M. (2007) Explaining opposition to Turkish membership of the EU. European Union Politics, 8(2), pp. 251-278. (doi:10.1177/1465116507076432)
McLaren, L.M. (2004) Opposition to European integration and fear of loss of national identity: debunking a basic assumption regarding hostility to the integration project. European Journal of Political Research, 43(6), pp. 895-912. (doi:10.1111/j.0304-4130.2004.00179.x)
McLaren, L.M. (2003) Anti-immigrant prejudice in Europe: contact, threat perception, and preferences for the exclusion of migrants. Social Forces, 81(3), pp. 909-936.
McLaren, L.M. (2002) Public support for the European Union: cost/benefit analysis or perceived cultural threat? Journal of Politics, 64(2), pp. 551-566. (doi:10.1111/1468-2508.00139).
I am able to supervise PhD students working on the following topics:
Public attitudes to immigration in Europe and the UK
Media framing and public opinion
Trust/distrust in politics
Euroscepticism amongst mass publics
Public perceptions of national identity
Democracy in Southern Europe
Turkish politics and democracy
I currently convene and teach on Political Analysis I and II (second year core undergraduate modules) and have previously taught Comparative Public Opinion (third year undergraduate options module). I have also taught on Power Politics and Ethics (first year core undergraduate module) and European Union Politics (second year undergraduate options module).
Press and media
I would be happy to be contacted about public opinion regarding immigration to Europe and/or the UK.
‘Public backlash or public acceptance? Attitudes towards immigration’ UK in a Changing Europe blog https://ukandeu.ac.uk/immigration-public-backlash-public-acceptance/ 3 September 2021
‘Public Opinion regarding Immigration’ Brexit and Beyond pp. 64-66 (UK in Changing Europe Annual Report19 January 2021).
‘Anti-immigration attitudes are disappearing among younger generations in Britain’ The Conversation blog
http://theconversation.com/anti-immigration-attitudes-are-disappearing-among-younger-generations-in-britain-119856 5 July 2019; and UK in a Changing Europe https://ukandeu.ac.uk/anti-immigration-attitudes-are-disappearing-among-younger-generations-in-britain/ 16 July 2019
PhD University of Houston (1996)