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SPP 487

Author: Christopher J. Anderson and Jason D Hecht
Description: To establish whether and how public opinion matters for the European integration process, we need to know what the public says about Europe. Yet, despite a proliferation of analyses of public support for European integration, fundamental questions remain about what Europeans think about integration. First, are there separable dimensions of support for Europe or is there one underlying preference for and against integration? Second, have public preferences for Europe become more structured as integration has evolved and the EU political system has grown in size, scope, and complexity? Third what exactly is the nature of the long-term trajectory of public support for integration? To answer these questions, we construct an original dataset of all publicly available public opinion data since the genesis of the integration project in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Our findings suggest attitudes toward Europe reflect one underlying dimension and it is stable over time. We discuss the implications of our findings for scholarship on public opinion and European integration.

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Postal Address:    CSPP Publications, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, G1 1XQ, UK

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CSPP School of Government & Public Policy U. of Strathclyde Glasgow G1 1XQ Scotland