Article

The Changing Relationship Between Left-Right Ideology and Euroscepticism, 1973-2010

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Abstract

How is euroscepticism related to left–right ideology in Western European public opinion? We argue that inconsistent findings on this relationship result from the changing nature of European integration over time. Initially, EU market integration mainly sparked left-wing opposition; after Maastricht the intensification of political integration additionally produced nationalist euroscepticism among the political right. Hence, we hypothesize that the relationship between citizens’ left–right ideology and euroscepticism evolved from linear to U-shaped. We test this hypothesis by means of multilevel logistic regression on 74 waves of the Eurobarometer (1973–2010) in 12 EU member states. The results demonstrate an increase of right-wing euroscepticism across countries, whereas the developments on the left are mixed. In the concluding section, we discuss the theoretical and political implications of these findings.

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... Increasing anti-European sentiment on the right end of the political spectrum profoundly changed the relationship between the left-right dimension and euroscepticism (Van Elsas and Van der Brug, 2015;Werts et al., 2012). Once strongly connected to the radical left and rooted in concerns about economic inequality and the welfare state, today euroscepticism follows a U-curve. ...
... While the existence of this U-curve is well-established at the party-level (see, for example, Conti and Memoli, 2012;De Vries and Edwards, 2009;Halikiopoulou et al., 2012;Taggart, 1998), two recent studies by Van Elsas and colleagues show that it is mirrored among the European population at large (Van Elsas and Van der Brug, 2015;Van Elsas et al., 2016): citizens who identify as most leftist and most rightist report the highest levels of euroscepticism. Determining the meaning of this pattern is not straightforward, however, as it is unclear what the ideological basis of euroscepticism is. ...
... As Taggart (2004, p. 281) argues: 'populist Euroscepticism is a very broad umbrella covering a most unusual set of political adversaries'. Moreover, extant studies do not specifically focus on leftist and rightist populist constituencies, but instead discern voters based on left-right self-placement (Van Elsas and Van der Brug, 2015;Van Elsas et al., 2016). The question of how euroscepticism among populist constituencies can be understood is, consequently, still open. ...
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The U‐curve in euroscepticism is well established: both leftist and rightist populist constituencies are more eurosceptic than voters for establishment parties. Using rich survey data on a country with both constituencies represented in parliament (the Netherlands; n=1,296), we examine why euroscepticism drives populist voting. Our analyses demonstrate that euroscepticism is part of the well‐established link between both 1) distrust in politics and politicians, and 2) support for protectionism on the one hand, and voting for both types of populist party on the other. It is also part of the well‐known relationship between 3) ethnocentrism and rightist populist voting. Surprisingly, euroscepticism is not part of the typical association between economic egalitarianism and voting for a leftist populist party. The concluding section discusses the implications of our findings and provides suggestions for further research.
... There are also a few theories that deal with the relationship between different models, suggesting that these may be complementary in some respects, rather than competing ( Garry and Tilley 2009;Hooghe 2007;McLaren 2007). The impact of time has also been analysed, in particular with respect to the economic crisis (Armingeon and Ceka 2014; Elsas and van der Brug 2015;Hobolt and Wratil 2015;Kuhn and Stoecke 2014;Serricchio et al. 2013). Based on the existing literature, a theoretical framework for explaining citizens' attitudes towards European integration is constructed. ...
... There are also a few theories that deal with the relationship between different models, suggesting that these may be complementary in some respects, rather than competing ( Garry and Tilley 2009;Hooghe 2007;McLaren 2007). The impact of time has also been analysed, in particular with respect to the economic crisis (Armingeon and Ceka 2014;Elsas and van der Brug 2015;Hobolt and Wratil 2015;Kuhn and Stoecke 2014;Serricchio et al. 2013). ...
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Academic and general interest in public support for European Integration is on the rise. Theoretically, the utilitarian, identity, reference, cue-taking and signalling models have been developed to explain this perplexing phenomenon. While these models have been tested, there is no comprehensive up-to-date account of how well they perform separately, relative to each other and across levels. Empirically, this study utilises a data set with 110,873 respondents from the European Social Survey. Methodologically, a multilevel model is used to address causal heterogeneity between levels. The study shows that ‘attitudes towards multiculturalism’ at the individual level and ‘corruption’ at the country level are the strongest predictors. When interacting levels within models, it is demonstrated that individual trust in the national political establishment is being moderated by the level of corruption in a country in influencing support for European integration. On this basis, two models are proposed, named the ‘saviour model’ and the ‘anti-establishment model’. © 2019
... For example, humanitarian considerations are more important for left-wing citizens, whereas religious concerns are stronger for right-wing citizens ( Bansak et al., 2016). Furthermore, political-cultural aspects of the EU, such as the loss of national identity through the inclusion of people from different countries, are more important for right-wing citizens (Hooghe and Marks, 2009;van Elsas and van der Brug, 2015). Therefore, the hypothesized negative effect of media coverage may be enhanced for right-wing citizens, as they consider these aspects more important and could therefore be more susceptible to media effects. ...
... Overall, the analyses show that trust in the EU is more dependent on the coverage of immigration and asylum issues for right-wing citizens than for left-wing citizens. This is in line with previous research that found political-cultural aspects of the EU to be more important for right-wing citizens (van Elsas and van der Brug, 2015). Typically, such reactions on the right are conceptualized as a consequence of cultural threats to national identities (McLaren, 2002). ...
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Attitudes towards immigration are among the core predictors of attitudes toward the European Union. However, even though most citizens learn about immigration through the media, we lack a comprehensive account of how media coverage of immigration influences support for the European Union. In this study, we use a combination of European Social Survey and Media Claims data to investigate the effects of the visibility and valence of immigration and refugee media coverage on political trust in the European Union in 18 countries between 2012 and 2016. Our results show that media coverage of immigration and refugees influences trust in the European Union; however, the effects depend on citizens’ ideological leaning and content characteristics. Furthermore, we find that the impact of immigration attitudes on trust in the European Union becomes more important over the course of the refugee crisis.
... These types of predispositions are also likely to play a role when citizens evaluate the performance of national government and the EU in the refugee crisis. European integration and immigration have a socio-economic and a socio-cultural component in the minds of citizens (Otjes and Katsanidou, 2017) and the weight these components carry differs between left-wing and right-wing voters (Van Elsas and Van der Brug, 2015). We therefore expect that the way in which the EU is associated with the refugee influx depends on citizens' left-right orientation and, more specifically, on their attitudes towards immigration. ...
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This paper investigates how the refugee crisis has affected attitudes towards the EU, as well as attitudes towards national institutions. By combining different waves of individual survey data, official records of asylum applications and a content analysis of the media, we examine the effect of the numbers of asylum applications and the amount of media coverage thereof on citizens' attitudes towards the EU and national politics. Our findings demonstrate that the number of asylum applications in the EU and the media attention this generates primarily affect euroscepticism, while the number of asylum applications into each individual Member State first and foremost affects attitudes towards national institutions. Our results contribute to the literature on democratic accountability, by demonstrating that, even in a complex multi-level governance structure, citizens differentiate between levels of government.
... Indeed, while the convergence between the PRRPs and the PRLPs has been detected mostly when concerning the European Union issue (e.g., Hooghe et al. 2002;Kopecký and Mudde 2002;van der Eijk and Franklin 2004;Halikiopoulou et al., 2012;), we know very little about the migrationterrorism nexus. Several studies have indeed demonstrated that both PRRs and PRLs are generally opposed to the European integration process, an opposition represented by what is popularly known as the "inverted U curve" (Kriesi, 2008;van Elsas and van der Brug, 2014;van Elsas et al., 2016). Few others have also extended these insights to other issues such as immigration and foreign policy (see Coticchia and Ceccorulli 2016;Wagner et al., 2017a;2017b, Coticchia andDavidson 2018), but there is still a surprising gap in considering radical parties' overall foreign policy positions and what kind of connections they see between different related issues. ...
