Which Europe do the Portuguese Political Parties Want? Identity, Representation and Scope of Governance in the Euromanifestos (1987-2004)
Title: Which Europe do the Portuguese Political Parties Want? Identity, Representation and Scope of Governance in the Euromanifestos (1987-2004)
Citation: Perspectives on European Politics and Society, 2010, 11, 2, 183-200
ISSN: 1570-5854 Print; 1568-0258
This article analysed the nature of Portuguese political parties’ attitudes towards Europe. Three major European dimensions are under focus: identity, representation and policy scope – their consistency over time and their relevance on party competition were analysed drawing on the INTUNE Euromanifesto Dataset. We observed that behind the apparent enthusiasm of the Portuguese party system towards the European project, there are significant differences between the parties on European integration issues. Our three independent variables (left vs. right; mainstream vs. extreme; incumbent vs. opposition) are clearly related with differences on the reference of a European identity, but not national identity. Moreover, mainstream parties adopted favourable opinions towards the outcomes of the integration in the European Union (although in a lesser extent after 1991), while extremist parties tend to be more pessimistic. In what regards scope of governance for the six policy areas considered, differences (either in terms of mainstream/extreme and incumbent/opposition status) are more evident in defence and foreign policy areas.
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