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Polish Parliamentarian Attitudes toward Gender Equality and Gender Quotas: National and European Influences

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Throughout post-communist Europe there are debates on the issue of gender equality in legislative institutions (Reuschemeyer and Wolchik 2009a). Parliamentarians are critical actors in these debates, as they have the authority to introduce and implement gender equality enhancing legislation. Whether parliamentarians want to enhance gender equality in parliament, and how they would like to achieve this goal, directly impacts any legislation related, explicitly or implicitly, to women’s political representation (for a detailed discussion of the role of party leaders in gender equality initiatives, see Kunovich and Paxton 2005 and Caul-Kittilson 2006). A popular yet contentious way of enhancing gender equality in parliament is through gender quotas. Party gender quotas are rules voluntarily adopted within political party structures that aim at securing a set percentage of women to appear on candidate lists in elections for political offices. Party gender quotas can be an effective way to place women in parliament, though how well quotas function depends much on the form of electoral rules, the type of quota system adopted, and the level of enforcement of such a system (Dahlerup 2006; Matland and Montgomery 2003). Polish parliamentarians operate in both national and European contexts that shape their attitudes toward gender equality and gender quotas. On the national side is a familiarity with gender equality initiatives, including legacies of the communist regime, entrenched gender traditionalism, and an active women’s lobby composed of female Polish parliamentarians. On the European side are European Union–mandated gender mainstreaming policies and European women’s interest groups, social movements, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) (Bretherton 2001; Chiva 2009; Irvine 2007; Reuschemeyer and Wolchik 2009a). In addition to these pressures, empirical research has shown that a parliamentarian’s gender and political ideology are important factors, where women and leftists are more likely to be pro-gender equality and pro-gender quota (Dubrow forthcoming; Kunovich and Paxton 2005; Wangnerud 2009). However, to date no one has empirically examined how gender and political ideology compare to national and European pressures. In this chapter we examine how Europeanist orientation and contact with European organizations shapes pro-gender equality and pro-gender quota attitudes of Polish parliamentarians in the Sejm. We use IntUne data to empirically address three questions: (1) How strong is the relationship between gender equality and gender quota attitudes? (2) Do Europeanist orientation and contact with European Union (EU) institutions and European interest groups influence pro-gender equality and pro-party gender quota attitudes? and (3) Are these factors as important as gender and political ideology?
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NATIONAL
AND EUROPEAN?
POLISH POLITICAL ELITE
IN COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE
NATIONAL
AND EUROPEAN?
IFiS Publishers
Warsaw 2010
Edited by
WŁODZIMIERZ WESOŁOWSKI
KAZIMIERZ M. SŁOMCZYŃSKI
JOSHUA KJERULF DUBROW
Institute of Philosophy and Sociology
Polish Academy of Sciences
This publication is based on research funded by a grant from the INTUNE project
(Integrated and United? A Quest for Citizenship in “Ever Closer Europe”) nanced
by the Sixth Framework Programme of the European Union, Priority 7, Citizens
and Governance in a Knowledge Based Society (CIT3-CT-2005-513421).
All rights reserved. Except for the quotation of short passages for the purpose
of criticism or review, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the permis-
sion of the publisher.
National and European? Polish Political Elite in Comparative Perspective
Edited by Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and Joshua
Kjerulf Dubrow
Includes bibliographical references, tables, gures, and index
I. 1. Political Elites, 2. National/European Identity
II. Poland
III. Title
Copyright © by Authors and IFiS Publishers, 2010
ISBN 978-83-7683-028-5
Printed in Poland, 2010
IFiS Publishers
Nowy Swiat 72 – Palac Staszica
00-330 Warsaw, Poland
Table of Contents
Preface and Acknowledgments 7
1. Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow 9
2. National and/or European Identity: Political Elites and the Mass Public
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński 29
3. Do Parliamentarians’ Careers In uence Their Attitudes Toward the European
Union?A Comparison of the 2007 and 2009 Data
Justyna Nyćkowiak 57
4. Aspirations for a Career in the European Union: On the Effects of Personal
Experience and Professional Contacts Abroad
Katarzyna Walentynowicz-Moryl 73
5. Trust in National and European Institutions: Is Poland an Exception?
Jacek Haman 87
6. Identity, Trust, and Policies: Comparing the General Public and Political
Elite
Sandra T. Marquart-Pyatt 107
7. Polish Parliamentarians’ Attitudes Toward Gender Equality and Gender Quotas:
National and European In uences
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow and Dorota Woroniecka 125
8. Perceived Immigrant Threat: On the Gender Difference Among Political
Elites
Carolyn Smith Keller 149
9. Opinions on the European Union Among Parliamentarians of the Major
Parties and Their Electorates, 2007 and 2009
Bogdan W. Mach 167
10. Democracy, European Identity, and Trust in European Institutions: Toward
Macro-Micro Explanations
Kazimierz M. Słomczyński and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow 183
Appendix A: IntUne Survey Data 205
List of Tables and Figures 209
Contributors 215
Preface and Acknowledgments
The intellectual origin of this book goes back to Włodzimierz Wesołowski’s
early engagement in the international, European-funded, project IntUne (Integrat-
ed and United? A Quest for Citizenship in “Ever Closer Europe”) in 2006. At that
time he was interested in the functioning of the Polish political elite after Poland’s
accession to the European Union. Two co-editors, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
and Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow, joined Wesołowski in planning the book in early
2009, proposing a diversi cation of topics and an extension of the list of col-
laborators. In the following months, the editors collected all of the chapters and
worked with the authors on consecutive drafts. The three co-editors equally share
responsibility for the entire volume.
The IntUne project delivers a massive volume of data, including separate data
sets on national elites and the general public in several countries, in the Western,
Southern, Eastern, and Central parts of Europe. These data sets are extensively
used in this book. We feel obliged to thank the leadership of the IntUne project
for their effort and perseverance in achieving the best product and sharing it. Our
thanks go, rst of all, to Maurizio Cotta (project coordinator), Pierangelo Isernia
(project deputy coordinator), and Elisabetta De Giorgi (project manager). Hein-
rich Best was essential for the elite part of the project, and Paulo Bellucci—for
the general public part. We thank them and also György Lengyel, Wolfgang C.
Müller, David Sanders, Paulo Segatti, and Luca Verzichelli for fruitful discus-
sions. Special thanks go to Radosław Markowski who participated in all stages of
the IntUne project and was responsible for gathering data on the general public
in Poland. Krzysztof Kasianiuk prepared a description and typology of the Polish
political parties that was useful for several scholars in the IntUne project.
Interviewing members of national elites has been a particularly dif cult task.
Zo a Ładygina coordinated the interviewers involved in studying elites in Poland.
Her efforts in arranging meetings with elite members and constant monitoring of
8
the interviewers’ work resulted in high-quality data. However, the data quality
also depended on the respondents. Thus, in this context we thank our respondents
who, in spite of their extremely busy schedules, were able to spare time for the
interviews as well as to thoroughly answer more or less intrusive questions.
Most of the contributors to this volume are members of the Cross-National
Studies: Interdisciplinary Research and Training Program (CONSIRT), a joint
endeavor of the Polish Academy of Sciences and The Ohio State University. We
would like to thank the leadership of the main supporting institutions of this inter-
national program, the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology (IFiS) of the Polish
Academy of Sciences and the Department of Sociology of The Ohio State Uni-
versity, for committing resources for the research included in this book.
The production of our edited volume involved several people. Grażyna
Drążyk was responsible for various tasks within the IntUne project, from the
management of Polish data, to bookkeeping of the project, to maintaining the
necessary contact with all our contributors. Jerzyna Słomczyńska served as a
consultant in shaping this volume and helped by translating several chapters into
English. Therese Malhame assisted with editing this volume; her insightful ques-
tions led us to clarify a number of substantive issues. Andrzej Zabrowarny solved
many technical problems involved in the book’s timely publication. Finally, we
need to mention Barbara Gruszka, head of IFiS Publishers, whose advice was
helpful from the beginning to the end of the production of this volume.
The Editors
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and
Sociopolitical Contexts
The IntUne Project
The chapters of this volume are based on the international project IntUne, a eupho-
nious acronym for Integrated and United, with a more telling subtitle: A Quest for
Citizenship in “Ever Closer Europe.” In the of cial description of this European
Union-funded project, its initiators wrote: “The major aim of this research is to
study the changes in the scope, nature and characteristics of citizenship presently
underway as an effect of the process of deepening and enlargement of the Euro-
pean Union” (IntUne Project Description 2006: 3). The project focuses on how
processes of integration, at both national and European levels, affect the three ma-
jor dimensions of citizenship: identity, representation, and governance. The multi-
disciplinary nature of the project calls on scholars and practitioners from different
elds of study: political science, sociology, social psychology, linguistics, public
policy, media, and communication.
The project was conducted under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6) de-
signed to study citizenship in the context of European Union expansion (Citizens
and Governance in a Knowledge-Based Society (CIT3-CT-2005-513421).1 Coor-
dinated by the University of Siena, Italy, it was composed of several collaborating
institutions from across Europe.2 Maurizio Cotta was project coordinator, Pier-
angelo Isernia was project deputy coordinator, Elisabetta De Giorgi was project
manager.
The IntUne project employed a multimethod strategy for data gathering and
analysis, comprising surveys of public opinion from elites and the general public,
of cial documents produced by the elites, and a content analysis of television and
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
10
newspaper news and reports. In this volume the authors explore only one kind of
IntUne primary data: from surveys of elites and the general public. The rst wave
of interviews was carried out in 2007, the second wave—a replication of the same
questionnaire among the same categories of respondents—in 2009. For the data
description, see the Appendix at the end of this volume.
Of the sixteen countries participating in the IntUne project, some are “old”
countries of the European Union and some are “new”—countries of the West as
well as newcomers from Central and Eastern Europe. Admission of new mem-
bers to the European Union was a hot topic during the IntUne planning stage in
2006. This was a time of high optimism, a sanguinity that in uenced the project
title and the phrasing of its goals and research agenda.3 People expected the EU’s
gradual political evolution to lead—in small, con dent steps—to ever higher
stages of uni cation. Today we are more aware of national, international, and
even world-system obstacles in the progress toward a more integrated Europe.
Yet, IntUne maintains its diagnostic signi cance, and the issues raised in this
research have enduring value.
The IntUne project involves, directly and indirectly, research questions de-
signed to reveal the dynamics of European integration, focusing on “formative
attitudes” toward further advancement of the uni cation process of an “Ever
Closer Europe.” This begs the question: Is there, among the elites or among the
masses, a substantial potential for integration? The idea that this potential could
be revealed and estimated in uenced the content of the interview questionnaires,
as the project planners devoted a number of items to national and European
identity, trust in national and European institutions, and prospects for further
integration. This volume is not limited to these issues; it extends to parliamen-
tarians’ aspirations and their opinions on matters discussed in the EU context,
such as the protection of women’s political participation and the treatment of
immigrants.
At the outset, we designed the edited volume to maximize substantive and
methodological diversity by deliberately placing few constraints on the authors.
The main constraint was that Poland must gure prominently in the theory and
empirical analyses, either as a focal or comparative point, and also in light of its
unique place as both a post-communist country and EU member. In addition, we
encouraged authors to use a comparative framework, across time and/or across
nations, and statistical techniques suitable to survey data analysis. As a result,
the book contains a diverse collection of social science studies about competing
national and European in uences on Poland and EU policy.
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 11
National Elites: Parliamentarians as Representative Leadership
The IntUne project intended to include national elites that could be considered
crucial for European integration. In the rst wave in 2007, interviews were con-
ducted with members of national parliaments and with members of top business
circles. Two years later, in 2009, in addition to the parliamentarians, representa-
tives of mass media and trade unions were also interviewed. In both waves, par-
liamentarians constituted the major sample, a relatively large one.
In this volume, the political elite is restricted to parliamentarians, treated as
representative leadership.4 A parliamentary body forms “the intersection point of
two sets of relations: on the one side, relations with society (the input side), on
the other side, the decision-making processes of democracy and their outcomes
(the output side)” (Best and Cotta 2000: 9). The approach adopted by the IntUne
researchers is structural and functional. It is structural because it links legislators
with polity and focuses on the positions in society that re ect past, and direct
future, political action. The approach is also functional because political elite
refers to those who perform the management tasks of common ordinary affairs
in speci c societies. A high level of expertise and responsibility is treated as a
necessary condition for the satisfactory ful llment of such tasks. Although re-
stricting the political elite to parliamentarians within the structural and functional
approach narrows the focus, it also has a great advantage: the population is delin-
eated in an exacting manner.
Three types of comparisons
The IntUne project offers three types of comparisons, which are applied in this
volume, where relevant, to the Polish case:
(1) Political elite vs. general public comparison. In what ways and to what
extent are political elite and mass opinions similar in attitudinal orientation?
(2) Cross-country comparison. In what ways and to what extent does Poland
differ from other countries in this regard?
(3) Time-comparison. To what extent did the results change between 2007
and 2009?
The IntUne project planners surmised that differences in perceptions and
opinions between the elites and the general public are crucial. Any collective ac-
tion on the state level requires some agreement between the rulers and the ruled:
a weak agreement could reinforce a weak legitimization of the regime; harmoni-
ous perceptions of opportunities and bene ts brought by EU membership likely
in uence the pace and direction of European integration.
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
12
Attention to the intercountry differences is grounded in the belief of a deep
divide between Western Europe, on the one hand, and Central and Eastern Eu-
rope, on the other. Their histories are very different, a fact that in uences the
“delayed” entry of Central and Eastern countries into the process of European
integration, and, perhaps, differences in current elite and mass attitudes toward
further European uni cation.
Let us brie y consider the origins and impact of the divergent historical paths
of Eastern and Western Europe. Since the beginning of the fteenth century, a
fast-spreading market economy coupled with rapidly growing cities led to a new,
dynamic capitalist economy. For some European countries, this also led to higher
standards of living. For all, this was the bellwether of great strife and wars of
domination by states seeking world-power status. During this time of radical so-
cial change, democratic transformations appeared to be the most bene cial for
ordinary people—the “masses”—and other ideological breakthroughs occurred
in the outlook on the new world order.
Central and Eastern Europe participated in these processes only in a limited
way. A few powerful imperia, for which the most important thing was to protect
their nondemocratic regimes, ruled many conquered nationalities. Although the
masses of these “dependent” countries yearned for national independence and
democratic regimes, European cultural and political heritage was distorted by the
domineering powers and new totalitarian ideologies.
While the view that Central and Eastern Europe is “different” from Western
Europe is fully justi ed and brings out certain interpretive issues, historical di-
vergence itself does not lead to a single, obvious explanation for the divergent
attitudes toward European integration and uni cation. We suggest two opposite
lines of reasoning.
