European Integration: Winners and Losers across a New Political Divide Público

Issa, Isabella (Spring 2018)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/x346d417f?locale=es
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Abstract

This thesis examines a recent and growing wave of euroskeptic, populist political parties in Western Europe, and an accompanied weakening of mainstream political parties. In the study of party politics, scholars have widely observed that economic shocks provide circumstances under which mainstream and/or incumbent parties are easily punished by voters. However, there is reason to believe that the 2008 financial crisis perhaps ignited a wider process of partisan dealignment, in which voters have become increasingly weary of mainstream and pro- integrationist politics as time has passed. The empirical findings from this study indicate that, in the post-2008 period, parties with strong pro-EU or pro-Integrationist rhetoric are more likely to lose vote share from one election to the next, relative to other parties. A party’s anti-EU or anti- integrationist rhetoric offers no predictive value in change in vote share in the post-2008 period. Such findings imply that such a political shift is not rooted in inherent dislike of integration or a wish to reverse it, but in a growing skepticism of globalism and globalist politics.

Table of Contents

I. Introduction..........................................................................................................................1

A Word on Populism...............................................................................................4

Populism and Political Extremism...........................................................................6

Left Populism and Right Populism..........................................................................6

i. Figure 1: Left-Right/EU Preference Horseshoe...........................................8

A Word on Euroskepticism and European Integration............................................9

A Word On the Politics of TINA.............................................................................9

Winners and Losers of Globalization....................................................................10

Cleavages in Europe..............................................................................................11

The Case of SYRIZA.............................................................................................11

The Case of the French National Front..................................................................14

II. LiteratureReview...............................................................................................................15

Economic Voting...................................................................................................15

De-alignment, Realignment Theory.......................................................................16

Mainstream Parties as Catch All Parties................................................................17

III. Theory................................................................................................................................18

a. A Word on Globalization versus Integration.........................................................19

IV. Hypotheses.........................................................................................................................22

V. Data and Methods..............................................................................................................24

A Word on Case Selection.....................................................................................25

A Word on National Electoral Systems and Institutions.......................................26

Dependent Variable: Electoral Performance.........................................................26

Independent Variable: Party Position Toward the EU...........................................27

Control Variables...................................................................................................33

VI. Results................................................................................................................................35

VII. Discussion........................................................................................................................42

VIII. Conclusions and Implications.........................................................................................43

VIII. References.......................................................................................................................46

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