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Politicizing Europe: Patterns of party-based opposition to European integration
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

European integration was for a long time perceived as an elite-driven project that received public acceptance through what was coined as the permissive consensus. With the expansion of the domain of community actions and capacities, and the turmoil in the ratification processes following changes of the treaties, an increased public contestation over European integration can be observed. European integration now covers policy areas that are more prone to political debate and polarization. The weak public support for the EU has not been matched by electoral support for Eurosceptic parties. Hence, this mismatch increases the political opportunity structures for political entrepreneurs wishing to profit from the public dissent regarding the integration process.

This study focuses on the conditions under which European integration is politicized, where politicization refers more specifically to party-politicization. Political parties that oppose the EU and their electoral fortunes are used as a proxy for the politicization of European integration. It is a comparative study over time (1984-2009) and space (14 member states) which assesses the conditional power of a number of enabling and constraining institutional factors that influence the variation in number of Eurosceptic parties, success of those parties, and the success of single-issue Eurosceptic parties over time and space. The analysis demonstrates the importance of the party system features and the use of referendum over European integration for the emergence of party-based Euroscepticism. It also places special emphasis on the combination of factors and their impact on the outcome. The study relates the findings to the democratic credentials of the European Union, with special reference to the role of opposition and representation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Political Science, Stockholm University , 2013. , 289 p.
Stockholm studies in politics, ISSN 0346-6620 ; 151
Keyword [en]
European Union, political parties, Euroscepticism, opposition, party system, Europeanization, politicization, representation, referendum
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Political Science
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88732ISBN: 978-91-7447-666-8OAI: diva2:614179
Public defence
2013-05-17, hörsal 9, hus D, Universitetsvägen 10 D, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2013-04-25 Created: 2013-03-26 Last updated: 2013-06-17Bibliographically approved

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von Sydow, Göran
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