The rst one refers to the early troublesome experience of small and mid-
size nations of Central and Eastern Europe in dealing with their larger, stronger,
superpower-status-seeking neighbors. This experience seems to be the original
source of Central and East European aversion to supernational and interstate po-
litical organisms, potentially also of the European Union. The Central and East
European newcomers might suspect the EU hierarchy of protecting, now and
forever, the interests and aspirations of their “largest” members.
The second line is quite different. After World War II, the large states clear-
ly rejected domination and the use of force within Europe, and sought instead
to encourage con dence and trust through declarations of building a peaceful
world order. Instead of wars and longing for dominance among the powerful
member countries, the European Union became a guarantor of peaceful com-
promise. As a consequence, the EU also guarantees the sovereignty of midsize
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 13
and small countries, protecting them from military or political domination by
“old” Europe. In Central and Eastern Europe, this way of thinking focuses on
the bene ts of the European Union and serves as an argument for integration
and uni cation.
With IntUne data, the time comparison is limited to only two time cross-sec-
tions: 2007 and 2009. The rst of these years ends the period of admission of
“new” Europe to the EU structures. In 2004 the three Baltic States (Lithuania,
Latvia, and Estonia), Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Slov-
enia joined the EU; two years later, Romania and Bulgaria did. Most of these
countries are represented in the IntUne project: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
When analyzing time changes, it is important to note that new parliamentar-
ian elections took place in the period between two waves of the IntUne project in
most of the countries covered in the study. Only in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Great Britain, Germany, Portugal, and Slovakia was the sample of parliamentar-
ians drawn from the same list. In other countries, the list differed between waves,
although some may appear on both lists.
In 2008, all over Europe stock markets fell and large nancial institutions
collapsed or were bought out. The economic crises became apparent even in the
wealthiest countries. Thus, looking at the IntUne data, we can ask a question con-
cerning the extent to which the economic crises affected the elites and the general
public in their thinking about and attitudes toward European integration.
The phrase, “Polish political elite in comparative perspective,” used in the
subtitle of this volume, has a different meaning in each of the contributions to
this volume and provides readers with a variety of approaches. Goldie Shabad
and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński (Chapter 2), in their analysis of national and Eu-
ropean identity, focus on the elite vs. general public comparison, although they
also comment on the extent to which the results for Poland are similar to those
obtained for other countries. Justyna Nyćkowiak (Chapter 3) devotes her atten-
tion to the issue of effects of Polish parliamentarians’ careers on their attitudes in
two time instances, 2007 and 2009. The same time contrast is used by Katarzyna
Walentynowicz-Moryl (Chapter 4) in her investigation of aspirations held by
Polish parliamentarians regarding the European Union. Jacek Haman’s (Chapter
5) study of trust in political institutions centers on Polish elites vs. Polish general
public comparisons but, in addition, comments on differences between “Poland
and the rest of Europe.” In presenting the relationships between identity, trust,
and social policies, Sandra Marquart-Pyatt (Chapter 6) uses a framework similar
to Haman’s, focusing on the Polish case. Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow and Dorota
Woroniecka’s study (Chapter 7) contains some comparisons of the IntUne 2009
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
14
data on Polish parliamentarians with a similar set of non–IntUne data for 2005,
regarding opinions on gender quotas. Carolyn Smith Keller (Chapter 8) analyzes,
in cross-national perspective, the opinions of Polish parliamentarians on immi-
gration. Bogdan W. Mach (Chapter 9) deals with the opinions of parliamentarians
and the mass supporters of two major political parties in Poland, Civic Platform
and Law and Justice, on speci c political issues pertaining to the European Un-
ion. Finally, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński and Irina Tomescu-Dubrow (Chapter
10), using the IntUne data for 2009 as well as data from other sources, apply an
international framework.
Contributions to this volume differ with respect to both methodology and
substance. In terms of methodology, the common ground is a comparative per-
spective—“elite–masses,” cross-national, or temporal—in which the issue of
equivalence of indicators and constructs is particularly important.5 In substan-
tive terms, although the contributions differ with respect to coverage, “iden-
tity” and “trust” placed in their sociopolitical contexts constitute the core of the
volume.
Identity
During the routines of everyday life, identity often goes unnoticed. One senses
one’s identity, is aware of “being oneself,” in social situations when an individual
suddenly feels apart from others. At that moment, one feels strongly connected
with the group of people one thinks of as “we,” or “us.” Beyond “us” is “them.”
“We” may feel indifferent, or distant, or even con icted with “them.” A feeling of
continuity of one’s own identity, or one’s own life experience, or one’s own per-
sonality, manifests itself in the deep conviction that one is a permanent member
of a group. Group stability reaf rms this continuity of “me” just as it reaf rms
the continuity of “us.”6
In Europe, the nation as a cultural unit or an organized state is a strong refer-
ence framework for “we” and “us.” The creation of a European Union provoked
discussions of supernational and super-state identities. Would a single European
identity emerge? If so, would it replace national identity or complement it?
The IntUne project initiators assumed the existence of national vs. European
identity, intending to compare each identity type for political elites and the gen-
eral public. Tables 1 and 2 present these differences for Poland, for the rest of
Central and Eastern Europe, and for Western and Southern Europe, 2007–2009.7
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 15
Table 1. National Identity Among Political Elites and Mass Publics in Poland, Central
and Eastern Europe, and Western and Southern Europe, 2007 and 2009
In your view, how
important is each of the
following to being a
[national]?c
Year Poland Central and
Eastern Europea
Western and
Southern Europeb
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Percentage of those who responded “important”c
To be a Christian 2007 76.2 74.3 44.1 59.3 27.3 49.2
2009 72.6 68.1 40.4 59.1 27.2 43.6
To share [country’s]
cultural traditions
2007 98.8 93.5 95.9 87.9 82.5 86.6
2009 98.8 91.5 94.7 88.1 84.0 84.5
To be born in [country] 2007 77.5 82.2 52.5 75.2 48.6 64.6
2009 72.6 77.4 51.4 75.7 49.5 64.5
To have [national]
parents
2007 86.2 83.6 68.2 79.4 51.7 62.8
2009 89.3 80.0 63.8 79.7 51.1 61.9
To respect the [national]
laws and institutions
2007 94.9 93.2 93.0 92.1 96.4 94.6
2009 97.6 92.1 95.1 92.1 94.7 95.0
To feel [national] 2007 93.8 97.0 94.0 93.1 86.1 86.9
2009 100.0 94.6 92.6 92.2 87.9 86.9
To master the
language(s) of the
country
2007 89.9 97.3 89.0 94.1 92.2 94.2
2009 95.3 95.8 89.1 92.7 93.5 93.6
aWe include the following countries: Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia.
bWe include the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great
Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.
cThe questionnaire item reads: “People differ in what they think it means to be [national].
In your view, how important is each of the following to being [national]?” The table dis-
plays the percentages of those who responded “very important” or “somewhat important”
on a standard four-point scale.
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
16
Table 2. European Identity Among Political Elites and Mass Publics in Poland, Central
and Eastern Europe, and Western and Southern Europe, 2007 and 2009
In your view, how
important is each of the
following to being a
European?c
Year Poland Central and
Eastern Europea
Western and
Southern Europeb
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Percentage of those who responded “important”c
To be a Christian 2007 64.6 61.0 35.4 43.0 28.0 38.8
2009 59.0 51.7 30.0 42.5 19.9 37.3
To share European
cultural traditions
2007 92.5 81.1 94.0 77.2 72.4 71.7
2009 91.7 77.8 90.7 70.5 79.0 70.5
To be born in Europe 2007 64.6 74.6 44.6 67.6 51.6 60.0
2009 57.6 69.6 41.3 67.8 43.5 59.9
To have European
parents
2007 72.2 67.8 47.0 66.1 47.8 54.0
2009 62.4 63.9 41.6 67.4 42.5 54.3
To respect the European
Union’s laws and
institutions
2007 85.9 86.9 94.0 88.8 84.1 88.0
2009 88.2 86.5 92.5 86.1 92.5 88.3
To feel European 2007 98.7 84.9 95.5 84.8 85.2 75.0
2009 96.4 84.0 93.3 83.7 92.1 74.9
To master a European
language
2007 88.5 86.5 90.1 85.3 83.0 88.9
2009 91.6 84.3 86.9 82.3 92.7 88.1
aBulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia.
bAustria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal,
and Spain.
c The questionnaire item reads: “People differ in what they think it means to be a Euro-
pean. In your view, how important is each of the following to being a European?” For
the general public, the question is, “And for being truly European, how important do
you think each of the following is…?” For the general public in the item “To respect the
European Union’s Laws and Institutions,” the word “laws” is replaced with “norms.” The
table displays the percentages of those who responded “very important” or “somewhat
important” on a standard four-point scale.
As regards national identity, there are large differences between political elites
and the general public. Across regions and time, political elites and masses differ
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 17
most in assessing how important certain factors are for national identity: “being
Christian,” being born in a given country, and having parents who originate from
this country. Elites less frequently consider these identity markers important. For
example, in 2009 in Central and Eastern Europe, 40 percent of the political elite
considered being a Christian an important feature of national identity, while up to
59 percent of the general public felt this way. A difference of similar magnitude
is found in Western and Southern Europe. Although the difference between the
Polish elite and the Polish general public is much smaller, it is still signi cant.
The relative importance of European identity markers does not differ much
from that of national identity markers. In particular, the parliamentarians and the
general public in predominantly Catholic Poland are much more likely than the rest
of Europe to believe that Christianity is important for both national and European
identity. Another striking detail is that across all regions of Europe, the percentages
for each of the identity markers are higher for national identity than for European
identity. Three items—respecting laws and institutions, feeling like a national, and
mastering the language—reveal very little variation across regions. And for all
items, we observe a relative stability of frequencies for 2007 and 2009.
The items presented in Tables 1 and 2 are used in different ways by contribu-
tors to this volume since the issue of national and European identity is placed
in speci c theoretical frameworks. For example, for Shabad and Słomczyński
(Chapter 2) the distinction between items pertaining to ascriptive, cultural, and
civic aspects of identity is essential, while Marquart-Pyatt (Chapter 6) justi es
ethnic and civic identity components, and Słomczyński and Tomescu-Dubrow
(Chapter 10) employ only indicators of civic-European identity. Using either ex-
ploratory or con rmatory factor analysis, these authors identify dimensions of
identity without a strong a priori preconception.
To provide a contrast we refer to Michael Bruter’s (2005) study on European
identity. Bruter focuses on “political identity,” de ned primarily by such “sym-
bols” or markers as the euro, the European passport (issued by an EU member
country and signed by EU authorities), the European ag and anthem, and nally,
a positive attitude toward Europe Day. The selection of these symbols is meant
to closely link political identity to the daily experience of ordinary people. The
conclusion of Bruter’s study is straightforward: European identity already exists.
People identify with the European Union as a system of relevant institutions that
refer to rights, obligations, and freedoms. A problem with Bruter’s study is that
the concept of European political identity is given much more attention than the
concept of cultural identity.
We argue that playing down the cultural aspect in the formation of identity
while stressing just its political aspect presents, at best, a partial picture of Eu-
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
18
ropean identity. In reality, a new political identity may still feed on old cultural
resources. Recently, the European Commission proposed a de nition of the EU’s
identity based on civic features that link it to the concept of democracy (Bee
2008). There is nevertheless room in this de nition for invoking European cul-
tural heritage, from philosophy to ne arts. After all, for a large majority of both
parliamentarians and the general public, “to be European” means sharing Euro-
pean cultural traditions.8
Trust
Items pertaining to trust in European Union institutions reveal hopes as well as
anxieties regarding future European integration. Generally, the past process of
integration can be viewed as a partial success story. Five years after the Euro-
pean Coal and Steel Community, originally formed by six countries in 1951, the
successor European Economic Community was launched. The European Union,
established in November 1993 by the Treaty of Maastricht, was signed by six-
teen countries of Western and Southern Europe. From that time the program of
economic integration of Europe evolved into a program of political and cultural
“integration and unity,” eventually extending to Central and Eastern Europe. It
is worth noting that the IntUne research project borrowed a politically charged
phrase “integration and unity,” although in the context of the European Union as
a whole this phrase has been used more as a promise than a description of reality.
Europe is still far from unity.
Nonetheless, the establishment of the European Union constitutes an im-
portant step forward in the process of European integration. Intergovernmental
agreements are now supplemented by permanent EU institutions, in particular,
the European Parliament and the European Commission. In the IntUne project
an interest in trust in these institutions is re ected in the questionnaire items.
In Table 3 we provide basic information on trust in both the European Parlia-
ment and the European Commission on the part of political elites and masses
in Poland, the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, and Western and Southern
Europe.9
In 2007 and 2009 in Western and Southern Europe the elites, on average,
trusted the European Parliament and the European Commission more than the
general public did. In Central and Eastern Europe the opposite occurred: the
masses were more trustful than the elites, with the exception of trust in the Eu-
ropean Parliament in 2009. Generally, as Table 3 shows, for both elites and the
general public the measure of trust in all subpopulations is above the midpoint of
the scale. This is an important result in view of criticism of the European Parlia-
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 19
ment and European Commission as inef cient and overbureaucratized entities.
Elites and the general public trusted these institutions even when the economic
crisis materialized.
Table 3. Trust in European Parliament and European Commission Among Political Elites
and the General Public in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe, and Western and
Southern Europe, 2007 and 2009
Personal trustcYear Poland Central and
Eastern Europea
Western and
Southern Europeb
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Mean valuesc
European Parliament 2007 5.10 6.64 5.64 6.24 6.40 6.13
2009 5.31 6.39 5.84 5.49 6.35 6.02
European Commission 2007 5.08 6.78 5.54 6.16 5.56 6.34
2009 5.24 6.60 5.60 5.64 5.50 6.22
aBulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia.
bAustria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal,
and Spain.
cThe questionnaire item reads: “On a scale of 0–10, how much do you personally trust
in each of the following EU institutions to usually make the right decisions. 0 means
that you do not trust an institution at all, and 10 means you have complete trust.” For the
general public, the question is essentially the same but the scale ranges from 1 to 10. The
table displays adjusted mean values for the common scale.
European democracy, whether in the national or EU context, depends signi -
cantly on the extent to which ordinary citizens trust each other and the institutions
that govern them. Haman (Chapter 5) nds that, in comparison with the countries
of old Europe, the general public in Poland and its sister states of the former com-
munist bloc score low on all dimensions of trust, whether interpersonal or trust
in democratic institutions at home or abroad. Haman also nds that populations
in countries that joined the EU in 2004 and 2007 usually have greater trust in EU
institutions and attribute greater levels of competence to EU decision makers than
in their home countries. While in Poland the “trust gap” between national and EU
institutions is both large and stable, the trust gap between old and new Europe
becomes smaller.
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
20
The trust gap can also be conceptualized as one between elites and masses.