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Forms of political violence such as terrorism, as well as, migration flows have traditionally been interpreted and discussed in very different ways by the right wing and left wing parties. Yet, during the 2017 presidential campaign, Marine le Pen, leader for the National Front (FN) and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France Unbowed (FI), despite obvious differences in terms of conceptualisation of justice and legitimation of violence, presented an agenda on the two phenomena revealing some critical overlapping points. The literature, however, does not yet provide a clear framework to understand party competition in relation to the terrorism-migration nexus here understood and analysed in relation to EU integration and national foreign policy. Hence, by building on studies on the cultural dimension of political competition, this paper analyses the positioning of the two parties over the four key issues, namely EU integration, foreign policy, migration and terrorism. Our study reveals and discusses what kind of nexus these two parties recognise and elaborate and how the party competition dynamics has been altered accordingly. In particular, we show that an ‘U-Curve’ is visible also in relation of an alleged migration- terrorism nexus revealing an increased convergence of opposing radical parties.
... These additional effects are positive, indicating that citizens who are in favour of strong welfare states are even more susceptible to social security related concerns about European integration than one would expect given their generalised fear of European integration. This confirms hypothesis 2b and validates previous research stating that a left-wing orientation is positively associated with higher levels of fear about a loss of social security (Cautr*s, 2012; van Elsas and van der Brug, 2015). Additionally, we find that the positive impact of anti-immigrant attitudes is weaker and that the gender gap is larger with regard to concerns about a loss of social security than about citizens' overall fear of European integration. ...
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This study investigates whether citizens' concerns about the EU's impact on social security are a distinct source of Euroscepticism. By analysing data from the European Values Study 2008, we show that citizens differentiate between domain-specific fears about European integration (i.e. about social security, national sovereignty, culture, payments and jobs), meaning that they cannot be reduced completely to a general fear about European integration. Furthermore, socioeconomic determinants and ideological position are more important in explaining citizens' fear about the EU's impact on social security than in explaining their generalised fear of European integration. In countries with higher social spending, citizens are more fearful of European integration in general, however, social spending does not affect fears about social security more strongly than it affects other EU-related fears.
... Since many of those traditional parties were unable to adapt rapidly enough to the new conflict dimension, the number of new political parties increased significantly (Hooghe and Marks 2017). Many of the emerging parties were found at the extremes of the new cultural dimension and often opposed the process of European integration, which created the inverted-U curve characterizing the distribution of the general left-right dimension to party positions towards European integration (Hooghe et al. 2002;Marks et al. 2006;van Elsas and van der Brug 2015). ...
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... Further, as EU competences have become more diverse, citizens have become more sensitive to the political agenda of the European Union (van Elsas and van der Brug, 2015). Whereas the European project is primarily concerned with economic policy, the EU's social policy objectives have become more prominent over time ( Føllesdal et al., 2007). ...
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... While the extreme right parties oppose European integration due to the loss of sovereignty and national identity, the extreme left parties are opposed to the EU system because of deregulation, welfare reduction, and increased international competition. The relationship between the political ideology and Euroscepticism has evolved from the linear model in which leftist parties were more skeptical than rightist parties to the U-shaped model in which both extreme parties are significantly more Eurosceptical than the centrist parties (Aspinwall 2002;Elsas and Brug 2015). In this context, party-based studies have contributed to the analysis of Euroscepticism as a strategy of political parties to mobilize the citizens' attitudes against European integration. ...
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This article revisits the causes of Euroscepticism in the recent period and attempts to find the determinants that affect Eurosceptical public opinions. Associating the rise in Eurosceptical opinion with the economic and financial crisis, a number of studies argue that the rising Euroscepticism can be explained by several macro-level factors. Using the Eurobarometer survey results, this article has conducted empirical tests on public trust in 28 Member States of the EU for the period of 2004–2017. It shows that various economic and fiscal variables comprehensively explain the rise of Euroscepticism during the recession period in most countries. However, non-domestic variables such as fiscal conditions of other countries and exposure to the refugee crisis also appear to have a direct effect on the Eurosceptical public opinion. This finding suggests that restoring trust in the EU will require a broad economic recovery with a lower debt level in the EU and a more effective capacity of the EU to respond to the external challenges.
... Any change in the dominant dimension of conflict among political parties therefore must have implications for the infinite issues that potentially appear in the narrow venues of (multi-level) policymaking. As suggested in the introduction, such a change in the dimensionality of party politics seems currently on-going: Socio-cultural issues such as immigration and European integration have partially displaced socio-economic ones such as labour market policy and financial regulation in the composition of the main dimension of conflict in contemporary European party politics (e.g., de Vries, 2018b;de Vries, Hakhverdian, & Lancee, 2013;Hoeglinger, 2016;Hutter & Kriesi, 2019;Marks et al., 2006;Szczerbiak & Taggart, 2008;van Elsas & van der Brug, 2015). Left-and right-wing Eurosceptic parties dynamically and strategically connect to the distinct core issues on the agendas of European party systems (e.g., Braun, Popa, & Schmitt, 2019;Meijers & Rauh, 2016). ...
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Policy-specific actor-constellations consisting of party- and group-representatives commonly drive the effective establishment of new policy programmes or changes in existing policies. In the EU multi-level system, the creation of such constellations is complicated because it practically requires consensus on two dimensions: the European public policy at stake and the issue of European integration. This means that, for interest groups with interests in particular policy domains, and with limited interest in the actual issue of European integration, non-Eurosceptic parties must be their main ally in their policy battles. We hypothesise that interest groups with relevant European domain-specific interests will ally with non-Eurosceptic parties, whereas interest groups whose interests are hardly affected by the European policy process will have party-political allies across the full range of positions on European integration. We assess this argument on the basis of an elite-survey of interest group leaders and study group-party dyads in several European countries (i.e., Belgium, Lithuania, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, and Slovenia) in a large number of policy domains. Our dependent variable is the group-party dyad and the main independent variables are the European policy interests of the group and the level of Euroscepticism of the party. We broadly find support for our hypotheses. The findings of our study speak to the debate concerning the implications of the politicisation of European integration and, more specifically, the way in which party-political polarisation of Europe may divide domestic interest group systems and potentially drive group and party systems apart.
... In sum, the recent crises faced by advanced democracies created 'windows of opportunity' for the rise of radical party support (Caiani and Graziano 2019). Although radical party voters exhibit a distrust and dissatisfaction with national and EU political institutions (Marcel and Scheepers 2007;Van Elsas and Van der Brug 2015;Visser et al. 2014), the reasons for this discontentment are dissimilar on the left and right. To understand the motivations of far-left versus far-right voters, a more nuanced analysis of their beliefs, characteristics, and preferences is needed. ...
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Support for far-left and far-right political parties has been on the rise across advanced democracies in recent years. This political polarization originates from a series of crises facing countries that have led to considerable social and economic instability. While several studies identify commonalities in the voting bases of radical parties, this article analyzes differences in the demand-side preferences of far-left and far-right voters. Although radical party voters share a distrust and dissatisfaction with mainstream political institutions, the motivations underpinning voter support for far-left and far-right parties are markedly dissimilar. Analysis of data from eight successive European Social Survey rounds (2002-2016) across fifteen countries, demonstrates that while far-left voters are more attentive to socioeconomic issues, centered around redistributive and egalitarian concerns, far-right voters are more focused on socio-cultural issues, related to national identity, culture, and immigration. Understanding which issues motivate support for far-left and far-right parties is important as shifts in public opinion over the perceived significance of key issues are likely to have different effects on the political fortunes of radical parties.
