Politics, Time, Space, and Attitudes toward US–Mexico Border Security – Or What Do Americans Think about ‘The Wall’?

Date/Time: Wed 13 Sep / 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Location: Monash University, Room N102, (Menzies Building) 20 Chancellors Walk, Clayton Campus

School of Social Sciences (SoSS)

Politics, Time, Space, and Attitudes toward US–Mexico Border Security – Or What Do Americans Think about ‘The Wall’?

The tumultuous 2016 US presidential election cycle featured a range of proposals to address the issue of illegal immigration. Channelling anxieties around illegal immigration with claims of porous, unsecured borders, then-Republican candidate Donald Trump notably committed to building a wall the length of the US–Mexico border. At the same time, border security is not a new issue on the policy agenda, and its salience has risen and fallen over time. Drawing on multiple surveys over the period 2006 to 2016 and spatial analytic tools, this paper explores two questions. First, how have attitudes toward border security shifted over time in response to changes in the partisan political environment? Second, how does spatial context – namely proximity to the US-Mexico border – shape attitudes toward the proposed border wall? Findings point to both time and space, in conjunction with individual-level political attitudes, as key factors shaping attitudes toward US–Mexico border security.


Timothy B. Gravelle joined the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne in July 2017. Tim was previously Visiting Fellow at the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, and taught in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. His research interests are comparative public opinion and political behaviour (focusing on the United States, Canada, and Europe), spatial and contextual models of political behaviour, public opinion and foreign policy, and quantitative methods. Originally from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Tim graduated from Carleton University (BA(Hons), MA) and received his PhD from the Department of Government at the University of Essex in Colchester, England. His work has appeared in journals such as Public Opinion Quarterly, the European Journal of Political Research, the International Journal of Public Opinion Research, the Canadian Journal of Political Science, and PLOS ONE.

Wednesday 13th September


N102 Menzies Building
20 Chancellors Walk
Clayton Campus

For more information, please contact Paul Muldoon on 9905 2972.

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