Against Europe? Untangling the Links between Ideology and Euroscepticism!

Marco Lisi, Emmanouil Tsatsanis

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The paper examines the relationship between Euroscepticism and ideology in Western European countries and focuses on how this relationship is mediated by party system characteristics and partisanship. Additionally, we explore some distinctive national patterns in the relationship between Euroscepticism and ideology by focusing on four South European countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece), which despite their similar historical and social trajectories, as well as common experiences during the euro crisis in relation to the other Western European nations, they deviate in different ways from the European-wide pattern of interaction between ideology and Euroscepticism. Using data from the European Election Study of 2014 and the Chapel Hill Expert Survey, we show that the relationship between ideology and Euroscepticism can be heavily influenced by characteristics at the level of the party system, such as degree of party system polarization and the levels of supply of left-wing and right-wing Euroscepticism, as well as individual party legacies that can filter the ideology-Euroscepticism relationship through the influence of partisanship. Our findings highlight the importance of parties and party leadership in the future development of Euroscepticism within European polities as evidenced by the distinct national trajectories of Euroscepticism. Political entrepreneurs have the power to directly or indirectly politicize the issue of Europe and to help determine the overall level of Euroscepticism within a specific polity by providing cues to the electorate and mainly to their core partisans.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2017
Event2017 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting: The Quest for Legitimacy: Actors, Audiences, and Aspirations - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 31 Aug 20173 Sep 2017
Conference number: 113


Conference2017 American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
Abbreviated title2017 APSA Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco
Internet address


  • euroscepticism
  • euro crisis
  • ideology
  • polarization
  • Southern Europe


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