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Identity, Instrumental Self-Interest and Institutional Evaluations : Explaining Public Opinion on Common European Policies in Foreign Affairs and Defence

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Schoen, Harald

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Abstract This paper addresses public opinion on common European policies in foreign affairs and defence. It proposes three models of support for common policies in these fields. Drawing on Eurobarometer data, the analysis shows that instrumental self-interest and territorial identities contribute considerably to explaining support for common foreign affairs and defence policies. Moreover, support for common policies is strongly driven by domain-specific evaluations of the European Union's performance. These findings suggest that popular support for common European policies in foreign affairs and defence has an experiential base. Thus, elites have an incentive to respond to public opinion when making policy decisions, so this analysis supports the liberal view in international relations rather than the realist account.
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; European Politics
Free Keywords common defence and security policy; common foreign policy; European integration; public opinion; responsiveness;
Document language English
Publication Year 2008
Page/Pages p. 5-29
Journal European Union Politics, 9 (2008) 1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)