... As far as the relationship between ideology and Eurosceptical attitudes at the voter level is concerned, the presence of an inverted U-curve on the voter level is rather contested and surprisingly not as clear as on the party level. On the one hand, some studies do seem to suggest that voters, much like parties, are more Eurosceptical at the fringes of the ideological scale (Lubbers and Scheepers 2010;van Elsas and van der Brug 2015), although other studies interestingly only find evidence of Eurosceptical attitudes among right-wing (McLaren 2007) or left-wing voters (Alvarez 2002), respectively. On the other, research also strongly suggests that completely distinct motivations are at the heart of radical left and radical right voters' Euroscepticism (van Elsas, Hakhverdian and van der Brug 2016) and that, furthermore, rightwing citizens are more fundamentally opposed to the fundamental idea of 'Europe', whereas left-wing voters are more critical towards the functioning of the EU and, in light of left-wing concerns for social justice, its output legitimacy in economic respects (van Elsas and van der Brug 2015; van Elsas, Hakhverdian and van der Brug 2016; Beaudonnet and Gomez 2017). ...
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Political misconduct is known to harm the politicians involved. Yet, we know less about how such events affect trust in political institutions. We study a real-world political malpractice affair in the European Commission, using a three-wave panel design to investigate how information about the affair influences trust in EU institutions. This enables us, first, to isolate the impact of new information on political trust, remedying endogeneity issues common in political trust research. Second, we assess which institutions are affected most (specificity) and whether effects depend upon citizens’ sophistication levels (conditionality). Finally, we assess the durability of effects over time. Our findings demonstrate that citizens obtain knowledge about EU affairs through the media, and use this knowledge in their trust evaluations. In doing so, citizens differentiate between EU and national institutions, with trust in the European Commission affected most. This suggests a sophisticated process and highlights the evaluative nature of political trust.
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In the face of the discourse about the democratic deficit and declining public support for the European Union (EU), institutionalist scholars have examined the roles of institutions in EU decision making and in particular the implications of the empowered European Parliament. Almost in isolation from this literature, prior research on public attitudes toward the EU has largely adopted utilitarian, identity and informational accounts that focus on individual‐level attributes. By combining the insights from the institutional and behavioural literature, this article reports on a novel cross‐national conjoint experiment designed to investigate multidimensionality of public attitudes by taking into account the specific roles of institutions and distinct stages in EU decision making. Analysing data from a large‐scale experimental survey in 13 EU member states, the findings demonstrate how and to what extent the institutional design of EU decision making shapes public support. In particular, the study finds a general pattern of public consensus about preferred institutional reform regarding powers of proposal, adoption and voting among European citizens in different countries, but notable dissent about sanctioning powers. The results show that utilitarian and partisan considerations matter primarily for the sanctioning dimension in which many respondents in Austria, the Czech Republic, Denmark and Sweden prefer national courts to the Court of Justice of the EU.
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Elections are a zero-sum game, and the gain of one party equals the loss of another party. Likewise, the vote gains of some groups of parties have parallel losses among other party groups or party families. Political Parties do not operate in isolation. When Eurosceptic parties are successful, pro-European parties tend to lose votes as a consequence. Would a political party decide to adjust its position every time a Eurosceptic Party gains votes? The assumption here is that if a political party gains votes from one election to another (or at least does not lose votes), the information that the election result is communicating to it is that it is doing something right. A party might take notice of the fact that populists are growing across the board (stealing voters from other parties present on the political scene) but decide according to the ‘if it’s working, don’t fix it’ logic that it should not adjust its own position, because voters are telling it that its own position or choice of issues to ‘push’ is fine. According to the same logic, it would be important, in order for the past election model and radical party hypothesis to hold, that a political party will react, or will react more virulently, when it loses votes itself at the same time as a Eurosceptic challenger is gaining them. This chapter explores precisely that dynamic and investigates how parties adapt to fringe party improvement when they or their mainstream rivals are losing votes in various constellations.
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Over recent years, a new transnational conflict has been deemed to be structuring political conflict in Europe. Several scholars have posited the emergence of a new 'demarcation' vs. 'integration' cleavage, pitting the 'losers' and 'winners' of globalization against each other. This new conflict is allegedly structured along economic (free trade and globalization), cultural (immigration and multiculturalism), and institutional [European Union (EU) integration] dimensions. From an empirical viewpoint, it is still a matter of discussion whether this conflict can be interpreted as a new cleavage, which could replace or complement the traditional ones. In this context, the European Parliament (EP) elections of 2019 represent an ideal case for investigating how far this new cleavage has evolved towards structuring political competition in European party systems. In this paper, by relying on an original dataset and an innovative theoretical and empirical framework based on the study of a cleavage's lifecycle, we test whether a demarcation cleav-age is structuring the European political systems. Moreover, we assess the evolution of this cleavage across the 28 EU countries since 1979 and the role it plays within each party system. The paper finds that the demarcation cleavage has emerged in most European countries, mobilizing over time a growing number of voters. In particular, this long-term trend has reached its highest peak in the 2019 EP election. However, although the cleavage has become an important (if not the main) dimension of electoral competition in many countries, it has not reached maturity yet.
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Based on a new dataset, this article explains a turn towards Euroscepticism by regionalist parties from the early 2000s. Our findings point to the effects of cross-dimensional ideological linkages – positions adopted on the centre-periphery and left–right dimensions – and of an increasing formal regional involvement in European Union affairs without actual influence, which leaves regionalist (and especially secessionist) parties frustrated with the European Union multi-level system. Our findings substantiate the argument that regionalist parties are strongly supportive of economic integration but less supportive of political integration. They are also in line with the fall of the ‘Europe of the Regions’ thesis.
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We contribute new empirical evidence on the influence of ideology on the behaviour of European Union judges. As votes and other common proxies for judicial preferences are unavailable, we ask 46 competition law experts to rate the ideology of 51 judges who have served on the General Court of the European Union. The average ratings are then used to explain the outcome of competition and state aid cases (N = 655). We find that, consistent with research on United States courts, the pro-business score of the panel median is a significant predictor of General Court decisions in competition and state aid cases. We find less conclusive evidence for the influence of Europhilia. While showing that attitudes towards private business may matter more than Europhilia in economic cases, our analysis also suggests that expert ratings constitute a viable and promising alternative in settings where other measurement methods are unavailable.
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One of the consequences of the eurozone crisis in the countries of ‘Old Southern Europe’ is the shift from pro-European to eurosceptic attitudes. Our overarching goal is to assess whether these critical stances towards the EU are more conjunctural or long-lasting. We further aim to analyse the determinants of euroscepticism at the micro-level before, during and after the emergence of the eurozone crisis. Our analysis reveals that euroscepticism is of a more conjunctural nature in Spain and Portugal, yet more structural in Italy and Greece. Moreover, our findings show that cultural and political/institutional approaches, but also political/ideological ones, better explain South European euroscepticism before, during and after the crisis when compared to utilitarian/economic approaches.
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This article offers a comparative analysis of parties’ position on foreign and security issues in the EU28 across the EP elections of 2009 and 2014. First, we map the position of the parties on selected foreign policy and security issues in both 2009 and 2014. Second, we measure the extent to which party positions on such issues remained stable across these five years. Third, we offer an explanatory analysis of the competing factors potentially affecting changes in parties’ position. By means of multivariate regression models, we test the effect of party ideology, overall attitude toward EU integration, and structural factors at the party level in view of answering the following question: Do parties hold “genuine” positions over EU foreign and security policy, or are they rather due to their relatively more encompassing attitude toward EU integration? The data come from two transnational voting advice applications developed during the 2009 and 2014 European elections campaigns, respectively.
