The changing relationship between left–right ideology and euroscepticism

  • EPS
Category: article
Publisher: Sage Publications
Year: 2015
In journal: European Union Politics


How is euroscepticism related to left–right ideology in Western European public opinion? We argue that inconsistent findings on this relationship result from the changing nature of European integration over time. Initially, EU market integration mainly sparked left-wing opposition; after Maastricht the intensification of political integration additionally produced nationalist euroscepticism among the political right. Hence, we hypothesize that the relationship between citizens’ left–right ideology and euroscepticism evolved from linear to U-shaped. We test this hypothesis by means of multilevel logistic regression on 74 waves of the Eurobarometer (1973–2010) in 12 EU member states. The results demonstrate an increase of right-wing euroscepticism across countries, whereas the developments on the left are mixed. In the concluding section, we discuss the theoretical and political implications of these findings. (


Van Elsas, E. and Van der Brug, W. (2015) The changing relationship between left-right ideology and euroscepticism: 1973-2010. European Union Politics, vol. 16 no. 2, pp. 194-215, doi:10.1177/1465116514562918.

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