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Disentangling the ‘awaking giant’: Political actors’ positions in the public debate on European integration in Western Europe


Hoeglinger, D (2010). Disentangling the ‘awaking giant’: Political actors’ positions in the public debate on European integration in Western Europe. In: Annual meeting of the Swiss Political Science Association, University of Geneva, 7 January 2010 - 8 January 2010.

Abstract

Since the beginning of the 1990s, European integration has become an increasingly contested issue among political actors, and the long standing „permissive consensus“ has eroded and given way to a new „constraining dissensus“ (Hooghe and Marks 2006). Recent literature in this field suggests that political conflict about European integration is not only a matter of “how much Europe?”, but also (and even more importantly) about the content and the adequate trajectory of the integration process, about the question of “which Europe?”. Consequently, this paper sets out to disentangle the multi-faceted issue of European integration by not only looking at political actors’ position on European integration in general, but at their positions vis-à-vis the various modes of the integration process: a social vs. a neoliberal Europe, further deepening, and enlargement.
The paper assesses several rivaling hypotheses about the structure of these European integration orientations: An ideological model postulating that European integration orientations are structured primarily along the traditional basic lines of (domestic) political conflict; a geopolitical model, which assumes that country-specific cultural and socio-economic context conditions are crucial explanatory factors; and a model suggesting that government-opposition dynamics are decisive.
For the empirical analysis, the paper relies on original data from a large-scale quantitative media content analysis of six Western European countries (Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria) for the years 2004-06. Contrary to existing studies, this data allows to study positions and salience in very much detail, and not only those of political parties, but of all relevant actors participating in the public debate.

Since the beginning of the 1990s, European integration has become an increasingly contested issue among political actors, and the long standing „permissive consensus“ has eroded and given way to a new „constraining dissensus“ (Hooghe and Marks 2006). Recent literature in this field suggests that political conflict about European integration is not only a matter of “how much Europe?”, but also (and even more importantly) about the content and the adequate trajectory of the integration process, about the question of “which Europe?”. Consequently, this paper sets out to disentangle the multi-faceted issue of European integration by not only looking at political actors’ position on European integration in general, but at their positions vis-à-vis the various modes of the integration process: a social vs. a neoliberal Europe, further deepening, and enlargement.
The paper assesses several rivaling hypotheses about the structure of these European integration orientations: An ideological model postulating that European integration orientations are structured primarily along the traditional basic lines of (domestic) political conflict; a geopolitical model, which assumes that country-specific cultural and socio-economic context conditions are crucial explanatory factors; and a model suggesting that government-opposition dynamics are decisive.
For the empirical analysis, the paper relies on original data from a large-scale quantitative media content analysis of six Western European countries (Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Austria) for the years 2004-06. Contrary to existing studies, this data allows to study positions and salience in very much detail, and not only those of political parties, but of all relevant actors participating in the public debate.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Event End Date:8 January 2010
Deposited On:01 Feb 2010 14:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 13:50
Related URLs:http://www.assh.ch/fr/sagw
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-28902

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