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While recent trends in the study of radical party voting have tended to focus on egalitarian attitudes and individual personality traits in their endeavour to explain radical party choice, the present study pits individual identity traits in the spotlight of ballot box behaviour, using data from the World Values Survey and European Values Survey. We analyse the link between exclusive and inclusive identity (identifying with a more restricted ‘in-group’ versus identifying with a larger community) and the propensity to vote for radical right and radical left parties, using differences in individual identification with respondents’ home nation and as European citizens. The results show that exclusive individual identity is a good predictor of radical right party choice, even in the presence of redistributive and egalitarian values usually associated with left-wing voting. The results also speak to the literature on welfare chauvinism. While the presence of strong egalitarian and redistributive attitudes does indeed normally predict radical left party preference in line with previous findings, this relationship is complicated by the presence of exclusive individual identity, which moderates the former’s effect and can induce egalitarian voters to prefer radical right parties. In conclusion, the paper explores the interaction of identity and social class.
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Contestation over European integration has been widely studied in the rhetoric of parties, leaders, and movements on the far right in a variety of media. Focusing on Twitter use by far right actors in Western Europe, we apply corpus-aided discourse analysis to explore how imaginative geographies are used to politicize Europe among their digital publics. We find that the idea of a crisis of cultural identity pervades imaginaries of Europe amongst far right digital publics. While Europe is presented as facing a crisis of cultural identity, we find that the far right articulates an aspirational imaginary of Europe, the ‘Europe des Nations’ that rejects liberal-democratic pluralism in the EU and the ‘establishment’. We find that the contestation of Europe in far right digital publics relies on a crisis of cultural identity, representing a translation of Nouvelle Droite imaginaries of Europe into the social media space.
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The 2016 EU Referendum has renewed the focus of historians and social scientists on Britain’s historical relationship with Europe as they aim to develop a better understanding of ‘the road to Brexit’. The development of Euroscepticism in Britain has often been approached from an elite perspective, with a focus on the conflicting ideas and arguments between politicians, political parties, and the media. This article builds on existing studies by focusing on popular attitudes to Europe during the early 1980s. We analyse responses to a ‘special directive’ issued by the Mass Observation Project in the autumn of 1982 to mark the ten-year anniversary of Britain joining the European Economic Community (EEC). Reading this previously overlooked material for categories, storylines, and other cultural resources, we identify four key grievances MO panellists shared as common-sense evaluations of Britain’s membership of the EEC. We argue these grievances constituted a wider folk theory of Euroscepticism circulating in British society six years prior to Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech and subsequent debates about further integration in the early 1990s. In developing this argument, we contribute a better understanding of the content and origins of popular Euroscepticism in the 1980s.
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This paper explores the changing role of religion in forming public attitudes toward integration. We first outline the complex relationship of religion to the development of the European Union, and then use the 2009 and 2014 European Parliamentary Election Studies to examine the changes taking place in those historic patterns. In 2009 traditional religious patterns persisted, with Catholics more positive toward the EU than Protestants, with religiosity reinforcing the respective tendencies. By 2014, however, traditional divisions had virtually disappeared, as the economic crisis (and perhaps the growing refugee problem) had a powerful effect on Catholic majorities in EU countries. Nevertheless, when economic and other assessments are accounted for, Catholic confessional culture still provides ‘deep’ support for the EU. Finally, we discover that EU expansion has not changed old religious patterns as much as we expected, but find those traditional relationships to be virtually absent among millennials.
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European Court of Human Rights – Protocol No. 16 – Advisory Opinions – Managing backlog – Unpredictable effects – Complex judicial dialogue – Interplay with preliminary rulings of European Court of Justice and national constitutional courts – Bosphorus presumption – National courts in charge of judicial diplomacy – Increased burden for national courts
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This study examines why Americans have positive or negative affect towards the US federal government. Specifically, it draws on existing theoretical and empirical research regarding individual attitudes towards the European Union, examining the effect of ethnocentrism on American attitudes towards the federal government. Relying on this existing research regarding the EU, it is hypothesized that those who are more ethnocentric will be more negative towards the US federal government. To test this expectation, we use longitudinal data from the American National Election Study from 1992 to 2012. We find those who are more ethnocentric are significantly more likely to possess negative attitudes towards the federal government. These findings have important implications for policymaking at both the federal and state levels, as well as party positioning both at the time of and between American elections, and the overall stability of multilevel governance in the United States. Additionally, the findings of this study indicate that theories designed to explain phenomena in the European Union are applicable to the US case.
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Eurosceptic Members of the European Parliament are faced with a dilemma in the European Parliament as they might be supportive of the legislative text proposed while opposing EU’s legislative powers. Both ideological disagreements with the legislative texts and Euroscepticism is expected to influence voting behaviour in the European Parliament. However, this article hypothesizes that Euroscepticism works as a ‘second-order’-agenda having more impact on voting behaviour when issue salience is low. The article provides a unique theoretical perspective on legislative behaviour in the European Parliament. It combines data on MEP voting behaviour during roll call votes in the 7th European Parliament with expert evaluations of the ideological positions towards and opposition to EU integration among national parties. The results show that opposition to EU integration has a significant influence on legislative behaviour, even within the most pro-EU political groups. The impact of Euroscepticism declines as issue salience increase.
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A key function of centralized budgets in federal and political unions is to act as an equalizing mechanism to support economic and social cohesion. This is also the case with the European Union's budget, which operates as a redistributive mechanism that counteracts the cross‐national and cross‐regional inequalities created by the single market. Despite the limits on cross‐national redistribution imposed by a centrifugal system of representation, the net fiscal position of member states ‐ what they pay to the EU budget minus what they receive from it ‐ is very diverse and has changed quite remarkably over the last decades. In this paper, we investigate how and why the net fiscal position of each member state towards the rest of the EU changes over time. We develop a novel panel dataset (1979‐2014) to study how key national and EU‐level political and economic variables affect the EU redistributive dynamics. We find that redistribution via the EU budget primarily targets developments in inequality within EU member states, and that an increase in domestic unemployment may also improve the country's fiscal balance. Moreover, we find that voting power in the Council is unrelated to a more positive fiscal balance. However, we find that governments with a center‐right profile are in general more successful in improving their redistributive position vis‐à‐vis the other member states. This may create a problem of budgetary ‘rent extraction’. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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In response to the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Union has launched one of the largest assistance packages in EU history, where all 27 EU member states are asked to jointly borrow 500 billion Euros to finance grants to areas hardest hit by the crises. Despite the unprecedented size of this package, we know less about citizens’ support for such a common EU response to the crises. Using unique data from a representative survey in Germany, Italy and Romania, this study shows that while average levels of public support for cross-border financial assistance varies across countries, individual-level determinants are generally unrelated to perceptions of the crises as such. Instead, slow moving factors unrelated to the crises, including general value orientation, cosmopolitanism and trust determine expressions of cross-border social solidarity. We discuss implications for understanding public responses to major crises and long-term support for a common EU response.
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With the outbreak of the Eurozone crisis, the idea of providing cross-national financial transfers to countries in economic and financial difficulties has exacerbated the political divide between EU member states with strong macroeconomic performances, which were only weakly hit by the crisis, and the countries of the Eurozone periphery that struggled with a harsh economic downturn. This paper aims to explain which factors drive public support for cross-national solidarity within and across countries. We argue that the national context in which citizens live affects their preferences for providing financial help to other European countries, and moderates the role played by subjective egotropic and sociotropic economic concerns, ideological predispositions, and Eurosceptic vote choices in shaping public support for European solidarity. Using the original REScEU 2016 survey, we find that subjective economic motivations provide a limited contribution in explaining support for European solidarity, and almost only in countries weakly hit by the crisis. On the contrary, left–right positions, and especially Eurosceptic vote choices, strongly polarize preferences for EU financial assistance, both within and across countries with voters from Eurosceptic parties more(less) likely to support European solidarity in countries strongly(weakly) hit by the Eurozone crisis.