Sandra Marquart-Pyatt (Chapter 6) investigates the foundations and policy conse-
quences of identity and trust for the Polish elite and the masses. She categorizes
two types of national and European identity, ethnic and civic, and nds that Polish
elites and masses are similar across these dimensions. While some determinants
are also similar for these dimensions—in particular, religiosity is important for
both—notable differences exist: education and leftism are critical factors for eth-
nic identity, while age matters for civic identity. Consequences are measured by
support for policies that strengthen the role of the EU in Europe and trust in the
national and European institutions that govern them. Here, the differences be-
tween the masses and elites, and for different identity dimensions, are apparent:
for the masses, ethnic Polish national identity negatively in uences support and
institutional trust, while civic Polish national identity has a positive in uence on
support, but constitutes an insigni cant factor in the case of trust. Simultaneously,
for Polish political elites, neither national nor European identity affects support for
policies, and only European identity shows some in uence on institutional trust.
Chapter 10, by Słomczyński and Tomescu-Dubrow, focuses on the relation-
ship between the extent to which democracies are developed, on the one hand,
and European identity and trust in European institutions, on the other. Assuming
that individuals are “nested” in countries of varying degrees of democracy, the
authors performed hierarchical linear modeling and found that democracy does
matter for trust in political European institutions. People living in countries that
score higher on the index of democracy (published by the Economist Intelligence
Unit) tend to be more trustful of European institutions than those who live in
countries that score lower on this index. It was also found that European identity
is conducive to trust in European institutions.
One could argue that, due to the actual and perceived behavior of EU institu-
tions, trust in them would be universally low. Many observers voice concerns
about the European Commission as an overbureaucratized organization. In addi-
tion, instead of the originally planned European Constitution, the EU was only
able to enact the Treaty of Lisbon, which introduced a very complex system of
decision making by prime ministers of member states and created the positions
of president of the whole EU and foreign minister, both of relatively weak power.
The context of the Treaty of Lisbon matters: reluctance toward building a “su-
per-state government” emerged at the time of economic crisis, a time that priori-
tized the decisions made by prime ministers of member states over those made
by the EU agencies. Consequently, the EU decided to bail out the government
of Greece as well as to approve national retrenchment activities by the govern-
ments of member states supporting national companies and banks. These events
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 21
demonstrated that, despite expectations to the contrary, the process of European
integration is proceeding on a long, bumpy road.
Sociopolitical contexts
Elites and their attitudes and aspirations
Noting that between 1985 and 2007, more than 800 Polish parliamentarians served
at least two terms, Nyćkowiak (Chapter 3) examines how different professional
career pathways—that is, political and nonpolitical career characteristics—in u-
ence Polish political elite support for policies that strengthen the role of the EU
in Europe. She nds that the fact of having been a business owner or manager
before becoming a parliamentarian strengthens this support, while having held a
top governmental position weakens it. Moreover, support depends more on cur-
rent activities than on political experience prior to becoming a parliamentarian.
Walentynowicz-Moryl (Chapter 4) nds that between 2007 and 2009, the per-
centage of those who aspired to an EU career decreased. While characteristics
of the Polish political elite such as level of education, knowledge of foreign lan-
guages, personal experience abroad, and professional contacts abroad improved,
their effect on EU career aspiration differed by IntUne wave year: in 2007, edu-
cation and knowledge of foreign languages shaped aspirations, while in 2009, it
was personal experience and professional contacts abroad.
Nyćkowiak places these ndings in context: between 2007 and 2009, the per-
centage of those holding a top governmental position prior to being a parliamen-
tarian doubled, the percentage of those holding an executive position increased
substantially, and the percentage of those who had never before been a parlia-
mentarian decreased. Overall, Nyćkowiak and Walentynowicz-Moryl show that
from a variety of career paths, in Poland a stable, professional political elite has
emerged, which increasingly prefers to in uence the EU from the outside rather
than from the inside.
Attitudes Toward Gender Inequality and Immigrant Discrimination
In planning the Polish part of the IntUne study on parliamentarians, the investiga-
tors at the Polish Academy of Sciences decided to add some items to the common
international questionnaire, speci cally items that deal with gendered political
inequality in Poland. The reason for including additional items on gender quota is
grounded in the recent historical situation. Since the fall of communism in 1989,
the proportion of women in the Polish parliament ranged from a low of 9 percent
to a “high” of 20.4 percent. Of the major political parties during this time, only
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
22
two had a partisan gender quota. Since 2004, Poland has been of cially, but not
necessarily wholeheartedly, part of EU gender mainstreaming policy designed to
enhance women’s representation and in uence how European organizations ap-
proach gender parity.
Dubrow and Woroniecka (Chapter 7) investigate these factors in a study of
the determinants of Polish parliamentarian support for gender equality and gender
quotas. They ask: Do Europeanist orientation and contact with EU institutions and
European interest groups in uence opinions on gender equality in parliament and
gender quotas? Are these factors as important as the gender and political ideology
of the parliamentarian? Dubrow and Woroniecka nd that while women were far
more likely to support gender equality in the parliament, when accounting for
political ideology, they were no more likely than men to support party gender
quotas. By themselves, leftism and strong Europeanist orientation lead to sup-
port for equality and quotas, but Europeanist orientation is not signi cant when
accounting for gender and political ideology. European contacts are positively
associated with pro-equality, but not with pro-quota, attitudes. Between 2005 and
2007, support for parity remained stable across two different parliaments while
support for quotas decreased. Overall, Dubrow and Woroniecka show that Po-
land’s deepening involvement with the EU has yet to fast-track women’s political
equality.
If the future of the EU depends on a shared European identity (see Shabad and
Słomczyński, Chapter 2), what is the role of immigration from outside the EU?
As the European Union expands eastward and the aftershocks of the economic
crisis continue, the political elite’s perceptions concerning immigrants are among
the critical factors that will shape the future. Examining political elites in twelve
EU countries, Smith Keller (Chapter 8) investigates the micro- and macro-level
factors that in uence their views on immigration from non-EU countries. Smith
Keller nds that 40 percent of all political elites see immigration as a threat. Also,
when examining gender differences, she nds that women’s participation in par-
liament extends beyond standing up for women: women are less likely than men
to view immigration from non-EU countries as a threat. Using multilevel models,
Smith Keller shows that, even accounting for the East/West divide, party af li-
ation matters: parliamentarians from centrist and leftist parties are less likely to
consider non-EU immigration a threat. As Croatia, Turkey, and Ukraine seek EU
membership, their future may depend on women from parties of the political left
and center.
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 23
European Integration and the Division Among Poland’s Major Politi-
cal Parties
A useful gauge of how post-accession Poland contends with competing national
and European in uences is the power struggle between its two major rival politi-
cal parties: Law and Justice and Civic Platform. As the con ict involves ques-
tions concerning Poland’s role in the EU, the outcome of this struggle has wide-
ranging implications. Mach (Chapter 9) investigates this con ict by asking three
critical questions: (1) How different are Law and Justice and Civic Platform in
their party platforms? (2) How much do their political elites differ in opinion on
the EU, and how have these opinions changed over time? and (3) To what extent
has the political scene become polarized?
Through a creative analysis of party platforms and IntUne data, Mach con-
cludes that many of the differences between Law and Justice and Civic Platform
with respect to the EU are real and growing, but the interparty gap is based not
on the issue of European integration in general, but on the details of how it will
proceed. Polarization among the lawmakers is stronger than among those who
voted for them. Moreover, the growing negative attitudes of Law and Justice
lawmakers toward further uni cation increasingly push them away from their
electorate. However, the Civic Platform legislators, by promoting the placement
of Polish foreign affairs at the EU level, also increase their ideological distance
from their supporters. In light of the domination of the Polish political scene by
these two rival titans, what Law and Justice and the Civic Platform parliamentar-
ians and their party supporters think matters more for domestic policy than for
further integration with the EU.
IntUne Project and the Future of the European Union
The European Union came into existence as a pragmatic organ of cooperation be-
tween states whose histories are lled with con ict and intra-Europe domination.
In the 1990s it was reasonable to assume that gradual steps, small but persistent,
were a good way of developing, coordinating, and broadening interstate coopera-
tion. Politicians correctly interpreted prevailing social attitudes and adequately
de ned the potential for supernational political organisms in the contemporary
world. However, at present, the leaders and technocrats of the “European project”
are not so future-oriented. Moreover, an additional serious disadvantage is that
leaders are reluctant to answer the troublesome question “where do we go from
here?”
IntUne data on parliamentarians and the general public include items on four
possible developments in the European Union a decade from now: (1) a uni ed
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
24
tax system for Europe, (2) a common system of social security, (3) a single for-
eign policy, and (4) more help for regions experiencing economic dif culties.
Table 4 presents the data for Poland, the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, and
Western and Southern Europe.
Table 4. Attitudes Toward the Future of the European Union Among Political Elites and
the General Public in Poland, Central and Eastern Europe, and Western and
Southern Europe, 2007 and 2009
The character of the
European Union in ten
yearsc
Year Poland Central and
Eastern Europea
Western and
Southern Europeb
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Political
elite
Mass
public
Percentage of those in favorc
A uni ed tax system for
Europe
2007 57.0 67.1 58.5 50.8 60.8 54.8
2009 55.4 62.3 55.3 54.2 56.6 54.5
A common system of
social security
2007 65.0 83.0 73.7 71.6 68.9 69.4
2009 65.5 77.8 77.7 70.9 61.9 69.9
A single foreign policy 2007 73.8 75.2 86.3 69.4 87.2 68.8
2009 87.1 71.9 85.5 71.0 84.2 67.7
More help for regions
with dif culties
2007 98.8 89.9 96.5 85.1 87.6 81.6
2009 97.6 86.3 95.8 84.2 84.4 82.4
aBulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, and Slovakia.
bAustria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Portugal,
and Spain.
cThe questionnaire item reads: “Thinking about the European Union over the next ten
years, are you in favor of or against the following…?” The table displays the percentages
of those who responded “strongly in favor” or “somewhat in favor” on a standard ve-
point scale.
The most striking result presented in Table 4 is that the majority of parlia-
mentarians and the masses favor each of four possible features of the European
Union in ten years. Differences between parliamentarians and the masses pertain
to speci c decisions that the EU would yet have to make if it intends to keep
proceeding toward higher levels of integration. In Western and Southern Europe,
members of the political elite are more frequently in favor of a uni ed tax system,
a single foreign policy, and more help for regions with economic dif culties than
the general public. Poland differs from this pattern while the rest of Central and
Introduction: Identity, Trust, and Sociopolitical Contexts 25
Eastern Europe is essentially similar to Western and Southern Europe. This “spe-
cial case” of Poland is evident in the item “a common system of social security”
where parliamentarians support this solution considerably less frequently than
the masses, while in the rest of Europe the intergroup differences are small. In
general, however, the results reveal a positive climate for a businesslike discus-
sion on the further development of the European Union.
In a sense, agreement between parliamentarians and the masses comes as a
surprise because the usual view considers the political elite as leading the masses
toward European integration. However, parliamentarians as a chosen body also
re ect the opinions of their electorate. In addition, there are various reasons for
the social cohesion built into European tradition, which overcome differences
stemming from location in the social structure. Consensus on the “European is-
sues” is a learned lesson because the project of integrated Europe is juxtaposed
to a Europe divided and torn by wars. In Poland strong pro-European integration
attitudes were present before accession to the European Union.10
We end this introduction with more questions than answers regarding the
relationship between the general public and the elite. It seems that building demo-
cratic forms of participation across state borders and improving state economic
systems should be a tremendous impulse reviving the whole European demos.
Yet, currently politicians prefer “demoses” on the scale of each country. Is the
creation of one European demos and one pool of candidates to the European Par-
liament too risky for national political elites?
Central and East Europeans enjoy receiving subsidies and living in a peaceful
Europe. Many are happy with relatively unrestricted travel throughout Europe
and enjoy access to the job market in other countries and regions of Europe. What
kinds of political and economic crises could disrupt this happiness? Under what
conditions can EU political elites ensure that ordinary people will accept Euro-
pean “integration and unity?” And will the leadership for further “integration and
unity” come from Poland, Central and Eastern Europe as a whole, or the West?
Notes
1. FP6 is a nancial instrument for the funding of projects to establish a European
Research Area, described as a European internal market for science and technol-
ogy. Funding allotment for such projects is in the “tens of millions of euros” (Eu-
ropean Union Sixth Framework Programme).
2. To coordinate the research project, IntUne held twenty meetings, starting October
2005 at the University of Siena. The last conference took place in Brussels, Belgium,
in November 2009; http://www.intune.it/misc/events (accessed May 17, 2010).
Włodzimierz Wesołowski, Kazimierz M. Słomczyński, and
Joshua Kjerulf Dubrow
26
3. The IntUne project followed large-scale research supported by the European Com-
mission (EURONAT 2004).
4. Arguments on the importance of parliamentarians as political elites is well pre-
sented in Norris (1997). Recruitment processes are described in Best and Cotta
(2000); see also Olson and Crowther (2002). On the formation of the Polish politi-
cal elite, see Wesołowski (1997).
5. This issue is not thoroughly discussed in particular chapters because the authors
have discussed it in the working papers, which demonstrated the high level of
equivalence of their indicators and constructs. Due to the redundancy of these
conclusions, we have omitted them in this volume (with the exception of Chapter
5 by Jacek Haman). On this issue, see Harknes et al. (2010).
6. See Gellner (1987), Taylor (1992), Smith (1991), and Bokszański (2002); for re-
view of research on identity formation, see Cerulo (1997).
7. In the IntUne project, the questionnaire items capture two aspects of identity: af-
fective and cognitive. The affective component pertains to the degree to which
individuals feel “attached” to a particular collectivity. The cognitive component
pertains to what individuals regard as constitutive of being “a Pole” and “a Euro-
pean” (for elaboration on this distinction, see Chapter 2 by Goldie Shabad and Ka-
zimierz M. Słomczyński). In this chapter, we comment only on the cognitive com-
ponent of national and European identity. For a general work on the relationship
between national and European identity, see Herrmann, Risse, and Brewer (2004);
Karolewski and Kaina (2007); Checkel and Katzenstein (2009); also Duchesne
and Frognier (2008); Carem (2007); and Pichler (2008).
8. Edensor (2002) examines how national identity is represented, performed, and
materialized through popular culture and in everyday life. Some of his arguments
apply to European identity as well.
9. The IntUne questionnaire for parliamentarians also included an item on the Eu-
ropean Council. Table 3 does not contain this item because there are no data for
the general public. Within the IntUne project some papers deal with trust directly:
Abts, Heerwegh, and Swyngedouw (2009); Segatti (2007).
10. For evidence, see, for example, Mach (1998); Grabowska, Koseła, and Szawiel
(1998); Slomczynski and Shabad (2003); Skotnicka-Illasiewicz (2009).
