Integration as Representation: Connecting Public Opinion and Party Positions on Europe Since 1952
Christopher J. Anderson
Cornell University - Department of Government
Jason D. Hecht
APSA 2011 Annual Meeting Paper
While a substantial literature has investigated the determinants of public support for European integration, little is known about whether these preferences actually matter for representational and political outcomes related to European integration. We address this question by examining the relationship between public support for the EU among member state publics and the positions political parties take on the issue of European integration. To conduct our analysis we utilize an original dataset of public opinion data since 1952 in seven current member states, and combine it with information about parties’ positions from the Comparative Manifesto Project. We find that parties’ attention to European integration as an issue has increased since the early 1950s. Moreover, our analyses reveal that public support for the EU consistently predicts the positions represented in national party systems on the issue of European integration, even prior to the growth of the European Union. These findings suggest that political parties have consistently represented Europeans’ preferences about Europe in the domestic electoral arena.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 38
Keywords: Public opinion, European Integration, European Union, Representation, Comparative Manifestos Project
JEL Classification: F15, H1working papers series
Date posted: August 1, 2011 ; Last revised: August 14, 2011
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