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All spending is not equal: European Union public spending, policy feedback and citizens’ support for the EU
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History.
2017 (English)In: European Journal of Political Research, ISSN 0304-4130, E-ISSN 1475-6765Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

While public support is central to the problem-solving capacity of the European Union (EU), we know little about when and why the EU can increase its citizens’ support through spending. Extensive research finds that citizens living in countries that are net beneficiaries of the EU budget are more supportive of the EU, assuming that citizens care equally about all forms of spending. We argue, however, that the amount of spending is only part of the story. Understanding the effects of spending on support requires a consideration of how transfers are spent. Drawing on policy feedback theories in comparative politics, we argue that support for the EU is a function of the fit between EU spending and regional need targeted by spending. Results from a statistical analysis of EU spending on human capital, infrastructure, agriculture, energy, and environmental protection in 126 EU regions over the period 2001- 2011 corroborate our argument. As the EU and other international organizations become increasingly publicly contested, the organizations themselves may increasingly try to shore up public support through spending, but they will only be successful under specific conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017.
Keyword [en]
European Structural and Investment Funds, legitimacy, policy feedback, public spending, public supportli
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
Research subject
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-145065DOI: 10.1111/1475-6765.12215OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-145065DiVA: diva2:1120291
Projects
Elite communication and the social legitimacy of international organizations
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-00948
Available from: 2017-07-05 Created: 2017-07-05 Last updated: 2017-08-04

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Dellmuth, Lisa M.
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