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Goldie Shabad
Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
National and/or European Identity:
Political Elites and the Mass Public
Introduction
Do the well functioning of a broadened and deepened European Union and the
democratic legitimacy of its institutions depend on the development of a common
European identity among the approximately 500 million persons living in its 27
member states? Is a shared sense of belonging and attachment to the EU compat-
ible with a distinct national identity or is it predicated upon the weakening of ties
to the nation? Can such allegiances coexist or is it a matter of a zero-sum game?
These issues have evoked considerable debate (Carey 2002; Cinpoes 2008; Her-
rmann and Brewer 2002; Marks 1999) and decades of research on a vast array of
mass-level attitudes toward the EU, including attachment to the EU versus the
nation (see, for example, Citrin and Sides, 2002). Close monitoring of stances
toward the EU has extended to the most recently admitted member states, both
prior to and after their accession, and comparisons have been made between them
(particularly those that became democratic after the demise of communism) and
those that make up the “old Europe.” Szczerbiak (2007b), for example, provides an
exhaustive report on the survey ndings of Polish attitudes toward the EU leading
up to and following entry.
EU political and bureaucratic elites have been surveyed as well. Relatively
few studies, however, have focused on national political elites, many of whom are
deeply involved in domestic decision-making regarding the EU and who by virtue
of their position are well placed to shape and/or re ect the preferences of ordinary
voters. The virtue of the IntUne project is that it incorporates both parliamentarians
and the mass publics of virtually all member states, and the survey questionnaires
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
30
for both are almost identical. Moreover, one of its research goals is to “provide an
important set of baseline measures to assess the extent to which ‘European’ citi-
zenship (subjectively understood) has developed since the beginning of the 21st
century” (IntUne Project Description 2006), with identity conceptualized as be-
ing an important component of such citizenship. Thus, the data from this project
allow us to compare systematically political elites and the citizens they represent
with regard to the complementarities and incompatibilities between “national”
and European identities.
This chapter focuses on patterns of identities among parliamentarians and
ordinary voters in Poland, the largest of the new entrants to the EU, and situates
such patterns in a broader context that includes political elites and mass publics
from other member states. Notwithstanding relatively warm popular support for
the EU before and after accession, Poland came to be regarded by the media and
a good number of politicians in Western Europe as the EU’s “awkward partner”
(Szczerbiak 2007b: 4). This perception was due in large measure to the sharp crit-
icisms and rancorous behavior toward the EU of the Law and Justice-led Govern-
ment (2005–2007), the high-level of support for anti-EU or Eurosceptic parties in
the 2005 parliamentary election, and the second to lowest turnout (21%) among
the 25 member states in the 2004 European Parliament elections. The question
was raised, therefore, whether Poland – its politicians and electorate – were un-
dergoing a “Eurosceptic backlash?” (Szczerbiak 2007b: 4). Our analyses pro-
vide only a partial answer to this question, in part because we use data from one
point in time. Nonetheless, we attempt to place our examination of this issue on
rmer ground by focusing speci cally on the contours of national and European
identity and the relationship between the two, rather than solely on mass-level
attitudes toward EU policies that may be based on little information and are of
low salience and, hence, quite malleable. Our data derive from the elite and mass-
level surveys conducted in 2007, three years after Poland became a member of
the EU. Eighty parliamentarians were included in the elite-level sample and 999
respondents were included in mass-level survey.
The chapter proceeds in the following manner. The next section describes
our conceptualization and operationalization of national and European identity,
and presents descriptive statistics for Polish parliamentarians and the mass public
for our four indicators of each type of identity. Next we consider how the vari-
ous components of national and European identity are related, and ask whether,
generally speaking, national and European identities are at odds with each other
or mutually compatible. Are the patterns the same for both politicians and the
public? We then examine the correlates of national and European identity, and
take into account political leanings and standard demographic characteristics.
National and/or European Identity 31
National and European Identity and Their Components
Conceptually and methodologically, identity is a complex phenomenon. Although
research on group identity and identity politics has grown exponentially in the
past few decades, there is as yet no consensus on the de nition of group identity
or how to measure it (Abdelal, Herra, Johston, and McDermott 2006; Fearon
1999). We do not intend to enter into the debate here or to offer yet another novel
approach to group identity. Tajfel’s de nition is a good starting point for the way
we conceptualize identity here. According to Tajfel, social identity is “that part
of the individual’s self concept which derives from his knowledge of his mem-
bership of a social group(s) together with the value and emotional signi cance
attached to that membership” (Taifel 1981: 255). The IntUne survey contains a
large set of questions that tap different aspects of national and European identity.
We have chosen to focus here on what we consider to be two distinct dimensions
of such identities which we think have signi cant implications for stances toward
both the deepening and widening of the EU as well as perceptions of bene ts ac-
crued from membership. The rst is the affective component and concerns the de-
gree to which individuals feel “attached” to a particular collectivity. We measure
the intensity of such affective ties based on responses to the questionnaire items
asked in both elite and mass-level surveys: “How strongly do you feel attached
to Poland?” and “How strongly do you feel attached to the European Union.”
Answers ranged from “not at all attached” to “very attached.”
The second dimension of identity is cognitive, and pertains to what individu-
als regard as constitutive of being “a Pole” and “an European.” Both surveys
included several questions that referred to distinct markers of belonging to each
group, and asked respondents to state “how important” each of them is “to be a
Pole” (“an European”); answers ranged from “not at all important to “very im-
portant.” In the original English language version of the IntUne questionnaire,
the identity items included phrases “a true [nationality],” corresponding to “a true
Pole,” and “a true European.” In the Polish translation the word “true” is omitted
because in Polish the phrase “prawdziwy Polak [a true Pole]” has strong nation-
alistic connotations, probably stronger than its ethnic equivalents in languages
of other countries participating in the IntUne project. However, in this chapter,
we use the term “a true Pole” and “a true European” as technical terms, initially
proposed by the IntUne organizers.
For theoretical reasons, we have grouped these markers of belonging to the
collectivity into three categories. The rst is ascriptive and pertains to the impor-
tance of oneself or of one’s parents having been born in Poland (Europe). The
second category is cultural and includes the importance of (a) being Christian,
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
32
(b) sharing Polish (European) cultural traditions, (c) feeling Polish (European),
and (d) mastering the Polish (a European) language. The third type of marker
we label civic, and concerns the importance of respecting national (European)
laws and institutions and/or of citizenship per se. (See Bruter 2002 for a similar
conceptualization of national and European identities). By asking respondents to
consider what constitutes belonging to the particular group, we also can infer how
they de ne the boundaries of the collective identity in question, that is, who’s
included and who’s out.
In our view, the civic marker of identity conforms best to a liberal understand-
ing of belonging. It includes everyone within the political community by virtue
of citizenship or behavioral compliance with the law, regardless of whether the
individual has assimilated to the dominant culture. Cultural markers are poten-
tially the thickest of boundaries, because they set up normative standards (being
Christian, sharing traditions, etc.) with which a signi cant number of citizens
may not conform. This is especially so as several member states and the EU as a
whole have become increasingly diverse religiously, ethnically and linguistically
and thus face the dif cult challenges posed by multi-culturalism. The degree of
inclusivity/exclusivity of ascriptive criteria for group membership is more dif-
cult to pinpoint. On the one hand, those born in Poland, say, may or may not
be ethnically Pole, or Christian, or respect its institutions, but nonetheless would
be regarded as “being a true Pole.” On the other hand, for relatively culturally
homogeneous countries importance given to ascriptive criteria shades easily into
the notion of incorporation into the nation based on jus sanguinis rather than jus
soli.
Tables 1 and 2 present descriptive statistics for each item used to measure
national and European identity, respectively, for Polish parliamentarians and the
mass public. Focusing on national identity rst, the mean values and standard de-
viations presented in Table 1 show that among parliamentarians virtually all feel a
strong attachment to Poland. Among the constitutive components of being a “true
Pole,” cultural elements tend, on average, to outrank “civic” and especially “as-
criptive” components. A similar pattern characterizes the mass public, although it
is striking that the strength of attachment to Poland is noticeably weaker and the
standard deviation higher for this item among the mass public than it is among
parliamentarians.
In general, the patterns described above with regard to national identity also
hold for European identity. As the data presented in Table 2 show, Polish parlia-
mentarians express on average a rather strong attachment to the European Union,
albeit less intense than to Poland and with greater variation around the mean.
Among the constitutive elements of being European, cultural components hold
National and/or European Identity 33
Table 1. Components of National Identity and Their Indicators, for Parliamentarians and
the General Population, Poland 2007
Components and Indicators Mean
value
Standard
deviation
A. Parliamentarians
General attachment
Attachment to the country (Poland) a 3.96 0.19
Ascribed traits
How important is to be born in Poland? b3.15 0.85
How important is to have Polish parents? b 3.33 0.75
Cultural facets
How important is to be Christian? b3.14 0.95
How important is to share cultural Polish traditions? b 3.81 0.42
How important is to feel Polish? b3.93 0.24
How important is to master the language (Polish)? b 3.41 0.71
Civic components
How important is to respect Polish laws and institutions? b3.62 0.66
How important is to be a citizen of Poland? b3.30 0.82
B. General population
General attachment
Attachment to the country (Poland) a3.46 0.62
Ascribed traits
How important is to be born in Poland? b3.30 0.70
How important is to have Polish parents? b 3.34 0.84
Cultural facets
How important is to be Christian? b3.11 1.00
How important is to share cultural Polish traditions? b 3.54 0.60
How important is to feel Polish? b3.71 0.53
How important is to master the language (Polish)? b 3.73 0.50
Civic components
How important is to respect Polish laws and institutions? b3.50 0.63
How important is to be a citizen of Poland? b2.95 0.88
a Part of the series of questions on attachment to the town/village, region, country, and the
European Union. Recoded scale from “not at all attached” = 1 to “very attached” = 4.
b Part of the series of questions: “In your view, how important is each of the following to
be a Pole?” Recoded scale from “not important at all” = 1 to “very important” = 4.
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
34
Table 2. Components of European Identity and Their Indicators, for Parliamentarians and
the General Population, Poland 2007
Components and Indicators Mean
value
Standard
deviation
A. Parliamentarians
General attachment
Attachment to Europe a 3.57 0.69
Ascribed traits
How important is to be born in Europe? b2.73 0.97
How important is to have European parents? b2.89 0.86
Cultural facets
How important is to be Christian? b2.84 1.00
How important is to share European traditions? b3.55 0.63
How important is to feel European? b3.72 0.48
How important is to master a European language? b3.43 0.73
Civic component
How important is to respect European Union laws? b3.33 0.75
B. General population
General attachment
Attachment to Europe a2.96 0.78
Ascribed traits
How important is to be born in Europe? b3.01 0.82
How important is to have European parents? b2.90 0.82
Cultural facets
How important is to be Christian? b2.80 1.01
How important is to share European traditions? b3.13 0.71
How important is to feel European? b3.30 0.69
How important is to master a European language? b3.32 0.72
Civic components
How important is to respect European Union laws? b3.28 0.66
How important is to be a citizen of European country? b2.94 0.80
a Part of the series of questions on attachment to the town/village, region, country, and the
European Union. Recoded scale from “not at all attached” = 1 to “very attached” = 4.
b Part of the series of questions: “And for being European, how important do you think each
one is…”: Recoded scale from “not important at all” = 1 to “very important” = 4.
National and/or European Identity 35
sway, and least important are ascriptive characteristics. The mass public feels less
strongly attached to Europe than do parliamentarians, but otherwise the relative
importance of the constitutive elements of European identity is quite similar for
the two groups. Two other ndings presented in Table 1 and 2 are worthy of com-
ment. Interestingly, and contrary to much that has been written about the central-
ity of Christianity to Polish (and European) identity (Casanova 2006; Katzenstein
2006), “being Christian” is regarded by both parliamentarians and the mass pub-
lic as the least important among the four cultural components. Also surprisingly,
for both sets of respondents being a citizen of Poland or of any European country
for that matter also carries relatively little import. This may be due to the fact that
the Polish diaspora is large and that being a citizen of the U.S. or Canada or Aus-
tralia does not in and of itself negate one’s belonging to the nation or to Europe
de ned by markers other than citizenship.
Theoretical considerations led us to distinguish between the affective and cog-
nitive components of identity and to further assign the several constitutive dimen-
sions of being a “true” Pole/ European into three categories: ascriptive, cultural,
and civic. We did so, however, with the expectation that the three components that
make up the cognitive dimension (each measured hereafter as standardized scales)
are related to one another to varying degrees and that the cognitive dimension of
identity is likely to be associated with affect toward the nation/Europe as well.
We performed two separate factor analyses of the four cultural markers of
national/European identity to make sure that they indeed belonged together. They
do for both parliamentarians and for the mass public and for each type of identity.
The factor loadings for each item are above 0.4, and the correspondence between
our model and data is satisfactory as indicated by eigenvalues and percent of
explain variance. In the Appendix we provide all information about our measure-
ment models, including factor scores that allow one to produce the values of the
constructed variables.
As the correlation matrices presented in Table 3 show, among parliamentar-
ians the three markers of national identity are related to one another, some more
strongly than others (i.e., ascriptive and cultural components). Attachment to the
nation is related to the civic component, albeit rather weakly, and not at all to either
ascribed traits or the cultural component of national identity. Compared to parlia-
mentarians, among ordinary Poles the various cognitive components of national
identity tend to be more strongly related to one another – they are more of a piece;
moreover, in contrast with parliamentarians, intensity of attachment to the nation
is moderately related to both ascriptive and cultural components of identity.
The patterns for European identity parallel to a great extent those for national
identity. Among parliamentarians, the intensity of attachment to the European
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
36
Table 3. Correlations Between National Identity Components for Parliamentarians and
the General Population, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
A. Parliamentarians
General attachment 1.000 0.023 0.159 0.198#
Ascribed traits 0.023 1.000 0.379** 0.272*
Cultural facets 0.159 0.379** 1.000 0.282**
Civic components 0.198# 0.272* 0.382** 1.000
B. General Population
General attachment 1.000 0.286** 0.266** 0.050
Ascribed traits 0.286** 1.000 0.566** 0.261**
Cultural facets 0.266** 0.566** 1.000 0.414**
Civic components 0.050 0.261** 0.414** 1.000
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 for two tail test.
Table 4. Correlations Between European Identity Components for Parliamentarians and
the General Population, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
A. Parliamentarians
General attachment 1.000 -0.274* -0.163 0.250*
Ascribed traits -0.274* 1.000 0.384** -0.090
Cultural facets -0.163 0.384** 1.000 -0.029
Civic components 0.250* -0.090 -0.029 1.000
B. General Population
General attachment 1.000 0.112** 0.289** 0.232**
Ascribed traits 0.112** 1.000 0.552** 0.343**
Cultural facets 0.289** 0.552** 1.000 0.540**
Civic components 0.232** 0.343** 0.540** 1.000
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 for two tail test.
