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Who supports metropolitan reform? Citizens’ attitudes in four West European countries


Strebel, Michael A (2018). Who supports metropolitan reform? Citizens’ attitudes in four West European countries. In: European Urban Research Association. Annual Conference, Tilburg, 21 June 2018 - 23 June 2018.

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze public opinion on political integration reforms in metropolitan areas, i.e. citizens’ attitudes towards the unification of local jurisdictions in city-regions. I make three distinct contributions. First, for the explanation of these attitudes, I apply theories on public opinion towards political integration in the international realm to the metropolitan context. Based in these theories, I distinguish utilitarian, ideational, and cognitive motivations to support or oppose metropolitan reforms. Second, I propose a new measure for citizens’ orientations towards metropolitan reforms, consisting of attitudes towards inter-municipal taxbase sharing, consolidation, inter-municipal cooperation, and the introduction of a metropolitan government. Third, I analyze data from a unique population-based online-survey administered on 5,000 respondents from eight metropolitan areas in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in 2015. The empirical analysis suggests that support for metropolitan integration is contingent on sociopsychological rather than utilitarian considerations. Respondents identifying predominantly with their municipality and supporters of right-wing populist parties are skeptical of metropolitan reforms. Moreover, citizens who are more exposed to metropolitan issues hold more favorable opinions towards metropolitan reforms and they extrapolate their support for metropolitan reforms from their trust in local government. By contrast, economic self-interest and pocketbook issues are not associated with metropolitan integration support. These findings indicate that attitudes towards political integration hinge on similar factors - irrespective of the territorial scale at which the integration processes take place.

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze public opinion on political integration reforms in metropolitan areas, i.e. citizens’ attitudes towards the unification of local jurisdictions in city-regions. I make three distinct contributions. First, for the explanation of these attitudes, I apply theories on public opinion towards political integration in the international realm to the metropolitan context. Based in these theories, I distinguish utilitarian, ideational, and cognitive motivations to support or oppose metropolitan reforms. Second, I propose a new measure for citizens’ orientations towards metropolitan reforms, consisting of attitudes towards inter-municipal taxbase sharing, consolidation, inter-municipal cooperation, and the introduction of a metropolitan government. Third, I analyze data from a unique population-based online-survey administered on 5,000 respondents from eight metropolitan areas in France, Germany, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom in 2015. The empirical analysis suggests that support for metropolitan integration is contingent on sociopsychological rather than utilitarian considerations. Respondents identifying predominantly with their municipality and supporters of right-wing populist parties are skeptical of metropolitan reforms. Moreover, citizens who are more exposed to metropolitan issues hold more favorable opinions towards metropolitan reforms and they extrapolate their support for metropolitan reforms from their trust in local government. By contrast, economic self-interest and pocketbook issues are not associated with metropolitan integration support. These findings indicate that attitudes towards political integration hinge on similar factors - irrespective of the territorial scale at which the integration processes take place.

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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:23 June 2018
Deposited On:28 Jun 2018 13:55
Last Modified:24 Sep 2019 23:31
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:http://eura.org/conference-2018-tilburg/#sthash.3nv9PkYq.dpbs

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