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Analysis of benefits and harms as a factor in citizen support to Croatian accession to the European Union

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Bagić, Dragan; Šalinović, Ante

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Corporate Editor Institute of Public Finance, Zagreb; Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Kroatien
Abstract This paper deals with the analysis of the utilitarian model of the explanation of popular support for Croatian entry into the European Union. The utilitarian model for explicating support or lack of support for accession to the EU has been analysed through subjective principled expectations of benefits and harms of entry into the Union at a personal and at a national level, and through concrete expectations at the level of twenty-two aspects of social and economic life. The research results show that on the basis of principled expectations it is possible precisely to predict support for entry into the EU, but that the principled expectations are not to any very great extent founded on concrete expectations in the observed aspects of social and economic life, and that they are to a certain degree linked with political viewpoints. On the other hand, concrete expectations are relatively weakly correlated with support for Croatian entry into the EU. Such a result suggests the conclusion that on the basis of a utilitarian explanation of support it is possible only relatively poorly to predict viewpoints concerning joining the EU, and that principled expectations of benefits and harms are in good part an expression of general impressions about the EU, trust in the political elite and political views of Croatian citizens, and to a lesser extent realistic rational calculations of harms and benefits. The paper is based on empirical survey of the views and spectations performed on a probabilistic national sample of a thousand citizens older than 15.
Keywords Croatia; post-socialist country; joining the European Union; EU; utility; expectation; political opinion; population; political attitude
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; European Politics
Method descriptive study; empirical; quantitative empirical; theory application
Free Keywords European Union; utilitarian explanation of attitudes toward accession; analyses of harms and benefits; political attitudes; Croatia
Collection Title Croatian accession to the European Union. Vol. 4, The challenges of participation
Editor Ott, Katarina
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
City Zagreb
Page/Pages p. 161-188
ISBN 978-953-6047-77-2
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works