More and more reports appear in the media that people with a migration background are voting for anti-immigrant parties. Why does this happen? The research group Global Citizenship is conducting research on this. The research "Against the Grain: Exploring Why People with a Migration Background vote and are active for Anti-Immigration Parties" attempts to describe and explain the voting behaviour of people with an immigration background. In addition, this research looks at how these voters relate to the public debate. With this insight, the research group aims to make themes such as immigration, multiculturalism and polarisation open for conversation in education.

Purpose of the research

This study helps us learn more about how migrants integrate in the Netherlands. We also learn how to talk about different cultures and the polarisation in society. Especially in education, there is a great need for this. 


This exploration consists of two parts: we look at figures and also research human experiences. First, we review what is already known in books and articles. Then we identify how many people with a migration background in the Netherlands vote for anti-immigration parties. We also look at their characteristics.

Then we will delve deeper into why this group of people vote the way they do. We do this ethnographically, i.e. by observing and talking to them. Finally, we will convert the knowledge we have gained into useful educational materials. For instance, we will develop tools for schools to facilitate conversations about sensitive topics. 

The study is both qualitative and quantitative in nature. 

Intended results

Ultimately, we will develop tools for education to make topics such as immigration, integration, multiculturalism and polarisation discussable. We also want to gain more insight into new research methods to implement in education. Think of digital or virtual research methods. 


Entrepreneurship & Retail Management (Dutch)

Cooperation partners

VU Amsterdam


Promotion voucher THUAS

Project duration

1 February 2023 - 1 February 2028

Project leader

Shashi Roopram, MSc 


Prof. Dr. Maurice Crul 

Dr. Jasper Muis 

dr. Elif Keskiner 

Shashi Roopram, MSc 


 Do you have questions about this study? If so, please contact the project leader Shashi Roopram (