National and/or European Identity 37
Union is positively correlated with the civic component of European identity, as
was the intensity of attachment to Poland positively related to the civic compo-
nent of national identity. In this instance, however, attachment to the EU is nega-
tively associated with ascribed traits, that is, the stronger one’s attachment to the
EU the less one emphasizes place of birth as an important component of being
European. As the data in Table 4 also show, all the various aspects of European
identity (including attachment to the EU) are interrelated, some quite strongly
so, for the mass public. Thus, parliamentarians tend far more so than the mass
public to differentiate between the affective and constitutive dimensions of both
national and European identity and to view the markers of each as being distinct
from one another.
We turn next to the relationship between the several components of national
identity, on the one hand, and those of a European identity, on the other. Most
importantly, is a strong sense of attachment to the nation compatible with a strong
sense of attachment to the EU or are the two mutually exclusive? For parlia-
mentarians and the mass public are the criteria for being a “true Pole” the same
as for being a “true European”? As the correlations in Table 5 indicate, a strong
attachment to the nation is compatible with a strong attachment to the European
Union among parliamentarians. Interestingly, affect either toward the nation or to
the EU has no bearing on the salience of any of the three constitutive elements of
national/European identity. For the mass public, however, the more one feels at-
tached to Poland the less one feels attached to the EU. Thus, it would appear that,
insofar as strength of affective ties is an indicator of identity, for political elites
a national and a European identity are compatible. This is not so for the general
population. Moreover, unlike among parliamentarians, attachment to the nation
and to the EU is not unrelated to the salience given to the markers of national/Eu-
ropean identity. For example, the stronger the attachment to the nation the less
inclined one is to emphasize the importance of either cultural or civic characteris-
tics of European identity. Conversely, the more attached one is to the EU, the less
emphasis is placed on ascribed or civic characteristics of national identity.
As the correlations in Table 5 also reveal, for parliamentarians the criteria
for being Polish go in tandem with those for being European. Those who assign
great importance to ascribed characteristics as constitutive of being Polish, for
example, are likely to assign great importance to the same characteristics as con-
stitutive of being European. The same is true, but to a lesser extent, with regard to
cultural and civic attributes. This pattern is also found among the general popula-
tion, but to an even greater degree, suggesting that the various markers of identity
across “levels” are seen as more of a piece – as less distinct – among ordinary
Poles than they are among parliamentarians.
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
38
Table 5. Correlations Between National Identity Components and European Identity
Components for Parliamentarians and the General Population, Poland 2007
National Identity European Identity
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
A. Parliamentarians
General attachment 0.358** -0.124 -0.108 0.000
Ascribed traits -0.150 0.531** 0.188# 0.029
Cultural facets -0.103 0.292** 0.382** 0.028
Civic components 0.118 0.116 -0.071 0.397**
B. General Population
General attachment -0.286** 0.013 -0.089** -0.113**
Ascribed traits -0.109** 0.535** 0.227** 0.086**
Cultural facets 0.005 0.362** 0.381** 0.234**
Civic components 0.162** 0.226** 0.299** 0.480**
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 for two tail test.
The Political and Demographic Correlates of National/European
Identity
It is reasonable to expect that attachment to the nation and to the EU, as well as
the salience of various markers of national/European identity, are not randomly
distributed either among parliamentarians or the mass public. Although during
the years preceding the entry of Poland into the EU in 2004, there was a consen-
sus among the leading political parties about the “necessity” of Poland’s gaining
admission, there were extra-parliamentary parties on the right, especially Samo-
obrona (Self Defense), that expressed substantial skepticism about the material
bene ts of doing so and great concern over the loss of Polish sovereignty and
traditional cultural mores. Once Poland was admitted to the EU, partisan debate
continued over decision-making rules within the Union, the text of the proposed
constitution, and agricultural subsidies, among other issues. Between 2005 and
2007, the conservative Law and Justice governed under the leadership of the Kac-
zynski brothers. It adopted a highly critical and publically vocal stance toward the
EU with regard to proposals to “deepen” integration and weaken national sover-
eignty, raising concerns because of the Government’s belligerence about Poland’s
National and/or European Identity 39
commitment to being a “good” member of the EU not only in other member
states but also in Poland itself. Moreover, it vociferously sought to ensure that
Christian values would be explicitly endorsed in a European constitutional treaty
(Anderson 2003; Katzenstein 2006; Szczerbiak 2007a). In June 2006 until Au-
gust 2007, the anti-Europe clerical/nationalist League of Polish Families and the
highly Euro-skeptic populist extreme-right Self Defense joined with Law and
Justice as junior coalition partners. The agrarian party, Polish Peasant Party, took
a rather neutral position on European integration, although it certainly saw its role
as defender of the interests of farmers’ interests with regard to EU policies. The
social democratic Alliance of the Democratic Left had been the governing party
(2001-2005) that successfully oversaw Poland’s accession to the EU, and is one
of the two represented in the Sejm that can be labeled as Euro-friendly. The other
is the center-right Civic Platform, whose leader (and as of 2007 Prime Minister)
Donald Tusk described it as “the most European party in Poland” (quoted in Sey-
bert 2008: 16).
Thus, the ve parties holding seats in the Sejm during the time of the 2007
survey took varying stances toward membership in the EU per se or toward fur-
ther deepening of integration, as well as had varying perceptions of the degree
of threats posed to Poland’s traditional cultural and moral values coming from
a “secular, liberal” EU (Millard 2007; Szczerbiak 2007a, b). Hence, we would
expect that parliamentarians af liated with different parties, as well as ordinary
citizens who voted for different parties in the 2005 legislative election, would
vary in their intensity of attachment to the nation and especially to the EU and
in the importance they give to the constitutive criteria of national and European
identity. In addition to partisanship, we expect that certain demographic char-
acteristics of individuals at both the elite and mass levels will have an effect on
these dependent variables. For example, there is good reason to think that those
who are better situated to bene t from Poland’s membership in the EU (e.g.,
younger people and the more educated who would make greater use of the oppor-
tunity to travel, study, and work abroad) would feel a stronger attachment to the
EU on instrumental grounds and to place greater stress on the civic component of
identity than their less well situated counterparts. On the other hand, those who
are more religious might feel less attached to the EU because of their perception
that the EU is a “bastion” of secularism (Anderson 2003; Katzenstein 2006) and
be more inclined than the less religious to stress cultural markers of identity as
opposed to civic ones.
We begin by rst examining the relationships between partisan af liation and
national/European identity. We have grouped parties into political families for
both samples. In 2007 there were 5 parties represented in the Sejm (the lower
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
40
house of the Polish legislature): 11 parliamentarians who were af liated with the
Democratic Left Alliance are categorized as belonging to the social democratic
political family; 22 Civic Platform legislators are categorized as constituting the
liberal political family; 24 Law and Justice members of the Sejm are labeled as
conservative; 10 Self Defense and League of Polish Families MPs are placed in
the extreme right political family; and 13 members of the Polish Peasant Party
are in the agrarian category. In the case of the mass public, respondents were
placed in one of the ve political families based upon their reported vote for a
corresponding party in the 2005 parliamentary elections.
Table 6. Mean Values of the National Identity Components by Political Party Family for
Parliamentarians and the General Population1, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
Mean value (in standardized metric)
A. Parliamentarians
Social democrats, N = 11 0.207 0.236 -0.797 -0.037
Liberals, N = 22 -0.031 -0.513 -0.384 -0.311
Conservatives, N = 24 -0.011 0.099 0.359 0.130
Extreme right, N = 10 0.207 0.224 0.657 0.425
Agrarians, N = 11 0.207 0.303 0.503 0.253
F, df = 5, 74 2.911* 1.762 6.663** 1.159
Eta square 0.164 0.106 0.309 0.101
B. General Population
Social democrats, N = 76 -0.293 -0.151 -0.158 -0.107
Liberals, N = 213 -0.480 -0.328 -0.259 -0.077
Conservatives, N = 210 0.082 0.188 0.253 0.257
Extreme right, N = 37 0.435 0.426 0.425 0.252
Agrarians, N = 13 0.499 0.383 0.211 0.225
F, df = 4, 544 14.894** 10.259** 9.987** 3.025*
Eta square 0.099 0.071 0.069 0.022
* p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01
1For the general population, reported vote in the 2005 parliamentary elections was catego-
rized according to political party family.
National and/or European Identity 41
Table 6 presents the mean values of the various dimensions of national iden-
tity by political party family for parliamentarians and the mass public. As ex-
pected, the party to which a legislator belongs is associated to a statistically sig-
ni cant degree with attachment to the nation. Social democratic, agrarian and
extreme right parliamentarians had identical levels of positive affect toward the
nation; in comparison , and quite surprisingly, Civic Platform and Law and Or-
der legislators expressed markedly weaker attachment to Poland. Parliamentar-
ians were much more differentiated according to the party with which they were
af liated when it came to the salience of cultural markers of national identity.
As expected, social democratic and liberal legislators tended to discount them,
while conservative and especially extreme right and agrarian party politicians
gave them considerable weight. Unexpectedly, however, the latter three groups
perceived the civic component as being more important for being a true Pole than
did liberals and social democrats. Generally speaking, the patterns found at the
mass-level paralleled those for parliamentarians. Partisan differences were par-
ticularly pronounced with regard to the intensity of attachment to the nation, even
more so than at the elite level. Partisan groups also varied markedly with regard
to the salience of ascriptive and cultural markers of national identity.
When it comes to affect toward the EU, the results provided in Table 7 are
as expected. Social democratic and liberal party parliamentarians were far more
likely than their conservative and extreme right party colleagues to indicate a
strong attachment to the EU. Partisanship also mattered for which markers of
European identity were viewed as most salient by parliamentarians, but the pat-
terns differed in noticeable ways from those found in Table 6. This is most strik-
ing with regard to the emphasis given to the ascriptive and civic components of
European identity. As one might expect, conservative, extreme right, and agrar-
ian party legislators were far more likely than their liberal counterparts to regard
“place of birth” as being important. Social democratic, liberal and conservative
politicians emphasized the civic component, while for agrarian and the extreme
right legislators these mattered little for “being European.” Indeed, it was this di-
mension of European identity that most distinguished among partisan groups. As
for the salience of cultural markers of European identity, although the emphases
given to them varied as expected by partisan af liation among parliamentarians
(social democrats and liberals giving them little shrift and the extreme right and
to a lesser extent conservatives viewing them as important), differences among
partisan groups did not reach statistical signi cance.
The relationship between partisanship and European identity at the mass level
mirrored to a large extent that at the elite level. Among the mass public, too, dif-
ferentiation among partisan groups was most pronounced regarding the degree
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
42
of attachment to the EU and the salience of the civic component for European
identity. At the same time, the degree of variation among partisan groups in the
mass public was signi cantly less than that at the elite level. This is most likely
due to the fact that for ordinary voters partisanship revolves to a far lesser extent
on issues pertaining to the EU than it does for politicians who deal with such mat-
ters in the course of their legislative decision-making. Moreover, the 2005 par-
liamentary election campaign only infrequently concerned Polish-EU relations
(Szczerbiak 2007a); hence, despite the rather stark differences among the parties
in this regard, these were not particularly salient to the electorate when it came
time to make their voting decision.
Table 7. Mean Values of the European Identity Components by Political Party Family for
Parliamentarians and the General Population1, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
Mean value (in standardized metric)
A. Parliamentarians
Social democrats, N = 11 0.484 0.063 -0.240 0.283
Liberals, N = 22 0.353 -0.504 -0.170 0.222
Conservatives, N = 24 -0.109 0.152 0.087 0.222
Extreme right, N = 10 -0.980 0.291 0.279 -0.944
Agrarians, N = 11 0.089 0.173 -0.029 -0.202
F, df = 5, 74 3.958** 2.087#0.779 4.095**
Eta square 0.211 0.125 0.051 0.221
B. General Population
Social democrats, N = 75 0.141 -0.007 -0.005 0.107
Liberals, N = 214 0.270 -0.063 0.057 -0.077
Conservatives, N = 205 0.037 0.131 0.156 0.257
Extreme right, N = 38 -0.246 0.094 0.003 0.252
Agrarians, N = 13 0.056 0.001 -0.282 0.225
F, df = 4, 544 3.309* 1.072 0.959 3.025*
Eta square 0.024 0.008 0.007 0.022
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01
1For the general population, reported vote in the 2005 parliamentary elections was catego-
rized according to political party family.
National and/or European Identity 43
In Table 8, we present the results of analyses in which we regressed the vari-
ous measures of national identity on placement on the left-right continuum (as
an indicator of political leanings) as well as on selected social and economic
attributes for parliamentarians and the mass public. As can be seen, among par-
liamentarians only left-right positioning has any statistically signi cant effect,
and only with regard to cultural markers of national identity: the more to the right
the legislator, the more she is apt to give weight to cultural attributes of national
identity. None of the demographic characteristics of parliamentarians appears to
have an effect on any of the indicators of national identity.
Table 8. Regression of National Identity Components on Demographics and Left-Right
Scale, for Parliamentarians and the General Population, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
Beta coef cients
A. Parliamentarians
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) -0.058 -0.023 -0.024 0.084
Age (Over 50 = 1, otherwise = 0) 0.183 0.007 0.090 -0.088
Education (at least MA = 1,
otherwise = 0)
0.065 -0.003 0.027 -0.028
Left-right scale (11 points, left =
0, right = 10)
0.055 0.031 0.422** 0.006
R square 0.044 0.002 0.177 0.018
B. General Population
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) -0.059#0.018 -0.037 0.010
Age (Over 50 = 1, otherwise = 0) 0.160** 0.065# 0.063# 0.056
Education (at least MA = 1,
otherwise = 0)
-0.181** -0.204** -0.135** -0.039
Left-right scale (11 points,
left = 0, right = 10)
-0.005 0.055 0.108** 0.183**
Size of locality (scale, rural = 1,
large cities = 5)
-0.042 -0.019 -0.028 0.000
Church attendance (from 0 to 7
for > once a week)
0.098** 0.208** 0.248** 0.091*
R square 0.103 0.123 0.139 0.058
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
44
Among the mass public, ideological predispositions also have an effect with
regard to the relative salience of cultural markers as well as of civic attributes of
national identity. When it comes to the import of demographic characteristics,
however, the results for the mass public are quite different from those at the elite
level. Overall, demographic attributes of ordinary citizens do have effects on our
different measures of national identity. For example, older Poles, those who at-
tend church more frequently, and women tend to express a greater attachment
to the country. Those with advanced degrees are less apt to express such strong
affective ties, and are less likely to emphasize ascriptive and cultural markers of
national identity. Frequency of church attendance has a statistically signi cant
positive effect across the board, not only with regard to attachment to the country,
as noted earlier, but also with regard to the salience of all three criteria of being
a “true” Pole.
