The Politics of Southern Europe: Integration into the European Union

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This book analyses core—periphery relations to highlight the growing cleavage, and potential conflict, between the core and peripheral member states of the Union in the face of the devastating consequences of the Eurozone crisis. This text will be of key interest to students and scholars of European Union studies, European integration, political economy, public policy and comparative politics. Magone, Brigid Laffan and Christian Schweiger -- Core-periphery dynamics in the euro area : from conflict to cleavage?

Magone was published by Routledge in This second volume complements the first one; however, it focuses less on the Eurozone and more on core-periphery relations and the implications for European integration. In other words, the well-known inverted U-curve has not become steeper during the crisis. Instead, serving MPs do not differ so much from the traditional pro-European stance, even when they belong to the opposition.

Nor have these serving party officials been impacted by the crisis in the sense of consistently shifting to more Eurosceptic positions.

Ignored rules

During these turbulent years, they collectively still appear to consider the EU a valuable and necessary authority. Our findings indicate that with respect to the opposition, MPs have diverged more from the official party stance, making the government-opposition polarization visible only at the level of public discourse and electoral competition, not in the operation of party elected officials. National MPs appear more optimistic about Europe and more harmonized with the current EU trajectory than their respective parties often lead one to believe.

Finally, with regard to the control variables included in our analysis, neither economic or time indicators nor vote share seem to influence party attitudes toward the EU in systematic and consistent ways see the Online Appendix. In this article, we have dealt with positions on European integration among southern European parties. This has happened most evidently in what concerns government-opposition dynamics and less so with regard to ideological radicalism, since while radical and extreme parties have adopted a higher degree of Euroscepticism so have several mainstream parties.

At the theoretical level, our findings are consistent with arguments suggesting that the incentives of radical and extreme parties to become more Eurosceptic are more powerful than their rather weak constraints. A more nuanced picture than elsewhere Rohrschneider and Whitefield, is supported by the findings on mainstream parties, which have also become more Eurosceptic in certain respects. However, parties appear to compete on the EU more than MPs who exhibit, instead, more consensual behavior.

The permissive consensus thesis is vindicated during the crisis as well, but only in what concerns institutional and not broadly partisan actors. However, if the crisis has not changed elite consensus but only the public stances of parties, this is something that could actually increase tensions in the party system by facilitating the rise of anti-establishment parties that mobilize against the lack of credibility of this cartel.

Despite the severity of its impact in the southern part of the Eurozone, the crisis—as both an objective and constructed phenomenon—does not appear to pose a real threat to the consensus on the EU among party elites serving in public office, which remains almost as strong as before. In light of our analysis, therefore, a so far unconsidered but plausible consequence of the crisis may concern a mounting tension inside political parties, between a leadership that is more sensitive to popular pressures and keen on interparty demarcation and public office holders that reiterate the traditional elite consensus on Europe.

This phenomenon can cause reduced intraparty coherence and a disconnection between the popular mandate of parties and their representation of popular stances, a fact that can negatively add to the democratic deficit of the EU. Two steps appear natural if one is to follow in the theoretical and empirical directions of this article.

The Origins of the Euro Crisis

First, our insights about the differential relations between European integration and the distinct faces of parties would benefit if the analyses included also the party on the ground—that is, party members. For this purpose, specifically tailored surveys would be needed, with the potential to capture also sublevel differences among different sections of the party on the ground e. Second, the scope can be expanded to the whole of Europe or different parts of Europe.

Yet, it would seem unlikely that parliamentary elites have become more polarized and competitive on the EU in less or no crisis-ridden environments. Indeed, in the critical case of southern Europe, where the levels of the politicization of European integration increased significantly in the electoral arena, the impact of the crisis has been minor on parties in public office and, more broadly, on competition in the institutional arena.

Supplemental material Supplementary material for this article is available online. In the Online Appendix, we report the full list of parties included in the data set, the exact wording of questions for our variables, and some related descriptive statistics. Our results do not change if we also consider the neither category in the analysis see the Online Appendix. In all cases, a likelihood-ratio test comparing the fit of the random effects ANOVA to that of a regression model with a constant only allowing for individual variation only indicates that the null hypothesis i.

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However, as the portion of the overall variance accounted for by the country level is very low e. Note that our results are substantively similar if we estimate ordinary least square OLS regressions with fixed effects on countries and standard errors clustered on party labels. We also analyzed the two data sets based on expert and elite surveys separately and the results were fundamentally confirmed.

However, our main findings are robust even when we exclude those parties. The robustness checks are reported in the Online Appendix.

The great schism that could pull the EU apart

To further substantiate the interpretation of the results, in the Online Appendix, we report graphs displaying the expected EU-related attitudes of party actors before and during the crisis. Skip to main content. Party Politics. Article Menu. Download PDF. Open EPUB. Cite Citation Tools. How to cite this article If you have the appropriate software installed, you can download article citation data to the citation manager of your choice.

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Sharing links are not available for this article. I have read and accept the terms and conditions. Copy to clipboard. Request Permissions View permissions information for this article. The political contestation of European integration in Southern Europe: Friction among and within parties. Andrea Pedrazzani.

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Article information. Article Information Volume: 24 issue: 1, page s : Article first published online: January 2, ; Issue published: January 1, Giorgos Charalambous University of Cyprus, Cyprus. Andrea Pedrazzani University of Bologna, Italy. Author biographies Giorgos Charalambous lectures in political science at the University of Cyprus.

Email: nicolo. Theoretical framework and hypotheses. The crisis and polarization. Intraparty polarization.

Data and measurement: Party attitudes toward the EU in southern Europe. Open in new tab. Download in PowerPoint. Analysis and results.

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View larger version. Notes 1. View Abstract. Article available in:. Vol 24, Issue 1, National political elites, the EU, and the populist challenge. Mainstreaming Eurosce International Political Science Review. The Italian political elites and Europe: Big move, small change? Cookies Notification This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more. Tips on citation download. British Journal of Political Science 34 4 : — Google Scholar ISI. Available at: chesdata. Google Scholar.

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