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Party competition over European integration is structured by two main dimensions of political conflict: a socio-economic dimension (market liberalisation vs. a more regulated economy) and a socio-cultural dimension (libertarian, cosmopolitan values vs. authoritarian, nationalist values). This article investigates the relationship between these conflict dimensions and parties’ positions towards EU issues across time and space, in particular focussing on two ‘critical junctures’ in the European unification process. For this purpose, analysis is made of the election manifestos of parties competing in European Parliament elections (Euromanifestos) from 1979 to 2014. First, it is found that the key moment of the Maastricht treaty significantly reshaped party competition over Europe. After Maastricht, positions towards European integration have become less connected to the economic dimension and much more related to the cultural dimension in Western Europe. Second, it is contended that the Euro crisis has not dramatically restructured political conflict over European integration.
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This book offers a novel perspective on British elections, focusing on the importance of increasing electoral volatility in British elections, and the role of electoral shocks in the context of increasing volatility. It demonstrates how shocks have contributed to the level of electoral volatility, and also which parties have benefited from the ensuing volatility. It follows in the tradition of British Election Study books, providing a comprehensive account of specific election outcomes—the General Elections of 2015 and 2017—and a more general approach to understanding electoral change.We examine five electoral shocks that affected the elections of 2015 and 2017: the rise in EU immigration after 2004, particularly from Eastern Europe; the Global Financial Crisis prior to 2010; the coalition government of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats between 2010 and 2015; the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014; and the European Union Referendum in 2016.Our focus on electoral shocks offers an overarching explanation for the volatility in British elections, alongside the long-term trends that have led us to this point. It offers a way to understand the rise and fall of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Labour’s disappointing 2015 performance and its later unexpected gains, the collapse in support for the Liberal Democrats, the dramatic gains of the Scottish National Party (SNP) in 2015, and the continuing period of tumultuous politics that has followed the EU Referendum and the General Election of 2017. It provides a new way of understanding electoral choice in Britain, and beyond, and a better understanding of the outcomes of recent elections.
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Populist radical right parties are naturally Eurosceptic. Many responded positively to the British referendum vote to leave the European Union; various observers even spoke of a potential populist radical right-instigated ‘domino effect’. We ask whether this Brexit-enthusiasm prevailed in the proximate aftermath of the UK referendum, by means of a comparative analysis of populist radical right parties’ national election campaigns in the Netherlands, France, Germany, and Italy. The analysis considers whether the UK referendum result served as an external stimulus for populist radical right parties to harden their Euroscepticism and politicise the issue of European integration. The results show that this has, generally speaking, not been the case, and that Brexit has also not stimulated or amplified calls for leaving the European Union. Relating our findings to literature on the politicisation of European integration and strategic party behaviour, we argue that populist radical right parties had few incentives to act differently given the uninviting political opportunity structure.
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This study examines whether younger generations are more likely to associate their support for European unification with cultural, rather than economic issues. The EU has changed from an 'economic community' to a 'political union.' Because most citizens form relatively stable orientations during their 'impressionable years,' we expect recent generations to be more likely to view European unification through a cultural lens. An analysis of 12 waves of panel data from the Netherlands finds the strongest correlation between EU support and cultural attitudes among the newest generations. However, these generations are not less likely to associate EU support with economic attitudes. Moreover, between 2007 and 2019, Euroscepticism became increasingly associated with cultural attitudes among all generations and age groups. These findings indicate that EU support has become more strongly aligned along a cultural dimension and that this realignment will become more pronounced as newer generations replace earlier ones.
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The process of European integration is characterized by a fundamental asymmetry, described accurately by Joseph Weiler (1981) as a dualism between supranational European law and intergovernmental European policy making. As Weiler (1994) points out, political scientists have for too long focused only on aspects of intergovernmental negotiations while largely ignoring the establishment, by judge-made law, of a European legal order with precedence over national law. This omission has kept us from recognizing the politically significant parallel between Weiler’s dualism and the more familiar contrast between ‘negative’ and ‘positive integration’ (Tinbergen, 1965; Rehbinder and Stewart, 1984), that is, between measures increasing market integration (by eliminating restraints on trade and distortions of competition) and common European policies to shape the conditions under which markets operate.
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That citizens of European Union countries differ in their attitudes regarding Europe is a commonplace of political commentary. Some favor their country’s membership in the EU, others oppose it. Some, while thinking that membership is generally a good thing, feel that steps toward unification have gone far enough – or even too far. Others believe that further steps should be taken.Citizens of EU countries also differ in terms of more traditional political orientations – attitudes to the proper role of government in society, welfare provision, and other matters which have increasingly over the past half-century come to be subsumed within a single orientation towards government action, generally referred to as the left/right orientation (Lipset 1960; Lijphart 1980; Franklin, Mackie, Valen, et al., 1992).These two orientations are often assumed to be orthogonal, with the newer pro-/anti-EU orientation cutting across the more traditional left/right orientation (see, e.g., Hicks and Lord 1998; Hooghe and Marks 1999). Our own research (van der Eijk and Franklin 1996; van der Eijk, Franklin, and van der Brug 1999; van der Brug, Franklin, and van der Eijk 2000) demonstrates that EU orientation does not currently have much impact on party choice at EU elections. Elections to the European Parliament have been described as “second-order national” elections at which the arena supposedly at issue (the European arena) takes second place to the national arena as a focus for issue and representational concerns (Reif and Schmitt 1980; Reif 1984, 1985; Marsh and Franklin 1996); and the national arena is quintessentially one in which left/right orientations dominate.
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The study of popular support for unification of Europe raises issues about the role of identification with national interests versus support for postnational identity in determining attitudes across countries and over time. It also raises issues about the roles of traditional cleavages in class position and partisan ideological views versus differences in postmaterialist values in determining support for unification. Using data for individuals sampled within member-states of the European Community in 1982, 1986, 1989, and 1992, the analyses show persistent differences between countries in their support even after equalizing for national differences in sociodemographic, ideological, and value priority variables over the 10-year time span of the study, which favors theoretical arguments for the continued importance of national identity.
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The mobilization of culturally rooted issues has altered political competition throughout Western Europe. This article analyzes to what extent the mobilization of immigration issues has affected how people identify with politics. Specifically, it analyzes whether voters’ left/right self-identifications over the past 30 years increasingly correspond to cultural rather than economic attitudes. This study uses longitudinal data from the Netherlands between 1980 and 2006 to demonstrate that as time progresses, voters’ left/right self-placements are indeed more strongly determined by anti-immigrant attitudes than by attitudes towards redistribution. These findings show that the issue basis of left/right identification is dynamic in nature and responsive to changes in the political environment.
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Citizens can face a difficult electoral decision when no party even broadly represents their views. In Western Europe, this applies to those citizens with left-wing preferences on economic issues and traditional/authoritarian preferences on socio-cultural issues. There are many voters with such ‘left-authoritarian’ views, but few parties. Hence, the former often have to choose between parties that only match their views on one of these two ideological dimensions. This study shows that whether these citizens privilege economic or socio-cultural congruence in their electoral preferences depends on the issues they are concerned about. In general, it is found that left-authoritarians privilege economic concerns and therefore prefer parties that are left-liberal. These findings have implications for our general understanding of electoral choice and of changing patterns of political competition in Western Europe.
