Exposure to European Union Policies and Support for Membership in the Candidate Countries

By Elgün, Özlem; Tillman, Erik R. | Political Research Quarterly, September 2007 | Go to article overview

Exposure to European Union Policies and Support for Membership in the Candidate Countries


Elgün, Özlem, Tillman, Erik R., Political Research Quarterly


This article examines the relative merits of competing explanations of public support for European Union membership in thirteen Central and Eastern European candidate countries. While noneconomic factors-attitudes toward domestic politics and feelings of social identity-have a consistently strong effect, the impact of human capital is contingent on exposure to the distributive consequences of European integration. The results of an ordered logit analysis of Candidate Country Eurobarometer data are consistent with these predictions. These results suggest a revision of theories of EU support to account for the role of exposure to the consequences of integration in shaping utilitarian judgments.

Keywords: European integration; Central and Eastern Europe; public opinion; support for European Union membership

What explains mass support for European integration1 in the candidate countries? While scholars have begun to examine the determinants of support for European Union membership among the populations of postcommunist candidate countries (Cichowski 2000; Ehin 2001; Tucker, Pacek, and Berinsky 2002; Tverdova and Anderson 2004; Cristin 2005), our understanding has been limited by the theoretical, temporal, and geographical coverage of previous analyses. As a result, we are still uncertain whether and to what extent the same factors proposed to explain support in West Europe (e.g., Gabel 1998; Anderson 1998; McLaren 2002; Carey 2002) can help us to understand the dynamics of public opinion in Eastern Europe.

In this article, we examine the determinants of citizen support for EU membership in thirteen candidate countries in 20022 and consider the impact of three potential sources of support: personal economic benefit (human capital), domestic political attitudes, and social identity. We test hypotheses relating each of these factors to support for EU membership using data from the September-October 2002 wave of the Candidate Countries Eurobarometer (European Commission 2002).

This study's research design improves upon those of previous works on the East European candidate countries in two ways. First, the expanded geographical, temporal, and theoretical scope of our analysis allows for a more complete test. The thirteen countries in our sample extend the geographical coverage beyond that of previous studies and include Cyprus, Malta, and Turkey-states that do not share the postcommunist legacy of the other candidate countries. Doing so allows us to examine support for EU membership across populations with different political and cultural legacies. In addition, the timing of the survey data allows us to examine public support at a point when the accession negotiations were sufficiently advanced to be a salient issue within the candidate countries, improving upon previous analyses of data collected in the mid-1990s. Finally, the survey data include measures that tap into three leading theories of EU support, making it possible to assess the relative merits of each for understanding citizen attitudes in the candidate countries.

We propose a modified version of the human capital argument that better accounts for the dynamics of the accession process and the formation of citizen attitudes. In doing so, this article takes a logical step forward in the study of mass EU support. The major theories in this literature have been developed and tested on West European respondents, leaving open questions about their applicability to other populations. Previous studies (e.g., Cichowski 2000; Ehin 2001; Tucker, Pacek, and Berinsky 2002) have similarly considered the need for adapting theories developed in West Europe to the political-economic conditions in Eastern Europe. We believe that our modified version of the human capital argument provides a better theoretical account of the dynamics of citizen support for EU membership. Thus, this article builds upon both the theorizing and the research design of previous studies of Eastern Europe.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Exposure to European Union Policies and Support for Membership in the Candidate Countries
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.