Universiteit Leiden

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Euroscepticism and the Future of European Integration

  • Professor Catherine de Vries
maandag 12 november 2018
Turfmarkt 99
2511 DP Den Haag


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About the lecture

The European Union (EU) is facing one of the rockiest periods in its existence. Not often in its history has it looked so economically fragile, so unsecure about how to protect its borders, so divided over how to tackle the crisis of legitimacy facing its institutions, and so under assault of Eurosceptic parties. The unprecedented levels of integration in recent decades has led to increased public contestation, yet at the same the EU is more reliant on public support for its continued legitimacy than ever before. Catherine E. De Vries in this book examines the role of public opinion in the European integration process. She develops a novel theory and typology of public opinion that stresses the deep interconnectedness between people’s views about European and national politics. This book suggests that public opinion cannot be characterized as either Eurosceptic or not, but rather consists of different types. Euroscepticism is such a diverse phenomenon because the Eurozone crisis has exacerbated the structural imbalances within the EU. As the economic and political fates of member states diverged, people’s experiences with the EU also grew further apart. The distinction between different types of Euroscepticism is important because this book demonstrates that certain types may threaten the EU’s existence because of their close links to preferences for secession and support for hard Eurosceptic parties, and that the heterogeneity in preferences among these types makes a one-size-fits-all approach to addressing Euroscepticism likely to be unsuccessful. The way forward for the EU, this book suggests, is to fully embrace the diversity within its borders and develop a more flexible approach to integration.

About the speaker

Prof. dr. Catherine de Vries works as a Westerdijnk Chair and Professor of Political Behaviour in Europe at the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. She is also an associate member of Nuffield College at the University of Oxford and one of the general editors of Research & Politics, an open source journal dedicated to publishing short and accessible articles that present novel findings or insights, fresh views on current disputes or classic papers, or replications of existing studies. In 2013, Catherine was selected as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum for her academic and social engagement and in 2014 she received the American Political Science Association Emerging Scholar Award for her contribution to the field of elections, public opinion and voting behaviour. Over the years, Catherine has published extensively on public opinion, elections, political accountability, political parties, corruption and the European Union. She has recently started exploring the political consequences of financial remittances. Her work has appeared in journals such as the American Political Science Review, Annual Review of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Comparative Political Studies.

About the seminars

The Diplomacy and Global Affairs (DGA) Research Seminar is a series launched by the Research Group on Diplomacy and Global Affairs at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs. The seminars of internationally acknowledged guest researchers and faculty members deal with current research topics in diplomacy, international relations, global affairs, and political economy broadly conceived and target a broad audience through their interdisciplinary focus.


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