Regional identity and support for integration: an EU-wide comparison of parochialists, inclusive regionalist, and pseudo-exclusivists

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Series Details Volume 19, Number 4, Pages 639-662
Publication Date December 2018
ISSN 1465-1165 (print) | 1741-2757 (online)
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The rise of “new regionalism” is one of the most salient features of the post-Cold War international order. Despite the resurgence of regionalism in Europe, little consensus exists on how regional identity impacts public opinion toward the European Union.

To remedy this problem, this study examines the impact of three types of individual-level regional identity on support for integration: parochialism (exclusive regionalism), inclusive regionalism, and pseudo-exclusive regionalism.

Contrary to scholarly expectations, the multilevel analysis reveals that inclusive regionalists are as equally Eurosceptic as parochial regionalists. In general, regional identity depresses support for integration unless it is expressly combined with a supranational identity. This finding holds true even in minority nations, where respondents are, on the whole, less Euro-friendly.

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