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This article analyses the factors leading to Eurosceptic views among the publics of three Southern European countries (Greece, Portugal, and Spain). Analyses in this article show that Eurosceptic views are strongly conditioned by sociotropic judgements and by fears that the European Union (EU) threatens national cultures. General associations between the EU and other positive objects (such as prosperity, democracy, and national influence) also affect the probability of holding Eurosceptic orientations. By contrast, party cues affect Eurosceptic opinions only in the case of Spain. Analyses on the causes of sociotropic judgements show that these perceptions are affected by egocentric views, social class (working class individuals being more Eurosceptic than members of the upper classes) and, in Spain and Portugal, by left–right preferences (individuals leaning to the left being more Eurosceptic than those leaning to the right). The fact that Euroscepticism can be traced to both culturally exclusivist and economically redistributive preferences suggests that there are strong constraints on the political articulation of Eurosceptic orientations in the Southern European party systems.Acta Politica (2007) 42, 211–232. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500180
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How is contestation on European integration structured among national political parties? Are issues arising from European integration assimilated into existing dimensions of domestic contestation? We show that there is a strong relationship between the conventional left/right dimension and party positioning on European integration. However, the most powerful source of variation in party support is the new politics dimension, ranging from Green/alternative/libertarian to Traditional/authoritarian/nationalist.
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Macroeconomic forces have influenced aggregate citizen support for European integration in the past, but no study analyzes historical data beyond the early 1990s. This gap is lamentable, because public support for integration has moved in precisely the opposite direction that past research would predict. We analyze data on support for the EU during the period 1973–2004 for eight long-term member states. Four conclusions emerge from the analysis. First, there has been considerable cross-national convergence in citizen support for integration. Second, although economic factors influence citizen support over the entire 1973–2004 period, these impacts are much weaker than reported in past research. Third, the effect of inflation and trade concentration essentially disappeared in the aftermath of the Maastricht Treaty. Fourth, citizen support for integration of specific policy areas, such as foreign policy, social security, and monetary policy, suggests that the precipitous decline in support that began in 1991 was a reaction to Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and its budgetary implications. We argue that the politics of European integration are now animated by distributive concerns as well as by evaluations of absolute economic performance. This argument has important implications for the study of European integration.Acta Politica (2007) 42, 128–152. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500182
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This article uses the British Election Panel Study to assess the impact of voters' and party positions vis-à-vis European integration on Conservative electoral support between 1992 and 1996. Over this period levels of public support for European integration declined markedly, so that by 1996 the Conservative party was even closer to aggregate public opinion, when compared with its main competitors, than it had been at the time of the 1992 election. However, an analysis of the proximity between individuals' positions on integration and the positions they then attributed to the parties indicates that Conservative divisions over Europe helped turn this potential electoral asset into a liability, leaving the party further from individual voters' own positions than were either of the other two main political contenders. Moreover, as issue proximity on integration predicts voting even when past vote and proximity on other issues are controlled for, it is likely that the European question will have resulted in electoral costs rather than the benefits it could have produced. One implication of these findings is that if the Conservatives hope to do well on this issue they will need to adopt a consistent Eurosceptic line, but such a strategy is unlikely to be easily maintained.
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This paper examines the politicization of gender inequality through a cross-national analysis of attitudes towards inequality between men and women. The data were obtained from national surveys in the United States, Britain, West Germany, Australia and Italy. In all of these countries, attitudes towards gender inequality were found to be associated with the ‘left-right’ cleavage over economic inequality and redistribution, but they were unrelated to ‘new politics’ issues. It was also found that attitudes towards gender inequality were more closely integrated into the left-right cleavage in those countries where there was greater awareness of gender issues, and that they had very little net impact on partisanship. Thus high levels of awareness of gender inequality are not associated with the emergence of a new cross-cutting political cleavage. It is concluded that inequality of opportunity between men and women does not constitute part of a new politics agenda, nor does it cross-cut other sources of political interests. It is more plausibly seen as a new element of the well-established left-right cleavage. Consequently, it leaves the structure of political divisions relatively intact.
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Kriesi et al. announced the birth of a new cleavage in contemporary Western Europe, one dividing the winners and losers of globalisation. Their studies in 2006 and 2008 contain analyses of party positions in six countries, based on the contents of editorial sections of newspapers. This article challenges the main conclusion of Kriesi et al. by demonstrating − on the basis of two expert surveys − that party positions are mainly structured by one dimension. The structure detected by Kriesi et al. in their analysis of parties is not found, except concerning voter positions. A consequence of this article's findings is that large groups of citizens are not represented by any parties, in particular those who are left-wing on socio-economic issues and right-wing on cultural issues. The article in its conclusion discusses possible causes for the differences between these findings and those of Kriesi et al., and the implications of these findings for democratic representation.
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Preferences over jurisdictional architecture are the product of three irreducible logics: efficiency, distribution and identity. This article substantiates the following claims: (a) European integration has become politicized in elections and referendums; (b) as a result, the preferences of the general public and of national political parties have become decisive for jurisdictional outcomes; (c) identity is critical in shaping contestation on Europe.
Article
This article examines the effects of position in the social structure and political orientation on attitudes toward the European Union (EU)–whether or not people believe that membership in the EU is beneficial for their country. Social structure is measured at the nominal and interval levels with social class and social s(ratijication position, respectively. Political orientation refers to trade union membership and political conservatism. Also examined are country differences in levels of support for European integration and differences between Western and Eastern Europe in the effects of the social structure, political orientation, and demographic variables. Data of sixteen countries are used from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) 1995: National Identity. Results demonstrate that the social structure, political orientation, and demographic variables are important predictors of support for EU membership. Furthermore, there are significantly different levels of support for EU membership across the countries of Europe, suggesting a strong division between Western and Eastern Europe.
Book
This book provides a major empirical analysis of differing attitudes to European integration in three of Europe's most important countries: Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. From its beginnings, the European Union has resounded with debate over whether to move toward a federal or intergovernmental system. However, Juan Díez Medrano argues that empirical analyses of support for integration--by specialists in international relations, comparative politics, and survey research--have failed to explain why some countries lean toward federalism whereas others lean toward intergovernmentalism. By applying frame analysis to a unique set of primary sources (in-depth interviews, newspaper articles, novels, history texts, political speeches, and survey data), Díez Medrano demonstrates the role of major historical events in transforming national cultures and thus creating new opportunities for political transformation. Clearly written and rigorously argued, Framing Europe explains differences in support for European integration between the three countries studied in light of the degree to which each realized its particular "supranational project" outside Western Europe. Only the United Kingdom succeeded in consolidating an empire and retaining it after World War II, while Germany and Spain each abandoned their corresponding aspirations. These differences meant that these countries' populations developed different degrees of identification as Europeans and, partly in consequence, different degrees of support for the building of a federal Europe.
Chapter
Under its umbrella, the European Union covers countries with highly diverse configurations of capitalist political-economic institutions. In the macro-level political economy literature these differences have led scholars to generate a number of hypotheses about the relative gains or losses of individual member countries from important institutional innovations that advance integration, such as the formation of the European Central Bank and a common currency (cf. Hall and Franzese 1998; Iversen 1998). Moreover, individual citizens and labor market participants may perceive costs and benefits differently, contingent upon national wage-bargaining systems or welfare state policies. Domestic political divides between advocates and opponents of EU integration may play out differently and yield contrasting partisan alignments if polities are embedded in different institutional “varieties” of capitalism. In this chapter, we explore how the diversity of capitalist institutions affects political contestation over EU integration in two respects. First, capitalist institutions affect the proportion of voters in each country who have an incentive to challenge EU integration. In other words, political economy shapes the “grievance level” that may provide the raw material of patterns of domestic contestation. Contingent upon existing national economic institutions, citizens calculate how their benefits (in terms of jobs, income growth, etc.) are likely to be affected collectively for most voters (“sociotropic” calculations). Second, they also may focus on their potential individual benefits and costs that result from changes in the expected economic payoffs induced by the consequences of European integration for national political-economic institutions.
