How Much Do Croatian Citizens Know About EU Institutions and Law and What Are Their Attitudes Towards Them? Importance of Empirical Research for Legal Theory
KNOWLEDGE OF AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL LAW IN THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA, pp. 85-108, Ivan Šimonović, ed., University of Zagreb, 2012
13 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2012 Last revised: 25 Jun 2012
Date Written: February 10, 2012
Conducted empirical research has revealed the average level of knowledge of Croatian citizens about EU institutions. Results show that Croatian citizens on average hold a neutral attitude towards EU institutions. Furthermore, the results of the questionnaire on expectations concerning EU institutions and European law reveal that expectations of Croatian citizens are on average mildly above average.
An analysis of the interrelationship between the level of self-evaluated knowledgeableness (subjective knowledge) of citizens about the European law and EU institutions, on the one hand, and their attitude towards EU institutions, on the other, displays a correlation between the self-evaluated level of knowledgeableness and attitude, such that the citizens' higher level of self-evaluated level of knowledgeableness is linked with a more positive attitude. This conclusion confirms the basic hypothesis of this research, according to which better "knowledge" of the European law and EU institutions in the Republic of Croatia is correlated with the Croatian citizens' positive attitude towards EU institutions.
The secondary hypothesis of this research has also been proven right, namely that there is a positive correlation between the level of self-evaluated knowledgeableness about the European law and EU institutions, on the one hand, and the level of expectations from the European law and EU institutions, on the other, as well as a positive correlation between the attitude towards EU institutions, on the one hand, and expectations from the European law and EU institutions, on the other.
As regards the possibility of using empirical research in constructing the general theory of law, the data obtained on the basis of this research point to the potential of empirical research to serve as a signpost for establishing the limits of the concept of law but the question as to its ability to fully replace the legal theorists' intuitive views as the usual instrument of methodology in legal theory remains open. In doing so, the importance of the so-called internal point of view and legal consciousness as the starting points for developing analytical theory of law is highlighted.
Note: Downloadable document is in Croatian.
Keywords: knowledge, attitude, expectations, European law, legal theory, legal consciousness
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