Calculation, community and cues: public opinion on European integration

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Series Details Vol.6, No.4, December 2005, p419-443
Publication Date December 2005
ISSN 1465-1165
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This article summarizes and extends the main lines of theorizing on public opinion on European integration. We test theories of economic calculus and communal identity in a multi-level analysis of Eurobarometer data. Both economic calculus and communal identity are influential, but the latter is stronger than the former. We theorize how the political consequences of identity are contested and shaped - that is to say, politically cued - in national contexts. The more national elites are divided, the more citizens are cued to oppose European integration, and this effect is particularly pronounced among citizens who see themselves as exclusively national. A model that synthesizes economic, identity, and cue theory explains around one-quarter of variation at the individual level and the bulk of variation at the national and party levels.

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