Individual Transnationalism and EU Support: An empirical test of Deutsch's transactionalist theory
Title: Individual Transnationalism and EU Support: An empirical test of Deutsch's transactionalist theory
Author: KUHN, Theresa
Series/Report no.: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
Recent trends of euroscepticism seriously challenge Deutsch’s transactionalist theory that increased transnational interactions trigger support for further political integration. While transnational interactions have indeed proliferated, EU support has diminished. This dissertation aims at solving this puzzle by arguing that transnational interaction is highly stratified across society. Its impact on EU support therefore only applies to a small portion of the public. The rest of the population not only fails to be prompted to support the integration process, but may see it as a threat to their realm. This is even more the case as parallel to European integration, global processes of transnationalisation create tensions in national societies. Consequently, the hypotheses guiding this dissertation are as follows: (1) The more transnational an individual, the more (s)he is prone to support European integration. (2) This effect is more pronounced in countries and regions that are more transnationalised. These hypotheses are tested using multilevel analyses of survey data from the Eurobarometer waves 65.1 (2006) and 67.1 (2007). The analyses show that transnational interactions and networks are concentrated among a small group of highly educated, young Europeans. Individuals highly engaged in transnational interactions and well endowed with transnational human capital are significantly more likely to support EU membership and to consider themselves as European, even more so in highly globalised countries. This relationship is weaker, however, in intra- European border regions, where transnational interaction is less stratified across society.
Subject: Transnationalism; Social aspects; European Union countries; Group identity; Nationalism
Defence date: 8 July 2011; Examining Board: Prof. Martin Kohli, European University Institute (Supervisor) Prof. Mark Franklin European University Institute Prof. Jack Citrin University of California at Berkeley Prof. Juan Díez Medrano Institut Barcelona d’Estudis Internacionals; In 2012 the author was awarded the Linz-Rokkan Prize in Political Sociology, and the Theseus Award for Promising Research on European Integration (Brussels, December 2012).
Final published version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/34720
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