Among parliamentarians, both ideological predispositions and demographic
characteristics have more of a statistically signi cant effect on European identity
than they did on national identity. For example, those on the left are more likely
than those on the right to feel a stronger attachment to the EU, and to emphasize
the civic component of European identity and to downplay the cultural com-
ponent. Women also tend to ascribe greater salience to the civic component of
identity than do men. On the other hand, and surprisingly, those with advanced
degrees give less importance to the civic component than did those with less
education.
In contrast with parliamentarians, the ideological leanings of ordinary citi-
zens had no bearing on strength of attachment to the EU. Those on the left were
no different from those on the right. Left-right positioning only had an impact
on emphasis on civic markers of European identity, but in the opposite direction
from that evident at the elite level: those more to the right gave greater emphasis
to such markers than did those on the left. Unlike with national identity, neither
the sex nor age of ordinary citizens mattered with regard to European identity.
Education, too, had less of a generalized impact on European identity than it did
with national identity. Nonetheless, its effects were similar in direction and mag-
nitude with regard to attachment to the EU and the relative salience of ascriptive
markers of European identity. Thus, for both parliamentarians and ordinary citi-
zens, education led to stronger attachment to the EU. In addition, as with national
identity, ordinary citizens’ degree of religiosity had an impact on European iden-
tity, as did size of locality in which they lived. Although, surprisingly, frequency
of church attendance bore no relationship to affect toward the EU (in contrast to
its impact on affect toward the nation), it was positively associated, as expected,
with the salience of both ascriptive and cultural markers of European identity.
National and/or European Identity 45
Urban dwellers, too, and contrary to expectations, were also more likely to stress
ascriptive and cultural characteristics. Con rming expectations, however, they
expressed greater attachment to the EU than did those who resided in smaller,
more rural communities.
Table 9. Regression of European Identity Components on Demographics and Left-Right
Scale, for Parliamentarians and the General Population, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
Beta coef cients
A. Parliamentarians
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) -0.023 0.004 -0.013 -0.299**
Age (Over 50 = 1, otherwise = 0) 0.130 0.024 0.010 -0.026
Education (at least MA = 1, other-
wise = 0) 0.203# -0.017 0.096 -0.231*
Left-right scale (11 points, left = 0,
right = 10) -0.282** 0.085 0.190# -0.288**
R square 0.168 0.008 0.062 0.166
B. General Population
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) 0.054 -0.008 -0.024 -0.037
Age (Over 50 = 1, otherwise = 0) 0.045 0.060 0.011 -0.024
Education (at least MA = 1, other-
wise = 0) 0.134** -0.091* -0.043 -0.036
Left-right scale (11 points, left = 0,
right = 10) -0.008 0.030 0.044 0.114**
Size of locality (scale, rural = 1,
large cities = 5) 0.094* 0.070# 0.130** 0.049
Church attendance (from 0 to 7 for >
once a week) -0.038 0.168** 0.092* 0.008
R square 0.042 0.052 0.027 0.017
# p < 0.10 ** p < 0.01
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
46
National and European Identity and Attitudes toward
the European Union
To this point, we have focused on the dimensions of national and European iden-
tity, the interrelationships among them, and their political and demographic cor-
relates. We turn now to the linkages between identity and orientations toward
the EU itself. Much of the concern with the development of a widely shared
European identity rests on the assumption that such an identity, above and be-
yond instrumental reasons, would serve to enhance the legitimacy of the EU and
lend support to further economic, social and cultural integration. Do our data
provide evidence for the validity of this assumption? Is a strong sense of Euro-
pean identity associated with support for the deepening of the EU and for EU
policies and decision-making? Is a strong sense of national identity associated
with less favorable stances toward the EU? We have selected three items from
the survey to include in our analyses. The rst concerns the deepening of the EU
and asks respondents to assess whether EU “uni cation has already gone too far”
or “should be strengthened.” The second pertains to whether Poland has “on bal-
ance bene ted or not from being a member of the European Union.” The third
asks about the degree to which decision-making at the EU level is responsive to
national interests. Table 10 presents the correlations between these three items
and our various indicators of national identity. In general, for both elites and the
mass public, national identity tends to be only weakly related to stances toward
the EU. Nonetheless, the patterns differ markedly between the two groups. For
parliamentarians, attachment to the country bears no relation to attitudes toward
EU integration. With one exception, only the relative salience of cultural mark-
ers of national identity is consistently associated with the latter: parliamentarians
who give greater weight to cultural attributes tend to be less positive toward the
EU than those who regard cultural attributes as being of lesser signi cance for
Polish identity. Among the mass public, however, the strength of attachment to
the nation is negatively associated with favorable views toward the EU across
the board – with respect to its deepening, the bene ts derived from membership,
and the EU’s responsiveness to national interests. This accords with our earlier
nding that at the mass level (but not at the elite level) attachment to the nation
is negatively correlated with attachment to the EU. Surprisingly, however, and
unlike for parliamentarians, among ordinary Poles the cultural component is un-
related to stances toward EU integration.
National and/or European Identity 47
Table 10. Correlations Between National Identity Components and Support for European
Union Integration, for Parliamentarians and the General Population
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
A. Parliamentarians
Uni cation should be strength-
ened a
0.002 -0.127 -0.253* 0.040
Country bene ted from EU b -0.091 -0.194# -0.221* -0.120
EU takes interest of Poland
into account c
0.103 -0.160 -0.295** -0.083
B. General Population
Uni cation should be
strengthened a
-0.076* -0.086* 0.054 -0.037
Country bene ted from EU b -0.139** -0.049 0.011 0.057#
EU takes interest of Poland
into account c
-0.084** -0.058 -0.017 0.048
a Respondent’s assessment of EU on the ten point scale from “uni cation has gone al-
ready too far” (0) to “uni cation should be strengthened” (10).
b “Taking everything into consideration, would you say that Poland has on balance ben-
e ted or not from being a member of the European Union?” Recoded: bene ted = 1,
otherwise = 0.
c “Those who make decisions at the EU level do not take enough account of the interests
of Poland at stake.” Recoded: from “strongly agree” = 1 to “strongly disagree” = 5, with
“neither agree nor disagree” = 3.
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 for two tail test.
As one might expect, the more attached parliamentarians feel to the EU the
more likely they are to favor the strengthening of the EU and to agree that mem-
bership has bene ted Poland. The correlations are moderately strong. As the data
in Table 11 further show, an emphasis on the civic component of European iden-
tity is also positively related to these two stances toward the EU. In contrast, the
salience of cultural markers of EU identity is moderately associated with op-
position to the strengthening of the EU. Lastly, parliamentarians who think that
ascriptive traits are constitutive of European identity were somewhat more likely
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
48
than those who place less weight on such traits to believe that the EU is unre-
sponsive to national interests. Among the mass public, the relationships between
attachment to the EU and the three attitudes toward integration parallel those
among parliamentarians, although the correlations are rather weak. At the mass
level, ascribed traits also bear a negative relationship to support for deepening
of the Union, while an emphasis on the civic component is positively associated
with the view that overall Poland has bene ted from membership. For ordinary
citizens, unlike for parliamentarians, cultural markers of European identity are
unrelated to stances toward the EU.
Table 11. Correlations Between European Identity Components for Parliamentarians and
the General Population, Poland 2007
General
attachment
Ascribed
traits
Cultural
facets
Civic
components
A. Parliamentarians
Uni cation should be
strengthened a
0.498** -0.090 -0.259* 0.254*
Country bene ted from EU b 0.435** -0.162 0.014 0.238*
EU takes interest of Poland
into account c
0.156 -0.201#-0.127 0.140
B. General Population
Uni cation should be
strengthened a
0.125** -0.068* 0.031 0.018
Country bene ted from EU b 0.240** 0.019 0.044 0.084*
EU takes interest of Poland
into account c
0.082* 0.029 0.016 0.032
a Respondent’s assessment of EU on the ten point scale from “uni cation has gone al-
ready too far” (0) to “uni cation should be strengthened” (10)
b “Taking everything into consideration, would you say that Poland has on balance ben-
e ted or not from being a member of the European Union?” Recoded: bene ted = 1,
otherwise = 0.
c “Those who make decisions at the EU level do not take enough account of the interests
of Poland at stake.” Recoded: from “strongly agree” = 1 to “strongly disagree” = 5, with
“neither agree nor disagree” = 3.
# p < 0.10 * p < 0.05 ** p < 0.01 for two tail test.
National and/or European Identity 49
Polish Parliamentarians and the Mass Public in Comparative
Perspective
Our last analyses place Poland in comparative perspective, and consider where
Polish parliamentarians and ordinary Poles stand in relation to their counterparts
in other member states of the European Union.1 We focus on a select set of cor-
relations: between attachment to the nation and to the European Union, and be-
tween these two items, on one hand, and attitudes toward further integration,
bene ts of membership, and responsiveness to the national interest, on the other.
Given space limitations, we brie y discuss our ndings rather than present them
in tabular form. In general, parliamentarians and the mass public in Poland do
not stand out from their counterparts in other EU member states. As Table 5 in-
dicated, among Polish parliamentarians the correlation between the affective di-
mensions of national and European identity was positive and moderately strong
(0.358). This correlation is among the highest for parliamentarians included in
the survey and is only surpassed by those for Germany (0.401), Spain (0.439)
and Lithuania (0.462), the latter two countries, like Poland, relative late comers
to the Union. The compatibility at the elite level between national and European
identity, however, was not evidenced in all new or relatively new member states.
The correlations between the two variables were weakly negative in the Czech
Republic (-0.113), Hungary (-0.113), and Portugal (-0.008), all three of which
were at the lowest end of the range of correlations. Ordinary Poles also do not
differ substantially from their counterparts in other member states. For the mass
publics of other EU countries, just like for Poles, the stronger the attachment to
one’s own country the weaker the attachment to the European Union. As Table
5 showed, the relationship between the two for the general public in Poland is
-0.286. This correlation is somewhat above the mean correlation (-0.296) for the
whole set of mass publics included in our analysis. The most negative correlation
was -0.474 (France) and the least negative was -0.143 (Hungary). Indeed, it was
the mass publics of “old Europe” for whom attachment to their own country and
attachment to the EU are most incompatible.
With only a few exceptions, the intensity of attachment to the nation and atti-
tudes toward EU integration tend to be unrelated among parliamentarians of other
member states, as was the case in Poland. Polish parliamentarians, too, are like
their counterparts with regard to the moderately positive relationship between
strength of attachment to the EU and stances toward the Union.
The Polish public is also like the general population of other member states
regarding the relationship between affect toward the nation and stances toward
integration. For all countries included in the analysis, the correlations are consist-
Goldie Shabad and Kazimierz M. Słomczyński
50
ently negative (albeit weak): that is to say, the more one feels attached to the na-
tion the less inclined one is to support further deepening of the Union, to perceive
that one’s country has bene ted from membership, and to think that the EU is
responsive to national interests. Similarly, the Polish public is also like the gen-
eral population of other member states regarding the relationships between affect
toward the EU and stances toward integration. In this instance, all relationships
are positive (but also relatively weak). Like the Poles, the more the Belgians,
Danes, Germans, Spanish, French, Hungarians, Slovaks, etc. feel attached to the
EU, the more supportive they are of further integration and convinced of the ben-
e ts of membership.
Discussion
We began this chapter with two questions. First, does the well functioning of a
broadened and deepened European Union and the democratic legitimacy of its
institutions depend upon the development of a shared European identity among
the populations of its member states? Second, is a shared sense of belonging and
attachment to the EU compatible with a distinct national identity or does it de-
pend on the weakening of ties to the nation?
Our ndings strongly suggest that the answer to the rst question is yes.
Polish political elites as well as the mass public who feel attached to the EU
are supportive of further EU integration, believe that Poland has bene ted from
membership and think that EU institutions are responsive to national interests.
Polish parliamentarians and the mass public resemble their counterparts in other
EU member states in this regard, and indeed the relationships tend to be stronger
in this new member state than in many older ones. Partisanship matters of course
for attachment to the EU among both parliamentarians and voters in Poland in
ways that are similar for the two. It was only among those who were af liated
with the extreme right who felt strong antipathy to the EU.
The answer to the second question as to whether a European and a national
identity are compatible or mutually exclusive is that it depends. For Polish parlia-
mentarians, as well as for political elites in other member states, a European and
a national identity go together: the more intense the attachment to the nation, the
more intense the attachment to the EU. For ordinary citizens in Poland and else-
where, however, the opposite is the case. Attachment to the nation and attachment
to the EU are not complementary, although the relationship is only moderately
negative. One might think that the mutuality of a national and European identity
among the mass public is a matter of time, that is, as ordinary citizens come to
see the material bene ts of belonging to the Union and interact more with others
National and/or European Identity 51
in the EU through travel, study and work, attachment to the Union will grow even
as attachment to the nation remains strong. However, the fact that attachment to
the nation and attachment to the EU are negatively related among the publics in
longstanding member states (and in many cases, more strongly so than in newer
member states) should give one pause that the mutuality of identities is an inevi-
table outcome of inclusion. Rather, “intervention” may be called for to persuade
the mass publics that diffuse support for the nation and for the EU is not a “zero-
sum” game. Political elites can take a more active part in serving as role models
to the public for the mutuality of the two identities. The EU itself, by grappling
effectively with the democratic de cit of its decision-making processes, can also
demonstrate that it is a set of institutions worthy of diffuse support by the pub-
lic. The fact that for both parliamentarians and the general public what we have
called the civic marker of European identity is positively related to attachment to
the EU lends support to this idea that democratic citizenship may be a key com-
ponent of overcoming the duality of identities.2
This leads us to make a nal point with regard to the broader issues of national
and European identities. Both are multi-dimensional phenomena, and cannot be
adequately captured methodologically by focusing solely on the affective com-
ponent, as important as it might be. A sense of group belonging, whether to the
nation or to a larger community, can be based on distinct constitutive elements,
as we have demonstrated. Each of these is related to the affective component in
different ways and has different implications for stances toward the EU. In par-
ticular, our ndings suggest that it is important to distinguish between the civic
and cultural markers of identity and to explore further the implications of each for
support for the broadening and deepening of the European Union.