Article
Europe has experienced the most radical reallocation of authority that has ever taken place in peacetime over the past half-century. However, the ideological conflicts emerging from this development are only now becoming apparent. This collection brings together an authoritative group of scholars of European and comparative politics to investigate patterns of conflict arising in the European Union. The contributors to the volume conclude that political contestation concerning European integration is rooted in the basic conflicts that have shaped political life in Western Europe for many years.
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Just like in the case of value orientations, one might expect a gradual decrease of the power of left-right orientations to explain party choice. However, no such monotonic decline can be observed. Voters' left/right positions still are strongly related to party choice, but the strength of this association varies between countries and over time, without any particular kind of clearly discernable trend. The over-time variation in this association is strongly correlated with the degree of party polarization on the left/right continuum.
Article
This study examines the relationship between educational attainment and euroscepticism from 1973 to 2010. Existing research has shown that, driven by utilitarian considerations, political cues and questions of collective identity, education and euroscepticism are negatively related. However, as the process of European unification has progressed, all three factors have become more salient, so we expect an increasing effect of education on euroscepticism over time. Using 81 waves of the Eurobarometer survey in 12 European Union (EU) member states, our results show that the impact of education on euroscepticism has indeed increased, particularly after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty.
Article
The major body of the literature about left–right orientation finds that values and attitudes determine an individual’s position in the left–right dimension. Regarding values, it is assumed that these are stable over (a long period of) time, and hence affect individuals’ left–right orientation. Attitudes are usually measured as issue preferences, which can change over time, cross-nationally and also in their importance for people. Therefore, the relationship between issues and left–right orientation is less clear, and requires more research. We argue and show with data from the European Social Survey Implementing a Panel Component project (2012), conducted in the Netherlands, that the relationship between issue preferences and left–right orientation is conditioned by the importance that people give to the respective issues. Issues that are important for people affect their left–right orientation, while they can use their left–right orientation to form an opinion about an issue which they do not consider important.
Article
This article takes issue with conventional explanations of state preference formation on European integration. It tests the hypothesis that Left-Right ideology is a better predictor than nationality of party views on integration, then tests the relationship between government ideology and government position on several dozen proposals considered during the intergovernmental conference leading up to the signing of the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997. It finds no significant relationship between nationality and preferences on integration, posing a challenge for liberal, functional and historical theories of state preference formation. However, there appears to be a significant and robust relationship between party ideology (and the resulting ideology of governments) and their preferences regarding integration generally, and the Amsterdam negotiations specifically.
Article
This paper asks what explains similar Eurosceptic positions between radical right and radical left parties. In answering this question, it focuses on the paradoxical role of nationalism as an integral part of the discourse of both radical right and radical left wing parties. Although these two party families differ in terms of origins, transnational links and policy and although nationalism is usually associated with parties of the right in the literature, this paper argues that in fact nationalism cuts across party lines and is associated with both party families’ opposition to European integration. In order to test our argument, we employ a mixed methods approach. First, we use a new dataset from the 2009 Euromanifestos Project (EMP), which coded party manifestos. We have isolated questions that refer to nationalism and European integration and examine broad policy parallels between the two party families across Europe. Second, we apply the findings from the quantitative analysis on Greece and France as two countries with a strong presence of both radical right and radical left small parties.
Article
The theory of issue evolution predicts that the dimensional space of party competition is simple. We contrast this prediction with the expectation that a complicated multi-party system, such as the one in France, produces a more complicated dimensional structure. To test this claim, we examine the longitudinal structure of the policy preferences that underlie public opinion in France. Using surveys of preferences as a basic data source, we are able to extract two latent dimensions that almost fully explain the reported preferences. Both dimensions are defined by the left–right structure of the French party system. Whereas one is the traditional socioeconomic domain, the other comprises a wide array of new cultural issues. The orthogonal solution, however, does not produce the expected socioeconomic and cultural dimensions. Thus we impose our prior belief in the socioeconomic and cultural content and rotate the two dimensions independently to maximize fit with the two prior dimensions. We show that the same two-dimensional structure is also present in cross-sectional data, and can be used to position parties in the two-dimensional space. Moreover, we find that the two dimensions are closely connected, despite their completely different content. The explanation, which arises from the theory of issue evolution, is that the meaning of left–right is dynamic as well as elastic and incorporates new issues as they arise.
Article
In this work, we compare the Euroscepticism of three West European parties from the same party family: the Communists. We address the questions of how the parties of France, Italy and Spain have adapted to the process of European integration and also the factors that have affected their different responses over time. The French and Italian parties have moved away from Euroscepticism to softer or even pro-integration approaches, whereas the Spanish Communists (PCE) have never been Eurosceptic. Party response to Europe is affected by international, national and party-specific factors, which have different degrees of explanatory power. During the early decades of European integration, international factors, first and foremost the relationship with Moscow, contributed to the Euroscepticism of Western Communists. Nevertheless, as with other party families and types, the Communists have responded to vote- and coalition-seeking opportunities.
Article
Since the 1960s, political scientists have debated the continued relevance of the left-right vocabulary for structuring policy choices and party affiliation in the mass publics of modern democracies. With the rise of “new politics” and “left-libertarian” movements and parties that try to redefine the political agenda of advanced democracies this issue has gained additional interest. In this article we first present four theories about the decline, persistence, transformation, or pluralization of the meaning new politics activists give to the left-right language. Then we explore how new politics activists in the Belgian ecology parties Agalev and Ecolo construct the meaning of left and right. For ecology party militants, this terminology still has an economic meaning, yet also gains a cultural significance that relates to the choice between a modern, highly centralized, and differentiated society and efforts to create a postmodern, decentralized, and more communitarian social order. Thus our data support the argument of pluralization theory that the meaning of left and right becomes multidimensional.
Article
Abstract Some observers have held that political parties have been minor players in the process of European integration due to the low salience of the issue and the prevalence of intra party disagreement over European questions. Although recent scholarship and the rising salience of European issues have brought increased attention to the role of political parties, the study of the relationship between party positions and both public opinion and policy outcomes has been hampered by an absence of comparable data on party positions. This research note presents the findings of an expert survey on party positions on the issue of European integration. In addition to estimates of the parties’ positions on the issue itself, this survey provides information on the importance of the issue of European integration to each party, and the extent of internal dissent within parties. The data also indicate that parties have, on average, become increasingly pro–European over the period 1984–1996. Both the salience of the issue of integration and the extent of intra–party disagreement have increased during this period. However, deep intra–party divisions appear less prevalent than commonly believed.
Book
This book investigates an important source of the European Union’s recent legitimacy problems. It shows how European integration is debated in mass media, and how this affects democratic inclusiveness. Advancing integration implies a shift in power between governments, parliaments, and civil society. Behind debates over Europe’s "democratic deficit" is a deeper concern: whether democratic politics can perform effectively under conditions of Europeanization and globalization. This study is based on a wealth of unique data from seven European countries, combining newspaper content analyses, an innovative study of Internet communication structures, and hundreds of interviews with leading political and media representatives across Europe. It is by far the most far-reaching and empirically grounded study on the Europeanization of media discourse and political contention to date, and a must-read for anyone interested in how European integration changes democratic politics and why European integration has become increasingly contested.
