Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > It's Still Not the Economy Stupid!: An Examination of Political Party Support for European Integration

Since the early 1990s, there has undoubtedly been an increase in euroskepticism, both among national political parties and among the general public. The literature has identified two general causes---concerns over national identity and utilitarian cost/benefit analyses. Originally, utilitarian concerns were thought to be the primary motivator, but research post-Maastricht introduced the idea that citizens' national identity may also be a driver. Recent research has concluded that, indeed, both are strong predictors of euroskepticism. But which offers more insight into the motivations behind euroskepticism? And in a broader sense, how does the issue of "Europe" relate to the more well-established cleavages along with political parties compete? Drawing on data from the 2010 Chapel Hill Expert Survey and utilizing OLS regression, I attempt to answer these questions. Overall, I find that national identity concerns---rather than socioeconomic concerns---are the more potent predictor of euroskeptic tendencies. But more importantly, I demonstrate that competition over European integration has been largely integrated into the broader cultural and economic cleavages that define domestic political competition.