Notes
1
The countries included in our comparative analysis are Austria, Belgium, Bul-
garia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary,
Italy, Lithuania, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
2 For different conceptualization of identities, see chapter by Marquart-Pyatt.
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Appendix
Table A. Factor Analysis of the Cultural Component of National Identity for Parliamen-
tarians and the General Population
Items Factor
loadings
Score
Coef cients
A. Parliamentarians a
How important is to be Christian? 0.709 0.460
How important is to share cultural Polish traditions? 0.761 0.494
How important is to feel Polish? 0.443 0.287
How important is to master the language (Polish)? 0.513 0.333
B. General population b
How important is to be Christian? 0.603 0.302
How important is to share cultural Polish traditions? 0.748 0.376
How important is to feel Polish? 0.737 0.370
How important is to master the language (Polish)? 0.725 0.364
a Eigenvalue = 1.542, % of variance = 38.5
b Eigenvalue = 1.992, % of variance = 49.8
National and/or European Identity 55
Table B. Factor Analysis of the Cultural Component of European Identity for Parliamen-
tarians and the General Population
Items Factor
loadings
Score
Coef cients
A. Parliamentarians a
How important is to be Christian? 0.508 0.357
How important is to share European traditions? 0.621 0.437
How important is to feel European? 0.546 0.384
How important is to master a European language? 0.693 0.487
B. General population b
How important is to be Christian? 0.406 0.224
How important is to share European traditions? 0.785 0.434
How important is to feel European? 0.765 0.423
How important is to master a European language? 0.666 0.368
a Eigenvalue = 1.421, % of variance = 35.5
b Eigenvalue = 1.809, % of variance = 45.2
Justyna Nyćkowiak
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers In uence Their
Attitudes Toward the European Union?
A Comparison of the 2007 and 2009 Data
Introduction
As a result of the post-communist transformation in Poland the fundamental tenets
of the political regime—including the system of political representation—under-
went a decisive change (Bożyk 2006: 17–27; Czarny, Naleziński 2009: 21–24).
Today the system is founded on three basic principles: (1) the selection of individ-
uals to positions of formal authority exclusively by election; (2) assessment of the
performance of elected representatives through free discussion—without the issu-
ing of instructions for representatives to follow; and (3) submission of representa-
tives elected to positions of formal authority to periodic veri cations through the
mechanism of elections (Przeworski, Stokes, and Manin 1999: 3; see also Sarnecki
1999; Grajewski 2006). In the parliament, political representatives are elected for
a speci c term, after which they can be reelected. Elected representatives are ex-
pected to serve in the parliament for a term of four years under conditions created
by the preferences of their constituency (Żukowski 2004: 70–71). This provides
the basis for spheres of in uence and the appearances of a parliamentary major-
ity that is able to form a government, and a parliamentary minority, which is the
opposition. This division determines the chances of success in the next elections
(Bożyk 2005).
The system of political representation built upon the stated principles provides
a framework for political competition. The latter occurs in a situation of unequal
shares in various resources that are likely to facilitate electoral success. Resource
inequalities may cancel each other. A low resource level in one sphere is usually
compensated by an ample supply in another. The best-equipped and -informed par-
Justyna Nyćkowiak
58
liamentary candidates estimate how to modify their actions in order to maximize
their chances of electoral victory (Przeworski 1991: 11–13).
Each parliamentary election after 1989 limited the number of possible sce-
narios for achieving political careers and at the same time provided interested
politicians with a higher level of tactical know-how. The better versed one was
in the rules governing the paths to political careers in Poland the better one’s
chances of choosing the right path. In 1985–2007 (eight terms of the Sejm [the
Polish parliament] and seven terms of the Senate) over 800 individuals extended
their parliamentary status to at least two terms. This demonstrates that the body of
parliamentary politicians includes people with the political know-how and ability
to maximize their electoral chances.
The broadened set of possible political careers, which now involves activi-
ties related to the European Union, compels politicians to consider new options
and to make informed choices about committing either to a career on the na-
tional level or to an opposite personal goal of a career on the European level.
Furthermore, whatever the politicians’ personal decisions about their own career
pathways, they all need to demonstrate clear attitudes toward the functioning of
the European Union. Presenting a clear vision of the European Union is closely
related to a politician’s electoral chances in both the national and European elec-
tion markets (Skotnicka-Illasiewicz 1995: 81–83). The aim of this chapter is to
answer the question of whether the pathways of politicians’ professional careers
in uence their opinions concerning the possible reshaping of the European Union
within the next decade.
Theoretical background and hypotheses
In the classical de nition, an occupational career is a time-based sequence of
jobs over an individual’s lifetime (Arthur, Hall, and Lawrence 1989: 8). Moreo-
ver, an occupation involves the performance of work by an adult individual, usu-
ally in exchange for remuneration (Slocum 1966: 4–5). Thus, an occupational
career is an ordered sequence of jobs involving the performance of increasingly
complex occupational roles over a nite time (cf. Slomczynski 2007).
The notion of occupational career involves the existence of clear and rela-
tively formalized rules that provide a framework for its consecutive stages. These
careers are possible provided there are speci c pathways for developing them,
and these pathways are all strictly related to the organizational structure. The lat-
ter must contain hierarchies of occupational positions, in which each consecutive
position requires more occupational skills and experience than the preceding one
(Slocum 1966: 6).
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 59
In looking for an adequate theoretical perspective that allows for a systematic
description of political careers while also providing some practical directives, one
can reach a new institutional analysis based on previous utilitarianism and rational
choice theory (Beyme 2005: 120–132; Norris 2004: 8). In this understanding, the
institution is a set of rules that organizes the life of individuals: their rationality
and the stability of their preferences do not have to satisfy the steep requirements
of rational choice theory, especially in the version applied in economics (Arrow
1951; Black 1958; Downs 1957). The role of the institution consists therefore in
limiting, and as a consequence, providing, a framework within which individuals
may proceed in satisfying needs dependent on their hierarchy of values. This role
also stems from individuals’ natural need to minimize the costs of their actions
(North 1990: 383). The institution thus optimizes the actions of individuals by
forcing them to do the best work possible (Elster 1990: 21).
Application of the new institutional analysis to studying pathways of oc-
cupational careers reveals the active role of politicians in institutional transfor-
mation. They are the ones who decide which of the possible pathways of career
development to choose. Their decisions are based on deliberate calculations.
Considering the possible options for political careers, they assess which one
best ts their main preferences and abilities. The decision to enter a pathway
toward a political career is not a minor one. It requires considerable time for
initial preparations and building capital and on the next steps in an evolving
career. Some level of sophistication and political know-how is necessary for one
to be capable of transforming this capital into a viable engine for developing a
political career.
A political career brings a variety of attractive bene ts, which leads some to
treat it as a permanent occupation with speci c rewards. However, a considera-
tion in choosing this way of life is that it can mean one’s long-term abandon-
ment of the labor market. Therefore, the longer the political career lasts, the
smaller one’s chances of returning to the labor market. In the case of profes-
sional politicians, the existing options may be very costly. This contributes to
politicians’assessment of the potential minimal and maximal costs they may in-
cur (cf. Mach 1998: 21–23).
The above-described perspective is applied to specifying the relationship be-
tween events occurring in the course of political careers and politicians’ opinions
concerning the European Union. First and foremost, we focus on which changes
in the internal policies of the European Union the politicians perceive as desirable
or undesirable.
Here we assume that the course of a political career in uences the formation
of politicians’ opinions concerning desired changes in the European Union over
Justyna Nyćkowiak
60
the next decade. According to the assumptions of the neoinstitutional model one
should expect a considerable impact of certain characteristics of individual politi-
cal careers on opinions regarding the functioning of the European Union (EU). It
seems likely that reaching for increasingly higher political positions would relate
positively to politicians’ expressing favorable opinions about changes in current
EU internal policies. Attaining these positions should depend on politicians’ com-
petence and experience in political activity as well as on their pre-parliamentarian
experience. Therefore one may assume that the more thorough one’s political
experience is, the better one’s understanding of mechanisms shaping EU internal
policies and their consequences.
Following these assumptions I test four hypotheses concerning support for
changes in the European Union that should help to consolidate its internal poli-
cies over the next decade. I assume this support is stimulated by:
H1: a politician’s university education
H2: experience in the work of local or regional legislatures
H3: experience in holding managerial positions in central administration
H4: membership in the ruling political party.
I also test another hypothesis:
H5: pre-parliamentarian political experience contributes to supporting the
changes under discussion in the European Union.
Data and methodology
The data used in the analysis presented in this chapter come from two waves of
IntUne devoted to studying the behavior of members of the Polish parliament’s
political elite. The 2007 sample consisted of 80 politicians, the 2009 sample—85.
The interview questions regarding political careers allowed the construction of
the following variables:
1. Education (E)
a. University level (including PhD)
b. University degree eld (law or business)
2. Political positions before parliamentary election (PP)
a. Local/regional legislature
b. Local/regional executive
c. Top governmental position
3. Party status (PS)
a. Belonging to a governmental party
b. Frontbencher
4. Tenure (T)
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 61
a. Beginner, elected once
b. Elected twice or more
All variables are binary, with 1 denoting the occurrence of the event speci ed,
and 0—the lack of such occurrence.
Using the dichotomous variables we constructed some additional variables
characterizing politicians’ pre-parliamentarian experience:
1. Position on the regional or local level—city/town councilors or members
of provincial/regional assembly, mayors, city executives or members of provin-
cial/regional executive level prior to being elected to the parliament. Having one
position = 1, having two or more positions = 2; otherwise = 0.
2. Business/managerial experience. Managers, supervisors, or entrepreneurs
prior to being elected to the parliament = 1; otherwise = 0.
Variables concerning opinions of members of the political elite with respect
to the expected changes in the European Union were assessed on the basis of the
following questionnaire items:
1. Do you approve or disapprove of a uni ed tax system for Europe.
2. Do you approve or disapprove of a common system of social security.
3. Do you approve or disapprove of a single foreign policy.
4. Do you approve or disapprove of more help for regions with dif culties.
Answers to these questions mirroring the degree of support for changes in EU
policies were recoded to: strongly in favor—5, somewhat in favor—4, neither in
favor nor against—3, somewhat against—2, strongly against—1.
Parliamentarians’ Careers
The level of education and area of concentration provide the best characterization
of how well prepared politicians at various organizational levels are for their pro-
fessional activities. Respondents in the 2007 and 2009 waves of the study reveal a
high proportion of people with university level education—70% in the rst wave
and more than 94% in the second. In both waves the proportion of those educated
in either law or business is about 30%. One can therefore expect respondents to
have not only a broad general education but also competence on questions con-
cerning regulations related to EU policies.
Another important characteristic re ecting a political career is the political
position before parliamentary election (PP) (the fact of holding a position in lo-
cal or regional self-government or governmental administration before obtaining
the mandate of a parliamentarian) (see Table 1). In some situations, a politician
was elected to the parliament only after going through all levels of local/regional
self-government and governmental administration. However, such a lengthy po-
Justyna Nyćkowiak
62
litical itinerary is not necessary and quite often does not take place. The pathway
to the parliament may therefore consist of all steps of a classical political career,
of only a few such steps, or of none of them. The latter occurs in the case of peo-
ple who built up their political capital in an area other than politics. In the 2007
sample, 70% of the respondents declared having formerly held positions in the
local/regional legislature, while in the 2009 sample—the gure was less than
60%. The next step of a political career—being a local/regional executive—was
acknowledged by 30% of respondents from the 2007 sample and almost 50%
of those approached in 2009. Finally, attaining the highest level—a top govern-
mental position—was declared by 15% of respondents in 2007 and by twice as
many—in 2009.
Table 1. Education, Political Position Before Parliamentary Election, Party Status, and
Tenure of Polish Parliamentarians, 2007 and 2009
Variables Year
2007 2009
Education (E)
University level (including PhD), % 76.3 94.1
University degree eld (law or business), % 30.0 28.2
Political position before parliamentary election (PP)
Local/regional legislature, % 70.0 58.8
Local/regional executive, % 30.0 48.2
Top governmental position, % 15.0 31.8
Party status (PS)
Belonging to governmental party, % 50.0 51.8
Frontbencher, % 40.0 21.2
Tenure (T)
Beginner, elected once, % 65.0 39.0
Elected twice or more, % 35.0 61.0
Half of the respondents in both samples were associated with political parties
that belonged at the time to ruling coalitions. As much as 40% of the 2007 sample
and over 20% in 2009 assessed their positions in the category of frontbenchers
(party status, PS). Two-thirds of the politicians approached in 2007 had held their
parliamentary positions for no longer than two terms (tenure, T) while in 2009,
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 63
the proportion was less than 40%. A longer parliamentary tenure was declared by
35% of respondents in 2007 and by more than 60% in 2009.
In 2007 over 70% of newcomers to the parliament declared they had for-
merly held positions in the local or regional legislature, and over 30%—in local
or regional executive positions, while less than 8% had top governmental posi-
tions. This distribution changed considerably in 2009 as the relevant proportions
amounted to slightly less than 55% at the lowest level, over 45% at the middle
level, and over 18% at the top level—more than twice what the respondents had
declared only two years earlier.
Among respondents holding parliamentary positions for longer than one
term, the proportion of those who declared having held positions in the local or
regional legislature decreases, amounting to slightly over 60%. One-fourth of the
2007 group declared they formerly held positions in local or regional executive
levels while twice as many did so in 2009. It is particularly noteworthy that less
than 30% of this category in 2007 declared that they formerly held top govern-
mental positions while the relevant proportion in 2009 increased to over 40%.
We may therefore suppose there must be a quite large group of people who either
started their political careers at the beginning of the 1990s or did not have the
opportunity, or perhaps the need, to go through all of the early stages of a typical
political career.
To assess the strength of impact of certain choices made throughout a politi-
cal career on achieving electoral success, one can analyze the distribution of the
characteristics under discussion depending on whether a given respondent was or
was not a member of a governmental party.
In 2007 the extent of having a university education differentiated the rul-
ing coalition and the opposition; the relevant proportions were about 62% in the
former group and 90% in the latter. In 2009 more than 90% in both groups had a
university diploma. Interestingly, in the 2007 sample for each of the characteris-
tics of political positions held before parliamentary election (PP), the parliamen-
tary opposition had higher percentages. In 2009 the situation was reversed to the
advantage of the ruling party.
It is noteworthy that in the 2007 sample only 2.5% of the members of gov-
ernmental parties held a top governmental position in their pre-parliamentarian
past; in the case of opposition parties this proportion amounted to 27.5%. These
numbers reveal that the members of the governing coalition on average had less
political experience than the members of the opposition. Although they managed
to climb to the highest position this situation did not last long, not only because
of a lack of adequate and substantial knowledge and experience but also because
of insuf cient political support, which tends to be built on consecutive steps of a
Justyna Nyćkowiak
64
Table 2. Correlations of Career Characteristics of Parliamentarians, Poland 2007 and 2009
University level
(including PhD)
University degree eld
(law or business)
Local/regional
legislature
Local/regional
executive
Top governmental
position
Frontbencher
Belonging to
governmental party
2007
University degree
eld 0.301**
Local/regional
legislature 0.019 0.012
Local/regional
executive –0.019 –0.071 0.429**
Top governmental
position 0.070 0.107 –0.183 0.031
Frontbencher 0.156 0.189 –0.078 0.022 0.443**
Belonging to
governmental party –0.323** 0.000 –0.055 –0.164 –0.350** –0.153
MP tenure –0.022 –0.023 –0.092 –0.080 0.279* 0.524** –0.052
2009
University degree
eld 0.046
Local/regional
legislature –0.006 0.047
Local/regional
executive 0.041 –0.030 0.138
Top governmental
position 0.063 0.077 –0.302** –0.203
Frontbencher 0.059 0.082 0.149 0.131 –0.353**
Belonging to
governmental party 0.007 0.123 –0.210 –0.155 0.017 0.039
MP tenure –0.097 0.071 0.069 0.044 0.232* –0.189 0.177
*p < 0.05; **p < 0.01.
