Refugees Welcome? A Dataset on Anti-Refugee Violence in Germany


  • Benček
  • D.
  • Strasheim
  • J.


The recent rise of xenophobic attacks against refugees in Germany has sparked both political and scholarly debates on the drivers, dynamics, and consequences of right-wing violence. Thus far, a lack of systematic data collection and data processing has inhibited quantitative analysis to help explain this current social phenomenon. This paper presents a georeferenced event dataset on anti-refugee violence and social unrest in Germany in 2014 and 2015 that is based on information collected by two civil society organizations, the Amadeu Antonio Foundation and PRO ASYL, who publicize their data in an online chronicle. We webscraped this information to create a scientifically usable dataset that includes information on 1 645 events of four different types of right-wing violence and social unrest: xenophobic demonstrations, assault, arson attacks, and miscellaneous attacks against refugee housing (such as swastika graffiti). After discussing how the dataset was constructed, we offer a descriptive analysis of patterns of right-wing violence and unrest in Germany in 2014 and 2015. This article concludes by outlining preliminary ideas on how the dataset can be used in future research of various disciplines in the social sciences.


  • Flüchtlinge