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The economic drivers of public support for the european union : an empirical analysis on survey data

Abstract : The present dissertation uses recent data to identify continuities and ruptures in the perception of the European Union held by European citizens. We especially question the extent to which economic drivers shape public support for the European Union. New data sources are used to carry out the empirical analysis in our study. The dependant variables in each chapters are designed to identify precise aspects o public support. From a theoretical perspective, our findings confirm that regardless of the dependent variable and the method used, a sizeable majority of EU citizens are supportive of the EU, while the other half of the European population appears as uncertain. This broa cleavage is explained to a large extend by socioeconomic determinants. Highly skilled respondents with high incomes display more pro­EU attitudes in each of the dimensions of public support considered in the empirical analysis. Alongside this result, which is already well­known in the literature, the present dissertation emphasizes several limitations to the explanatory power of economic variables. ln the first chapter, we show that, to distinguish between individuals hostile to the idea of European integration and those who are only uncertain (or ambivalent), the domestic political offer should be taken into account. Chapter two highlights the fact that economic variables do not explain affective support i.e. diffuse support, stable over time which is crucial to the legitimacy of European institutions and to ensure the continuity of the EU. Finally, in the last chapter, it appears that the theoretical frameworks applied to former member states cannot be applied to new member states.
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Kristel Jacquier. The economic drivers of public support for the european union : an empirical analysis on survey data. Economics and Finance. Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PA01E029⟩. ⟨tel-01773067⟩

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