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 65
political career. This also changed in the 2009 sample in which almost 16% of the
members of governmental parties held top governmental positions in the past.
Assessing the chances of reaching top positions, in this case locating oneself
in a governmental party, the 2009 respondents mentioned the de nitely stimu-
lating impact of having a university education and the experience of holding a
top governmental position. And in both the 2007 and 2009 waves of the study
a longer parliamentary tenure exerted a similar impact. The most differentiating
factor between the careers of parliamentarians of left-wing and right-wing orien-
tations was whether they had the experience of holding a top governmental posi-
tion. In 2007 almost 42% of respondents belonging to left-wing parties vs. only
8% of those belonging to right-wing parties declared having had such experience.
However, in 2009 the situation entirely changed. Almost 52% of respondents
belonging to right-wing parties and only 18.5% of those belonging to left-wing
parties made this declaration.
As one might expect, some of the characteristics presented here are inter-
related, which indicates more effective or less effective pathways of political ca-
reers (see Table 2).
In both waves of the study the best strategy seems to be having had earlier
experience in a top governmental position and being a frontbencher in the parlia-
ment at the time of the study (0.443). Also signi cant is having belonged in the
past to a local or regional legislature because for some respondents this fact stim-
ulated the experience of working at the local or regional executive level (0.429)
but decreased the chance of attaining a top governmental position (-0.301). By all
means, being a frontbencher was the most effective reinforcement of the parlia-
mentarian’s position on the political scene (0.524).
Parliamentarians’ careers and attitudes toward the European Union
The scale of support for changes in the European Union leading to the consolida-
tion of its internal policies over the next ten years was constructed on the basis
of ndings obtained through factor analysis, which reveal a strong connection
among the politicians’ answers to questions concerning opinions included in the
model (see Tables 3 and 4).
For the ndings obtained in the 2007 wave of the study, the share of explained
variance was 55.4% while in 2009 it was 52.5%. In both waves the average an-
swers to particular questions providing values above 3 with a standard deviation
greater than 1 reveal that the majority of respondents selected values expressing
partial or even strong support for changes within the European Union. Consider-
ing this background the question concerning more help for regions with dif cul-
Justyna Nyćkowiak
66
ties seems to call for particular attention, even more so because of the standard
deviation oscillating about 0.6 and therefore indicating a consensus of the re-
spondents’ opinions about the usefulness of this change.
Table 3. Distribution Characteristics and Factor Loadings for Indicators of Support for
Pro-EU Policies, 2007
IndicatorsaMean Standard
deviation
Factor
loadingb
Approving or disapproving a uni ed tax system
for Europe
3.07 1.51 0.848
Approve or disapproving a common system of
social security
3.38 1.53 0.861
Approve or disapproving a single foreign policy 3.89 1.35 0.683
Approving or disapproving more help for regions
with dif culties
4.58 0.66 0.537
aAnswer scale: strongly in favor—5, somewhat in favor—4, somewhat against—2,
strongly against—1, neither in favor nor against—3.
b Eigenvalue = 2.216, % of variance = 55.4.
Table 4. Distribution Characteristics and Factor Loadings for Indicators of Support for
Pro-EU Policies, 2009
IndicatorsaMean Standard
deviation
Factor
loadingb
Approving or disapproving a uni ed tax system
for Europe
3.10 1.48 0.809
Approve or disapproving a common system of
social security
3.38 1.36 0.879
Approve or disapproving a single foreign policy 4.21 1.05 0.737
Approving or disapproving more help for regions
with dif culties
4.07 0.59 0.358
aAnswer scale: strongly in favor—5, somewhat in favor—4, somewhat against—2,
strongly against—1, neither in favor nor against—3.
bEigenvalue = 2.099, % of variance = 52.5.
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 67
In both waves of the study the strongest relationship was between answers to
questions concerning the uni ed tax system for Europe and the common system
of social security. Answers to questions about a single foreign policy and more
help for regions in dif cult situations were decisively positive and accepting of
the suggested change in the European Union.
Analysis of the correlations of individual characteristics of political careers
and the scale of support for changes in the European Union over the next ten
years indicates the existence of such a relationship in the case of having held a
top governmental position and having had experience in the activities of a local
or regional legislature. However, it is interesting that the results did not show a re-
lationship between parliamentarian tenure and opinions concerning EU changes.
The analysis enabled the construction of the following variables characterizing
politicians’ pre-parliamentarian experience, which were used in the regression
analysis: position at the regional or local level, position in government, and also
business/managerial experience (see Table 5).
Table 5. Correlations of Career Characteristics of Parliamentarians with Support for pro-
EU Policies Scale, Poland 2007 and 2009
Variables Support for pro-EU Policies Scale
2007 2009
Level of education –0.125 0.053
University degree eld –0.010 –0.147
Local/regional legislature 0.035 0.156
Local/regional executive 0.061 0.052
Top governmental position 0.001 –0.307*
Frontbencher –0.086 0.192
Belonging to governmental party –0.141 –0.160
MP tenure –0.032 –.129
* p < 0.01
Table 6 shows the results of a regression analysis (scale of support for chang-
es in the EU) on characteristics of political careers of Polish parliamentarians for
2007.
Justyna Nyćkowiak
68
Table 6. Regression of Support for Pro-EU Policies on Career Characteristics of Parlia-
mentarians, Controlling for Gender and Age, Poland, 2007
Independent variables Independent variable: Scale of support
for pro-EU policiesa
B SE Beta
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) –0.243 0.300 –0.093
Age (in years) 0.022 0.012 0.218
Business/managerial experienceb 0.523 0.278 0.215
Position at regional or local levelc 0.079 0.148 0.062
Position in governmentd0.036 0.315 0.013
Constant –1.042 0.609
R2 (adjusted) = 0.093
aFor scale, see Table 3.
bThose who were managers, supervisors, or entrepreneurs prior to being elected to the
parliament.
cThose who were city/town councilors or members of provincial/regional assembly, may-
ors, city executives, or members of a provincial/regional executive level prior to being
elected to the parliament. Having one position = 1, having two or more positions = 2;
otherwise = 0.
dThose who occupied an important positions in the government prior to being elected to
the parliament.
The analysis was carried out controlling for gender and age. The latter turned
out to substantially affect opinions concerning changes in the EU. The older the
parliamentarian the more decisive his/her opinion with respect to changes in the
European Union. Still, having a business exerted a signi cant effect on the parlia-
mentarians’ support for changes in the EU, even controlling for gender and age.
Business or managerial experience increased declarations of support for changes
in the EU while experience in holding top governmental positions before becom-
ing a parliamentarian did not have this effect. Having legislative experience at
the local or regional level prior to joining the parliament had a much smaller than
expected impact on respondents’ opinions concerning EU policies.
A similar analysis for the data obtained in 2009 shows no signi cant relation-
ship between pre-parliamentarian experience and expressed support for expect-
ed transformations in the European Union in the next decade. Experience with
holding a top governmental position diminished support for changes in the EU.
Do Parliamentarians’ Careers Influence Their Attitudes 69
However, we observe a positive impact of age, owning a business, and having
managerial experience on such support (see Table 7).
Table 7. Regression of Support for Pro-EU Policies on Career Characteristics of Parlia-
mentarians, Controlling for Gender and Age, Poland, 2009
Independent variables Independent variable: Scale of support for pro-
EU policiesa
B SE Beta
Gender (male = 1, female = 0) 0.191 0.275 0.075
Age (in years) –0.004 0.011 –0.035
Business/managerial experience 0.199 0.249 0.084
Position on regional or local level –0.016 0.154 –0.019
Position in government –0.636 0.249 –0.298
Constant 7.543 22.427
R2 (adjusted) = 0.110.
aFor scale, see Table 5.
Taking this into account, Hypothesis 1, concerning a positive impact of the
politician’s university education on voicing supportive opinions about changes
in the EU, was con rmed only in the rst (2007) wave of the study. Hypothesis
2, assuming the positive conditioning of answers to opinions concerning the EU
based on experience in the local or regional legislature, was partially con rmed,
but the impact of this variable was weaker than assumed. In line with Hypothesis
3, past experience in holding a top governmental position decreased declarations
of support for changes in the EU. Hypothesis 4, which stated that belonging to
a governmental political party enhanced positive declarations about expected
changes in the EU, was not con rmed. To sum up:
Hypothesis H1 was con rmed only for the 2007 wave;
Hypothesis H2 was partially con rmed for both the 2007 and 2009 waves;
Hypothesis H3 was rejected; and
Hypothesis H4 was rejected.
In addition, Hypothesis H5, declaring that pre-parliamentarian political expe-
rience positively affects the approval of changes in the EU, was con rmed only
for the 2007 wave of the study.
Justyna Nyćkowiak
70
Conclusions
The analytical scheme presented in this chapter was used to test hypotheses that
explain formative processes in politicians’ opinions concerning possible changes
in the EU over the next ten years. As expected, some characteristics of individual
political careers in uenced these politicians’ opinions on the functioning of the Eu-
ropean Union. The analysis revealed that having owned a pre-parliamentarian busi-
ness or had managerial experience increases opinions that approve changes in the
internal policies of the European Union while having held a top governmental posi-
tion before parliamentary election weakens support for these changes. This support
also relates to having a university education and experience in working in the local
or regional legislature. One may therefore conclude that the broader the political
pre-parliamentarian experience the greater the politician’s support for mechanisms
aimed at consolidating the internal policies of the European Union. However, expe-
rience in top governmental positions decreased the chances for support of changes
in the EU. In addition, contrary to research expectations, the fact of belonging to
a governmental political party did not signi cantly in uence the likelihood of the
politician’s support for introducing new mechanisms in EU governance.
The last hypothesis, assuming that pre-parliamentarian political experience
enhances the politician’s considered declarations concerning the direction of pos-
sible changes in the EU during the next ten years, was partially con rmed. This
means that such experience in uences attitudes toward EU transformation and
makes them more coherent. However, these attitudes are affected even more by
parliamentarian experience, which is strictly related to the fact of belonging or
not belonging to a speci c political party.
In sum, individual characteristics of political careers have an impact on the
formative process of politicians’ attitudes and opinions toward EU policies. How-
ever, the ndings presented in this chapter demonstrate that current parliamen-
tarian activity exerts a stronger impact on this process than political experience
gathered before the politicians’ election to the parliament. Experience gained
during consecutive steps of political careers enhances the coherence of opinions
voiced by politicians.
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Katarzyna Walentynowicz-Moryl
Aspirations for a Career in the European Union:
On the Effects of Personal Experience and
Professional Contacts Abroad
Introduction
Like other social groups in 1989, the Polish political elite was confronted with
the need to rede ne its position in a truly altered social reality. New sociopolitical
conditions “forced all parliamentarians to seek a new sense in performing their
roles, precisely because of the speci cs of time and location” (Post 1995: 201).
Society’s expectations of political actors were formed during the broad process
of adapting to a new democracy. A lack of clear speci cation of how politicians
should perform their roles caused them to try to learn and experiment, acting by
trial and error while already on the job “whatever their level of preparation for
holding positions of power and engaging in politics” (Post 2001: 99). The subse-
quent parliamentary elections revealed how much society appreciated the effort
extended by the political elite.
In the period 1989 to 2004, those serving as members of parliament or senators
well knew the requirements associated with holding these positions. However, in
2004, when Poland joined the European Union, the Polish political elite was faced
with new challenges as well as opportunities. In particular, new membership in
the European Union opened opportunities for people to seek ranking positions in
its institutional structures. Do members of the Polish political elite plan to transfer
their occupational careers to the European level? Will they deliberately design
their occupational future or is “the process of shaping the political elite, in general,
spontaneous” (Raciborski 2006: 5)?
In stable democratic structures “the pathways of political careers . . . are es-
tablished and known to potential candidates and others aspiring to gain a share in
Katarzyna Walentynowicz-Moryl
74
political power” (Wesołowski 1992: 48; for a general de nition of carrers, see
Słomczyński 2007). Members of the Polish political elite must continue to learn
how to gain positions in EU structures. Parliamentarians’ aspirations to transfer
their careers to the Union level should be matched by clear plans of action to
achieve their goals. In a statistical sense, what determines such career develop-
ment?
Research problems and questions
What proportion of Polish parliamentarians plan to transfer their political careers
to the EU level? Does this proportion depend on the year of the survey? Assess-
ing the frequency of positive declarations in consecutive years makes it possible
to nd the variables determining those plans. In this chapter I intend to analyze
the relationship between aspirations of the Polish political elite to transfer their
political careers to the European level (dependent variable Y) and four other vari-
ables: education (E), knowledge of foreign languages (L), personal experience
abroad (S), and professional contacts abroad (P) (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. Assumed Relationships Among the Variables Analyzed
E—education, L—knowledge of foreign languages, S—personal experience abroad,
P—professional contacts abroad, Y—aspiration for a career in the European Union.
Assuming that working knowledge of a foreign language facilitates contacts
with partners abroad, we can formulate the hypothesis that the greater the number
of foreign languages known by a parliamentarian the greater the probability that
he or she will consider a political career at the EU level. In attempting to veri-
Aspirations for a Career in the European Union 75
fy this hypothesis, it is reasonable to analyze which variables might affect the
number of foreign languages known by parliamentarian respondents. I assume
that a higher level of education and personal experience abroad are among these
variables.
The next research problem concerns whether there is a relationship between
parliamentarians’ aspiring to a political career on the EU level and their having
personal experience abroad. One may hypothesize that the experience of having
lived or studied abroad makes politicians more eager to consider transferring
their careers to the Union level.
Establishing and maintaining contacts with various political actors seem to
be important in future career planning. Therefore, it is essential to determine
whether there is a relationship between the respondents’ seeking and establishing
of contacts with political parties and organizations af liated with the European
Union and their aspirations for a political career within its structures. Maintain-
ing professional contacts abroad, such as having personal experience in living or
studying in another European country, should enhance politicians’ aspirations to
transfer their political career to the EU level.
Figure 1 presents a general model of the relationship among the analyzed
variables. Here I focus on the most important relations in order to verify the hy-
potheses stated above and to determine whether the impact of speci c variables
remained similar for 2007 and 2009.
Variables applied
In this chapter, data on parliamentarians from the IntUne 2007 and 2009 are used.
I analyze the following ve variables:
1. Intentions of members of the Polish political elite who participated in the
survey with respect to a possible transfer of their parliamentary careers to the EU
level—a dummy variable Y (yes = 1, no = 0), treated in most of the analyses as a
dependent variable.