Article
This article revisits the age-old debate about elite—mass linkages in the European Union (EU) by examining the way in which political contexts shape individual differentiation in Euroscepticism. We argue that the growing uncertainties about the future of European integration among national publics are increasingly politicized by Eurosceptical elites on both the extreme right and left of the political spectrum. To analyse the cueing effects of these extremist parties, we employ a two-level hierarchical linear model which combines individual-level and contextual data. We show that Eurosceptic cues are, indeed, found on both extremes, but for different reasons. Whereas right-wing extremist parties oppose European integration with the defence of `national sovereignty' and successfully mobilize national identity considerations against the EU, left-wing extremist parties resist further integration in Europe on the basis of the neoliberal character of the project and effectively cue voters against the EU on the basis of economic insecurity arguments.
Article
Britain is the home of the term Euroscepticism. Coined in this country in the mid-1980s, the word has since been widely used in the media and has been adopted by many individuals and organisations, in as well as outside Britain. This article first deals with the 'when', 'what', 'where' and 'why' of British Euroscepticism. After locating the phenomenon in time and place, its characteristics are examined in greater depth. It is argued that British Euroscepticism is in part the product of British 'differentness' as manifested in the electoral and party political system, the condition of the press and a tradition of regarding the country and people as distinct from Europe and the Europeans.
Article
This study considers how and whether EU membership shapes voting behaviour in national elections. It starts by surveying claims about the relationship between EP elections and national elections. Because voters use EP elections as markers for the electoral prospects of national governing parties, the later an EP election follows a national general election, the greater the impact of the EP election on the governing parties' fortunes in the subsequent national election. It goes on to explore whether and how issues of European integration have influenced voting behaviour in national elections. Building on previous studies, the discussion shows that for most of the EU member states, voters' support for EU membership provides the basis for a new electoral cleavage. However, a variety of questions remains to be addressed regarding the extent and character of this electoral cleavage and how this cleavage may develop with further economic integration. The analysis consequently develops a research agenda and several theoretical hypotheses about how the link between macroeconomic performance and support for governing parties may change as economic integration deepens.
Article
We miss the significance of the advent of the Euro for European political, economic, and social order if we ignore its identity dimension. Money has always been a symbolic marker in nation-building efforts and is strongly related to collective national identities. This article makes two interrelated causal claims. On the one hand, the introduction of Euro bills and coins has already begun to affect Euroland citizens' identification with the EU and Europe in general. The Euro makes Europe real and reifies it as a political order, since it provides a visible link from Brussels to the daily lives of the citizens. On the other hand, existing collective identities pertaining to the nation- state explain to a large degree how comfortable people feel using and dealing with the Euro. The variation in attitudes between the Italian enthusiasm for the Euro, the German ambivalence about it, and the widespread British opposition can be accounted for by the differences in collective understandings and identification patterns with the nation-state and Europe. In sum, the causal arrows from the Euro to collective identities run both ways.
Article
This article explains the positions taken by national political parties on the issue of European integration over the period 1984–96. Based on the theory of party systems developed by Lipset and Rokkan, we develop a cleavage account of party response to new political issues. We hypothesize that European integration is assimilated into pre-existing ideologies of party leaders, activists and constituencies that reflect long-standing commitments on fundamental domestic issues.
Article
Have the meanings of ‘left’ and ‘right’ changed during the last twenty years? In this article the ten-point left-right self-placement scale is correlated with three central value orientations (religious/secular, economic left-right and materialist/post-materialist values) to examine whether associations between these value orientations and the self-placement scale have changed from the early 1970s to 1990. Four theories about the changing meaning of the left-right language are presented. These theories about the irrelevance, persistence, transformation and pluralisation of the meaning of left and right are tested by using Eurobarometer data from eight West European countries and the second wave of the European Value Study from 1990. The data provide strong support for pluralisation theory. Left-right semantics have an impressive absorptive power, describing an over-arching spatial dimension capable of incorporating many types of conflict. Left-right semantics are significantly correlated with religious/secular values, remain highly correlated with the dominant industrial value orientations (economic left-right values), and are increasingly associated with materialist/post-materialist value orientations. The new meanings of left and right are added to the old meanings.
Article
Changes in different aspects of euroscepticism developed at different paces and in varying directions in the regions and countries of the European Union (EU) from 1994 to 2004. Using Eurobarometer data, along with data on country and region characteristics, information on the positions of the political parties and media attention paid to the EU, it is tested in detail whether opposite developments in euroscepticism were associated with opposite developments in influencing contextual characteristics. The authors found that the Netherlands became systematically more sceptical towards the EU, whereas the opposite trend was found in Spain. The introduction of the Euro partially explains these divergent trends, but the direction of this effect varies with countries' GDP. Changes in media attention on the EU further explain the changes in the public's attitude. However, this effect is contingent upon specific circumstances. Growing media attention increases political euroscepticism in countries with a negative EU budget balance, whereas it decreases such scepticism in countries with a positive balance. The effect of left-right ideological placement is contingent upon the EU budget balance as well. Finally, the effect of education on euroscepticism is found to be smaller in countries with a higher GDP.
Article
This article examines party-based Euroscepticism in the candidate states of Central and Eastern Europe. In an attempt to develop comparative lessons from the different cases, it presents research into the location, electoral strength and type of Euroscepticism in the party systems of these countries. The data is then used to examine six propositions about the relationship between party-based Euroscepticism and left-right ideological spectrum, party position in party systems, public Euroscepticism, prospects for accession, ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Euroscepticism and state longevity. The article concludes that extending the scope of our study of Euroscepticism to the candidate states extends our understanding of Euroscepticism from its study in Western Europe and brings new insights into party systems in Central and Eastern Europe. It also offers clues as to some future effects of European Union enlargement.
Article
This paper tests several hypotheses on mass-level Euroscepticism, including whether it is driven by: (a) feelings about national institutions, (b) distrust of supra-national institutions, (c) fears about the loss of national identity, and (d) personal interest-based utilitarianism. In contrast to prior research, I find that attitudes to European integration appear driven by feelings about EU institutions rather than attitudes to national institutions. Furthermore, a perceptual measure of utilitarianism appears to be a stronger predictor of support for European integration and European institutions than previous analyses have claimed. But I also find that, consistent with past research, exclusive national identity biases Europeans against European integration. Finally, the paper investigates the causal linkages across these key constructs.Acta Politica (2007) 42, 233–251. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ap.5500191
Article
With the recent acceleration of the integration process of the European Union there has been a rise in political parties expressing either scepticism or outright criticism of the nature of the integration process. Using a four–fold differentiation between single issue, protest, established parties and factions within parties, the first part of the article presents an overview of Euroscepticism within EU member states and Norway. This reveals the diversity of sources of Euroscepticism both in ideology and in the types of parties that are Eurosceptical but with a preponderance of protest parties taking Eurosceptical positions. The second part of the article is an attempt to map Euroscepticism in West European party systems through a consideration of ideology and party position in the party system. The conclusions are that Euroscepticism is mainly limited to parties on the periphery of their party system and is often there used as an issue that differentiates those parties from the more established parties which are only likely to express Euroscepticism through factions. Party based Euroscepticism is therefore both largely dependent on domestic contextual factors and a useful issue to map emergent domestic political constellations.
Article
As the European Union (EU) has evolved, the study agenda has shifted from ‘European integration’ to ‘EU politics’. Missing from this new agenda, however, is an understanding of the ‘cognitive constraints’ on actors and how actors respond, i.e. the shape of the EU ‘political space’ and the location of social groups and competition between actors within this space. The article develops a theoretical framework for understanding the shape of the EU political space (the interaction between an Integration–Independence and Left–Right dimension and the location of class and sectoral groups within this map), and tests this framework on the policy positions of the Socialist, Christian Democrat and Liberal party leaders between 1976 and 1994 (using the techniques of the ECPR Party Manifestos Group Project). The research finds that the two dimensions were salient across the whole period, explains why the party families converged on pro–European positions by the 1990s and discovers the emergence of a triangular ‘core’ of EU politics.