This book provides a broad overview of the main trends in mass attitudes towards domestic politics and European integration from the 1970s until today. Particularly in the last two decades, the "end of the permissive consensus" around European integration has forced analysts to place public opinion at the centre of their concerns. The book faces this challenge head on, and the overview it provides goes well beyond the most commonly used indicators. On the one hand,it shows how integration's deepening and enlargement involved polities and societies whose fundamental traits in terms of political culture - regime support, political engagement, ideological polarization - have remained anything but static or homogeneous. On the other hand, it addressessystematically what Scharpf (1999) has long identified as the main sources of the democratic deficits of the EU: the lack of a sense of collective identity, the lack of a Europe-wide structure for political accountability, and the lack of recognition of the EU as a legitimate political authority. In other words, it focuses on the fundamental dimensions of how Europeans relate to the EU: identity (the sense of an "European political community"; representation (the perception that European elitesand institutions articulate citizens' interests and are responsive to them); and policy scope (the legitimacy awarded to the EU as a proper locus of policy-making). It does so by employing a cohesive theoretical framework derived from the entire IntUne project, survey and macro-social dataencompassing all EU member countries, and state-of-the-art methods. The IntUne series is edited by Maurizio Cotta and Pierangelo IserniaIn a moment in which the EU is facing an important number of social, economic, political and cultural challenges, and its legitimacy and democratic capacities are increasingly questioned, it seems particularly important to address the issue of if and how EU citizenship is taking shape. This series intends to address this complex issue. It reports the main results of a quadrennial Europe-wide research project, financed under the 6th Framework Programme of the EU. That programme has studied thechanges in the scope, nature and characteristics of citizenship presently underway as a result of the process of deepening and enlargement of the European Union. The INTUNE Project - Integrated and United: A Quest for Citizenship in an Ever Closer Europe - is one of the most recent and ambitious research attempts to empirically study how citizenship is changing in Europe. The Project lasted four years (2005-2009) and it involved 30 of the most distinguished European universities and research centres, with more than 100 senior and junior scholars as well as several dozen graduate students working on it. It had as its main focus an examination of howintegration and decentralization processes, at both the national and European level, are affecting three major dimensions of citizenship: identity, representation, and scope of governance. It looked, in particular, at the relationships between political, social and economic elites, the general public,policy experts and the media, whose interactions nurture the dynamics of collective political identity, political legitimacy, representation, and standards of performance. In order to address empirically these issues, the INTUNE Project carried out two waves of mass and political, social and economic elite surveys in 18 countries, in 2007 and 2009; in-depth interviews with experts in five policy areas; extensive media analysis in four countries; and a documentary analysis of attitudes toward European integration, identity and citizenship. The book series presents and discusses in a coherent way the results coming out of this extensive set of new data.
- Publication Date:
- 26 / 07 / 2012