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Euroscepticism and government accountability in the European Union

Authors
  • Schneider, Christina J.
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Review of International Organizations
Publisher
Springer US
Publication Date
May 22, 2019
Volume
14
Issue
2
Pages
217–238
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s11558-019-09358-w
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

The European Union has become a contested issue amongst voters in Europe. I analyze how the increasingly salient attitudes toward European integration have affected how voters hold their governments accountable for their policy decisions at the EU-level. I argue that attitudes toward the EU have become an important source of electoral accountability that complement attitudes on the left-right dimension, but they matter differently for pro- and anti-European voters. Whereas Eurosceptic voters are likely to use their attitudes toward the EU to hold their governments accountable, pro-European voters tend to rely on their specific attitudes toward particular policies to assess the responsiveness of their politicians. The paper presents the results of a conjoint experiment in a survey of 2,540 German citizens to analyze how pro- and anti-European voters’ attitudes influence their assessment of typical signals of government responsiveness.

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