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Have your cake and eat it, too? Switzerland and the feasibility of differentiated integration after Brexit


Malet, Giorgio; Walter, Stefanie (2024). Have your cake and eat it, too? Switzerland and the feasibility of differentiated integration after Brexit. West European Politics, 47(5):1150-1179.

Abstract

A key Eurosceptic argument is that countries can selectively retain only those aspects of European integration from which they benefit, while opting out of those aspects they dislike. How convincing is this “have your cake and eat it, too” argument to voters? This article argues that voters can learn about the feasibility of such a strategy by looking at the experience of countries that pursued a similar path. Positive experiences can strengthen voters’ support for a similar strategy, while negative experiences can deter them. This argument is tested in a study of the effects of the Brexit negotiations on public opinion in Switzerland. Drawing on a panel survey fielded between 2019 and 2021, the article shows that Brexit had a small but non-negligible impact on Swiss voters’ expectations about the EU’s resolve, as well as on vote intentions on two EU-related policy proposals. These findings confirm that voters learn from foreign political developments about the costs of non-cooperation.

Abstract

A key Eurosceptic argument is that countries can selectively retain only those aspects of European integration from which they benefit, while opting out of those aspects they dislike. How convincing is this “have your cake and eat it, too” argument to voters? This article argues that voters can learn about the feasibility of such a strategy by looking at the experience of countries that pursued a similar path. Positive experiences can strengthen voters’ support for a similar strategy, while negative experiences can deter them. This argument is tested in a study of the effects of the Brexit negotiations on public opinion in Switzerland. Drawing on a panel survey fielded between 2019 and 2021, the article shows that Brexit had a small but non-negligible impact on Swiss voters’ expectations about the EU’s resolve, as well as on vote intentions on two EU-related policy proposals. These findings confirm that voters learn from foreign political developments about the costs of non-cooperation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Political Science and International Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords:Brexit, differentiated integration, Euroscepticim, public opinion, Switzerland
Language:English
Date:28 July 2024
Deposited On:22 Aug 2023 13:18
Last Modified:10 Apr 2024 01:22
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:0140-2382
OA Status:Hybrid
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/01402382.2023.2192083
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)